Third Wheel? (Blog #3)

Holy Spirit, Cathedra PetriPart of the Creed‘s statement about the Holy Spirit is that “with the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified,” which makes sense if we are to say that the Holy Spirit is God. However, I sometimes wonder if our worship is so equally distributed as the creedal statement seems to suggest.

Do we Christians acknowledge the Holy Spirit enough? Has he become, in our thought and practice, the proverbial Third Wheel of the Trinity? Do you personally feel that the Holy Spirit is given his rightful place in your life? How is that accomplished on a corporate level (i.e., within the Church communty) and on a personal level?

If you are not a student of mine, you can view this entry for a brief explanation of what I’m doing here.

9 thoughts on “Third Wheel? (Blog #3)

  1. If you did not use the most eligante words then I do not know what: “the proverbial Third Wheel of the Trinity” is exactly how I and others see the Holy Spirit. I do not think Christians give the Holy Spirit his just respect because of the complete lack of knowledge. If you were to ask five different people on the street what the Holy Spirit is you would get five different answers. It’s like how the JW I was talking to last Monday told me: the common person can not explain the Holy Spirit. Think about this: you can think you have a grasp on God and Jesus but it’s a far stretch to try and understand the Holy Spirit. So, if you cannot understand it, but understand it belongs you have to delagate it to third wheel status.
    The Holy Spirit is not given it’s rightful place in our hearts. For example: In all my Sunday school classes the Holy Spirit was never given nearly as much power as Jesus or God. So, as I understood it Jesus had power, God had power but this Holy Spirit was small potatoes. Now, as I’ve learned more i understand that the Holy Spirit is what keeps the Church going, and in which case is very important.

  2. I think that the Holy Spirit is not worshiped as much as the Father or the Son. Mostly when you hear people pray, they’ll pray to God, or to Jesus, but not to the Holy Spirit. He is just overlooked, I guess. I don’t think that we, as a whole, think that the Holy Spirit is not God, or equal in status with God, we just overlook Him. I think our minds see it kind of like this: When we need something, we go to the highest person possibly, and in our human minds, that would be the Dad, not his Son or His Spirit. It feels like that is how our minds have been taught to see the trinity. We see God at the top of a triangle, and the Son and the Spirit on the other corners of it. But when we’re asked, we would say that the Spirit and the Son are both God and of equal status. It’s really quite confusing to think about. We should take time to worship the Holy Spirit too. But if all three are one God, can’t we worship one aspect and be worshiping all three? Or should we vary it up to whom we pray, sing, or praise? I think we are able to worship all three at once without having to specify the name of whom the worship is going to.
    Yes, the Spirit has become a third wheel through our practices and thoughts. I would say that maybe he’s not given His rightful place in my life, because i don’t acknowledge him as much as I do Jesus and God. But that goes back to my whole argument above. It’s not that I forget that the Holy Spirit is there. Also, I know that the three persons of the trinity are all equal in status, because they are all God.

  3. Sorry…my response to this blog is really late…but I have some thoughts on your questions. I think as Christians we like to believe that we fully comprehend how the Trinity works and the role that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit play in our lives. But, sometimes I think we are mistaken with how much knowledge we really have. If we have so much knowledge we should be able to understand the importance of their equality, but instead we focus our attention on who the Father is and what the Son has done. We leave out the one who is equally as important. We leave out the Holy Spirit who actually lives and dwells inside of us. It’s sad to think of the Holy Spirit as the “third wheel”. (I know I hate when I have to be the “third wheel”…it’s not fun!) Anyways, I think we need to make a place for the Holy Spirit in our lives and equally focus our attention on him. He too was sent especially for us so that we would not be alone in this really messed up world.
    I know that not all Christians leave no room for the Holy Spirit in their lives and that when he is left out it is not always on purpose. Personally, I acknowledge the Holy Spirit in my life and give him room to move when he feels necessary, but I know that I, like everyone else, am not perfect and forget the authority he has and that he needs to be glorified and lifted up with the Father and the Son. I think that when we see the Spirit move in our church congregations and in our own lives that he does receive the credit he deserves along with the Father and Son and is equally worshiped and glorified.

