(PART 2) IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH
(PART 2) IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH
Why Do We Need the Holy Spirit to Come into Our Life?
The Ministry and Purpose of the Holy Spirit
If you were to go back and take a look at the front cover of this book you will notice two statements made under it.
I go to church, but God is nowhere to be found.
I go to church and do this and that, but sense that nothing about my life has changed.
We addressed the first concern by answering the following questions.
●What is needed in order for a person to enter into the kingdom of God?
The answer is that the person must be born of the water and of the Spirit. The word “water” being figurative of the word of God, the gospel. The word “Spirit” is the Holy Spirit.
●What is the basis for receiving the Holy Spirit?
The answer is that a person must repent (acknowledge they are a sinner) and believe in Jesus Christ, as to who he is and what he has done.
●When a person receives the Holy Spirit does this cause them to become a child of God?
No. Repent and belief causes a person to become a child of God. The receiving of the indwelling Spirit confirms they have become a child of God.
The second concern, I go to church and do this and that, but sense that nothing about my life has changed, relates to spiritual growth. How does a believer grow spiritually? Before we attempt to answer this, let’s take a look at why we need the Holy Spirit. What are his benefits at salvation?
The benefits of the Holy Spirit at salvation.
At salvation, when the Holy Spirit is received there are certain spiritual benefits which take place in the believer’s life. These benefits are that the believer is:
●Baptized with the Spirit
By the agency of the Holy Spiriteach of us has been suited to our appropriate place by means of the endowments (gifts) of the Spirit to constitute the body of Christ - the church.
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. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
●Sealed with the Holy Spirit
When the Holy Spirit comes into our life he is the seal (a stamp of ownership) indicating to God who is his. A seal can also refer to a down payment in the sense of having tasted the Spirit we have begun to taste the life of the future world that God had promised2us.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13)
●Given gifts (spiritual endowments) by the Spirit
The Holy Spirit distributes the gifts individually, to males and females, as he wishes.
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (1 Corinthians 12:11)
●Gives at least one gift to each believer for the edification of the church, which are proof of His presence.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
●Provided security by his seal
The Holy Spirit is God’s seal (mark of ownership) indicating that the transaction whereby the Son of God paid the penalty of human sin at the Cross is a finished transaction, and that God owns us as His property by right of purchase3, until the day of the redemption. Some say that the day of redemption refers to the rapture of the church, when we will meet the Lord in the clouds of the air, where not only will we receive a glorified body, but also rewards in regardsto our works.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
Now that you are aware of the benefits of the indwelling Holy Spirit at salvation, the next thing to consider is the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is otherwise known as the filling of the Holy Spirit. This relates to a Christians’ spiritual growth and addresses the concern, I go to church and do this and that, but sense that nothing about my life has changed. The first thing we need to know is, what is the filling of the Spirit?
But be filled with the Spirit:
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit
The filling of the Spirit means the Holy Spirit fills the believer with himself, which is another way of saying that we begin to experience his presence (e.g. a divine love, a divine joy, a divine peace), and as a result these spiritual qualities become manifest or evidenced to others. This is where our walk with God gets really exciting.
If we are filled with the Spirit, then what is his ministry and purpose in our life all about?
The Holy Spirit:
●Along with the word of God causes the believer to worship God the Father genuinely.
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 4:24)
●Will reveal or cause us to know (to give us insight into the meanings) of the truths that he hears from the Father.
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. (John 16:13)
●Can communicate to us by conveying words in our mind to go up to a certain individual and engage in a dialogue with them about God’s Son.
Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (Acts 8:29)
●Can cause different members of the body of Christ to:
Prophecy - speak under divine influence in foretelling events; celebrate the praises of God; to instruct others in an intelligible language.
See visions - the appearance of the objects or events to pass before the mind while being awake.
Dream dreams - the appearance of the objects or events to pass before the mindwhile being asleep).
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (Acts 2:16-17)
●Can warn us not to go to a certain place by having His directive conveyed to us through another member of the body of Christ.
And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. (Acts 21:4)
●Causes the righteousness (requirements) of the moral precepts of the Mosaic Law (e.g. thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, etc.) to be fully satisfied or accomplished in us.
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)
●Inhibits the corrupt inclinations and passions of the body, if we endeavor to cherish and cultivate his influences.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
●Gives us witness (evidence) of His presence with our human spirit in a joint-testimony to the fact that we are a child of God4, when he produces in us the effects of his influence, which are the spiritual qualities of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (Romans 8:16)
●Helps (shares with) us to carry the heavy load of our infirmities (trials and troubles, physical, emotional, and spiritual disabilities; the general weaknesses of the spiritual life). For when we are operating in weakness, we are unable to ask for the right things in prayer in connection to any of these circumstances. In this instance, He intercedes (for consultation, conversation, or supplication) to God the Father according to the plan of God for our life with groanings (sighs), which cannot be expressed with words.
