Forgiveness of Sins

Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Why is forgiveness a sign of God’s presence?

Scripture attests to God’s overwhelming love for us and willingness to forgive our sins. Even after God discovers the sin of Adam and Eve, he does not immediately impose a death sentence on them, as previously warned; instead, he outfits them with clothes like a mother preparing her first grader for school Gen 2:17; Gen 3:21. God imposed a consequence for sin on Adam and Eve, but also left them with a “positive conclusion” so that they might learn from their mistake and not be embittered (Turansky and Miller (2013, 130–131).. Similarly after Cain murders Abel, God offers Cain grace, protecting him from revenge (Gen 4:15).

The link between God’s love and forgiveness allows the psalmist to write:

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy. (Ps 103:2-4)

So if God’s forgiveness was already well-attested in the Old Testament, why did Jesus need to die on the cross?

Part of the answer is to observe that God’s forgiveness of Adam, Eve, and Cain was providentially incomplete. All three were still cursed; all three still left the presence of God. Christ’s work on the cross was comprehensive, a re-creation event, as the Apostle Paul writes:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:17-19)

Christ reconciled us with God so we should reconcile with one another. With Adam, Eve, and Cain, none of this happens.

Some psychologists look at forgiveness as a reframing event. Reframing occurs when new meaning is attached to a negative experience. For example, psychoanalyst Victor Frankl, when confined to a concentration camp during the Second World War, focused his mind on preparing the lectures that he would give after the war on his camp experience. In reframing his persecution, Frankl was able to survive the camp when others gave up hope and died (Rosen 1982, 141). Reframing falls short of forgiveness because it focuses solely on the individual, neglecting the relationship among individuals and with God.

When God forgives our sin, in a sense we reframe our self-image from rebel to child of God. The greater the sin forgiven, the deeper the transformation enabled. Forgiveness releases us from death row condemnation and allows us to be reconciled with God, those we sin against, and all of creation. When we then forgive others, we become ambassadors for Christ in this magnificent reconciliation project (2 Cor 5:20).

REFERENCES

Rosen, Sidney [Editor]. 1982. My Voice will Go With You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Turansky, Scott and Joanne Miller. 2013. The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child’s Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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Perdón de Pecados

Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

¿Por qué es perdón de pecados un signo de la presencias de Dios?

La escritura atestigua del amor abrumadora de Dios para nosotros y su disposición a perdonar nuestros pecados. Incluso después Dios descubrí el pecado de Adán y Eva, no les imponía inmediatamente una pena de muerte como les dijo antes; en su lugar, les equipa con ropas como una madre preparando su primer grado para la escuelaGen 2:17; Gen 3:21. Dios ha impuesto una consecuencia por el pecado sobre Adán y Eva, pero también les salia con “conclusión positiva” en la esperanza que deberán aprender de su error y no ser amargado (Turansky and Miller (2013, 130–131).. Del mismo modo después Caín muerta Abel, Dios ofrece Caín gracia y protegiéndolo de la venganza (Gen 4:15).

La conección entre el amor de Dios y perdón permite la salmista a escribir:

Bendice, alma mía, al SEÑOR, Y no olvides ninguno de Sus beneficios. El es el que perdona todas tus iniquidades, El que sana todas tus enfermedades; El que rescata de la fosa tu vida, El que te corona de bondad y compasión; (Psa 103:2-4 NBH)

¿Entonces si el perdón de Dios esta buen atestiguado en el Testamento Antiguo, por qué se necesita Jesús a morir por la cruz?

Parte de la respuesta es a observar que la perdón de Dios de Adán, Eva, y Caín era incompleta providencialmente. Toda tres eran todavía mal dicho; toda tres eran todavía apartado de la presencia de Dios. La obra de Cristo en la cruz era comprensiva, un evento de nueva creación, como el Apóstol Pablo escribe:

De modo que si alguno está en Cristo, nueva criatura (nueva creación) es; las cosas viejas pasaron, ahora han sido hechas nuevas. Y todo esto procede de Dios, quien nos reconcilió con El mismo por medio de Cristo, y nos dio el ministerio de la reconciliación; (2 Cor 5:17-18 NBH)

Cristo nos reconcilio con Dios lo tanto que debemos reconciliar entre si. Con Adán, Eva, y Caín, nada de esto sucede.

