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The mind governed by the Spirit

June 8, 2014

Day of PentecostEspiritu Santo

Romans 8:1-11

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (6)

 

 

The miracle of Pentecost has already taken place. This event inaugurated the Christian church. Since then, many manifestations of the Spirit have taken place throughout the history of the Christian church. They occurred when people turned to God, began to obey His Word and began to cry out for the Holy Spirit. We, as a church, want to receive the Holy Spirit of God with the same power as at Pentecost; the gift of God is for everyone. We just have to ask for Him. “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Jn 14:13.14) These words from Jesus that were recorded a few verses before our gospel reading for today refer especially to the Holy Spirit. Do we want to ask for the Spirit to be in our church and for Him to also be active in our families? Let’s see what we can do “to receive” Him, according to the Bible.

 

How to know if the Holy Spirit dwells in you? It’s almost like asking the question, “How do you know if a person is converted or not?” And when I use the word converted, I mean a person who is a true Christian. Because when a person is born again He comes to dwell with this person.

Institutions assure us of a sign of belonging. For example, for a soccer club to consider people as active members, they must sign in, pay a fee, purchase a badge and continue to contribute to the club every month. If such conditions are fulfilled, then clearly the person is confirmed as a member of the club. There are many other institutions that proceed that way. Even churches have certain conditions for people to become members. But this membership requirement does not necessarily make sure that the person is a true Christian. Yet you cannot be a Christian without belonging to a Christian community.

 

At the time that the person is joined with Christ, even if they have already been baptized or confirmed, and they decide to be part of a church, the Holy Spirit is there, but only if the person has consciously accepted Christ. That is to say, there has been a rebirth if there is a conscious acceptance of God and an attempt to start living a life of trying to obey God. This is what happened to the teacher of the law, Nicodemus, who in the Bible was an authority within his church and, logically, had taken all the required rites of his religion to be a full member. (Jn 3) Yet, Jesus said that if He was not born again, he couldn’t see the kingdom of God.

God asks the same of us.

 

If you haven’t had a moment where you have consciously approached God and you haven’t made a decision to obey God, it is highly unlikely that the Holy Spirit is manifesting in your life the way God wants.

The signs that a person has been born again are: Love of God, manifested in worship, participation in a church, making the day of rest holy, loving our neighbor, looking to do individual and communitarian good works for others in tangible love, loving the Bible as the word of God, needing to pray and communicate with God daily and, as we said, gathering in a community with others who also follow Jesus.

 

But if at some point in your life you have already made a conscious and personal decision to accept and believe in God and you have made a firm decision to obey his word, then, whether or not you have belonged to a church or religious institution over your lifetime, then you must be at peace because the Holy Spirit dwells in you. But you must take care that the signs of the Spirit, as we described, are present in you.

 

 

There are many people that have certainly had this crucial time in their lives where they accepted Christ as the Son of God, but they are not showing signs of the Spirit in their lives. This may be because they have been away from what God is asking.

Many people long loudly for a clear presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, as it may have happened at Pentecost, for example.

But they forget a very important detail which must be taken into account and this is that they also have to obey the word of God.

If you really want to receive the Holy Spirit who gives life and peace it may be necessary to make the decision to change your life in this regard.

 

 

The Holy Spirit is God’s gift; a heavenly gift that is the very essence of God. He is the same as God. He is the godly strength and at the same time is a godly person. He points out our sins to us and gives us confidence that we will be saved. Through the Holy Spirit we can experience closeness to God and receive the strength to live life according to His commandments.

 

 

The Holy Spirit is God and so, like the Father, is God and the Son is God; He is also God. He is what we call the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is a person; it is often falsely taught that the Spirit is just a force. But the Holy Spirit has intellect (Ro 8:27), has emotion (Eph 4:30) and has a will (1 Co 2:11), which are all characteristics of personhood.

 

A good question at this time would be: What does the Holy Spirit do?

 

The Holy Spirit comforts us when tears are close, when we feel lonely, when others turn their back on us or when we need comfort after one of our loved ones passes away. He gives us comfort in the face of suffering that we could otherwise not humanly withstand.

The Holy Spirit counsels. He teaches, but in a sublime way which is better than any human teaching method. With His teaching, ordinary people like the disciples became wise. He tells us what to do at the right time. He teaches about the Bible and the life of Jesus.

 

And the Holy Spirit convinces. He convinces us of sin. He shows and makes us aware of things that are good and things that are wrong. When we feel guilty about something before God, often it is because the Spirit of God is convincing us that something is not right. Conviction of sin is a step prior to conversion. He convinces us of the imminence of God’s trial at the end of time.

 

The person who hasn’t had an experience with the Holy Spirit of God doesn’t have a mind that is in accordance with God. They therefore do not have a conscience of what is right and wrong. And sometimes the bad things we do are considered normal or even good. However, this mentality produces only death. But when a person has accepted Christ and his life begins to be nourished by the Holy Spirit of God, this mindset changes and this produces life and peace in the person.

 

 

We receive all this from God, of course, but not in a visible way. God gives us his wonderful gifts through the Holy Spirit.

There is an analogy for those Christians who have accepted God but have not yet given their lives to Him in complete obedience to His Word and still have not asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit, as the apostle exhorts (Eph 5:8). The lives of these people are similar to the pilot light of many heaters. There is a flame, of course, nobody can say that the fire is not on, but the heater is not fulfilling the function for which it was designed. Likewise, there are Christians who have taken the first step in their faith, but have not yet decided to obey God and to give in to God in faith and action. Neither have they asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit. No one can say that they do not have the Spirit, but they do not have the flame of the Spirit that God wants us to have and for which we were destined.

 

Let us recall that we have to ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit. But we must also love God through worship, partake in a church, make the day of rest sacred, love our neighbor and look on and individual and community basis to do good works for others in concrete love. We have to have love for the Bible as the word of God. In us, there must be the need to pray and communicate with God daily. And we must have the need to meet in community with others who also follow Jesus.

 

 

Let us pray:

Come Holy Spirit! Enlighten our lives! Fill us with your power. Comfort us; give us wisdom in our church and in our lives. Convince us about what is good so that we gain an understanding of your plan that brings life and peace. Amen.

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