If love is the engine [see previous post] then what is the fuel? Without fuel the engine cannot operate – it has no power and consequently no motion. And if the deceiver cannot forever hide the truth that the essence of true christianity – true faith and true religion is the engine of love – then he will do his utmost to sow confusion regarding the fuel the engine requires. Is it unleaded – super unleaded – pure good old 4 Star – or a mixture of these with special additives available only from selected stockists? Whatever the answer many Ferrari owners eventually realise that without a fuel to power their vehicle they will never fulfil the potential for which it as made. Of course some realise this form the very beginning!
However for those who take care to look – the owners manual is very explicit in this regard.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”
Users Manual AC-1:8
The Italian word for power is Energia [for our Ferrari enthusiasts] and the Greek Dunamis [for our theological enthusiast]. But in the end meaning is the same. The energy and dynamic power that drives the engine of love is the Holy Spirit.
Most Christian will probably agree on that, how could they not – but many agree only in a technical sense – while practically they dismiss it out of hand. Over the last couple of weeks I have heard of two people kicked out of their Owners Club because they have dared to promote a literal reading of the user’s manual on this issue.
I have come to the firm conclusion that the majority of “conservative” believers, churches and denominations, while maintaining a theoretical belief in the trinity, are in fact binitarian*. They act as if the third person of the trinity does not exist. I have no intention of entering in to technical arguments on this issue – but that is how it appears to me.
The simple truth however is this – the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. Just as Jesus was the human expression of The Father – so the Holy Spirit is the expression of Jesus in our world today. He is the fulfilment of Jesus promise –
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.”
Users Manual GJ-14:16-18
Without Him there is no true power – no dynamic, no torque, no momentum. Is it any wonder the church is in decline in the West and thousands of our churches showpieces in all but name? Interestingly the very opposite is true in places such as South America where the Holy Spirit is welcomed passionately.
And it is only as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, is welcomed that the power, the energia, the dunamis of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness can be released [Users Manual PE:GAL 5:22].
But if the deceiver cannot hide the truth we have been discussing his next scheme is to deflect the true significance of the work of the Holy Spirit. He does this by using the principal we outlined in our last post – employing a secondary truth or truths to mask the primary truth. All of us have seen this and more than likely experienced it. Very often the deception works by promoting the gifts of The Spirit over the graces of The Spirit. Both of course are important – but to have the power gifts of The Spirit without the graces of The Spirit is a recipe for disaster – and I have seen it more times than I care to mention. It’s like giving a very keen 16 year old who has never driven before the keys of a Ferrari and telling him there is no speed limit!
Another scheme of the deceiver, and perhaps the most successful in certain Owners Clubs, is to allow for the provision of the correct fuel – but then issue dire warnings against ever turning on the ignition! Who knows what might happen!
I’ll leave you with possibly the best advice the Owners Manual can give on this issue. And it is given by a practical “hands on” man who learned the hard way and through bitter experience –
“As for you, divinely loved ones, since you are forewarned of these things, be careful that you are not led astray by the error of the lawless and lose your firm grip on the truth. But continue to grow and increase in God’s grace and intimacy with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”
Users Manual 2-PET:3:17 PT Edition
* Although this is also now the case in the traditional denominations of Highlands and Islands of Scotland it was not always so.