DISCRIPTIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

My beloved brothers and sister in Christ God,

CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

DESCRIPTIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF
THE HOLY SPIRIT.

+ In the Name of the Father and of the Son of

the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Glory to Thee Our God, Glory to Thee!

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth,
You are everywhere and fill all things.
Treasury of blessings and Giver of life come
and abide in us, and cleanse us from every
impurity, and save our souls, O Good One!

Saint Basil writes that "His proper and peculiar title is ‘Holy Spirit;’ immaterial, and indivisible. So Our Lord, when, when teaching the Samaritan women who thought God to be an object of local worship that the incorporeal is incomprehensible, said ‘God is Spirit’ [John 4:24]. On our hearing, then, of a spirit, it is impossible to form the idea of a nature circumscribed, subject to change and variation, or at all like the creature. We are compelled to advance in our conceptions to the highest, and to think of an intelligent essence, in power infinite, in magnitude unlimited, unmeasured by times or ages, generous of His good gifts, to Whom turn all things needing sanctification, after Whom reach all things that live in virtue, as being watered by His inspiration and helped on toward their natural and proper end; perfecting all other things, but Himself in nothing lacking; living not as needing restoration, but as Supplier of life; not growing b additions, bu straightway full, self-established, omnipotent, the origin of sanctification, light perceptible in the mind, supplying, as it were, through Himself, illumination to every faculty in the search for Truth; by nature unapproachable by reason of goodness, filling all things with His power, but communicated only to the worthy; not shared in one measure, but distributing His energy according to ‘THE PROPORTION OF FAITH’; in essence simple, in powers various, wholly present in each and being wholly everuwhere; impassively divided, share without loss of ceasing to the entire, after teh likeness of the sunbeam, whose kindly light falls on him who enjoys it as though it shone for him alone; yet illumines land and sea and mingles with the air. So, too, is the Spirit TO EVERYONE WHO RECEIVES HIM, AS THOUGH GIVEN TO HIM ALONE, AND YE THE SENDS FORTH GRACE SUFFICIENT AND FULL FOR ALL MANKIND, AND IS ENJOYED BY ALL WHO SHARE HIM, ACCORDING TO THE CAPACITY, NOT OF HIS POWER, BUT OF THEIR NATURE."

Those WHO DENY THE SPIRIT ARE TRANGRESSORS. "FOR IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO WORSHIP THE SON, SAVE BY THE HOLY SPIRIT; IMPOSSIBLE TO CALL UPON THE FATHER, SAVE BY THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION" (Saint Basil the Great, On the Spirit, ch. 11, and 27, Nicene, 2nd Ser. VIII:17,18).

SEVENFOLD GRACE OF THE SPIRIT

With regard to giving of the Spirit, in the Old Testament we hear God declaring: "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, THE SPIRIT OF COMPASSION" [Zachariah 12:10]. Saint Bede mentions that "Christ pledged that His good Spirit would be given by the Father TO THOSE ASKING FOR HIM, BECAUSE WHETHER WE DESIRE TO SECURE FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY, OR ANY OHTER HEAVENLY GOODS AT ALL, THEY ARE NOT BESTOWED ON US OTHERWISE THAT BY THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. So it is that same Spirit, in Esaias, is named THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING, THE SPIRIT OF COUNSEL AND FORTITUDE, THE SPIRIT OF KNOWELDGE AND PIETY, THE SPIRIT OF THE FEAR OF THE LORD; AND IN ANOTHER PLACE, THE SPIRIT OF LOVE AND PEACE, AND THE SPIRIT OF GRACE AND COMPASSION. UNDOUBTEDLY, WHATEVER GOOD WE TRULY HAVE, WHATEVER WE DO WELL, THIS WE RECEIVE FROM THE LAVISHNESS OF THE SAME SPIRIT." (Venerable Bede).

Saint Maximos the Confessor explains that "the holy Prophet Esaias, in his prophecy, says that SEVEN SPIRITS RESTED UPON THE SAVIOR WHO GREW OUT OF THE ROOT OF JESSE. He says this, not because he knows of seven Spirits of God and teaches others, too, to accept a doctrine , but because HE CALLS THE ACTIVITIES OF ONE AND THE SAME HOLY SPIRIT ‘SPIRITS,’ OWING TO THE FACT THAT THE ACTUATING HOLY SPIRIT EXISTS WHOLLY AND COMPLETE IN EACH ACTIVITY PROPORTIONATELY. On the other hand, the divine Apostle calls the different activities of this same one Holy Spirit different ‘GIFTS’, which of course are actuated by this one and thes same Spirit. The Spirit IS THE SOURCE OF THESE GIFS THAT ARE DIVERSIFIED IN THE REIPIENTS. The underlying condition of each of the faithful defines the gift he can receive and the way in which the Spirit can energize him.

Saint Kyril of Alexandria writes: "To one Spirit he has given a multiplicity of operations. For there is not one Spirit of wisdom and another of understanding or of cousel or of might, and so on. On the contrary, just as the Logos/Word of God the Father is one but is called, according to His various operations, LIFE, AND LIGHT, AND POWER, SO IT TOO WITH REGARD TO THE Holy Spirit. He is one but is regarded as multiform because of the way in which He operates. Taht is why the most wise Paul lists for us the various kinds of gifts: All these, he says, are inspired by the one and the same Spirit, Who ‘energithe all these things, distributing to each separetly as He will (1 Corinthians 12:11).

Saint Irenaeos says that Jesus, God’s Anointed, showed Himserlf to be the One Who had been preached in advance by the Prophets. "And as precursor there went before Him John the Baptist, preparing in advance and disposing the people to receive the Logos/Word of life, declaring that He was the Christ, on Whom rested the Spirit of God" (Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 3:16; John 1:32), united with His body."

The Results of the Coming of the Spirit:

"And having come, that One will reprove the world in regard to sin, and in regard to righteousness, and in regard to judgment: in regard to sin, indeed, because they believe not in Me; and in regard to righteousness, because I go away to My Fathe and ye behold Me no longer; and in regard to judgement, because the ruler of this world hath been judged" (John 16:8-11).

Saint Kyrll of Alexandria states: "See how the repraoch of sin is placed first… The reproaches are not for the Jews alone, but rather for every man who shall be stubborn and resistent to the Paraclete. The third reproach of the Holy Spirit shall be that most merited condemnation of the prince of this world. The Paraclete will testify to the glory of Christ, and will show the world its error in having abadoned Him and worshipped one who is nto by nature God, that is, Satan… Now he is not the prince of this world in truth, as though he possessed the dignity of a ruler inherent in him, but because he holds the glory of this world y fraud and violence, and because he still rules those in error, and because of their own evil wills does he exercise authority over them."

Saint Bede notes: "The righteousness of Christ’s disciples considered in this: that they believed that the Lord, Whom they discerned was a true human being and was also the True Son of God; and, that they worshipped always with a definite love the One Whom they knew had been taken away bodily from them. The righteousness of other belieers, that is, of those who have not seen the Lord in His human body, consists in this: that with their hearts they believe and love Him Whom htey have never seen with their bodily vision as True God and Man. Unbelievers are convincted of this righteousness, which righteousness ARISES FROM FAITH, for that reason that, when they heart the word of life in like manner with believers, they are unwilling to believve in a way which leads to righteousness." [Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church]

________________

"Glory Be To GOD
For
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy and Divine Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

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