george_hancockstefanThe distinctive theological position between Christianity and other world religions is its emphasis on monotheism and trinitarianism. Against other religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam hold to the monotheistic position. The Old Testament line is: hear Israel, the Lord our God is one. You shall have no other gods before me. However, in distinction from Judaism and Islam, Christianity holds to one God revealed in three person - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

A daily conversation with Christians (the exception being the Pentecostal churches) will reveal that most Christians are more conversational about God the Father and God the Son than God the Holy Spirit. A quick perusal of our hymnbooks will reveal that we have more songs about God the Father and God the Son than we have of God the Holy Spirit.

A reading of the Scriptures, the Old and the New Testaments will reveal the abundant presence of the Holy Spirit. In the first two verses of Genesis we read " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the water" (Genesis 1:1-2).

In the midst of the Old Testament God is speaking to His people and says: It is "not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).

Before the Lord Jesus Christ returned to His Father, he emphatically told his disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Spirit. "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit... But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:4-5, 8)

The celebration of Pentecost this year is on Sunday, May 31. For the next few weeks I will focus on the person of the Holy Spirit and how he functions in the Holy Trinity, the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Church and how the contemporary church is weak because we do not allow God the Holy Spirit to empower us for the tasks that God is calling us to do.