Algunos psicólogos miran el perdón como un evento replanteo. Replanteamiento sucede cuando un significado nuevo se une a un evento negativo. Por ejemplo, psicoanalista Victor Frankl, cuando confinado a un campo de concentración durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, centró su mente en preparar la lecciones que iba a dar después la guerra sobre su experiencia de campamento. Por razón de replanteamiento de su persecución, Frankl fue capaz de sobrevivir el campamento cuando otros abandonaron la esperanza y muerto (Rosen 1982, 141). El replanteamiento no alcanza el perdón porque el enfoque es exclusivamente en la individual, dejando de lado la relación entre las individuales y con Dios.

Cuando Dios perdona nuestros pecados, en una sentido replanteamos nuestra propia imagen como un rebele a ser un hijo de Dios. Cuanto mayor sea el pecado perdonado, mayor será la transformación habilitado. La perdón libera nos de la pena de muerte y permita nos no solo a ser reconciliado con Dios, pero también con los que contra pecamos y con toda la creación. Entonces cuando nosotros perdonamos a los demás, nos convertimos en embajadores de Cristo en esta magnificente proyecto de reconciliación (2 Cor 5:20).

REFERENCIAS

Rosen, Sidney [Editor]. 1982. My Voice will Go With You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Turansky, Scott and Joanne Miller. 2013. The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child’s Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

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Praise the Name

Art by Narsis Hiemstra
Art by Narsis Hiemstra

“Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matt 6:9)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The Lord’s Prayer reminds us to honor God’s name in keeping with the Third Commandment—do not take the Lord’s name in vain—because all the other commandments are leveraged on it (Exod 20:7).

Why keep the other commandments, if we dishonor God’s name?

The practical implications of honoring God arise because we are created in God’s image. Because we are created in the image of God, human life has intrinsic value—value in itself that does not change with life events. Because life has intrinsic value, we cannot accept discrimination, injustice, abuse, mistreatment of prisoners, weapons of mass destruction, euthanasia, abortion, designer babies, and a host of other detestable practices. Our human rights—a measure reflecting intrinsic value—exist because we are created in the image of a Holy God.

Our capitalist society focuses, not on intrinsic values, but on market values. Market values change with circumstances—they are volatile. Your value as a person implicitly depends on your productivity. If you are young, old, or unable to work, then you are a dependent—a burden on working people. The focus on market values inherently disrespects God’s image. When God is not honored; neither are we.

The strong influence of market values on our self-image explains, in part, is why depression rates tend to be highest among population groups—like the young adults and the senior citizens—who are unable to work. The rate of depression, suicide, anxiety disorders, addictions, and divorce appear to be correlated, in part, with changing job prospects.

When God’s name is dishonored, we also become more prone to idolatry (Rom 1:21-23). Why worship the God of the Bible, when my income and status in society depends more on my family legacy, education, and hard work? So I naturally run to all sorts of substitutes for God that work, like insurance, to manage the ups and downs of life. Alternatively, I can obsess about the security of my home, my spouse, and my children.

The implications of honoring the name of God come together in the debate over euthanasia—the right to die. If my self-image and my dignity in society are both increasingly subjected to the same market values, then I will surrender myself to assisted suicide precisely when I need support from my family. And, of course, they will agree because I have become a burden both financially and emotionally. Consequently, euthanasia is evil masquerading as compassion. We are created in the image of a holy God who declares that life is good and sacred (Gen 1:31).

Give glory to God. Honor the Name above all names. You are created in God’s image.

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Alaba el Nombre

Art by Narsis Hiemstra
Art by Narsis Hiemstra

“`Ustedes, pues, oren de esta manera:`Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, Santificado sea Tu nombre.” (Matt 6:9 NBH)

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

El Padre Nuestro nos recuerda a honrar el nombre de Dios a observando el tercero mandamiento—”No tomarás el nombre del SEÑOR tu Dios en vano” —porque todo los otros mandamientos son apalancamiento de él (Exod 20:7 NBH).

¿Porque observar los otros mandamientos, si deshonramos el nombre de Dios?

