Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Miracle of True Freedom

I just read the chapter in Karl Barth's Dogmatics in Outline, concerning the Holy Spirit. Here is the (dense) introductory summary:
When men belong to Jesus Christ in such a way that they have freedom to recognize His word as addressed also to them, His work as done also for them, the message about Him as also their task; and then for their part, freedom to hope for the best for all other men, this happens, indeed, as their human experience and action, and yet not in virtue of their human capacity, determination and exertion, but solely on the basis of the free gift of God, in which all this is given to them. In this giving and gift God is the Holy Spirit.
Other snippets:
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom..... To receive the Spirit, to have the Spirit, to live in the Spirit means being set free and being permitted to live in Freedom.....

The fact that there are Christians, men who have this freedom, is no lesser miracle than the birth of Jesus Chrsit of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, or than the creation of the world out of nothing.
But there must be no misunderstanding: the Holy Spirit is not a form of the human spirit.....

When it happens that man obtains that freedom of becoming a hearer, a responsible, grateful, hopeful person, this is not because of an act of the human spirit, but solely because of the act of the Holy Spirit. So this in other words, a gift of God. It has to do with a new brith, with the Holy Spirit.

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