We’re blogging our way through the “Apostles Creed”, one of the earliest statements of core doctrines developed by the early Church.
“…conceived by the Holy Spirit…”
The Holy Spirit is the Rodney Dangerfield of the holy Trinity – he doesn’t get any respect. Just look here in the Apostles Creed. He gets all of one phrase.
But spirituality without the Holy Spirit is like Grape Nuts without grapes (or nuts). The Bible commands us to be “filled with the Spirit” and to “keep in step with the Spirit”, to employ “gifts of the Spirit”, to seek to bear “fruit of the Spirit”, and to avoid the sins of “quenching” and “blaspheming” the Spirit. Clearly the Holy Spirit is to be given serious attention by any follower of Christ.
Spirituality is a buzzword of our age. Everyone is spiritual. You don’t need to go to church anymore either. Aroma therapy candles and a hot tub are suitable sacraments for being spiritual. You don’t need God either. It used to be that some deity needed to be evoked – Zeus, Thor, Yahweh, anyone. Today a ten-minute meditation exercise while ocean waves roll in your earbuds qualifies as soul-enrichment.
Far be it from me to question the benefits of a good sauna or power nap. I frequently indulge in both. But let’s not get carried away and pat ourselves on the back for experiencing transcendence, when all we’ve done is boosted our endorphin levels. True spirituality is not relaxation any more than visiting Disneyland is riding the monorail.
True spirituality is an actual, tangible relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit – where there is real communication, time together, and a sharing of hearts.
What sets Christianity apart from every other form of “spirituality” is that it promises its followers a real, personal connection with its Founder. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” Jesus promised his disciples (John 14:18), referring to the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus promises to be a warrior inside our hearts to help us fight the battles we are in.
Go ahead and light the candles. Have a soak in the tub. Quiet your thoughts. It’ll feel good. But it won’t tame your sin nature or bring your lust to heel. For that you have work to do. A daily appointment to keep. With a friend who longs to pour his heart out to you.