Bible Studies enlighten the transforming Holy Spirit
On Day two of Synod Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll and Dr Ali Robinson from United Theological College unpacked the Synod theme of Transforming Spirit.
“There is so much one could say about the spirit and everything that one could say about the Spirit is transforming the activity, work or role of the spirit and biblical witness and contextual experience is dynamic and diverse, and so is a guiding theme for today and tomorrow,” stated Rev. Dr Carroll. “Ali and I decided to focus an emphasise the work of the transforming Spirit as light breath, empowering, inspired by extra and life-giving indwelling presence inspired by John 20 verses 21 to 23.
Throughout the study, the emphasis was on the fact that we often focus on God and Jesus in the Trinity, but over the years the Holy Spirit has been less deliberated upon as a interceder and transformer.
“My role this morning is to just give you or paint a picture of the spirit through Biblical witness. So the Holy Spirit, as attested to by Scripture, is the presence and power of God at work in the world to accomplish God’s purposes. The Spirit manifests itself in the words and the images of the Spirit in the Bible are drawn from the material and personal world such as life, breath, wind, water, cloud.”
“In the Old Testament, the spirit is active in the creation of the world and in giving life to all creatures. The spirit gives gifts of intelligence, skill and artisanship to further the purposes of God among God’s people, The Spirit offers assurance of forgiveness, gives courage to the downtrodden, brings new life out of death, restores hope, and promotes justice and peace in the land.”
Throughout the study Rev. Dr Carroll talked about the transforming work of the Holy Spirit “throughout” the Bible, not just at the time of Pentecost, when we recognise it and it is at its most evident in Scripture.
“The Hebrew word for spirit in the Old Testament is rur. Translated, it means blowin, as in wind or breath, and came to mean divide power, including the power of life itself. In the Old Testament, the breath of all creatures belongs to God.”
“It is the same life breath, the same transforming spirit that acts in different ways, but with the same objective of liberating, empowering and reconciling the world to the life flowing potential.”
Dr Ali Robinson then read Acts 2 verses 1 to 13, which is the passage about Pentecost where “all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability. Now they would develop Jews from every people under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was.”
“The church continues to be equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak into the various and differing context in which we have been called. The spirit is able to empower and empower us with the language to communicate effectively so that it can be heard and understood by those to whom you are sent by those to whom you are compelled to go.”
Dr Robinson continued that we as “the body of Christ” have access and are “equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak into the various and differing context in which we have been called.”
“You are not given the spirit in order to talk to yourself for your own edification. You are given the spirit in order to be a mentor, a functioning member of the body as a whole. Before Jesus leaves the disciples in the beginning of Acts, He says, ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you’”.
“So as we gather this Synod in anticipation of what God has for us during our time together, I see this passage as a call to all of us to seek the Holy Spirit guidance. To open ourselves up to the of work in the Spirit has done and is continuing to do throughout church.”