My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
THE MISSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
By Father Anthony Alevizopoulos, PhD. of Theology, PhD. of Philosophy
The Holy Spirit was not revealed in the same manner in which the Son was revealed; He remains unapproachable to man. He is however in His Divine Energies, through the gifts which He bestows upon the faithful. He is "the Treasury of good things and the Bestower of life", according to the prayer of the Church.
Many texts in our liturgical ascribe the work of our salvation to the Holy Spirit:
"The Holy Spirit hath ever been and is, and shall be, neither beginning nor ending; but He is ever ranked and numbered together with the Father and the Son, He is Life, and Life-creating; Light and light-bestowing; by nature good, and the source of goodness; through Him the Father is known, and the Son is glorified; and thereby all men acknowledge a single sovereignty, single covenant, one adoration of the Holy Trinity."
The Orthodox Christian Church rejects the false doctrine of heretics who maintain that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal power or "state" within us. The Holy Spirit has self-awareness (Acts 10:19-20; 13:2), will (St. John 16:8; Acts 2:4; I Corinthians 12:11) and acts as a Person; He is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity (St. Matthew 28:19; St. John 15:26; 2 Corinthians 13:13) and is distinguished from the power of God (2 Corinthians 6:6-7; Romans 15:13; 1 Corinthians 1:5).
The Holy Spirit participated in the creation of the world (Genesis 1:2) which was accomplished from the Father, through the Son and "in the Holy Spirit". Then, when man was created the "first putting-on of the Spirit" (πνευματοφορία) took place (Genesis 1:26-27, 7:7). During the New Creation, the Holy Spirit was restored to man. A beautiful hymn of the Church states:
"In the Holy Spirit is all creation renewed, and doth return to its pristine state, for He is of equal power with the Father and the Logos/Word".
In the restoration and recreation of man, the Holy Spirit is "the active principle": From the Holy Spirit, through the Son to the Father; this is the road to salvation. There is no other; "no one can say Lord Jesus except in the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3), no one can recognize Christ as Lord, i.e., to enroll in the Church under one Head, Christ, "in the Holy Spirit" alone; and "no one cometh unto the Father, save through Me" (Saint John 14:6). No one comes unto the Father save through Jesus Christ!
In order to reach the Father through the Son, we must be "in the Holy Spirit". The Holy Spirit reveals Christ to each and every believer personally and individually (St. John 15:25-26; 16:13-14). He "plants" him through the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body, and man regains that from which he fell, a unity of the one nature, i.e., to be "one in Christ" this is man's rebirth (St. John 3:5; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26-28). Through Baptism and Holy Communion, the believer becomes "one in body" (σύσσωμος) and "one in blood" (σύναιμος) with Christ and the relationship which exists between Jesus Christ and God the Father is conveyed and given to him through the grace of the Holy Spirit. This is why the Holy Spirit is also called "The Spirit of Christ" and "the Spirit of Adoption" (Romans 8:10. 15-16).
Christ kept His promise: during Pentecost, He "sent" the Holy Spirit to the Disciples in a personal manner:
The Spirit "rested upon each of them, all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them ability" (Acts 2:3-4).
Language is a means of communication. At the Tower of Babel, as the result of man's apostasy from God and his autonomy, language became a means of non-communion and non-communication. And now during Pentecost, the restoration of unity, the gathering of the scattered children of God "into one" (St. John 11:52) was declared to those outside the circle of the Disciples through a sermon preached in the tongue of the Holy Spit which was comprehensible to all and is an instrument of man's unity (Acts 2:4).
This unity and return to man to the "one nature", to the "one man", i.e. to "one in Christ" does not do away with the special personality of each believer. The Holy Spirit offers His charismata (gifts) to every believer.
"The Holy Spirit provideth all things; He gusheth forth prophecy; He perfecteth the priesthood; He hath taught wisdom to the illiterate. He hath shown forth the fishermen as theologians. He holdeth together the whole institution of the Church. Wherefore, O Comforter, one in essence and throne with the Father and the Son, Glory to Thee".
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!--Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God