From nothing to new—how the Holy Spirit leads us
The Holy Spirit as Creator—that is where Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider squarely placed the focus in the divine service on Pentecost 2021: “The Holy Spirit can create new things where there was nothing before. Let us allow ourselves to be led by Him.”
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” It was this Bible text from Romans 8: 14 that comprised the basis for the divine service on 23 May 2021 in Zurich-Seebach, Switzerland, which was transmitted around the world by satellite and internet.
“Since last Pentecost, so much has happened that no one can explain,” began the Church leader. “We cannot understand God, but we can trust Him because we know Him. God can do anything, far beyond the limitations of that which we can understand.”
How the activity of the Holy Spirit evolves
God, the Holy Spirit, revealed Himself in impressive fashion in the biblical event of Pentecost: first as a rushing wind, then in the form of flaming tongues, and later even in the disciples’ sudden mastery of foreign languages. Over the course of time, His mode of action has changed somewhat: today He works rather quietly in the hearts and souls of those who have been baptised and sealed.
“The Holy Spirit desires to grant us salvation,” emphasised the Chief Apostle. This salvation consists of becoming like Jesus Christ: without sin, always with peace in our hearts, overcoming all things without violence, in control of our own fate, and capable of exercising perfect love.
In order to achieve this, the Holy Spirit works in a threefold manner:
- as a Spirit of creation: the new creation in Christ can develop within those who have been reborn out of water and the Spirit. This gives us the guarantee: “You can do it!”
- as a Spirit of power: this power works in a gentle way, not through force, but rather by leading and guiding. “The decision remains up to us.”
- as a Spirit of movement: “You are not close enough yet. Keep on working, do not stop!”
How something completely new can come into being from nothing
Chief Apostle Schneider went into great detail to explain the activity of the Holy Spirit expressly as Creator:
- the Holy Spirit wants to lead the bride of Christ to perfection. However, the church, its members, and its leadership are all anything but perfect. “Let us allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and to build up this perfect church.”
- many brothers and sisters have experienced twists of fate for which they were not prepared, and no longer know what to do. “Trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. He will prepare a way to bless you, to give you peace and even joy. The new situation will not prevent Him from redeeming you.”
- some are despondent because they must still endure situations of life plagued by violence and crime. “I share your sufferings. But I call upon all of us to trust in the power of the Creator. Allow Him to inspire you and comfort you.”
- some wish for changes in the Church—even if only in the form of a simple church building with four walls, a roof, and perhaps some pews. “Do not forget, the Holy Spirit is not limited to what is there. He can even prepare the bride of Christ under a tree!” Others, in turn, are afraid of revolutionary changes in the Church. “Do not worry! We allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit. He always works within the framework that Jesus Christ has established!”
- in other countries, people are worried about a decline in membership numbers. “Do not remain stuck in the past. The Holy Spirit leads us onward and forward. Trust in the Creator. He will find new ways.” Here the believers can also do their part by preaching the gospel to non-Christians. “Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you.”
The Chief Apostle’s conclusion: “Our goal is to grow into the nature of Christ. That is the activity of the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of Creation, of power, and of movement. Let us trust in Him and accept His guidance. He will always find a way to grant us peace and joy.
Chief Apostle, Pentecost, Divine service, Christ, our future