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Finding faith: six ways the holy spirit transforms our lives.
Rev. Don Grant
The Holy Spirit gives believers the power to live like Jesus and be bold witnesses for Him. Of course, there are many ways He goes about doing this, so we’re going to look at the most common ones.
Jesus said in John 16:7 that it was to our benefit that He would go away so we would receive the Holy Spirit: “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.”
If Jesus said it is best for us that He goes away, then it must be because there is something valuable about what the Holy Spirit was coming to do. Here is one instance in Acts 1:8 that gives us strong clues: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
From this Scripture, we can gather the foundational concept of what the Holy Spirit does in the life of a Christian. He sends us out as witnesses and gives us the power to do it effectively. We’re going to find out more what the Holy Spirit does in the lives of Christians, so let’s dive in!
How does the Holy Spirit work?
There are many ways that the Holy Spirit works in the lives of Christians, but they all share one common goal: to make us more like Jesus Christ. He works in believers by renewing our minds to be like the mind of Christ. He does this by convicting us of sin and leading us to repentance.
Through repentance, He wipes out what was dirty in us and allows us to bear good fruit. As we allow Him to continue nourishing that fruit, we grow to resemble Jesus more as Galatians 5:22-23 informs us: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
The Holy Spirit also works in us through the word of God. He uses the power of Scripture to convict us and influence our way of thinking. He does this to shape us into godly people. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
As we build a closer relationship with the Holy Spirit, He will also pull us away from things we have in our lives that don’t please Him. The point is, when He is at work in your life, it’s evident all around you.
1. The Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ
We already know the goal of the Holy Spirit’s work is to make us more like Jesus, but how does he do this? It’s a process known as sanctification. And no, it’s not as complicated as it appears!
Sanctification is the process of the Holy Spirit stripping away our sinful habits and bringing us into holiness. Think of it like peeling back an onion. There are layers. The Holy Spirit works in us by peeling away our sinful characteristics and replacing them with godly characteristics. His work in us makes us more and more like Jesus.
2. The Holy Spirit gives us power to witness
Just as Acts 1:8 mentions, the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ. He gives us the boldness to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ in situations where we would normally be fearful or timid. 2 Timothy 1:7 encourages us: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
The power that the Holy Spirit gives us is something that reflects in the natural as well as the supernatural. He gives us power, love, and self-discipline. Power can be many things backed up by the Holy Spirit, such as boldness to preach the gospel and power to perform healing miracles. Love given by the Holy Spirit is obvious when we have the heart to love others the way Jesus would. The self-discipline that is given by the Holy Spirit allows a person to follow through on God’s will and have wisdom throughout life.
3. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth
One beautiful title that Jesus calls the Holy Spirit is “the spirit of truth.” Take John 16:13 for example: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.”
What Jesus is telling us here is that when we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, He will guide us in the direction we need to go. The Holy Spirit will not leave us in confusion but will reveal the truth to us. He illuminates the dark areas of our lives to give us a clear vision of God’s purpose for us as indicated by 1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints.”
Needless to say, the Holy Spirit is our leader and those who follow Him are His sons and daughters. Romans 8:14-16 says “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful as slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children.”
4. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin
Since the Holy Spirit is working to make us like Jesus, he convicts us of our sin. Sin is something that will always offend God and hold us back. If we have sin, which we do, He will bring those sins to our attention.
I will echo this statement: “conviction is your best friend.” If we stop feeling conviction, then we have bigger problems. As John 16:8 says, “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
The conviction also comes before the sin happens. The Holy Spirit will start to tap on your heart once temptation comes. It is our responsibility to respond to that conviction. Temptation in itself is not a sin. Jesus was tempted and did not sin. Giving in to temptation is what brings sin. The Holy Spirit will nudge your heart before you make the move. Listen to Him.
5. The Holy Spirit reveals God’s word to us
When Jesus walked on this Earth, He taught everywhere he went. Since He is not here physically, the Holy Spirit has now taken that role. He does it by revealing God’s word to us through the Bible.
The Bible itself is complete and trustworthy, but impossible to understand without the Holy Spirit. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
The Holy Spirit teaches and reveals the meaning of Scripture to Christians the way Jesus would. John 14:26 reminds us: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
6. The Holy Spirit brings us closer to other believers
The unity brought by the Holy Spirit is revealed in Acts 4:32 where it says: “All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.” The book of Acts describes the early church after receiving the Holy Spirit. It was the very Holy Spirit of God that brought about this kind of unity. This is the unity we need in the body of Christ today.
If we draw near to the Holy Spirit. He will place love in our hearts for our brothers and sisters and we will be compelled to unite. Ever heard the saying “There’s power in numbers”? The Holy Spirit knows this and looks to bring about that power in the church. We as Christians need to dedicate more time to understand the biblical scriptures about unity and apply them in our everyday lives.
Seek to know the Holy Spirit more fully
As we learned about what the Holy Spirit does in the lives of believers, my prayer is that your heart will be open to Him. Take what you have learned and share it with a friend and help them realize they need more of the Holy Spirit. We can always use more of Him. As you get to know the Holy Spirit more explore His other characteristics and learn about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Don Grant of Hillview Wesleyan Church, Flemington.
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What is the power of the Holy Spirit?
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What Is Holy Spirit Power?
When the apostles gained Holy Spirit power, everything about their ministry changed. What might happen if we sought that kind of power?
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” ( Acts 1:8 )
The last thing Jesus said to his disciples before he was taken to heaven was about the power of the Holy Spirit. In just a little while, they would experience this Holy Spirit power come upon them even though they did not know what would happen. What is this Holy Spirit power? What is the role the Holy Spirit plays in your life? I know for some, the work of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. But you must understand the Holy Spirit’s role in your life because he is the essential element to your Christian walk.