Las implicaciones practicas de honrando Dios viene porque fuimos creados en la imagen de Dios. Por que somos creado en la imagen de Dios, la vida humana tiene valor intrínseca—valor en si mismo que no cambia con los eventos de la vida. Por que la vida tiene valor intrínseca, no aceptamos discriminación, injusto, abuso, maltrato de prisioneros, armas de destrucción masiva, la eutanasia, el aborto, bebés de diseño, y una serie de otras prácticas detestables. Nuestros derechos humanos—un medida que refleja valor intrínseca—existe porque hemos sido creado en la imagen de un Dios Santo.

Nuestra sociedad capitalista se centra, no en los valores intrínseco, sino en los valores del mercado. Los valores del mercado cambian con las circunstancias—son volátiles. Su valor como una persona depende implícitamente de su productividad. Si eres joven, antigua, o ni capaz de trabajar, entonces usted es un dependiente de una carga por las personas que trabajar. Inherentemente, el enfoque de valores de mercado irrespeta la imagen de Dios. Cuando Dios no se honra; no nos honra.

La fuerte influye de los valores de mercado sobre nuestra auto imagen se explica, en parte, por que las índices de depresión son mas alto entre las grupas de población—como los jóvenes y los ancianos—quien no pueden trabajar. Las tasas de depresión, suicidio, trastornos de ansiedad, y divorcio parecen estar correlacionado, en parte, con el cambio de las perspectivas de empleo.

Cuando el nombre de Dios es deshonrado, seriamos también más propensos a idolatría (Rom 1:21-23). ¿Por qué debo adorar de Dios de la biblia cuando mi ingreso y estatus depende más por mi legacía de la familia, educación, y obra dura? Así que yo naturalmente correo tras cada sustituta para Dios cual operen, como seguros, a amortiguar las altas y bajas de la vida. Alternativa, puedo obsesionarme con la seguridad de mi casa, mi cónyuge, y mi hijos.

La implicaciones de honrando el nombre de Dios se unen en el debate sobre la eutanasia—el derecho de morir. Si mi auto identidad y mi dignidad en sociedad ambos progresivamente sujetado a los mismos valores de mercado, entonces yo seria entregarme mi misma al suicidio asistido precisamente cuando necesito apoyo lo mayoría de mi familia. Y, naturalmente, serian de acuerdo por que yo había ser una carga ambos financieramente y emocionalmente. En consecuencia, la eutanasia es malvado que disfrazar como compasión. Somos creado en la imagen de un Dios Santo que declara que la vida es bueno y santo (Gen 1:31)

Da gloria a Dios. Honra el nombre sobre todos nombres. Tú eres creado en la imagen de Dios.

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Hamaker Focuses on Sibling Rivalry—Much to Our Benefit

Hamaker_review_10132014Sarah Hamaker. 2014.  Ending Sibling Rivalry:  Moving Your Kids from War to Peace.  Kansas City:  Beacon Hill Press.

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Let’s be honest.  Most of us were not prepared to be parents. As someone wise once said: parenting is a job that is mostly learned by doing and when you get the hang of it, it’s over. Sibling rivalry is part of that mysterious process that is both frustrating and enigmatic.  When Sarah told me that she was writing a book on sibling rivalry, I was more than a bit curious.

Why is sibling rivalry important?  Siblings are surprisingly important—our first and longest running relationships are with our siblings. Eighty percent of us have them (12).  How we relate with our siblings (or not) accordingly affects how we deal with just about everyone else.  If anger management and conflict resolutions skills are not learned in the family context, chances are good that they will not be learned at all.  If they are learned in the context of family, then chances are good that a lifetime of benefits will accrue (22).

Family civility cannot be assumed.  As Hamaker reminds us, the first stories in the bible of siblings, do not end well. Cain murders his brother, Abel; Jacob rips his brother, Esau, off; Joseph gets sold into slavery by his brothers (19-22).  Biblical failures need not be our failures!

An experienced parent herself, Sarah focuses on moving beyond conflict.  She offers parents both things to think about and ideas to implement.  For example, she asks parents to develop a mission statement for their kids.  She says: if someone asked you to describe each of your children as age thirty, what would you say? (24)  She observes that most parents asked this question respond, not with a list of achievements (education, jobs, status symbols …), but with character traits (compassionate, Godly, hardworking…)  If this is what we want to see in our grown children, then how to do work to instill these qualities when they are young? (25).

