The Holy Spirit is truly ‘God the Evangelist,’ drawing sinners into fellowship with Christ. Here is how he works.
I live in Vancouver, Canada, where the wind rarely rises beyond a gentle breeze. But in Britain, where I lived before, gales would strip branches from trees, roofs from sheds, and make it hard to stand. The power of a hurricane or tropical typhoon is awesome. Yet, the wind is God’s picture of the activity of the person whom Charles Williams rightly and reverently called “our Lord the Holy Spirit.”
The biblical words for Spirit (ruach in Hebrew, pneuma in Greek) signify breath breathed or exhaled hard, such as when you blow up balloons, blow out candles or breathe hard as you run. The words also signify the blowing of the wind, which is sometimes barely perceptible, but at other times becomes a roaring, shattering thing—an overwhelming display of power. The Spirit’s action takes both forms, and many in between. The Spirit is God’s power in human lives.
Eighty years ago, a breath of revival struck the church in Manchuria. Missionaries wrote home these words: “One clause in the Creed that lives before us now in all its inevitable, awful solemnity is, ‘l believe in the Holy Ghost.’” I dare to hope and pray that we shall be impacted by that same “inevitable, awful solemnity.” Should a “Holy Ghost hurricane” hit us, there will be some disruption—I promise you that—but we, and our ministries, will be blessedly marked for life; not by chaos and darkness such as natural hurricanes bring but by light, order and Christlikeness. Read More
J.I. Packer is professor emeritus of theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. This article originally appeared on Lausanne.org.