5 Reasons You Need the Holy Spirit Power in Your Life
If you are a believer, you have the Holy Spirit within you. However, you can spend years trying to do everyone on your own strength, ignoring what it has to offer. When you learn to rely on Holy Spirit power, you discover things you absolutely need.
1. Holy Spirit power is necessary to witness
When Jesus made his last statement to his disciples about the Holy Spirit, he mentioned that they would become his witnesses because of the Holy Spirit’s power. This was a shocking statement—after all, before Jesus died, they had all deserted him. I know Peter usually gets pointed out as the one who deserted Jesus, but they all did (go read Mark 14 ). They could not stand because they did not have the Holy Spirit’s power present in their life. But what a difference the Holy Spirit makes.
Shortly after this time, in Acts 2 , we see the day of Pentecost when Jesus’ words were fulfilled. The disciples were never the same again. These men and women who ran from authority now had a newfound boldness and could stand courageously in the face of opposition and proclaim the gospel. Not only were they bold witnesses. They could confound the wisest of men, even though many of them lacked education. They could do this because they had not only the Holy Spirit’s power but also his wisdom.
2. Holy Spirit power helps you to overcome sin
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” ( Galatians 5:16 )
In your own strength, you cannot overcome the power of sin in your life. Here’s the good news. You don’t have to. God has given you the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and give you the resolve to overcome sin’s influence and pull in your life.
One way he does this is by changing your appetites. As you draw nearer to God and allow his Spirit to work deeper in your life, he moves you away from certain things. Have you ever noticed how there are things in your life you used to do that you have no desire to do anymore? That is the Holy Spirit’s power at work in your life.
When the Holy Spirit’s power is at work in your life, he will either remove the desire or give you the ability to overcome the temptation . For example, say you are dating and struggling with sexual temptation. It is quite natural that a man and woman in a dating relationship will desire each other. If you want to honor God in your relationship, he will not remove the sexual desire for the person you are dating (and you don’t want him; those desires will be necessary if you get married). However, by the power of the Holy Spirit, he can give you the ability to control that desire so you exercise it in a way that is pleasing to him.
3. Holy Spirit power changes your character
One of the greatest evidences of the Holy Spirit’s power being at work is when he changes your character.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ( Galatians 5:22-23 )
When you let the Holy Spirit work in you, he will reform and reshape your character. Suddenly, how he responds will become the way you respond. Instead of anger, you will have peace. Instead of being impatient and rude, you will be kind. When the person who gets on your last nerve comes around, you will exercise patience. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in your life, molding and shaping your character.
Why Do Honest Questions Require Thoughtful Answers from Christians?
4. Holy Spirit power leads you into all truth
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” ( John 16:13 )
Another aspect of the Holy Spirit’s power working in your life is his ability to help you discern the truth. This becomes so important when studying Scripture and listening to people teaching about God. You may not recognize this, but the Holy Spirit is your greatest asset in studying the Bible. He is the one who can unravel any of the mysteries of scripture, especially because he is the author of the book.
However, let’s take it to another level. With the abundance of voices in the marketplace, especially because of social media, how can you tell who is speaking the truth or not? One way is by the discernment that comes from the Holy Spirit. He can inform you when something seems off or is not right. This is not only true of teaching, but in any situation.
Years ago, I went to hear this very popular preacher promoting a unique move of the Holy Spirit in his services. This movement caught the attention of many, and since he was coming to my area and I was curious, I went to see for myself. All I can say is when I walked into the church, my spiritual antennas went off. I could sense a spirit in the room, but I also knew it wasn’t the Holy Spirit. One reason I knew is that the activities in that room did not align with anything in the Bible, and the Holy Spirit made me aware. I stayed for a while, but eventually, I left because the things happening in the service grieved my spirit.
God does not reserve discernment and leading into all truth for special people. This is available to all believers. If you are in Christ, you have the same Holy Spirit living in you, and he can empower you to know the difference between what is truth and what is not.
5. Holy Spirit power helps you to pray.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” ( Romans 8:26 )
The last thing to emphasize in this article is the Holy Spirit helps you to pray. When you pray with the Holy Spirit’s power, you can pray exactly what needs to be prayed. Has there ever been a time in your life when someone prayed for you, or you prayed for someone else, and everything you prayed aligned with what you or that person were going through? Even more amazing is you never told them what to pray for. This happens because of the Holy Spirit’s power to aid in prayer. Sometimes you don’t know what or how to pray. In these moments, you can depend on the Holy Spirit, who will help you.
Plug into the Holy Spirit’s Power
The best thing about the Holy Spirit is knowing you don’t have to do this yourself. You don’t have to witness, pray, or even live this Christian life with your own strength. You can depend on the Holy Spirit’s power.
We can activate the amazing capabilities of electronic devices by plugging them into a power socket. The Holy Spirit is your power socket. Jesus gave you the Spirit so you can access his power because you can’t do anything without him. The Holy Spirit has the power to help you, but you must decide to plug into his power.
If you are not doing so, seek to be filled with more of the Holy Spirit in your life. Give him more access; watch how your life will change when you do. The same promise Jesus made in Acts still holds true today. Men and women full of the Holy Spirit will be filled with power and will be Jesus’ witnesses to all the ends of the earth. You can be one of those too.
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7 Bible Verses about Power Of The Holy Spirit
Most Relevant Verses
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.
But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God , “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord , when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. read more. I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord , have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord .’”
And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
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Your Helpful Friend
Everyone needs friends and everyone values those special friends who are always there when you need them the most. Each of us has a special friend in the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit Gives You Power
You say, “Can we have this power equally with the early disciples?” I say: “Yes.” I say yes because I am as unworthy and as needy as they were. I do not think we have any better preachers today than the preachers in the New Testament. And they needed this power.
