The Holy Spirit
September 1, 2021
I want to share some truth from Scripture about the Holy Spirit. He is a very necessary part of the Christian life. First, it is God that draws a sinner towards Himself as John 6:44 says:
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Perhaps you wonder why we can't come to Him unless He draws us? Jeremiah 17:9 says:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
That is why. We have no desire for God in our sinful wicked state because we love the works of darkness. John 3:20 says:
“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
The Holy Spirit will convict us of our sins and our wrongdoings because Jesus has gone back to the Father. Romans 5:10 says:
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
What do we do when we become convicted of our sins? Luke 13:3 says:
“...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
When we repent and ask for forgiveness, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us as newborn babies in Christ, for that is what we are when we get saved. 1 Peter 2:2 says:
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
The Spirit convicts us of our sin. The devil condemns us. When we feel condemned, we feel trapped, like there is no way out. This can turn into self-loathing, self-hating, and identifying as worthless wretches. Even though that is who we really are, that is not how God sees us. He looks at us with love because Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we can go free.
Then the Spirit convicts us, it is in a way that doesn't cause us to hate ourselves, but rather we feel bad for what we did, turn to God and repent. He gives us a direction to go: back to the Father. He is gentle. He doesn't beat us up. He doesn't push us, but draws us. We feel genuinely sorry for what we did, and we try to make things right. He encourages us to go forward and gives us peace after we repent - all because of the love that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have for us.
The Holy Spirit is our earnest, which means “to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (lit. or fig.); by impl. to keep secret, to attest:—(set a, set to) seal up, stop.” Also, it says in 1 John 2:25:
“And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”
And in 1 John 5:11:
“This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
This is what we are promised when we repent and follow God and His Word.
Following are a few more verses about being sealed by the Spirit:
“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
“Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 5:5).
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).
When a person is born again, there is a transformation that happens in their heart and life. Some people believe that it is prideful to know that a person is saved, but Scripture is clear that we can know that we are saved. Ephesians 2:8-10 says:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
2 Timothy 1:9 says:
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
Some people also have a very fragile view of salvation as well. They believe that wearing certain clothing or going certain places will send a person to hell. But what does the Bible say? Are they just making standards or are they teaching what the Bible actually says?
The Spirit seals us. We become Christ's. We are still human. We still make mistakes. We still hurt others unintentionally. We still embarrass ourselves. We still struggle to do what we know we should. But the Spirit lives in us and wants to help us.
When you buy a house or any other big thing, you usually need to pay a down payment and then work on paying off the rest as you are able. So it is with God when we get saved. He sends the Spirit to take up residence in our heart and to be the down payment for us that He intends to go through with His plan for us to the end. The Spirit dwells in us and convicts us of sin. He seals us to the Father. And then the journey begins.
After we repent of our sins and are born again and the Holy Spirit has become our "down payment" from God, He then becomes our Guide. John 16:13 says:
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
Romans 7:6 says:
“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
Romans 8:16-18 says:
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Romans 8:26-27 says:
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:12-14 says:
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
1 Corinthians 12:13 says:
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 says”
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
In 1 John 4:13-15 it says:
“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
When we get saved, the Spirit becomes our Guide and Leader. We turn from going our own way and start following God. We also read God's Word to understand His will, and He speaks to us through His Word. When we ask for help and advice, it may come in the form of Scripture, or a person, or any other way that God chooses to speak to us. Each person is different, and God knows just how to reach us in a unique way that we will know what He wants us to do or not do. There are times that there is a real struggle between what we want to do and what we know that God wants us to do. Who will we yield our body to? Romans 6:19 says:
“...for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.”
In Old Testament days, the Jews would come to the temple in Jerusalem to worship God. But then when Jesus came, He was talking with the woman at the well. When she questioned Him about it, this is what He replied:
“...Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24)
When we get saved, the Spirit makes His home in our body and we become His temple. We can worship God wherever we are. It's almost like the turtle carrying his house on his back. No matter where he goes he always has his shelter.
When we become His temple there are things that are an abomination to God that He doesn't want us to take part in anymore. You can find out what those things are in: Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-10; Acts 15:25-29.
2 Corinthians 6:16 says:
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
An idol is anything that we make more important than God and what He wants us to do - whether it be our attitude, our appearance, our work, or pleasure. It can literally be anything. He doesn't want us to have idols and give Him second place. As Lord and God of the universe, He deserves first place in our lives, but we are such selfish creatures that we get sidetracked by so many other things, and before we know it, He's no longer important. Let us remember what these verses say:
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (I Corinthians 6:20).
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
When something changes in a person's life, there is always the fruit of that change - whether it be good or bad. When a person accepts the gift of salvation and is adopted into God's family, there is a change in their life, and fruit comes from it. When a person allows the Holy Spirit to guide them, there will be fruit: things that grow. It may be small at first, but as a person grows in their relationship with God, these things will grow; often not visible to the individual themselves, but to those around them. What does the Bible say some of these fruits that grow will be?
Þ Love: love, i.e. affection or benevolence; spec. (plur.) a love-feast:—(feast of) charity, dear, love.
Þ Joy: cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight:—gladness, greatly, (be exceeding) joy (-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).
Þ Peace: prob. from a prim. verb (to join); peace (lit. or fig.); by impl. prosperity:—one, peace, quietness, rest, set at one again.
Þ Longsuffering: longanimity, i.e. (obj.) forbearance or (subj.) fortitude:—longsuffering, patience.
Þ Gentleness: usefulness, i.e. mor. excellence (in character or demeanor):—gentleness, good (-ness), kindness.
Þ Goodness: goodness, i.e. virtue or beneficence:—goodness.
Þ Faith: persuasion, i.e. credence; mor. conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), espec. reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstr. constancy in such profession; by extens. the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:—assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
Þ Meekness: mildness, i.e. (by impl.) humility:—meekness.
Þ Temperance: self-control (espec. continence):—temperance.
If we say we are Christians and our lives are not bringing forth fruit like mentioned above, there is something wrong.
Here are a few more verses about what should be happening in our lives:
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8).
“For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9).
“And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful” (Titus 3:14).
John 15:16, one of my favorite verses, says:
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
We will also do our part with our own unique gifts and talents that we have been given to obey this command:
“...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Matthew 7:17 says:
“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”
Ephesians 2:10 says:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
When something is growing, there is eventually fruit, but when something isn't growing or sits still like a pool of water, it becomes stagnant and good for nothing. Perhaps you wonder how you can keep from becoming like a good-for-nothing pool of stagnant water.
The answer is simple:
- Abide in Christ by prayer. Keep your focus on Him doing everything as though He was asking you to do it.
- Study the Bible.
As we abide in Him, He makes us grow and bring forth fruit. It is not something we can do on our own, but it happens as we live each day with our focus on Him.
Kathryn Hoover was raised a Mennonite and now runs a blog called "Light Hope and Truth."
To read her blog, click HERE.
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