Hamaker writes Ending Sibling Rivalry in 10 chapters, preceded by acknowledgments and an introduction and followed by conclusions and chapter notes.  The chapters are:

  1. The Importance of Getting Along;
  2. Thinking the Best, Not the Worst;
  3. Competition;
  4. Comparison/Favorites;
  5. Separate and Unequal (Fairness);
  6. The Blessings of Siblings;
  7. Conflict Resolution;
  8. One-on-One Time;
  9. Breathing Room; and
  10. Introducing New Siblings (7).

Sarah is not just an experienced parent; she is also a certified leadership parenting coach. She also blogs on parenting issues (www.ParentCoachNOVA.com).  I know her as a leader in the Capital Christian Writers club (www.CapitalChristianWriters.org).

My own kids are now all college graduates.  Yet, the scars of sibling rivalry are still obvious—if you know where to look.  When Sarah asks:  Have you ever looked at your kids fighting and seen an opportunity for personal growth? (105)  I can honestly say:  no, never.  But, I wish that I had.

Sarah’s discussion of Matthew 7:1-5[1], 18:15-16[2], and 7:12[3] points to my weakness as a teacher of biblical principles to my children.  Although I did, in fact, teach my kids the golden rule (Matthew 7:12), my own lack of focus in bible knowledge came across in my parenting.  I taught my kids to read from children’s bibles, but did not focus on the particular lessons that might have critically aided their development—like conflict resolution—the focus of these particular verses.

Hamaker’s Ending Sibling Rivalry is readable and includes results of her own parent survey.  If you are a parent of young kids or even teens, it is definitely worth taking a look.

[1]“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.  (Matthew 7:1-5 ESV)

[2]“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. (Matthew 18:15-16 ESV)

[3]“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

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The Holy Catholic Church

Ceramic_church_April_16_2012By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Does this phrase, the Holy Catholic Church, mean that we are all Catholic?

The Westminster Confession of faith writes that: “The catholic or universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head.” (PCUSA 1999, 6.140) The universal church includes the elect of the church through the ages, and is invisible in that only God himself knows their identity. The visible church, which we can observe, consists of those elected and those not elected by God. Jesus’ parable of the sower makes this point by talking about wheat and the weeds (tares): “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matt 13:30)

The elect are holy—set apart—by God for reasons that God alone understands. Catholic means we are united in diversity (catholic with a small “c”); it does not mean that we are all Roman Catholic (Catholic with a big “C”).

The doctrine of election is a necessary condition for the sovereignty of God to have any real meaning. God created us and Christ redeemed us before we were born, which implies that we cannot earn our creation and redemption (Eph 2:1–10). Our total dependence on God for salvation becomes obvious when we truly acknowledge and grieve the sin in our lives. Although our inclination to sin has been passed down from Adam and Eve, we also actively sin for ourselves. It is like our spiritual ancestors chose to live in enemy territory, and we grew up living there speaking the local dialect [1].

So, none of us have earned our creation or our redemption. The gift of faith is both free and priceless. The mystery of election is that we do not know who is saved or why. Jesus simply said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

Our task is to spread the Good News, to pray for the lost, and to trust that God is good, just, and always honors his promises.

[1] The effect of this personal sin becomes most obvious when we have children of our own and experience first-hand how our sin and brokenness impacts them.

 REFERENCES

Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PC USA). 1999. The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)—Part I: Book of Confession. Louisville, KY: Office of the General Assembly.

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La Santa Iglesia Católica

Ceramic_church_April_16_2012Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

¿esa frase, la santa Iglesia Catolica, significa que somos todos Católica?

La confesión de fe de Westminster escribe que: “La Iglesia católica o universal, la cual es invisible, está formada por todos los elegidos que han sido, son o serán reunidos como uno en Cristo, quien es cabeza de la Iglesia.” (Iglesia Presbiteriana 2004, 6.140) La iglesia universal incluye los elegidos de la iglesia a través de las edades, y es invisible en porque sólo Dios lo mismo conoce su identidad. La iglesia visible, que podemos observar, consiste de los elegidos y los no elegidos de Dios.  La Parábola del sembrador de Jesus hace esta punta de hablar del trigo y la mala hierba (cizaña): “`Dejen que ambos crezcan juntos hasta la cosecha; y al tiempo de la cosecha diré a los segadores:“Recojan primero la cizaña y átenla en manojos para quemarla, pero el trigo recójanlo en mi granero.”‘” (Matt 13:30 NBH)

Los elegidos son santo— santa apartada—por Dios por razones que sólo Dios entiende. Católica significa que estamos unidos en diversidad (catolica con una “c” pequeña); no significa que todos somos Católicos Romanos (Catolica con una “C” grande).