If I need this power so badly, is it likely that God will withhold it if I meet the conditions? The Bible is full of promise and exhortation to us to approach God with a full confidence of faith to receive this promise. There is not one paragraph that suggests that God will withhold.
Our Savior goes on record that He bought this gift for us. It is an integral part of the full gospel.
It is meant to be. There is no other inference in the New Testament.
“The gift is . . . for you to use now!” (Ward, 1966, pp. 10, 12).
In this lesson you will study:
- Power for Many Purposes The Promise of Power
- The Promise Fulfilled at Pentecost
- The Normal Experience after Conversion
- Signs of the Holy Spirit’s Power
This lesson will help you:
- Explain the purpose for the power, which the Holy Spirit gives
- State what the Bible says about the Baptism in the Holy
- Name the signs of the Holy Spirit that show His presence in the lives of
POWER FOR MANY PURPOSES
Objective 1 . Identify the results that come when the power of the Holy Spirit is used in the right way.
Learn How to Use Power
Think of how many ways electricity is used: With it people light their cities, cook, heat their homes, run their factories, and operate all kinds of machinery. Because people have learned how to use electric power they can do what used to seem impossible—even go to the moon.
The Holy Spirit wants to fill your life with a power greater than electricity—power to do what is impossible without it—but you must learn to use it. Used in the right way this power will bring glory to God and blessing to your life. Power of any kind used in the wrong way will always bring trouble.
Three mistakes to avoid:
- Some people use the Holy Spirit’s power as a toy to be played This was the problem of the Corinthian church. They so enjoyed talking in other tongues by the Spirit’s power that they were just having a good time in their services. There was a lot of disorder. Outsiders thought they were crazy. Paul let them know that all things should be done decently and in order. They should learn to channel the power of the Holy Spirit so that souls would be saved, not turned away from Christ.
- Some people call attention to themselves instead of giving glory to God. If the Holy Spirit gives a man faith for healing the sick, it is not so that he can shout: “Look at me, everybody! Miracles! I have lots of power!” Or if God uses someone to give messages in prophecy, it is not so that he or she can say: “Everyone had better listen to me! I am a prophet! Come to me if you want to know what to do.” Such pride brings many
- Some people just don’t use the power that the Holy Spirit has for them. This is the most common mistake of all. Some have seen the misuse or imitations of the Spirit’s power and are afraid of anything supernatural. The Thessalonian church had this problem. Paul told them to test the spirits to see if they were of God and not to accept any false prophecies or imitations of God’s But they were not to throw away the real thing along with the imitations.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22. Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; do not despise inspired messages. Put all things to the test; keep what is good and avoid every kind of evil.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is like having your house wired for electricity. It’s not wired so you can sit in the dark and say: “I’ve got electricity at last!” Turn the light on! Use the power! In the Book of Acts you have God’s pattern for the right use of the power of the Holy Spirit.
This Is the Pattern for You
The power of the Holy Spirit in the early Christians made their lives clean and good in a civilization noted for its crime and corruption. An inner joy and peace made them sing and praise God when they were beaten and thrown into jail for Christ’s sake. Full of God’s love, they forgave and prayed for those who tortured them. This is power used rightly!
They had a powerful faith. They knew that God was with them and would work through them as He had promised. So in Jesus’ name they commanded paralytics to walk and they did. They prayed and things happened. Sick people were healed. Prison doors opened. Multitudes of sinners turned to God.
This power in the early Christians made them witnesses, just as Jesus had said. They had the boldness and urgent desire to tell all their neighbors about Jesus. They had a mission to fulfill. Courage, love, a great vision, and total commitment to Christ drove them on from town to town and country to country. They were determined to give the good news of salvation to every man, woman, and child in their world.
This is the pattern of power in the early church. Their power then was the power of the Holy Spirit who filled them and worked through them. What they did was the natural outflow of Spirit- filled lives. The Bible tells you their experience in detail because it is the pattern for Christians today.
THE PROMISE OF POWER
Objective 2 . Identify the description of the Holy Spirit given in the Bible.
John the Baptist promised that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. This was a general promise made to all those who were being converted and baptized by him in water.
Matthew 3:11. “I baptize you with water to show that you have repented; but the one who will come after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Jesus had a great work for Christians to do all down through the ages. He knew they could never do it in their own strength. So He told His followers to wait until they received the power of the Holy Spirit and then they would be His witnesses. Jesus’ command and promise were for all His followers.
Luke 24:49. “And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.”
Acts 1:4,5, 8. “Wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised. John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit . . . When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
THE PROMISE FULFILLED AT PENTECOST
Objective 3 . Name the book that shows how the Holy Spirit worked through the first Christians.
Acts 1:14. They gathered frequently to pray as a group.
Acts 2:1-5, 7, 8, 11, 13. When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky, which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious men who had come from every country in the world. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages . . . about the great things that God has done!” But others made fun of the believers, saying, “These people are drunk!”
Before this, Peter had been afraid of ridicule. What a change after he received the power of the Holy Spirit! He stood up and preached a powerful message. He explained that what they saw was the fulfillment of God’s promise. God had poured out His Spirit.
Acts 2:14-17, 41. Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: . . . “These people are not drunk, as you suppose . . . Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about: ‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message.’ . . . Many of them believed his message and were baptized, and about three thousand people were added to the group that day.
From then on Acts is the record of how the Holy Spirit worked through the Christians: He helped them witness, spread the gospel, and win souls to Christ.
THE NORMAL EXPERIENCE AFTER CONVERSION
Objective 4. Recognize the normal pattern the Bible gives for receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The apostles expected all believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit after their conversion. Peter made that plain.
Acts 2:38,39. Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from his sins and be baptized in the name Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit. For God’s promise was made to you and your children, and all who are far away—all whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
If new converts did not receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit right away from their conversion, someone went to pray for them so that they would receive it.
