Don’t Shortchange the Holy Spirit When It Comes to Holiness

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of holiness. What it means to be set apart for God, for the new creation to begin.

It seems to me that many Christians basically act as if the new creation has really started yet. That although they are forgiven for their mistakes and are going to heaven, now they play a passive waiting game for Jesus to come back. There is sometimes as sense of powerlessness, that holiness is an ideal that will never be fully accomplished in this life, and so…why even try? (more…)

Konstantin Basilika in Trier Germany

Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit?

“…be filled with the Spirit…”

(Ephesians 5:18 ESV)

The celebration of Pentecost is nearly upon us. As we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit in power on that day 2000 years ago, let’s talk about what it means to be filled with the Spirit.

Baptism vs. Filling

To be clear, I’m not talking about what many in the Pentecostal tradition would call “baptism of the Spirit.” What is usually meant by this is a second experience post-conversion, with the required “evidence” of speaking in tongues and the result of a “higher” sort of Christian life. (more…)

What I learned about the Holy Spirit from my wife’s life-threatening blood clot

About two weeks ago now, my wife Amber noticed some swelling in her left leg. She was experiencing some pain and discomfort, but (being the strong woman that she is) wasn’t sure about getting it checked out. After a call with our midwife, however, she decided to go in for an ultrasound.

Now, when you go in for an ultrasound, they usually send whatever results you get to your primary care physician. The ultrasound technicians themselves aren’t doctors, so they’re really not supposed to give you any information, because they very well could be wrong.

Nevertheless, Amber knew something was up when the tech kept looking at her mid-ultrasound and asking, “do you still feel okay?” and then about 10 seconds later “how about now? You okay?”

And then a little later, “you really need to see your doctor, like…right now.” (more…)