THE CENTRE CHAPLAIN’S CORNER – July & August
I am writing this ‘Chaplain’s Corner’ for July and August at the beginning of June so obviously a lot can happen between now and the end of August! It is somewhat disconcerting that the days and weeks seem to go by so fast.
This article does have quite a few verses from the Bible so be forewarned!!
In the June magazine I mentioned Ascension Day. Time has moved on and at the end of May the Church celebrated The Feast of Pentecost.
Jesus appeared to his disciples, when He had risen from the dead, for a period of forty days, and He spoke much about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1 v 36). Jesus promised the disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. It was then, after He had said this, that He was taken up before their eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were really mystified and two men dressed in white stood beside them “Men of Galilee” they said, “why do you stand looking into the sky?” This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back again in the same way you have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1 v 10b-11).
Pentecost celebrates the moment when the disciples, who were all together in one place, were filled with the Holy Spirit. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. They then began to speak in tongues as the Spirit enabled them (based on Acts 2 v 1-4).
We can receive the Holy Spirit too – a couple of verses from Ephesians (1 v 13-14).
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory”.
Once we put our faith in Jesus Christ we are given the Holy Spirit. Whether we allow the Spirit to fill our lives is a different matter. The Spirit helps in our weakness and intercedes for us in accordance with God’s will (based on Romans 8 v 26 -27).
What more can we learn about The Holy Spirit? The following can be as a result of the work by the Holy Spirit:- to be created, equipped, trained, empowered, transformed and revealed BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Let me briefly say a word or two on these six functions of the Holy Spirit based on a study guide by Liz Babbs ‘Transformed by the Holy Spirit’.
Created by the Holy Spirit
In the beginning God created the heavens and the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1 v 1).
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible (Hebrews 11 v 3)
God was …… God is …… and will always be …… God. The Spirit of God is the power of God at work creating the world. He (God) created mankind in his own image.
God the Father chose us in him (Christ) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Ephesians 1 v 4). What an amazing thought ! This links in with Psalm 139 v 13 – ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb’.
Each of us are given certain gifts by the Spirit which will equip us with everything good for doing his (God’s) will. There are different kinds of gifts but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service but the same Lord. Examples of the types of gifts through the Spirit are:- wisdom, message of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous power and prophecy. We need to pray to God for discernment of what He has in mind for us gift-wise, but as importantly, we as Christians must demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit at all times in our daily lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Easier said than done!
Trained by the Holy Spirit
Please help us to have an awareness and an understanding of the Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives.
As aforesaid the Spirit does help us in our weakness but we need to stand firm in our faith and be alert as the devil prowls around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5 v 8b). We need to take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, to help us stand our ground against the trials and tribulations of life.
Empowered by the Spirit
If the Spirit of him (God) who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8 v 11).
Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5 v 25).
As we come to know Christ more and more so the Holy Spirit will fill our lives more and more. This will enable people who do not know Christ, will see Him reflected in our lives.
Transformed by the Spirit
A key purpose of being transformed by the Spirit is that we will reflect the Lord’s glory.
Romans 12 v 2 reminds us not to be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then, you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
As Paul reminds us in Corinthians (6 v 19b – 20) ‘Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God’? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.
We can ask the Lord Jesus to transform and empower us through His Spirit as well as fill us with His resurrection joy so that it spills over to others – what a challenge!
Revealed by the Holy Spirit
The book of Revelation is inspirational. We are told in Revelations 1 v 3 that ‘Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it , because the time is near’.
In Revelation chapter 1 John is given a revelation of Jesus Christ who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever and ever Amen (v5b – 6).
In Hebrews chapter 1 the Son (Jesus) is said to be the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being …………
Hebrews chapter 2 (vs 6-8) further talks about Jesus “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him glory and honour and put everything under his feet”.
Paul reiterates these facts in the first chapter of Colossians 1 v 19-20 “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross”.
By the time you read this Chaplain’s Corner I will have been to the island of Samos which Paul visited for a day (Acts 20 v 15b). Samos is only an hour and half away (by boat) from Ephesus and it is beautiful small Greek island full of history (e.g. Pythagorus). I plan to dance one week and then participate in creative workshops (creative writing, painting and photography) the second week. We also have some good bible sessions provided each day.
We are now down to only one trained listener for The Christian centre so please contact Rowan if you are at all interested or know of anyone from another church who might be interested. It is such an important service and people do visit the Centre with the sole purpose of being able to have a chat in confidence with someone who is ready to listen.
In closing, by the time this magazine goes to print a few more things might have happened in The Centre.
This ‘Chaplain’s Corner’ has been a rather ‘holy’ article so forgive me if it is not your scene. You were forewarned at the beginning of the article! I just wanted to get across to people the importance and relevance of The Holy Spirit in our lives. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3 v 16).
Rowan Nunnerley (Centre Chaplain)
Contact details: 01306 886830 or 07706 041339