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McClister’s essay in this book is centered on the passage located in Ephesians 1:13. This passage centers around the truth, on Jesus being our salvation, and that this promise of salvation is given to us through the Holy Spirit. The essay outlines these three facts and expands upon them. Many Christians address the importance of God the Father and God the Son, but a few point out the crucial role that the Holy Spirit has. The role of the Holy Spirit is mentioned briefly in this verse, but it hold much a lot of meaning. It is true that the Holy Spirit is a way for God to dwell in us today and to experience His blessings yet denominations have used this as an excuse to explain the unexplainable as a sort of mystical being. This used to mix in Man’s word into God’s truth in order to understand all that the Bible has to say. It is healthy to search scripture for answers, but the Holy Spirit is not meant to explain everything and to misuse its existence to make up answers to the unknown is manipulative.
A part of the verse in Ephesians that tends to confuse people is the part that says, “you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13). McClister lists out examples where Paul says that Christians are those who possess the Spirit of God. He uses proof from the Bible through passages like Romans 8:14 and Galatians 4:6 and then links these passages on being sealed in the Holy Spirit to baptism. 1 Peter 3:21 explains that baptism is a person’s pledge to the Lord and Romans 6:1 shows that this pledge links God’s children to Jesus’s death and resurrection. No statement in the Bible says anything about Holy Spirit saving anyone. We can be saved only because of Jesus’s sacrifice that gives us the opportunity to become children of God. The Holy Spirit’s relationship with us is personal with our own spirits. Our spirit involves our moral compass and is described by Paul as the inner man. It’s crucial knowing that our spirit and its outline of our morals should involve the Holy Spirit in how we live.
The terminology surrounding the Holy Spirit is in detail in Romans 9. McClister outlines the terms used in this text in order to better understand what Paul is telling us in regards to the Spirit. It is noted that verse nine says the phrases “the Spirit”, “the Spirit of God”, and “the Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9). These verses go into detail on how the Holy Spirit dwells among God’s children, but it also is one with God the Father and Jesus Christ. We need to live according to the Spirit in both our minds and in our actions just as Paul mentions in verses four, five, and nine. The passage mentions plenty of times about being in the Holy Spirit and about the Spirit being in us. This terminology means to “dwell in” according to the Greek translation makes it seem that the text is talking about living like God and being like Him. This is very reminiscent of the marital union between husband and wife. It is like Paul is linking Man and God through the Holy Spirit in a spiritual union that is stronger than marriage.
To have God in us and to echo his likeness is important in the lives of all Christians. God created Man in His image and to be like Him in the very beginning of the world. He breathed life into the first Man and He gives us purpose today through his grace, mercy, and love. People can learn all they want about God and His teachings, but all of that is worthless unless one makes the decision to create a relationship with the Lord and walks in His way. Walking in His way can start today for anyone thank to Jesus’s sacrifice as well as the presence of the Holy Spirit. People know all about Jesus and the Father, but their knowledge must extend to the Spirit itself, because having the Holy Spirit is how we walk with God today. The main goal for Christians is to one day live with the Lord Himself for all of eternity. These same Christians are able be in God’s presence and walk in His ways. The Holy Spirit has granted this opportunity and this blessing is not to be taken lightly. The Spirit is a special gift that is available to all that take on the Lord’s work. It is a gift that put the flesh to death and allows us to live our true potential. This Spirit is how we are with God today and it will lead us to live with Him for all of eternity.
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