“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.”
~Acts 10:44 (NIV).
This is quite a simple message, but one that could be reflected upon for days or even a lifetime... the Holy Spirit has its way. It always has and it always will.
Is it perhaps a little presumptuous of us to think that the Holy Spirit is only a New Testament generated vestibule of God? Why then does David speak of the Holy Spirit in Psalm 51? Isaiah also speaks of the Holy Spirit (Isa. 63:10-11).
The Spirit To Come
God (Jesus and the Father) certainly sent the Spirit (John 14:26 and 15:26), and it was to have habitation with us, indeed, in us.
But was the Holy Spirit beforehand completely not available? Really?
Has not God—the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit—been from everlasting to everlasting?
The main point, really, is this. God’s Spirit has been everywhere at all times. God’s Spirit is not an exclusive thing subject only to our understanding; it is in charge, everywhere. And it can take up residence in anything it chooses, anytime.
Habitation in Humanity
Just as it happens the Holy Spirit is holy, as God is holy. Would the Spirit then take up residence in anything not made holy? No, it wouldn’t. But holiness on earth didn’t begin as a fact only of Jesus’ coming. It began, certainly in parts, within the lives of many of Jesus’ predecessors; the forerunners of New Covenant faith. There are many with whom the Old Testament attests to in this, commencing with the heroes of faith lauded in Hebrews 11. Was the Holy Spirit not with these?
Is it perhaps that God wants us to broaden our perspectives about the things of God? Is that perhaps what was happening for Peter and the other apostles and followers of The Way as the gentiles were then accepted into the Christ-fold?
God’s Spirit makes the rules; we follow, and we do it in awe. The Holy Spirit will forever be beyond our human paradigms, and praise God for that.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.