Lent – Day 17: Monday, 8 March
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
There is a connection between Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus had earlier said he’d ask the Father, and he’d send the Holy Spirit. Now Jesus appears to be one with some authority over the Holy Spirit. During his ministry Jesus had been guided by the Holy Spirit. Things will change when Jesus goes back to be with Father God. It’s at that point that Jesus was promising to send the Holy Spirit. At his resurrection Jesus was changed. He had taken on the body that he would assume for all eternity. There was now no need for Christ Jesus to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
There would be a need for the Holy Spirit in the organisation that Jesus would soon establish – the Church, Christ’s body on earth. Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the Church, in all its groupings, fellowships, denominations, etc. would soon lose its way. Over its history the Church has continued to take on the mantle of Jesus, just as Elisha took on the mantle of Elijah.
Over its two-thousand-year history the Church has at times grown, become overblown, suffered heresies, splits and breakaways. The Church has murdered true people of faith, in various times and places. If that sounds like a terrible thing of the past, then think of the children today the Church has failed to safeguard, the innocents who have been abused by those they had hoped to trust. It’s not all glorious when people attempt to govern the Church, instead of Jesus.
There have been amazing stories of the Church working under Holy Spirit guidance as well as creating its own authority. The Church, in its various expressions throughout the world, when she (for she is the Bride of Christ) has presented Jesus to people, taking on the same scripture that Jesus used in that synagogue in Capernaum to announce his ministry.
It is not the role of the Church to preserve itself. It is the role of the Church to reveal to the world God’s love in Jesus, displaying God’s kindness, his righteousness, to tell how sin and judgement are removed for those who live in Jesus, and to work in Holy Spirit power to demonstrate God’s kingdom on earth.
Does this look like your church?
If not, what is missing?
What are you prepared to let go to make it happen?
Father God, I pray for boldness to live according to our calling as Church, in my Church fellowship and in the world. I need your Holy Spirit to enable and release boldness in every member, and a true understanding of the parts assigned to each of us in the Body. Amen.