Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4; John 14:1-14; 15:26; John 16:1-15; Acts 1:8; 4:23-33; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14; 6:19-20; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30-32; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 2 Peter 1:21
The Role, Person, and Work of the Holy Spirit
The essential topic of who and what the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is, His power, impact, and role in the universe and in our lives, along with why we need to know this has been a hot and abused subject matter during the last several decades. The third Person of the Godhead, the Trinity, has been ignored by some and overly abused and misunderstood by most. In fact, I rarely hear a correct biblical explanation or exposition from pastors and/or church leaders today. Their treatment of the subject seems to follow the latest trends or what one feels and is from the pit of false teachers, not based on the real truth of Scripture. Thus, I will attempt to carefully go through Scripture with an inductive approach and honest exegeses, real word meanings rather than personal agendas or axes to grind, and thus give you an accurate account of the Holy Spirit's nature and role. This article is based on the Bible, not my or someone's agenda, theological system, or ideas.
The Holy Spirit is God's manifestation of the Godhead, meant to show and enable us to know who He is and how much He loves us! In turn, He also empowers the real Christian to know and exhibit and share that Truth with others to glorify Christ. He never points to Himself nor wants us to point to ourselves; rather, we are to glorify our Lord and better be used by Him. God loves you and accepts you more powerfully, passionately, purposefully, and deeply than you could ever fathom! You are secure. God "guarantees" you with a clear, powerful, loving, impacting, and lasting relationship with Him, where He indwells in and empowers you to be His fruitful presenter of His Gospel. We do this out of our gratitude as He enables and equips us. When you are in Christ, God is pleased with you! You have no need to fear; you are a person of deep value and worth before our Lord! You are forgiven because of Christ's righteousness that covers you-not because of your deeds or performance. You are unique and complete in Him; and because of this, you are a special person whom God loves and will use further to impact His kingdom so others can experience this too (John 6:37, 44, 65;13:1; 15:16; Rom. 5:1-8; 9:9-11; 1 Cor. 3:15-18; 6:18-20; Eph. 1:4-5, 13-14; Phil. 1:6; Col. 1:21-22; 2:10; 1 John 4:9-11)!
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is God, the third Person of the Trinity-of the Godhead. There is only One True God, yet He has three distinct personalities, sometimes called manifestations or roles. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each share a mutual, united, reciprocal, indwelling "essence." The Father and Son and Holy Spirit each are equal, distinct, and are active as One God in the work of our redemption (our salvation) and sanctification (our continual growth). God is in community and communion; as Christians we are God's people in community, who have a special guarantee and favor and who have a special personal and communal relationship with Him, as He had with the Israelites in the Old Testament. Through the Holy Spirit, we receive awareness of, empowerment by and communion with Him (John 10:38; 17:21; 2 Cor. 13:14).
He is also called Counselor / Helper / Advocate / Paraclete / Spirit of Truth / Spirit of God / and Holy Ghost. In Scripture, He is like a legal representative who helps by coming alongside us: He consoles, comforts, strengthens, and advocates for us. His role as our Comforter is the role model for our actions too. He is our Advocate who defends us, like in a heavenly court, where Satan is the prosecutor, God the merciful Judge, and Christ who pays our penalty. The Holy Spirit is also the "successor" of Christ, walking the earth but not a replacement. He helps to carry on the work of our Lord in and through us. He illuminates our minds, prompts our prayers, shows us opportunities, and inspires our messages as we connect Christ to others in our encounters. (Gen. 1:2; Ex. 20:6; Deut. 5:10-29; 6:5; 11:1-22; 13:3-4; 19:9; 30:6-14; Psalm 31:5; Isa. 11:2; 65:16; Matt. 10:20; John 4:23-24; 9:35-41; 13:33; 15:26; 16:7-13; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:14; Gal. 4:6; Phil. 1:19; 1 Pet. 1:11; 1 John 2:1).
What Does the Holy Spirit Do?
The Holy Spirit initiates our salvation, called regeneration-the new birth (being "born again" from John 3)-by the Spirit-implanting of the Divine nature by the Word of God, will of God, and Spirit of God through Christ's and the Spirit's work received by our faith. The Holy Spirit can also call a person who is already a Christian, but has been relaxed or distant in the faith, to wake up. This is called rededication. The Holy Spirit empowers us for ministry with gifts that can grow as we grow in the faith. Also, we can be renewed in our faith, be enlarged in our faith. This is called sanctification, where we grow in our practice of our faith while we already have our position in Christ (Titus 3:4, John 3:3-8; Rom.10:17; Eph.3:17; 1 Pet.1:23).