La doctrina de elección de una condición necesario por la soberania de Dios a ser algo significante o real. Dios nos creo y Cristo nos redimido antes nos nacimos, lo que implica que no podemos ganar ni nuestra creacion ni nuestra redención (Eph 2:1-10).  Nuestra dependencia total de Dios para salvación sera obvia cuando nosotros aceptamos verdaderamente y lloramos los pecados en nuestras vidas. Aunque nuestra inclinación de pecar ha sido transmitido de Adán y Eva, también pecamos activamente para nosotros mismos.  Es como nuestros antepasados espirituales eligieron a vivir en el territorio enemigo, y nosotros crecimos viviendo allí hablando el dialecto local[1].

Por esta razón, ninguna de nosotros ganabamos nuestra creación o nuestra redención.  El regalo de fe es ambos libre y precioso.  El misterio de elección es que no sabemos quien es salvado o por qué. Jesús sólo dijo: “Mis ovejas oyen Mi voz; Yo las conozco y Me siguen.” (John 10:27 NBH)

Nuestra tarea es a transmitir el evangelio, a pida por los perdidos, y confia que Dios es fiel, bueno, y honorará sus promesas.

[1]El efecto de estos pecados personal será más evidente cuando hemos tener hijos de nosotros propios y vemos con nuestros ojos propios el efecto para ellos de nuestros pecados y quebrantamiento.

REFERENCIAS

Iglesia Presbiteriana (E.U.A.). 2004.  La Constitucion de la Iglesia Presbiteriana (E.U.A.); Parte I–Libro de Confesiones.  Preparado por la Oficina de Teología y Adoración.   Louisville, KY: Geneva Press.

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The Holy Spirit

Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra

“I believe in the Holy Spirit.” [1]

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The Holy Spirit, sometimes called the Holy Ghost, is the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit goes by a number of names and descriptions in scripture including: Spirit of the Lord (Judg 3:10), Spirit of God (Matt 3:16), Spirit of Truth (John 14:17), Spirit of Life (Rom 8:2), Spirit of the Living God (2 Cor 3:3), Spirit of Wisdom (Eph 1:17), Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:19), Eternal Spirit (Heb 9:14), Spirit of Glory (1 Pet 4:14), Spirit of Prophecy (Rev 19:10), Helper (John 14:16), and God of Endurance and Encouragement (Rom 15:5).

The wide range of titles suggests that the Holy Spirit plays a wide range of roles and suggests a God of power who is anxious to confer many different spiritual gifts. The Apostle Paul writes:

no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. (1 Cor 12:3–6)

By gifting and empowering spiritual gifts, the Holy Spirit makes Christian unity possible because these gifts make the Christian life, community, and mission service possible.

The Holy Spirit sometimes makes avian (or bird like) appearances. In creation, for example, we witness that: “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Gen 1:2) The word for hovering here in the Hebrew later describes an eagle (Deut 32:11). In all four Gospels, the Holy Spirit descends in baptism on Jesus like a dove—a fitting symbol of God’s peace [2]. For this reason, in part, the Holy Spirit is often associated with the sacrament of baptism.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus describes the Holy Spirit saying: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26) The Greek word for helper here transliterates as the Paraclete, which also means advocate, intercessor, and mediator [3]. The verbal form of Paraclete also means to comfort, to encourage, to console, and to exhort [4]. John 14:26 equates the Paraclete to the Holy Spirit.

Although we frequently think of the Holy Spirit in highly personal terms, the supreme act of the Holy Spirit began at Pentecost in the founding of the church. We read:

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2–4)

The word for Holy Spirit in both Hebrew and Greek means both spirit and wind. The church’s evangelism and service illustrate the Holy Spirit’s continuing provision for reaching the world.

[1] The references in this chapter to the Apostle’s Creed are all taken from FACR (2013, Q/A 23). Another translation is found in (PCUSA 1999, 2.1—2.3).

[2] Matt 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, and John 1:32.

[3] (BDAG, 5591).

[4] (BDAG, 5590).

