Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Father sent the Spirit for Interrelational Purposes.

Well, I have certainly given us all ample time to do some research on the role of the Holy Spirit in the Interrelation process. I had just about enough time to find out that I would need a couple of years to do the subject justice. That being said I will try and highlight some passages and concepts that kept coming back to me as I read through the scriptures with Interrelation in mind. Let us begin in Acts.

We are confronted immediately in Acts with the desire that Jesus had for His people; to receive His gift to them as a community. The terminology of the individual is not found here. When Luke is explaining to Theophilus the history of the Body he is also explaining to him the nature of the Body. Luke points out the importance of the fact that Christ, after “gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised” (Acts 1:4).

Jesus certainly could have commanded the disciples to proceed on to strategic sociopolitical geographical areas, containing large populations of diverse people, in order that when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit the disciples would already be placed in the most efficient places to rapidly disseminate the Gospel. But He did not choose that strategy. As we have already discussed numerous times in this blog, the Holy Trinity desired to propagate a holy Community of believers. Jesus had sent out special ops teams of two at a prior time in order to tell of His coming, but the sending of the Spirit would bring about a neo-orthodox way of proclaiming the kingdom. The people of Israel were to be that city on a hill that would draw men to worship the One True God, but it consistently strayed from its purpose. Jesus spoke to the disciples of the new witnessing community that would be empowered from on high and reach to the remotest parts of the world (Acts 1:6-8). With the indwelling guidance of the Spirit, this believing community, the Body of Christ, would succeed where the nation of Israel fell short.

What do you think? Do my statements above stretch the text to mean something other than intended? As you begin to interact with this introduction to the interrelational activities of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts, I will continue to post passages in Acts that reveal this important understanding of the Spirit’s work among us.


J. Glen said...

This is a test to see if the commenting abilities of this blog are working properly.

Alan Knox said...

For some reason, I have not been able to comment. So, I thought that I would try to comment from a different computer.

Yes, I do believe that you are on to something, and I believe it is something that the church in the NT understood full well. Our relationship to (fellowship with) God and our relationship to (fellowship with) one another is directly related to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We cannot separate the work of the Holy Spirit from the interrelation of the Body of Christ. And, since the Holy Spirit is both immanent and also trancendant, He can connect us to believers next door and across the world.

Thank you for your post and your study. I look forward to further posts.


Phil said...

Jason, this is a bit of a rabbit trail, perhaps more of an anthropological question than theology, but nonetheless, here it is: How much of this lack of interrelationalism is due to the idealization of the individual we see in western culture, exemplified by America? Why do I ask? Perhaps this whole people, groups, ekklesia being interrelated is something not near as profound as we think, and perhaps we can find it modeled or better explained by theologians or the church outside of America. I don't know where to look for that, but I'll keep my eye open.