Acts 8:14-17. The apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God, so they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for the believers that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit had not yet come down on any of them…. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
After Saul was converted, the Lord sent Ananias to pray for him.
Acts 9:17. “He sent me so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Cornelius and his family heard the gospel, believed, and were saved as they accepted the truth. Before Peter finished preaching they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The experience of the believers in Ephesus was different. Like many Christians today, they had not even heard that God wanted to fill them with the Holy Spirit. Paul asked them:
Acts 19:2, 6. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” “We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” they answered. Paul placed his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them.
Acts 10:34,47. “I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis . . . These people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we also did.”
SIGNS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER
Objective 5 . Name several signs and results of the Holy Spirit’s power.
Speaking in Other Languages
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, He gave several signs of His power. People heard a sound as of a strong wind. They saw tongues of fire. And they spoke in languages they had never learned. In Acts you find that one of these signs—speaking in tongues—was repeated when others received the Holy Spirit. This was how Cornelius and his family had received the Holy Spirit. The same sign was repeated at Ephesus. Compare the experiences.
Acts 2:4. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
Acts 10:44-47. While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening to his message. The Jewish believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his gift of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speaking in strange tongues and praising God’s greatness. Peter spoke up: “These people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we also did.”
Acts 19:6. Paul placed his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them; they spoke in strange tongues and also proclaimed God’s message.
Speaking in other languages by the power of the Holy Spirit is the supernatural sign that God has chosen to show that the Holy Spirit has filled a person. Both Jesus and Paul referred to speaking in tongues as a miracle or proof.
Mark 16:17. “Believers will be given the power to perform miracles . . . they will speak in strange tongues.”
1 Corinthians 14:22. The gift of speaking in strange tongues is proof for unbelievers. Christians throughout the world are continually experiencing this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit.
Usually the language is not known to anyone present. However, many times the Spirit has spoken through a person in a language unknown to the speaker but understood by someone in the audience, just as at Pentecost.
Others Signs of Power
You have read about many other signs of power that follow, as we keep filled with the Holy Spirit: the clean life, love of God, courage, and complete dedication to Christ. Signs of power are seen in powerful faith, powerful prayer, powerful witnessing, and powerful preaching. The results—conversions, healings, Baptisms in the Holy Spirit, and church growth—follow.
The Bible records Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus. You can claim this prayer for yourself.
Ephesians 3:16. I ask God from the wealth of His glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves.
As God makes you strong through His Spirit, you will be able to refuse evil, endure suffering, serve, and witness for your Lord.
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Chapter 5: The Holy Spirit Gives You Power
General bible courses > the holy spirit.
You say: "Can we have this power equally with the early disciples?" I say: "Yes." I say yes because I am as unworthy and as needy as they were. I do not think we have any better preachers today than the preachers in the New Testament. And they needed this power. Do not talk about "Can we have this Baptism today?' We are of no use without it. Christianity without the Holy Ghost in it is a shell, a beautiful form, but lifeless, dead. Only God, the Holy Ghost, can produce the spark that quickens -- the flame that kindles. If I need this power so badly, is it likely that God will withhold it if I meet the conditions? The Bible is full of promise and exhortation to me to approach God with a full confidence of faith to receive this promise. There is not one paragraph that suggests that God will withhold. Our Savior goes on record that He bought this gift for us. It is an integral part of the full gospel. It is meant to be. There is no other inference in the New Testament. Jesus said that it was more expedient for His people to have this infilling than that He should remain with them. That is how important the baptism of the Holy Ghost is to the believer. It is promised to all believers to the end of time. Let me say this to you with conviction! God holds us responsible. God holds every believer responsible for what that believer could have accomplished in the kingdom of God had he obtained the gift and used it. The gift is there for you to use now! Condensed from The Holy Spirit Is For You by Revivaltime evangelist C. M. Ward. © 1966 Assemblies of God. Springfield. Missouri 65802.
Power for Many Purposes: Learn How to Use Power
Think of how many ways electricity is used: With it, people light their cities, cook, heat their homes, run their factories, and operate all kinds of machinery. Because men have learned how to use electric power they can do what used to seem impossible -- even go to the moon.
The Holy Spirit wants to fill your life with a power greater than electricity -- power to do what is impossible without it -- but you must learn to use it. Used in the right way, this power will bring glory to God and blessing to your life. Power of any kind used in the wrong way will always bring trouble.
Three mistakes to avoid:
1. Some people use the Holy Spirit's power as a toy to be played with. This was the problem of the Corinthian church. They so enjoyed talking in other tongues by the Spirit's power that they were just having a good time in their services. There was a lot of disorder. Outsiders thought they were crazy. Paul let them know that all things should be done decently and in order. They should learn to so channel the power of the Holy Spirit that souls would be saved, not turned away from Christ.
2. Some people call attention to themselves instead of giving glory to God. If the Holy Spirit gives a man faith for healing the sick, it is not so that he can shout: "Look at me, everybody! Miracles! I have lots of power!" Or if God uses someone to give messages in prophecy, it is not so that he can say: "Everyone had better listen to me! I am a prophet! Come to me if you want to know what to do." Such pride brings many problems.
3. Some people just don't use the power that the Holy Spirit has for them. This is the most common mistake of all. Some have seen the misuse or imitations of the Spirit's power and are afraid of anything supernatural. The Thessalonian church had this problem. Paul told them to test the spirits to see if they were of God and not to accept any false prophecies or imitations of God's work. But they were not to throw away the real along with the imitations.
Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; do not despise inspired messages. Put all things to the test: keep what is good, and avoid every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is like having your house wired for electricity. It's not wired so you can sit in the dark and say: "I've got electricity at last!" Turn the light on! Use the power! In the Book of Acts you have God's pattern for the right use of the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is the Pattern for You
The power of the Holy Spirit in the early Christians made their lives clean and good in a civilization noted for its crime and corruption. An inner joy and peace made them sing and praise God when they were beaten and thrown into jail for Christ's sake. Full of God's love, they forgave and prayed for those who tortured them. This is power used rightly!
They had a powerful message and gave it with powerful personal conviction. They knew what they were talking about. Anyone without Christ was lost, but Jesus would save those who believed on him. They spoke with wisdom, logic, and courage beyond their own abilities -- power that convicted their hearers of the truth and convicted them of sin.
They had a powerful faith. They knew that God was with them and would work through them as He had promised. So in Jesus' name they commanded paralytics to walk and they did. They prayed and things happened. Sick people were healed. Prison doors opened. Multitudes of sinners turned to God.
This power in the early Christians made them witnesses, just as Jesus had said. They had the boldness and urgent desire to tell all their neighbors about Jesus. They had a mission to fulfill. Courage, love, a great vision, and total commitment to Christ drove them on from town to town and country to country. They were determined to give the good news of salvation to every man, woman, and child in their world.
This is the pattern of power in the early Church. Their power then was the power of the Holy Spirit who filled them and worked through them. What they did was the natural outflow of Spirit-filled lives. The Bible tells you their experience in detail because it is the pattern for Christians today.
The Promise of Power
John the Baptist promised that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. This was a general promise made to all those who were being converted and baptized by him in water.
I baptize you with water to show that you have repented; but the one who will come after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11).
Jesus had a great work for Christians to do all down through the ages. He knew they could never do it in their own strength. So He told His followers to wait until they received the power of the Holy Spirit and then they would be His witnesses. Jesus' command and promise were for all His followers.
"And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you" (Luke 24:49). "Wait for the gift my Father promised. ... For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. ... You will be filled with power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:4-5, 8).
The Promise Fulfilled at Pentecost
What did Jesus' followers do to receive the promise Holy Spirit? For 10 days, 120 of them waited -- praying and expecting something to happen. And it did! On the Day of Pentecost, they received what we call the Pentecostal experience or the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
They all joined together in a group to pray frequently (Acts 1:14). When the day of Pentecost arrived, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire spreading out; and each person there was touched by a tongue. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. There were Jews living in Jerusalem. religious men who had come from every country in the world. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed: "These men who are talking like this -- they are all Galileans! How is it, then, that all of us ... hear them speaking in our own languages of the great things that God has done!" But others made fun of the believers, saving. "These men are drunk!" (Acts 2:1-5, 7-8, 11, 13).
Before this, Peter had been afraid of ridicule. What a change after he received the power of the Holy Spirit! He stood up and preached a powerful message. He explained that what they saw was the fulfillment of God's promise. God had poured out His Spirit.
Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles, and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: ... "These men are not drunk, as you suppose. ... Rather, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about: This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit upon all men; Your sons and your daughters will prophesy." Many of them believed his message and were baptized; about three thousand people were added to the group that day (Acts 2:14.17, 41).
From then on Acts is the record of how the Holy Spirit worked through the Christians; He helped them witness, spread the gospel, and win souls to Christ.
The Normal Experience After Conversion
The apostles expected all believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit after their conversion. Peter made that plain.
Peter said to them: "Turn away from your sins, each one of you, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God's gift, the Holy Spirit. For God's promise was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away -- all whom the Lord our God calls to himself" (Acts 2:38-39).
If new converts did not receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit right away after their conversion, someone went to pray for them so that they would receive it.
The apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God: so they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived. they prayed for the believers that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit had not yet come down on any of them. . . . Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17).
After Saul was converted, the Lord sent Ananias to pray for him.
"He sent me so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9:17).
Cornelius and his family heard the gospel, believed, and were saved as they accepted the truth. Before Peter finished preaching, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The experience of the believers in Ephesus was different. Like many Christians today, they had not even heard that God wanted to fill them with the Holy Spirit. Paul asked them:
"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" "We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit," they answered. Paul placed his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 19:2, 6).
Judging from the pattern in the early Church, God wants to fill all His children with the Holy Spirit and power. Who received then? Rich and poor. Men, women, and children. Illiterate and well educated. Religious leaders and persons recently delivered from deep sin. Persons of many nations. Peter said in the house of Cornelius, a Roman soldier:
I now realize that it is true that God treats all men alike. These people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we also did (Acts 10:34, 47).
Signs of the Holy Spirit's Power: Speaking in Other Languages
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, He gave several signs of His power. People heard a sound as of a strong wind. They saw tongues of fire. And they spoke in languages that they had never learned. In Acts, you find that one of these signs -- speaking in tongues -- was repeated when others received the Holy Spirit. This was how Peter knew that Cornelius and his family had received the Holy Spirit. The same sign was repeated at Ephesus.
Compare the experiences.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak (Acts 2:4). While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came down upon all those who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his gift of the Holy Spirit upon the Gentiles also. For they heard them speaking in strange tongues and praising God's greatness. Peter spoke up: "These people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we also did" (Acts 10:44-47). Paul placed his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them; they spoke in strange tongues and also proclaimed God's message (Acts 19:6).
Speaking in other languages by the power of the Holy Spirit is the supernatural sign that God has chosen to show that the Holy Spirit has filled a person. Both Jesus and Paul referred to speaking in tongues as a sign or proof.
"Believers will be given these signs of power: ... they will speak in strange tongues" (Mark 16:17). The gift of speaking in strange tongues is proof for unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:22).
Christians throughout the world are continually experiencing this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit.
Usually, the language is not known to anyone present. However, many times the Spirit has spoken through a person in a language unknown to the speaker but understood by someone in the audience, just as at Pentecost.
