Alan Neale

Writer • Speaker

The Apostles’ Creed #3 The Holy Spirit. Notes from class – Sunday May 21 2017. Trinity Church, Newport RI. The Reverend Alan Neale

Trinity Church
Newport RI

What Christians Believe and Why?
Based on CREED – Adam Hamilton

I believe in the Holy Spirit

1. Three understandings of faith – The faith, I can be trusted/faithful, I have faith (as gift)
2. “I” and “We” believe – both required
3. Our vocation to break down false images of God and reveal the true God (as much as possible!)
Christian Beliefs About Jesus
• Virgin Birth – only Matthew and Luke! Dubious Isaiah passage! “Is it possible to be a Christian and not believe in the virgin birth? Given how little doctrine is referenced in the New Testament, the answer would clearly seem to be yes” – Hamilton, op. cit. But… “myth”, “primal truth”…
• Savior/Jesus – deliverer. Matthew 1:21 The angel told Joseph “You will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Ah… sin! Atonement – at/one/ment; the profound ministry of reconciliation/resolution. Analogies of the Cross – embrace them all and then some.. this is I know, “the Cross works.”
• Messiah – anointed/enthroned one.
• Son of God/Son of Man. Incarnation… Philippians 2:6-8 and Colossians 1:15-17 (see appendix
• Descended to the dead. Jewish belief in shadowy hades after death… I Peter 3:18-19 (see appendix)
• “On the third day” – the church is one of the greatest evidences of the Resurrection; contrast John 20 with Acts 1-2! “Who Moved the Stone” – a book by journalist Frank Morrison in which his goal (to disprove the resurrection) was turned upside down!


Acts 19 – Holy Spirit, what?
19 1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”
“We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?”
3 “How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.
“In John’s baptism.”
4 “That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”
5-7 And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.

Work of Holy Spirit in Creation – Recreation – Resurrection

Genesis 1
1 1-2 First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.
3-5 God spoke: “Light!”
And light appeared.
God saw that light was good
and separated light from dark.
God named the light Day,
he named the dark Night.
It was evening, it was morning—
God saw that it was good.

Mark 1
9-11 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

Ezekiel 37
37 1-2 GOD grabbed me. GOD’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Master GOD, only you know that.”
4 He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of GOD!’”
5-6 GOD, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am GOD!”
7-8 I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound and, oh, rustling! The bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on the bones, then skin stretched over them. But they had no breath in them.
9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘GOD, the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’”
10 So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army.

Acts 2
2 1-4 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.
This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen:
“In the Last Days,” God says,
“I will pour out my Spirit
on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy,
also your daughters;
Your young men will see visions,
your old men dream dreams.
When the time comes,
I’ll pour out my Spirit
On those who serve me, men and women both,
and they’ll prophesy.”

Romans 8
9-11 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

“The Spirit was a force to be reckoned with, an impulse to which mere humans capitulated, a source of daily breath and an uncontrollable outside power” – “Fresh Air”, Jack Levison

“Spirit” in English is the translation for breath, wind, spirit in Hebrew and Greek.

“Come Holy Spirit, I need you. Breath of God, fill me wholly and completely. Form and shape me into the person you want me to be. Lead me to do what you want me to do. Empower me and use me; speak to me and through me. Produce your fruit in me. Help me to listen to your voice above all the voices that clamor for my attention. Come, Holy Spirit, I need you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

And then there’s the… TRINITY