No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 12:3 (NIV)

*   *   *

I see this passage challenging fundamentalism to the core. It demands we know the Holy Spirit of Christ. Without that experience, the words of the New Testament have no power.

This also means learning to discern the Holy Spirit from other spirits, which now challenges aspirants in another dimension. I’ve heard many people speak of the Spirit without any concept that Satan is a spirit, too. Indeed, many plunge blithely ahead, accepting all practices and messages equally, regardless of their ultimate value. Words to the contrary run into the admonition to “judge not,” as if being “judgmental” (rather than discerning) is the worst possible sin.

If we can present the case for turning to the Holy Spirit in a positive manner (without denouncing everything else as a “cult” – which would put too many in a defensive position), we can point out ways of discernment – of avoiding Satan’s confusion and deception, if you will.

One side topic, if we feel like tackling it, is discerning the difference, if any, between the Living Christ and the Holy Spirit.

*   *   *

Yea, this universal Principle, which I am describing, it is a Measure of the quickning Spirit, even of that Spirit which raised up Jesus from the Dead; by the Indwelling of which in us, we come to be renewed in the Spirit of our Minds, and to have our mortal Bodies quickned, so as to capacitate us to serve the Lord with our Spirits, and with our Bodies, which are his. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)


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