Other Signs of Power
You have read about many other signs of power that follow as we keep filled with the Holy Spirit: the clean life, love of God, courage, and complete dedication to Christ. Signs of power are seen in powerful faith, powerful prayer, powerful witnessing, and powerful preaching. The results -- conversions, healings, baptisms in the Spirit, and church growth -- are also signs of power.
Dr. Alexander MacLaren writes:
There is no such force for the spreading of Christ's Kingdom and the witness-bearing work of His Church, as the possession of this Divine Spirit. Plunged into that fiery baptism, the selfishness and the sloth which stand in the way of so many of us, are all consumed and annihilated, and we are set free for service because the bonds that bound us are burnt up in the merciful furnace of His fiery power. "Ye shall be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man" -- a power that will fill and flood all your nature, if you will let it, and make you strong to suffer, strong to combat, strong to serve, and to witness for your Lord.
Take the quiz
Take this short quiz to test your knowledge.
1. What were the results of the Spirit's power in the early Christians. Choose all that are true.
2. According to Acts 1:4 Who baptized with water?
a) the priest
b) John the Baptist
3. What book is the pattern for the work of the Spirit in Christians?
a) Acts (or the Bible)
b) Revelation (or the Bible)
c) Luke (or the Bible)
4. Who said: "God treats all men alike?"
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The Holy Spirit in the Bible: Power, Promise, and Presence | Tithe.ly
The Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is a complex concept for many believers. And even if you’re familiar with the relationship between the three, you may still be confused about their roles in our lives.
So, who is the Holy Spirit in the Bible? Is He as important as the Father or the Son? Let’s dive into Scripture and unpack everything we need to know about the Holy Spirit’s power, promise, and presence. By the end of this article, you’ll have an increased understanding of who He is and how to follow His guidance.
The Holy Spirit in the Bible
The Holy Spirit in the Bible is the primary guidance that all believers in Christ – past and present – have within them. In other words, the Holy Spirit is the driving force behind the Christian life.
“[You] will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
So, who exactly is the Holy Spirit in the Bible? Let’s break it down:
- The Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Holy Trinity , along with the Father and the Son. While each of them is distinct from one another, all three of them are fully God, have the same essence, and will exist forever. We often refer to them as “God in three Persons,” where one of three is the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit is there to help those who are weak . “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words” (Romans 8:26).
- The Holy Spirit helps Christians be a witness and blessing to others . His power enables Christians to be better people and more effective witnesses to Jesus.
- The Holy Spirit sanctifies His people, making them more Christ-like . Only when there is full dependence on the Spirit is there life transformation. “You were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11b).
- The Holy Spirit helps Christians know God’s will . God sends the Holy Spirit to live with us, teaching and reminding us of what Jesus taught during His ministry (John 14:26). It’s only within the Spirit that Christians can know, understand, and align themselves with God’s will.
Instead of becoming more self-reliant to overcome life’s challenges, Christians are to depend on the Holy Spirit for empowerment, supplication, and spiritual guidance. Before Jesus ascended, He said, “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven” (Luke 24:49).
The Nature of the Holy Spirit
We have to unpack the nature of the Holy Spirit to understand why He does what He does. Essentially, the Holy Spirit’s character can be explained by the following:
- He calls every person to salvation . Not one Christian would be saved by God if the Holy Spirit did not work in their hearts. In fact, “...no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). Every time someone says “Jesus is Lord,” it’s a demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s power. “For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16).
- He is always right and will never contradict the Word of God . Christians might fall into the temptation of following their own ways or doubting whether what the Holy Spirit tells them to do is right. But the Holy Spirit is never wrong because He is part of the Holy Trinity with God the Father and God the Son. In fact, He inspired the writing that constitutes the Bible you’re reading today.
- He generously gives gifts for unity and good works . The Holy Spirit brings unity to His people by equipping them with unique abilities. When every gift comes from the Spirit, there isn’t room for pride. “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all… God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
- He allows us to produce fruits with the gifts . The fruits of the Holy Spirit are evidence of one’s deep relationship with Him. These “fruits” or products of one’s walk with God include “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Genesis 5:22-23).
Given the nature of the Holy Spirit, Christians should aim to have a relationship with Him rather than try to understand Him from a third-person perspective. Instead of thinking of the Holy Spirit as a “what,” think of Him as a “who”. Instead of referring to the Holy Spirit as an “it,” remember that He’s a “He” or a Person. Lastly, instead of relating to the Holy Spirit as a “force,” we should approach Him as a “friend”.
What is the “Holy Spirit is God” Bible Verse?
There are many Scriptures that demonstrate how the Holy Spirit is God. He is not a spiritual expression of Jesus or a less divine version of God but an equal part of the Trinity.
Here is some scripture on the Holy Spirit:
- He is God , and believers are baptized in His Name (Matthew 28:19-20).
- He has the power to protect believers so that nothing can steal their salvation (Ephesians 4:30).
- He dwells within believers and transforms them into the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
- He has the power to wash our sins away and make us new (Titus 3:5).
This is just a small selection of Bible verses that talk about how the Holy Spirit is God – there are plenty more that we can discover in our studies.
If we were to read the story about Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-4, we see that they put on a show of generosity only to be revealed that they lied to God about the money. Peter confronted them, and said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself… You weren’t lying to us but to God!”
If the Holy Spirit is not equal to God, Peter wouldn’t have accused the couple of lying to God. This is one of the many clear pieces of evidence that shows how the Holy Spirit is God.
This may seem confusing to the human mind and outside the limits of creation, but God is infinite, possible, and beyond our comprehension. To quote R.C. Sproul, “...the doctrine of the Trinity is not a contradiction but a mystery , for we cannot fully understand how God can exist in three Persons,” and yet He does.
The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament was called “Ruach” and named “Pneuma” in the New Testament. Both of these have a similar meaning, describing the Holy Spirit as this “wind” or breath of air, where nobody knows where it’ll go or understand where it comes from. Air, after all, is one of the rare things that are non-physical yet completely tangible – a perfect analogy to describe the Holy Spirit.
Where can we see the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament? The Old Testament doesn’t use the term “Holy Spirit” as often as the New Testament does, but uses other terms to describe the same Person. Here are a few examples of where you’ll see the Holy Spirit at work in the Old Testament:
- The Holy Spirit participated in the creation of the world. The Holy Spirit was “hovering over the waters” before the world was fully formed (Genesis 1:2).
- God gave Adam a “breath of life” during the creation of man. “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). If we are to go back to the original Hebrew Bible, “breath of life” uses the same word that’s translated elsewhere as “spirit.”
- The same Spirit also came upon prophets, judges, and warriors to give them extraordinary power, such as with all the prophets writing the Bible (2 Peter 1:21), Joshua (Numbers 27:18), Othniel (Judges 3:10), Gideon (6:34), and Saul (1 Samuel 10:9-10). It was also mentioned that the Holy Spirit eventually departed from Saul when he disobeyed (1 Samuel 16:14).
- The Holy Spirit played a primary role in the Old Testament prophecy. David said that “The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; His words are upon my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2), and Ezekiel explained that “The Spirit came into me as He spoke, and He set me on my feet” (Ezekiel 2:2a).
- The Holy Spirit made believers holy (Psalms 143:10). Scripture promised that God will put His Spirit in His people to help them live according to His statutes and will (Ezekiel 36:27). In this message, God is paving the way for Jesus to eventually officially announce the Holy Spirit’s presence in the New Testament.
- The Holy Spirit helped His people anticipate the coming of the Messiah. In Isaiah 11:1-5, the Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah to prophesy about the arrival of a Messiah, which was eventually completed when Jesus arrived and announced the prophecy’s fulfillment in the New Testament (Luke 4:18-19).
Bible Characters Filled with the Holy Spirit
Christians can learn from several Bible characters who were filled with the Holy Spirit, all fueled and inspired to accomplish God’s work. Here are some:
- In Exodus 35:30-35 , the Holy Spirit helped the men under Moses’ care. “Then Moses told the people of Israel, ‘The Lord has specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom…’”
- In Numbers 27:18 , the Holy Spirit empowered Joshua to lead Israel. “The Lord replied, ‘Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him.’”
- In Judges 6:34 , the Holy Spirit came upon Gideon. “Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.”
- In Judges 13:25 , the Holy Spirit came upon Samson as well. “And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he lived in Mahaneh-dan, which is located between the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol.”
- In 1 Samuel 16:13 , the Holy Spirit rushed upon David when He was anointed as king. “So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on.”
- In Ezekiel 2:2 , the Holy Spirit enabled Ezekiel to prophesy. “The Spirit came into me as He spoke, and He set me on my feet. I listened carefully to His words.”
- In Matthew 1:20 , the Holy Spirit conceived Jesus in Mary’s virgin womb. “As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Joseph, son of David,’ the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.’”
- In Matthew 3:16 , the Holy Spirit was present at Jesus’ baptism, telling the people present that Jesus is God. “After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him.”
- In Luke 4 , even Jesus Himself was filled by the Holy Spirit, enabling Him to go through the wilderness and resist the temptations the devil tested Him with for 40 days. “Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days.”
- In John 14:26 , the Holy Spirit teaches the disciples and reminds them of what Jesus taught while He was on earth. “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”
- In Acts 4:8-10 , the Holy Spirit enabled Peter to bravely question the rulers, elders, and teachers of the law. “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? …Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ…’”
- In Acts 8:29 , “The Holy Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and walk along beside the carriage.’” Philip immediately ran over, heard someone reading from Isaiah, and began to share the gospel with him. By the end, the Ethiopian was fully committed to getting baptized – right there and then.
There are other people in the Bible who were filled by the Spirit, but these are evidence enough of how the Holy Spirit works in people. The Holy Spirit truly is God – one that convicts, empowers, and guides us.
Presence of the Holy Spirit in Scripture
The great news is that the Holy Spirit continues to dwell with Christians today, just as He did before.
How can we be filled today? One answer is by meditating on the promises of God. That’s how Paul kept his heart full of hope, joy, and love. He says, “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled” (Romans 15:4).
Hope isn’t a vague emotion. it’s the confidence that the future promised to us is going to come true. One way to be filled by the Holy Spirit is to fill ourselves up with the Bible, studying Scripture so that we might know Him more.
How will you know when the presence of the Holy Spirit is in your heart and mind? Just like how you’ll know when a gust of wind is propelling your sailboat, you’ll know when the holy “wind” or spirit is moving in you.
Take a look at these passages: “On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm , and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit…” (Acts 2:1-4) .
The Holy Spirit came from above and filled everyone with His presence, including Peter, who was there to preach. He began to give his sermon to thousands of people, where his words “ pierced their hearts” (Acts 2:37). This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit working in their midst, opening their hearts and minds to Peter’s sermon that also came from the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Ghost In The Bible: Our Spiritual Guidance in Life
Once Christians receive the Holy Spirit, they are given the responsibility of denying themselves and allowing God’s presence to move within them. Only when Christians invite the Spirit’s presence into their lives will they experience true life transformation.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
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What does the Holy Spirit do for us?
Anything of eternal value in this life and in eternity comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
What does the Holy Spirit do?
What does the Holy Spirit do for us? Anything of eternal value in this life and in eternity comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If we want to follow Jesus and see that we need help to do so, God gives us His Holy Spirit. We need simply to ask for it, and be obedient. (Luke 11:9-13; Acts 5:32.) Once we become disciple s and have received the Holy Spirit, He begins a work in us, to transform us into the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29.) Disciples set their minds on the things of the Spirit, and they will be led into life and peace.
