Life in the Spirit – Communion With God

Disciples of Jesus, like their Messiah, have been anointed with the Holy Spirit. Disciples of Jesus walk by the Spirit, live by the Spirit, and are led by the Spirit. The Spirit is the air we breathe and the Spirit is the one who empowers us. Ours is a life in the Spirit.

But what do we mean when we say that disciples of Jesus live in the Spirit? What does that look like, and how do we embody that in our lives and ministries?

For purposes of brevity, we may say that the Theodrama emphasizes three dimensions of this life in the Spirit: (1) communion, (2) transformation, and (3) giftedness. We will address communion now and the other two in further presentations.

The Spirit is the one by whom we commune with the Triune God. God dwells among us through the Spirit. Just as God was personally present in Israel through the temple and in the incarnation through Jesus, so God is personally present in the Jesus community through the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are the temple of God. The Spirit of God dwells among us and in us as a down payment of our future dwelling with the Triune God in the new heaven and the new earth.

Through the Spirit, we commune with and experience the person of God. The Spirit is the personal, existential connection between God and humanity. The personal indwelling of the Spirit is the experience of God in our hearts whereby we cry “Abba, Father.” God and Christ come to dwell us through the presence of the Spirit. The Spirit’s foundational function is to mediate communion between God and us. Our communion with God is the “communion of the Holy Spirit” (2 Corinthians 13:12).

The indwelling presence of the Spirit, which is the fulfillment of God’s presence in the temple in Israel and anticipates the fullness of divine presence in the new heaven and new earth, is how we now live in fellowship with God. We were washed in the Spirit (1  Corinthians 6:11). We worship in the Spirit (Philippians 3:3). We pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). We are “in the Spirit because the Spirit of God dwells” in us (Romans 8:9). The Spirit is the air we breathe, and our every breath is communion with God.

This communion, of course, is not merely vertical. It is also horizontal, that is, we commune with each other by what we share in the Spirit (Philippians 2:1). We love each other in the Spirit (Colossians 1:8). Because we have all been baptized in the Spirit and have drunk of the same Spirit, we are one body, and ethnic, economic, and gender barriers are transcended in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13;  Galatians 3:28).

We see the Spirit among us when we enjoy the sweet fellowship of others, experience the peace and joy of the Spirit in communion with God, and encounter God in the assembly of God’s people as we worship in the Spirit. We must not secularize these moments as if they are produced by our own internal powers. Rather, we relish them and delight in them because we know, by God’s promise, that the Spirit is present to generate them. They are moments where heaven and earth meet in the Spirit.

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