The Holy Spirit's role to witness to us is called illumination, or effective calling an impacting part of our regeneration, as that is His role; this is the true Baptism of the Holy Spirit! One of the prime roles of the Holy Spirit is to "illuminate" Jesus to people so they can know of His existence, work, and saving grace. He is the prime testifier of Christ to the world and we are the vessels He uses to accomplish God's purpose. The Spirit intercedes, breaking the sin barrier of our heart to give us redemption. In the Old Testament, servants of God were only given glimpses and parts of the Spirit working in them, empowering them for a specified function (Gen. 41:38; Num. 27:18; 6:44, 65; Acts 2:33; 16:6-7; Rom. 3:11; 8:9-10; 1 Cor. 2:14; 15:45; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:3-10; 2:1-5; Phil. 1:19; Col. 2:13; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:3-12, 23-25; 4:14).
He makes Truth known; this is the doctrine of the "Illumination of the Holy Spirit," the process where the Holy Spirit enables us to understand His Word, the Bible, and then apply it to our lives. However, He does not contradict or add to what is not there; He merely helps us understand. The Holy Spirit gives us the essential illumination we need to be able to read and understand and glean the wondrous insights of the Bible. He gives us God's revelation so we will appreciate the things of God and their true value and significance. He enables us for logical, full comprehension (with the correct intended meanings and fruitful applications) of Scripture so we can have the faith and gumption to act on them (Psalm 82:5; 119:18; Matt. 11:25; Luke 24:16-32; 1 Cor. 2:12-14; 3:14; Eph. 1:18-19; 4:1; 1 John 2:20-27; 14:1-14; 16:1-15).
The Holy Spirit Enables Us
Jesus, during His final days, encouraged His Disciples by promising to continue His presence with them. I will send you the Great Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to teach you the Truth, and to lead, direct, inspire, comfort, and help you. He will help you convince others of me and for me, of my righteousness and the judgment to come. Even in these harsh times, you will prevail to give Christ the Glory! Then, Jesus reassured them that this would be good, along with a promise of His permanence, and that all this would transform to great joy! John and his followers were experiencing the very tribulation Jesus was telling about. They were losing their places in the Synagogues, being betrayed by friends and family, losing their families and lands, losing their jobs, and losing any influence or inheritance by hostile, prideful Jews and God-hating Romans. The Jews did not believe one could hear God or have a personal relationship with Him as the Christians claimed, and were jealous and/or refused to be convicted. The Romans had an extreme distain for monotheism and apocalyptic cults (that Christianity was considered to be then by them), thus the antagonism (John 9:34; 11:50; 12:42).
In John chapter sixteen, we see that the Disciples realized their world and all their hopes and dreams would soon fall apart, which left them disillusioned, desperate, and depressed. They would have been confused and dazed, weeping and wondering what would happen to them. However, Jesus assured them that it would be OK, and that they would see the risen Christ again. The Disciples started to realize what Christ and His mission were about. They had reached a deeper sense of spiritual maturity where their faith was responding, backed by love, expectation, and action. Their faith and their prayers had been too timid and they had focused on their confusion and uncertainty, when in Christ, they (and we) can be strong in faith and committed to His purpose with certainty. There would be no Gospel without the life, sacrificial death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ and thus no saving faith or redemption. Also, His departure from earth paved the way for the coming of and permanence of the Holy Spirit in believer's lives (Matt. 1:21; John 14:16-26; 16:1-33).
Do you realize that the prophets of old desperately desired and sought what we have-which is free, but that we take for granted? Never take your faith or what Christ has done for you for granted. If you do, your spiritual journey will derail, your faith will stagnate, and the hopeless gloom of the world will be your only "vesper" (a bell that summons monks to pray). You will be seeking what is feeble and worthless and disavow what is real and jubilant. We are to declare our faith internally, see its veracity and application, and then declare it publicly. This begs the question: how then will we live in response to our new life together? Thus, we not only receive our salvation; we are enabled to respond to what Christ has freely and lovingly given us.
How the Holy Spirit work in the New Testament?
The prime purpose of the Holy Spirit is to point us to Christ and use us to point others to Christ by using us as display cases and walking billboards for Christ; it is all about Christ! He never draws attention to Himself; He rather points people to the Gospel of Christ. He also empowers Christ's followers by infusing them with Himself, and then living out in our lives. It is as Jesus Christ, being fully God, lives and walks beside us as we live and walk; Jesus, on behalf of us, took our place for God's wrath, suffered in our place, and redeemed us. It is a call to us to be the messengers of the Gospel along with the Holy Spirit. The role of the Holy Spirit, the importance of our connectivity to Him to produce faith and fruit, even in persecution, will always comfort us as we remain in Him (Luke 24:25-27, 45-47; John 14:1-16:33).
The Holy Spirit's prime call for us is to let Christ rule our hearts and actions, affecting our motives and behaviors, so we are able to put our new lives into effectual, wholehearted, truthful action. In this way, we will not waste what God has done in/for us or how He wants us to be toward others. These include the obligations and opportunities of living out the ethics and responsibilities that we have regarding God and one another. He helps us shed whatever holds us from growing in Him, and whatever prevents sincere, real, and vibrant maturity and increasing spirituality. Our vitality and good character should be the influencers in our spheres of impact, and as His ambassadors, infusing those within our reach with Christ. We are His showcase, not the instigators and producers of sin, apathy, personal agendas, strife, gossip, anger, or bitterness. Rather, we are to focus on Christ, so He is clear in our hearts and minds, directing our will and our behaviors (John 3:22-36; Col. 3:12-14).
· The Holy Spirit is God-powerful and all-knowing, having a will, and able to speak. He is able to act in power and strength through us to do what is needed (Psalm 139:7-13; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 4:31; 5:3-4; 8:29; 10:45; 13:2; 1 Cor. 12:11).
· The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of God's "triune" nature, the three "Persons," forms, manifestations-three ways God has of revealing Himself (Romans 15:17-20), but only One God (Duet 6:3-5; Ex. 20; Isa. 40; 44-45; Mark 12:29-30, 1 Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:5)! God the Spirit (John 14:1626; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 5:3-4).
· He is our Advocate, our "Paraclete," like a legal representative who helps by coming alongside, who consoles, comforts, strengthens, and/or advocates (John 14:15-21, 23-24; 15:26; 16:7-13; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:14I John 2:1)
· He convicts us to expose facts, fault, or tell someone real truth so they can be set right when they are doing something wrong and to summon repentance (John 3:16-18; 15:22-24; 16:1-11; Rom. 1:18-28; 1 Pet. 1:21).
· He imparts new life to us, is essential to our salvation, and sensitizes us to God (John 3:3-8; 16; 6:44;1 Cor. 6:11; 12:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 4:7).
· He intercedes and pleads our case for us in our weakness, on our behalf before God the Father (Romans 8:26-27).
· He bears inner witness that we are His children, and glorifies Christ (Romans 8:14, Galatians 4:6).
· He declares the truth about Christ (John 16:13-14).
· He was involved with the "Virgin Birth" of Jesus, an unprecedented miracle! This fact is vital to our faith and practice and for understanding of the Gospel (Matt. 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-56; 2:4-7; John 1:1-9; Rom. 8:11).
· He is essential for our salvation (John 3:5, 1 Corinthians 12:3).
· The Holy Spirit regenerates the Christian (Titus 3:5).
· He pours God's love out and into our hearts (Romans 5:4-5, Galatians 5:22-23).
· He is always with us (Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5-6).
· He indwells within us, lives inside of us (John 14:17, Rom. 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 3:16-17).
· He is powerful and able to do the will of the Father through us (Acts 1:8, 4:31, 10:45).
· He reveals God's Will to us, allows us to know the precepts of God's Word, and is our Teacher (Acts 17:30).
· He guides us to the Way of God and the revelation and understanding of His true-Truth and discernment from the "spirit of error" (John 14:6; 16:13; 2 Cor. 4:6; 1 John 4:6).
· He is essential for our sanctification, growth in maturity, and faith in Christ (Romans 7:21-25, 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Thess. 2:23)
· The Holy Spirit enables us to minister and witness (John 15:26; Acts 1:8; 4:23-33; 1 Cor. 2:12-14).
· The Holy Spirit is our support (Mark 4:37-41; Matt. 14:28-33; John 20:19-22).
· He is essential for our service and sharing of faith (Acts1:8); He is Lord-loving and available to us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
· The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to exhibit godly character and build effective relationships (Gal. 5:22-23).
· The Holy Spirit gives us gifts to use in His service to glorify Christ, to build His church, and to spread the Gospel (1 Cor. 2:9-13; 12:4-11; Eph. 1:3).
· His council and guidance is for us now. But, be aware: He never contradicts Scripture, so test what is said (Rom. 8:14, Gal. 4:6; Heb. 3:7-19).
· He is the source of the Prophet's prophecy and God's Word, all representing God's instructions, precepts, and authority (2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; 2 Pet. 1:21; Rev. 21:10).
· The Holy Spirit enables us to give God the glory (Eph. 3:16).
· The Holy Spirit- "God breathed," is the author of God's Word and inspired the writing of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).
· The Holy Spirit testifies and points to Jesus; He does not point to Himself (John 16:6-11; Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:16-19).
· He is our companion, and always indwells in us as Believers (John 14: 1-3; 15-17; 23; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 1:13-14; 3:16-17; Heb. 13:5-6).
· He is the Spirit of truth on whose power and influence we are to depend, not on our pride or faulty, worldly systems, and so to become mature, faithful Christians. We are to be faithful to and wise in Christ (John 14:15-31; 15:18-27).
How Do I Get the Holy Spirit?
How is this done? Simply put by Paul in Colossians chapter 3, by allowing the Word-Christ's presence-to dwell in us and learn His instructions, so the peace of Christ will rule in our hearts and minds and translate into our actions. It is all about our spiritual growth impacting us so it impacts others positively and in love. The key is to know that Christ is sufficient, so we can trust in Him-and in Him alone! Our faith is by facts that are tangible, impacting what is intangible. Without His intervention-our spiritual circumcision-we will remain in our sins, dead to God in a hopeless and worthless state. Because of Christ, we have forgiveness and hope and His empowerment. We are alive and God favors us! Jesus nailed our sins to the cross and in so doing, disarmed the evil of the world. Sin is still roaming around, but neutered as to what it can do to a Christian. He is victorious and we have victory in Him (Col. 3:12-17).
In Colossians 3:12-14, Paul uses the illustration that we are to clothe yourselves/put on-what? A show? A trend? An idea? To hide away? A pretentious conceited act? No! Put on Christ! This means to emulate the character of our Lord Jesus Christ in how He acted and reacted as He walked this earth. This is a call to take on the character of Jesus to ourselves. Don't worry; we do not construct this on our own. This is a part of the work of the Holy Spirit, as He imparts to us the power and ability to do so through Him so we can accept the call of Christ! It is something we cannot force to come about; rather, it happens naturally as we learn and grow in Christ. Then, His character envelopes us, wraps around us as we take on the new identity of a person who is not only saved by grace but also empowered and shaped by Him (Gen. 35:2; Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27; 5:19-23; Col. 1:15; 2:3; 3:10; 1 Pet. 5:5)!
How do I get more of the Holy Spirit? As previously stated, He is in you before you even recognize who you are in Christ. Before you accept Him, He is already in and with you as a Believer. What gets confusing as people mature in the faith is they think it is because they are asking the Holy Spirit to build them. He does build us up, but our prime focus is not the Holy Spirit; rather, it is Christ. He is our enabler! So, as we grow in Christ, the Holy Spirit makes Christ more known and more prevalent within us. So, the more you grow in Christ, the more the Holy Spirit empowers you to grow. It is our duty as Christians to recognize the role of the Holy Spirit so we can obey our duty and to find the call and gifts that we have been given. Then, we must be discipled in our faith and use our gifts and abilities to glorify His Kingdom. By doing this, we show our obedience as we receive, rely on, and trust in his role (Acts 19:1-2, Rom. 12:1-2, Gal. 5:13-26, Rev. 3:20, Ephesians 3:17, and Luke 11:13).
The key is to not just believe, but exercise real, effectual faith with trust and the willingness to obey in God. This is a call to a personal relationship/unity, with conviction, with Christ, and it is a call and command to step up to faith, our response to the call of God with trust in Him through times of danger and fear. This is not just knowledge of God, but rather an intimate connection that He first offers to us-a unity to us in His work for our redemption. All the blessings and wonders that we have and can have are locked up in Christ and He gives us the key of faith turned by our faith, commitment, and obedience. Our righteousness is in proper dependence upon Jesus as He is exemplified; we then grow in awareness of His presence and receive more of His empowerment. He is our Sanctuary; He is the Eternal God on whom we can rely and not only give our life to, but also live our life for (2 Sam. 2:3; Isa. 8:17; 28:16; Psalm 118:22; Isa. 8:14-18; 28:16; John 13:36; Heb. 2:13).
This is also about the how the Gospel Message must impact us, and that Christ, His Will, and His work, become greater than our will and the occupations of our lives. His work enables us for our task in the church, to proclaim Christ as Lord-His character, righteousness, peace, and joy, all by the Holy Spirit. It also showcased the coming of the Kingdom and that a new stage in God's redemptive plan was coming: CHRIST. The meaning for us is in our personal identification and relationship to our Lord and Savior! We need to bow to His Lordship for our betterment and growth! This is our "priority." God calls us to godliness, especially with our behaviors and words!
The Holy Spirit Allows Us to Do Greater Things
If you love the Lord, then you will trust and obey Him, because real love is evidenced by gratitude and obedience, and because there is no other way! You will follow His precepts and commands with full faith and due diligence. In so doing, God will provide you with the ultimate Counselor, the very Holy Spirit of God and His Truth, living and working in you! He will never leave or forsake you! This is necessary because the world does not know God or His ways and He must be displayed in you for others to see as He was presented by Christ for all to see. People will not even look for real truth or the real God, so they must see Him and His love in you. Jesus said in John, chapter fourteen: I am going away soon, and the world will not have me, but it will have you. I will live again and be in and with you when I am raised again, and then you will know. So you must trust and obey, for this is what shows me and reveals to others that you know me, and I will use you to tell others about me. The other Judas (there were 2 Disciples named Judas, Iscariot and Judas, son of James also called Thaddeus) had a hard time with this wondering why does he not just reveal Himself for all to see, and leave out the middle man? Jesus responded, if you just love me and do as I say, you show me to others. Then My Father will love them and come to them. But, if you do not love me, neither you nor they will know the Father. You will also have the Holy Spirit who will council, equip, empower, and advocate for you, even going before you and keeping you informed. I am leaving; but in Him, the Spirit will give you peace so there is no need to be afraid or stress (John 14:15-31).
In the Bible, the key words, greater things or works in John do not always mean miracles; rather, they often refer to righteous deeds and a great number of them refer to amounts, cultures, and regions of people transformed. Jesus was limited to Palestine as He walked this earth; we have had the whole world to go to with the full force of the Church for many centuries, over twenty thus far. Thus, when Jesus went to the Father and sent us the Holy Spirit, the work began at Pentecost. This reference to "works" (Greek ergon) does not mean "miracles" like signs and wonders; that is a different word rendering. Here, it is a call that the Disciples, then we today, will have a greater Kingdom impact and expansion than when Jesus walked the earth. Mainly, this is because Christ's work was multiplied through His Disciples and then their Disciples and so on. Also, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and the exponential increase of followers and opportunities are included (1 Kings 17:22; Matt. 28:18-19; John 2:11; 5:17; 7:21, 39; 8:39; 10:32; 14:16-17, 26; 15:13, 26; 16:7; 19:30; Acts 1-2).
In the Bible, the key words do whatever you ask, mean to identity with His purpose, plan, and call. The call here is to expand one's faith and thinking so Christ is all and working in and through us. Thus, it does not mean we can use the Holy Spirit as our bellhop or service to get what we want. Rather, the Holy Spirit lives and works in us as an enabler to help, guide, and empower us so we can receive, know, and obey God and His decrees. In Jewish teachings, God provided a call to His pious people and provided for all who serve God because of the intimate relationship they had, and which we also have. But, this is always in context to God's will and providence and never an excuse for us to abuse, or some kind of magic formula we can count as success. Another prime motivation is that God's presence is continually residing in and around us as a special blessing we have as Believers. The image in Scripture is as God dwelt in His Temple, so He now dwells in our hearts, minds, and actions; we exhibit His faithfulness by our faithfulness (Luke 11:1-13; John 15:16; Acts 1:11f; 2; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21; 1 John 5:14; Rev. 3:20).
He chose you to be one of His holy people, so you must clothe yourself in His love and principles. We all must realize that others have faults; we can show them the grace and forgiveness that Christ has given us. We are to be in unity and filled with gratitude, which will set the tone for our lives, spiritual growth, and our relationship with God and others. This is about what we are to put on and put off in our lives. What are we to put on? Fruit is the Holy Spirit working in and through us, so we are oozing with His love. We are to become God's masterpiece and showcase of His goodness and grace. What is produced? Tender mercies, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness; these are virtues that are sealed and empowered by His love for us, which comes from Christ ruling in our hearts and His Word indwelling us. This is not a set of ideas we are being asked to consider. Rather, we are called and "must do" them! What do we get in return? Peace, as Christ dwells in us and uses us in the lives of others through our words, attitudes, and lifestyle.
Thus, when the reality of what Christ has done for us hits and motivates us, we can put forth every conceivable effort and passion to live out the Christian life. As Augustine, Calvin, and Spurgeon all said, divine sovereignty and human responsibility go hand in hand. So, why would we not put off what holds us back? Why would we not want to be grateful, grace oriented, forgiving, loving, and virtuous for Christ's glory?
Do Not Abuse the Holy Spirit!
There is also a stern warning to those who think they serve God by promoting themselves or claiming to have new teaching or seeking to use the Holy Spirit as a manipulating tool for their misplaced conjectures or claiming to hear Christ directly and then not do His Word rightly. They are in Judgment! We must see how the Holy Spirit operates as our guide, and not as our pride. The Spirit is never used in Scripture as a tool to glorify self or to grandstand or to point to a performer or pastor! His purpose is for ministry, and empowering the mature believer with more ability to get the job done. This is what Baptism of the Holy Spirit is about. Since we have been given this marvelous gifting, we must live it out and not let it fall lifeless (John 14:1-14; 16:1-15; Gal 5:6; Eph. 2:10).
There is no place in Scripture that tells us that when we receive the Spirit, we all will speak in tongues or prophesy. Paul makes this very clear in 1 Corinthians 12 -14! The point in Acts 1:8 is that when the Spirit comes upon us, we will receive His power; and His power will enable us to serve Him in evangelizing the whole world. That is the main point. Unfortunately, people get so wrapped up in the tongues and the Spirit baptism thing, they forget the main call we are given, and what it is all about! Satan gets us so riled up over nothing and we are so busy fighting amongst ourselves, we have no time or energy to do what God has called us to do (Numbers 11; Joel 2:28-29; John 7:37-39; Acts 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1; 14:26-33)!
This Holy Spirit has been greatly abused by many so called pastors who read into the Bible their ideas and take things out of context while inserting their own feelings as truth. The Holy Spirit must never be used or manipulated; He is not a show, a give- to-get scheme, or a get-because-you-believe program. Rather, He draws us to Christ; He gives us an invitation to radical faith. We often get more than we want and have more than we need and do better in His will than ours. We are limited in thinking and power but He is not. God is not promoting Himself as a vending machine. Rather, He is saying we can trust in Him totally and completely with all we have now and for our future. He is not just preparing a place for us in eternity; He is preparing us for eternity too! What we go through is not just about sin in an unfair world; it is the building up of faith and being that display as a beacon to a dimly lit world that needs His Light (John 14:1-14).
Remember: the entirety of the Holy Spirit's work and role is summed up in this, Glory Christ, meaning He indwells in and empowers us to be His fruitful presenters of His Gospel. Thus, what we do in and with our Christian life and faith echoes into eternity, and either we will serve Him or ourselves, or someone or something else. Thus, we are to use His empowerment to praise and serve God for all He is doing and can do in our lives so it spills upon other lives as well. We are to be conformed to His likeness, to perceive before we receive. The key to a successful Christian life, ministry, and church is focusing on Christ in prayer, thinking, and action. There is no way around it (Psalm 2:7; John 12:41; Philip. 2:11).
We all need to ask ourselves, is there a hunger in me for more out of my relationship with Christ? If so, what do I need to do to get there? If not, what is holding me back?
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit." 1 Thess. 5:16-19
©1992, 2001, 2011, R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Into Thy Word www.intothyword.org/