SPIRIT OF THE WORLD VS THE SPIRIT OF GOD
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world,
but the spirit which is of God” (Cor. 2:12)
Services both in Orthodox churches, and in private prayers usually begin with the following prayer to the Holy Spirit, our King, the Comforter and Guide of our Church.
“Heavenly King Comforter, Spirit of truth who are everywhere present and fills all things; Treasury of good things and bountiful Giver of life; come and abide in us and cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls Good One”
In this prayer what we ardently and continually seek and pray for is that the Holy Spirit will abide and remain within us forever, for He is our Comforter and Guide, the source of goodness, truth and love.
In the Orthodox ceremony of Baptism, within each baptized person, all adverse powers are crushed by the most precious Cross. But in the world these same adverse powers strike out against the human race that does not know Christ. For in this world of delusion and confusion, they fabricate ideas and teach that man is formed of matter alone, and they seek to seduce all mankind to accept the lie that God did not create man, even though man is the image of God. They attempt to reduce man’s spiritual nature to that of common matter, and they convince many to accept this foul idea. They strip man of his divinely-breathed spiritual nature by which he is enabled to strive for perfection which raises him to the highest heaven. The spirit of the world strips man of his precious treasure, a treasure more valuable and beyond any description. But man deceived by the spirit of this world becomes impious and being without God he becomes like a beast.
The Holy Spirit is bestowed upon Orthodox Christians after triune immersion baptism when we are anointed three times as the Priest says: “the seal of the gift of Holy Spirit”. The above Scripture reading wherein St. Paul recalls this event, saying: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God.” Anointed by God we are far above all royalty; for God dwells within us, and we become of infinitely greater value being sealed as children of the Triune God. God has established man as the most precious of all creation.
The spirit of this world is the evil spirit, and the evil spirit opposes the Holy Spirit of God, always seeking to destroy His wondrous plan for the race of man. From this evil spirt comes all the ills of this world. Among them crime, unbelief, hatred for God, anger, adultery, murder, fornication, stealing, robbery, lies, false witness, revolution, war, and every other evil. Man is endowed with freedom by God and able to choose good or evil.
Despite the propaganda against God by those who hate Him, He is the Lord and controller of His creation, unknown and unseen by most men. But never imagine that God can be out of the picture or taking a rest, for He actively governs His creation. When disasters strike mankind, they then turn to God and appeal for help. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, shipwrecks, earthquakes and other disasters cause unbelievers to beg God for assistance!
The Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father, was sent to the Church according to the promise of Christ and we annually celebrate this event on the Feast Day of Pentecost. Holy Scripture describes the descent of the Holy Spirt and the great power that He bestowed upon the Apostles: “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of one soul, neither did any of them say concerning the things which they possessed were his own, but they had all things in common; and with great power the Apostles bore witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 5:31-33).
The greatest and wonderful work of God was the work of the Godman by His the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection on the third day. The Logos of God took flesh from the Virgin and became little Child. What can be so great as God becoming a child? What can be so great as the uncreated Logos of God? God becoming a man like unto us, demonstrates His infinite wisdom and extreme love for each of us. It is impossible for the Gospel to be untrue, for no human being could possible bring to mind such events and even those who hate Him support many truths unwittingly.
The life and work of Jesus Christ is now known throughout most of the world; He is greatly honored by those who love Him, and greatly greatly dishonored by those who hate Him.He wisely empowered His apostles with making them first disciples and teaching them all the knowledge necessary to spread the Gospel, Then He mepowered them with the fulfillment of His promise of the Holy Spirit to teach and remind them.
The spirit of the world unknowingly but firmly promises the end of man to be death and annihilation, but the spirit from God knowingly and firmly promises that after death there will be a judgment wherein every man will be judged according to his works and the reward is life without end, but the punishment of the unworthy is endless suffering.