For many Christians, the Spirit of God is a relative latecomer to the biblical story, not doing much until the New Testament. He doesn’t really begin to shine until after Pentecost. So if you want to learn about the Spirit, start reading in Acts.
But that clearly isn’t the case. Although the New Testament says some amazing things about the Spirit, you simply can’t understand or appreciate those statements deeply enough without the rest of the story. And it’s a story that begins in Genesis.
We’ve done a good job in recent years emphasizing that you can’t understand the story of Christ without the Old Testament, now it’s time to do the same for the Spirit.
Rather than just summarize the story of the Spirit in my own words, though, I started playing around with whether you could do it with a selective reading, letting the Bible speak for itself. The idea was to come up with something that (1) could be read in just a few minutes, (2) would make sense of the whole story of the Spirit, (3) could be read without inserting explanations (although everything in here could obviously be discussed further), (4) could be used as a public reading, and (5) doesn’t use any verse(s) inappropriately. That last point is important but tricky given that a selective reading like this necessarily uses individual passages outside their normal contexts. But let’s see what we can do.
Here’s what I came up with. Let me know if you think it’s missing anything essential to the story, but remember that we’re trying to keep this relatively brief.