    I think without the Holy Spirit we would feel very distant from the Father and the Son. We wouldn’t have that very close and very intimate relationship. I think answering this question has really made me think about how I view the Trinity and how much credit and praise I really give the Spirit and how much room I give him to move in my life. I’m glad you asked these questions!

  4. I don’t think the Holy Spirit is acknowledge by us Christians as much as God the Father and Jesus. We sometimes tend to forget that the Holy Spirit is part of the trinity and we kinda just put Him to the side. For some of us, it has become third wheel in our life, but it should not be like that. I think all three should be in the same position and that is numero uno!!! I must admit, I sometimes do tend to just pray to Jesus and God and I thank both of them, and I forget the other part! The Holy Spirit! He is part of the trinity, too. He also deserves glory and honor just like the others. I think sometimes when we ask God to move in our lives, we forget who to ask. The holy Spirit is the one that moves in our lives. Dont get me wrong, God and Jesus also do, its just… confusing, haha! The Holy Spirit is the one that guides us through everything. Its like, God speakes to us through the Holy Spirit, and what the Holy Spirit tells us, we spread to others, at least thats the way I see it. But, as I was saying before, the Holy Spirit should hold a special place in our lives just like Jesus and God the Father. He is the one that moves in the church and in our lives now in days. And its through Him that we can like, receive the gift of speaking in tongues, and like pray for the sick and see them be healed, cast out demons, etc.

  5. As christians, I think that we go through phases of where we feel like we need the Holy Spirit, whereas we ALWAYS feel we need God and Jesus Christ 24/7. With the Holy Spirit I think that people usually only try to encounter the Holy Spirit when we are at church/in worship.
    In a way, I think that we have made the Holy Spirit the third wheel (generally). It seems like we happen to praise God and Jesus more than we do the Holy Spirit. Well, we tend to ask the Holy Spirit to come…but i don’t usually see us praising the Holy Spirit.
    I think that the Holy Spirit has given itself a place in my life. The Holy Spirit comes and meets with us. We have a personal relationship with him. I think that we are brought closer to God with the Holy Spirit, definitely.

  6. It almost seems like the Holy Spirit is not acknowledged as much as he should be. I think that the way that God is portrayed as three it almost seems like The Holy Spirit is God’s go to guy. Like in the gospels when the Spirit descends upon Jesus as a dove, or in acts at the pentacost with the wind and the flame.

  7. The holy spirit is some thing that most christians feel when they have totaly surrendered their hearts and have no shame to believe in God. sometimes we dont really acknoledge the holy spirit as much as we shoulld because at times we dought that he is real. we turn to praising God and at times its not just God we feel when we are worshiping or praying its somthing more its the Holy spirit and it makes us feel as if we can have a relationship with the Holy Spirit and to me i feel like when im worshiping during chapel god is there but the holy spirit takes over the room and most of us can feel it.the holy spirit brings us closer to God in so many ways.

  8. God’s Holy Spirit is his active force. (A force not a person.) Mt 3:16;John 20:22;Ac 2:4,17,33. Not a person in heaven with GOD and Christ. Ac 7:55,56;Rev 7:10. Directed by God to accomplish his purpose(Very important)Ps 104:30;1Co 12:4-11. Those serving God receive Holy Spirit and are guided by it. 1Co 2:12,13;Ga 5:16

  9. O A F:

    None of the biblical references you gave support your assertion that the Holy Spirit is not a person (I trust that you realize that when orthodox Christian teaching refers to the Holy Spirit as a person, it is not asserting that he is embodied, but that he is personal).

    In fact, one of your passages, 1 Corinthians 12.4-11, is one of many instances where it is clear that Paul (in full consistency with the rest of the biblical witness) considers the Spirit to be a person. Cf. v. 11, in which he speaks of the Spirit allotting and choosing: “All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.” (NRSV)

    Another instance that comes to my mind immediately is Paul’s statement in Romans 8.26: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” Why would the Spirit not only intercede, but sigh for us if he were merely God’s “active force”?

    You also mention a passage from John. But in John we see Jesus’ most interesting and personal language concerning the Spirit, as he calls him by the special epithet “the Advocate” in chapters 14-16. To wit: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.” (14.16,17)

    Of course the Spirit is sent and directed by the Father. The historical Christian understanding of the Spirit does not deny this at all.

    Your understanding of the Holy Spirit is neither historical, nor does it make much sense of the biblical witness.

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