Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bishop’s Note: May 19, 2016 – Truth ⬥ Conviction ⬥ Adoption

Bishop Eric Menees

Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, one of the major feasts of the Church. Just as we celebrate Christ’s incarnation on Christmas, so too we celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church.

In John chapter 14, Jesus promised: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:15-17 ESV)

Jesus promises to send the Helper - the “parakletos” (παράκλητος) who is Truth, brings Conviction, and invites Adoption! The Holy Spirit is the essence Truth and helps us to discern the Truth, which originates from God and resides in God, as opposed to the Lie, which originates from Satan - the father of all lies! It is the Holy Spirit that gives us insight into, literally “inspiration.” When we come to that place of simply knowing the truth in a situation - deep in the depth of our souls - that is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

But, equally, Conviction is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Here I mean that sense that comes from deep within that says, “Oh man, I messed up.” Conviction leads to a sense of sorrow and regret. Conviction also leads to a desire both to take responsibility for our actions AND to be reconciled.

While the world tells us that feelings of guilt are bad, as Christians we say, “No, we should feel guilty when we are guilty - we should feel shame when we’ve acted in shameful ways.” Quite simply, would you want your child who steals from your purse or wallet not to feel guilty for his actions? Of course not! At its very worst, the lack of feelings of guilt and shame is called being sociopathic. I am not saying that ALL FEELINGS OF GUILT AND SHAME are good or appropriate - Satan can manipulate these as well. When the Holy Spirit convicts us, it is a healthy guilt and a healthy desire to make things right by taking responsibility for our lives and seeking reconciliation! And so, we thank God for the Conviction brought through His Holy Spirit, and the reconciliation and amendment of life that occurs as a result!

The Holy Spirit also brings with Him a spirit of adoption: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13 ESV) It is God the Holy Spirit that makes us a “new creation” and allows us to be “born again.”

Throughout this Season of Pentecost, we would do well to ponder on God the Holy Spirit, who is Truth, brings Conviction, and invites Adoption!

I pray you all a very blessed week!

Catechism Questions: 286-288

286. What is the Fourth Commandment?

The Fourth Commandment is: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

287. What does it mean to keep the Sabbath day holy?

“Sabbath” is from the Hebrew shavath, which means “rest.” God commanded Israel to set apart each seventh day following six days of work for rest and worship. (Exodus 19:8-11)

288. Why should you rest on the Sabbath?
I rest, as Israel was to rest, because God rested on the seventh day from his work of creation. The Sabbath rest brought rhythm to life, work, and worship; freedom from slavery to unending labor; and awareness that God is Lord of all time, including mine. (Genesis 2:1-2; Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

No comments: