"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;"
Section Five: The Holy Spirit
The subject of the Holy Spirit is of extreme importance. We all need His presence and His power, and without Him, it would be utterly impossible for us to live the Christian life and serve God. Yet, few biblical doctrines have caused more division within the Church as this one.
"One of the most subtle tactics adopted by the Enemy to paralyze the Church has been to make Christians afraid of the Holy Spirit. He has driven groups of earnest believers to adopt extreme positions on the right and on the left. He laughs as he sees neither group in complete enjoyment of the power and fullness the Spirit delights to bestow".
Thus, we have need to study the Scriptures diligently, asking the Lord to guide us in our study by the Holy Spirit.
I. Jesus And The Holy Spirit
A. Christ arose - and now lives! When He ascended into heaven, He did not leave His followers alone. He sent them the Holy Spirit.
Why did God send the Holy Spirit according to the following verses?
1. John 14.26 He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you
2. John 16:7-14 "...it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
II. Who Is The Holy Spirit?
A. The Holy Spirit Is A Person
We might shirk that the Spirit is merely a power, a force, or an "it", when in fact, Scripture reveals that the Holy Spirit is a person. The Holy Spirit is a person in the same sense that God the Father is a person, and the Lord Jesus Christ is a person.
1. He Acts As A Person
a. He teaches (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:13)
b. He testifies (John 15:26)
c. He guides into all truth, He hears, speaks, shows (John 16:13)
d. He prays for us (Romans 8:26)
2. He Has The Attributes of A Person
"What constitutes the essentials of personality? Usually three things - a person must possess intelligence, emotions, and will. A thing lacks these, but the Holy Spirit is not a thing because He has intelligence, emotions and will".
a. Intelligence -
The Spirit knows the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11)
b. Emotions -
The Holy Spirit can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30, and He loves Christians (Romans 15:30). Both emotions are experienced by a person not a thing or power.
c. Will -
The Spirit gives gifts to men as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11)
3. He Can Be Treated As A Person, Since He can be ...
a. Lied to (Acts 5:3)
b. Tested (Acts 5:9)
c. Resisted (Acts 7:51)
d. Grieved (Ephesians 4:3 0)
e. Outraged (Hebrews 10:29)
f. Blasphemed Against (Matthew 12:31)
g. Called Upon (Ezekiel 37:9)
B. The Holy Spirit Is God
1. The Holy Spirit possesses divine attributes. He knows all things (1 Corinthians 2:11-12) and one can never escape the presence of the Spirit, in other words, He is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7,8)
2. The Holy Spirit is associated with the Father and the Son, and placed on the same level as they are.
a. According to Matthew 28:19, the disciples must baptize in what names?
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
b. Read Acts 5:1-6. According to verse 3, who did Ananias lie to ? Holy Spirit
Then in verse 4, who is Ananias accused of lying to? God
Both verses are referring to the same person - Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit who is God.
c. According to John 4:24, what is God? God is spirit
We have seen that the Holy Spirit is a person and God. ‘If the Spirit were merely a power coming from above, it would be at my disposal and I could use it at will. But if the Spirit is a Person, and more than that, if He is God Himself, it is I would should be at His disposal, and love and obey Him in all things. Besides, receiving into our hearts not only a blessing, but the presence of the Almighty God is to have within us the source of all grace and of all possibility. Let us beware of failing to recognize the true nature of the Holy Spirit." (Rene Pache)
III. The Work Of The Holy Spirit In Our Salvation
A. According to John 16:8-11, what three things does the Holy Spirit do to the non-Christian in the world?
concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me
concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me
concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged
B. In John 3, Jesus shares how one can be born-again. In verse 5, what must take place if a person is to be a born again Christian? He must be born of water and the Spirit
C. Can anyone truly acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior apart from the Holy Spirit's work in his heart according to 1 Corinthians 12:3? Yes No
It is the Holy Spirit who imparts and makes effective within the believer a new nature. new nature is a total transformation of the believer's make-up and identify. The believer is at this point "born from above" (John 3:3) and is actually a "new creature" (2 Corinthians 5:17). This impartation of, or giving of, eternal life is experienced by all who accept Christ as their Savior.
IV. The Filling Of The Holy Spirit
Read Ephesians 5:15-20. In this passage, Christians are encouraged to live a certain way. Verse 18 consists of two commands: one negative, "do not get drunk with wine"; and one positive, "be filled with the Holy Spirit". The positive command is our focus here!
Whereas all believers possess the Holy Spirit in all His fullness and are permanently indwelt with the Spirit from the moment they believe, not all believers allow the indwelling Spirit to affect their lives; thus Paul's command "be filled with the Holy Spirit."
This is not an option or a suggestion for the Christian - it is a command to "be kept continually filled" with the Spirit. It's not a once-for-all filling - it's to be done moment by moment.
To be filled with the Spirit is to allow the Holy Spirit to permeate your life, empower and control you.
A. Turn to Galatians 5:22,23. What is the proof of being filled with the Spirit?
the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
As you can see, to be filled with the Spirit is to have your thinking (about life, people, circumstances), evaluation, goals, desires, longings, will (choices, decisions, intentions), as well as the resulting behavior, permeated with and affected by the Holy Spirit.
B. The believer can quench the Spirit's expression of God's power and life through his life. The filling of the Spirit is conditional upon the believers sincere desire to be a living expression of God's will by the way he walks and lives. In such a person the Spirit can freely manifest the power and life of God in the affairs of daily living.
C. How To Be Filled With The Holy Spirit
Scripture mentions four essential conditions to be filled with the Spirit.
1. Confession Of Our Conscious Sins
It is sin that grieves the Spirit and quenches His work in our lives. By acknowledging both our sin and God's gracious forgiveness and cleansing through Christ (1 John 1:9), we free the Holy Spirit to fill us.
2. Desiring The Spirit's Filling
Jesus said, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive..." (John 7:37-9)
"Thirst is an imperative need which must be satisfied. A man racked by thirst will give anything to be able to quench it. Fullness, life through the Spirit, is given only to those who truly thirst, to those who are prepared to pay the price, to abandon all if necessary to receive it. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6). Have we such a thirst for sanctification, victory and plenty, for radiance and power? Do we desire a Christian life which is free from constant vicissitudes and repeated falls, unencumbered by weakness and continual sorrow? In short do we thirst after the Spirit's Fullness? Then let us draw near to the Savior' for His promise is to us."
As you grow as a Christian, you will hopefully find yourself thirsting and desiring God's Spirit to fill you at work (with customers, clients, competition), in all your relationships (with spouse, children, in-laws, neighbors), at home (budgeting, chores), at church (during worship, ministry, outreach, etc.).
3. Surrendering Ourselves To God, Giving Access In Our Whole Bending To His Influence And Filling
God desires to fill us with the Holy Spirit. Frequently, we close off areas of our life, our beings, from the Spirit. We yield in areas of convenience, yet resist His indwelling the secret chambers and closets of our hearts.
"Some, perhaps, will say: I would willingly yield all into God's hands and empty my heart that He might fill it, but there are many things which keep me bound and which I am unable to root rout of my life. But, of course, God does not expect us to purify ourselves or to expel first by our own efforts, that which hinders His work in us. We would not accomplish this. All He asks is our consent - to let Him enter into every part that He may transform and purify all. All He desires is the complete submission of our will contrary to which He will not act, since He created us free beings. But once full command has been placed in His hands, He: will no longer be hindered from filling us and glorifying Himself in us. According to His promise, He will produce in us both the will and the ability to act (Philippians 2:13), and will make all things possible. Listen to the exhortation of the apostle Paul, who gives us the key to sanctification: "...present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, ... I urge you therefore... to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Romans 6:12-13; 12:1).
May we present ourselves unto God saying to Him, "Lord, I yield myself completely to Thee as I am; I am willing to pay the price' cost what it may, and to be filled with thy Spirit."
4. Believe That God Has Filled Us With His Spirit When We Have Met The First Three Conditions.
Turn to the parable in Luke 11:11-13. According to this parable, which compares the relationship of a child and his good father to the Christian and His heavenly Father. Will God give us the Holy Spirit if we ask Him to? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"
Simple faith in God and His promises results in our being filled with the Spirit. We may not "feel" full, get goose bumps, be overwhelmed with the sense of peace or His presence, yet we are filled. Our confidence is in God and His promises, not our feelings.
So much has been said, so much more could be said about the Holy Spirit. Why don't you take a minute and quietly reflect on the Holy Spirit and ask Him to fill you for the tasks you will be facing next in your day, this day, and the morrow.