 REFERENCES

Faith Alive Christian Resources (FACR). 2013. The Heidelberg Catechism. Cited: 30 August, 2013. Online: https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=372.

Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PC USA). 1999. The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)—Part I: Book of Confession. Louisville, KY: Office of the General Assembly.

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El Espíritu Santo

Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra

“Credo en el Espíritu Santo” [1]

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

El Espíritu Santo es la tercera persona de la Trinidad. El Espíritu Santo tiene un numero de nombres y descripciones en la escritura incluso: Espíritu del SEÑOR (Jdg 3:10 NBH), Espíritu de Dios (Mat 3:16 NBH), Espíritu de verdad (Joh 14:17 NBH), Espíritu de vida (Rom 8:2 NBH), Espíritu del Dios vivo (2 Cor 3:3 NBH), espíritu de sabiduría (Eph 1:17 NBH), Espíritu de Jesucristo (Phi 1:19 NBH), Espíritu eterno (Heb 9:14 NBH), Espíritu de gloria (1 Pet 4:14 NBH), espíritu de la profecía (Rev 19:10 NBH), Consolador (Intercesor)  (Joh, 14:16 NBH), y Dios de la paciencia (perseverancia) y del consuelo (Rom 15:5 NBH).

La amplia gama de títulos sugiere que la Espíritu Santo juege un gran rango de papeles y sugiere un Dios de poder quien está listo a confir muchos diferente dones espirituales. El Apóstol Pablo escribe:

“nadie hablando por el Espíritu de Dios, dice:“Jesús es anatema (maldito);” y nadie puede decir:“Jesús es el Señor,” excepto por el Espíritu Santo. Ahora bien, hay diversidad de dones, pero el Espíritu es el mismo. Hay diversidad de ministerios, pero el Señor es el mismo. Y hay diversidad de operaciones, pero es el mismo Dios el que hace todas las cosas en todos.” (1 Cor 12:3-6 NBH)

Al regalar y el empoderamiento de dones espirituales, el Espíritu Santo hace la unidad Cristiano posible porque estos dones hace la vida Cristiano, comunidad, y servicio de la misión Cristiana posible.

El Espíritu Santo a veces hace aviar (o ave) aparenciás. En creación, por ejemplo, somos testigo que: “el Espíritu de Dios se movía sobre la superficie de las aguas.” (Gen 1:2 NBH) La palabra por movimiento aquí en el Hebreo posterior describe un águila (Deut 32:11). En los cuatro Evangelios, el Espíritu Santo desciende en el bautismo de Jesús en forma de paloma—un símbolo apropiado de la paz de Dios [2].  Por esta razón, en parte, el Espíritu Santo se asocia a menudo con el sacramento de bautismo.

En el Evangelio de Juan, Jesús describe el Espíritu Santo diciendo: ““Pero el Consolador (Intercesor), el Espíritu Santo, a quien el Padre enviará en Mi nombre, él les enseñará todas las cosas, y les recordará todo lo que les he dicho.” (John 14:26 NBH) La palabra griega aquí para ayudante translitera como el Parácleto, que también significa abogado, interesor y mediator. El forma verbal del Parácleto también significa a confortar, animar, consolar y exhortar. Juan 14:26 equivale el Parácleto al Espíritu Santo.

Aunque pensemos frecuentemente del Espíritu Santo en términos muy personales, el hecho supremo del Espíritu Sante comenzó en Pentecostés en la fundación de la iglesia.  Leemos:

“y de repente vino del cielo un ruido como el de una ráfaga de viento impetuoso que llenó toda la casa donde estaban sentados. Se les aparecieron lenguas como de fuego que, repartiéndose, se posaron sobre cada uno de ellos. Todos fueron llenos del Espíritu Santo y comenzaron a hablar en otras lenguas, según el Espíritu les daba habilidad para expresarse.” (Act 2:2-4 NBH)

La palabra para Espíritu Santo en Hebreo y Griego significa a la vez espíritu y viento. El evangelio de la iglesia y servicio ilustra la provisión continuando de la Espíritu Santo a alcanzar el mundo.

[1] Iglesia Presbiteriana (E.U.A.) 2009.  El Libro de Adoración.  Preparado por la Oficina de Teología y Adoración.   Louisville, KY: Geneva Press.  Pagina 35.

[2] Matt 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, y John 1:32.

 

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