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The Holy Spirit gives power
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8.
What is this power from the Holy Spirit for? Paul testified that it was his “earnest expectation and hope” that by life or death Jesus would be magnified in his body. (Philippians 1:20.) What greater task does the Holy Spirit have than to empower His disciples to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus , and that His life would be manifested as we bear in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus? (2 Corinthians 4:10-11.) We bear witness to Jesus Christ in this way. We absolutely cannot do this in our own strength, only through the power the Holy Spirit gives us.
Jesus opened a new and living way through His flesh , through the Eternal Spirit, and offered Himself without spot to God, so that we too could serve the living God in those works that God intended for us. (Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:20.) The Holy Spirit will lead and empower us in a development to learn obedience to the Word of God in our suffering s, and be led to perfection, just as Jesus was. (Hebrews 5:7-9.)
Jesus said that His Father is glorified when His disciples bear much fruit. Those who bear fruit will get a further training so that they bear more fruit. (John 15:2,8.) This is the process of sanctification through the Holy Spirit, which leads us to partake of Jesus’ glory (His virtues). (2 Thessalonians 2:14.) The power of the Holy Spirit strengthens our will to endure in this process so that we do not lose heart, but can stand firm until the end!
The Holy Spirit is the Helper
Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Helper. (John 15:26.) The Helper will guide us into all the truth, convicting us of sin, of righteousness, and judgement. (John 16:8-15.) We will get to see ourselves, what dwells in our flesh, through the Spirit in the light of God’s Word.
The Holy Spirit gives us power for victory over conscious sin. It is written, if we walk in the Spirit , we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16.) If we live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit, we won’t become high-minded, provoking and envying one another. (Galatians 5:25-26.) Think of the fellowship that grows out of this work of the Spirit, as the fruits of the Spirit grow in us more and more!
The Holy Spirit is our intercessor
Another task of the Holy Spirit is that of an intercessor. (Romans 8:26.) He will take what is from Jesus and declare it to us. (John 16:13-15.) We don’t know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit does. He leads us into many various situations in our daily life which will cause our flesh to react. These situations bring to light the sin in our flesh. We react in different ways, whether by word or action. As we think about what we’ve said or done, we get to see that sin was present. It wasn’t the virtues that came forth, but our human nature. We get to see that we did what we hated, just as Paul saw in Romans 7:18-25.
These involuntary reactions from the flesh that we get light over are referred to as the “deeds of the body,” and can take the form of thoughts, words and even actions. There is no condemnation for these, because we didn’t consciously agree to sin . Yet, through the Spirit, we can still overcome these deeds of the body after they have come out of our bodies by loving and acknowledging the truth about what happened, and consciously choosing to disagree with them and hate them. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13. When the Spirit is my guide and strength, then I continue to walk in the light and can overcome in the future before it happens again.
The Holy Spirit gives gifts
Jesus gave diversities of gifts to His disciples through the Holy Spirit ; gifts of healing, prophecy, tongues and interpretation, the Word of knowledge, the Word of wisdom, working of miracles, discerning of spirits, etc. The Holy Spirit works these gifts in us for the profit of all. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11.) They are used by His disciples to build and edify Christ’s earthly body. “… till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ .” Ephesians 4:12-13.
Paul exhorted to desire the best gifts but spoke about a more excellent way. He went on to describe the qualities of love, and to say that without them, we are nothing. “Love suffers long, and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own; is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Let us measure ourselves against these divine qualities, and let the Holy Spirit work with us, that we can come to them in truth.
“… to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man , that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19.
An amazing calling, an amazing glory, through the work of the Holy Spirit. Let us humble ourselves deeply under God’s mighty hand, through the leading of His Spirit, so grace comes over us, so that we actually come to this fullness. So let us do as Paul exhorted Timothy, meditate on these things, give ourselves entirely to them, that our progress may be evident to all. (1 Timothy 4:15.)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The role of the Holy Spirit in your life
These past two weeks, writers from Quest Church have spoken on the topic of ‘Infinitely More’ and speaking to how God wants to do infinitely more in your life than you can ask or think of! This week, I want to speak to two things that the Holy Spirit wants to do in you.
The first thing that He wants to do is bring POWER into your life. Power to do and be more than you can imagine! Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This power that comes from the Holy Spirit allows you to stand strong for the things of God. We find in the Bible that Peter, who two months before denied Jesus three times, stands before a crowd immediately after receiving the Holy Spirit and over 3,000 people come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The second thing the Holy Spirit wants to do in us is give us SPIRITUAL GIFTS. The gifts of the Spirit are laid out in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and speak to things such as miraculous healing, wisdom, prophecy, speaking in tongues, and discernment. These gifts were manifested 2,000 years ago, but they can be alive and well in our own lives today! Through personal experience and the testimonies of other, I have seen these gifts in action. Every time they have shown themselves, they have blessed the individual recipient of the gift as well as glorified God in the process.
Now is the time our culture needs to stand up, with the power of the Holy Spirit, for the things that grieve God. We are called to be the audible voices of God to the world around us. And, through that, we are able to have a voice to stand up for the injustices of this world. As things are calming down with riots and COVID-19, we need to never hide our God who lives inside of us.
We are to have compassion in our life. To have compassion is to “co-suffer”. That means when racism happens, we suffer with that community. When a disease outbreak happens, we suffer with those families. When our teachers have to pivot their classrooms to accommodate and they’re tired, lost, and confused, we suffer with them. This is something we are commanded to do. Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Can you imagine what our world would look like if all people did this? What if we all suffered with those who suffered? Had patience when those who are hurting act out, or if we had humility and realized what we know isn’t always true? These things are only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. So, today, ask the Holy Spirit to enter into your life and give you the extra power you may need to stand up in Jesus’ name!