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. (Romans 8:26)
●Illuminates (helps us to understand), the things [the blessings (benefits) of salvation] that God has graciously bestowed on us.
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. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
●Changes (transforms; a gradual change on the outside that comes from the inside) us into the same image (Christ-likeness) from one degree to another [from justification (being made righteous at salvation) to sanctification (spiritual growth) to glorification (residing in heaven without sin)], when we with unveiled (uncovered face), keep on beholding (reflecting) as in a glass [mirror (the symbol of God’s word)] the glory of the Lord (who is the image of the invisible God).
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. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
●Provides the believer with Himself in order to advance to spiritual maturity instead of a system of works.
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?( Galatians 3:3)
●Helps us to experience the liberty (to be free from the power of sin in one’s daily life; to be free from the Law with its demands and threats5) that we have been called to, so that we will operate in his love (self-sacrificial) and thereby serve (promote the spiritual welfare of) one another.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve on another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:13, 16)
●Produces in us his fruit (spiritual qualities, spiritual influences, graces, elements of character), thus revealing to others the life of Christ lived out in us.
These spiritual qualities are:
The Spirit causes us to love.
Self-sacrifice for the benefit of the one loved.
Joy - Inner rejoicing which does not depend on circumstances, because it rests in God’s sovereign control of all things).
Restoration of right relationships between people6.
The calm, quiet, and order, which take place in the justified soul, instead of the doubts, fears, alarms, and dreadful forebodings7 (a strong inner feeling or notion of a future misfortune, evil8, etc).
Longsuffering - Patient endurance of wrong under ill-treatment, without anger or thought of revenge9
To treat all with politeness.
Makes others around us as happy as possible.
Goodness - Gracious giving, no strings attached.
Faithful to one’s word and promises.
Faithful to God’s promises.
Meekness - Compliant to the teaching of the word.
Being able to say no to one’s own desires.
Mastery of one’s own desires and impulses.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:18, 22-23)
●Gives us access (used of those who secure for one the privilege of an interview with a sovereign10) into God the Father’s presence in prayer and worship, confident that He will receive and answer us11.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)
●Builds us together with the other members of the church by means of a process of construction, growth, and eventual completion for a place where God lives.
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:20-22)
●Strengthens us with his power in our inner man, by means of the granting of God the Father, so that we might have an ever deepening fellowship with Christ in our hearts by faith (by believing his word), thus being securely settled and deeply founded in love so that we may be able to comprehend (grasp with the mind; understand) what is the breadth, length, depth, and height (the love of Christ in its entire dimension); and to know (experience) Christ’s love, which passes knowledge (surpasses mere knowledge that is without the experience of God’s love), so that we might be filled with the nature of God.
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
●Directs and empowers us to pray on every occasion with all prayer (prayer of various kinds, i.e. formal, silent, vocal, secret, public, petitionary12) and supplication (an imploring request: for averting evil; for asking God to help; filled with heavenly longings and aspirations13; to remain in communion with the Lord).
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6:18)
●Desires to produce in us his love, a genuine divine love toward our fellow believers, instead of human hypocritical love, as long as we choose to engage in consistent habitual obedience to the Word, by which our souls can become purified (delivered from the power of sin in the past with present results).
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (1 Peter 1:22)
●Causes us to know that God the Father abides (a strong assertion of God's continuous fellowship14) with us.
…And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. (1 John 3:24)
Let’s summarize what we have just learned. What is the ministry and purpose of the Holy Spirit, when the believer is filled with him?
The Holy Spirit:
●Along with the word of God is the basis for worshipping God genuinely, providing divine power and divine perspective. John 4:23-24
●Communicates to us truth that he hears from God the Father. John 16:13
●Communicates to us for our own benefit and for the benefit of others by means of prophecy, visions, and dreams. Acts 2:16-17
●Can direct us by words that are intelligible to our mind to go up to a certain person and engage in dialogue. Acts 8:26-40
●Can warn us about not going to a certain place by using other members of the church to convey his directive. Acts 21:4
●Can deliver us from the dominion of the sin nature with its affections and lusts, and free us from reliance on any of the demands of the Mosaic Law (i.e. following the Ten Commandments, observing the 7th Day Sabbath, tithing, etc.). Romans 7:7-8
●Makes us spiritually alive so that we can live under His influences. Romans 8:11
●Can inhibit the corrupt inclinations and passions of the body, as we endeavor to cherish and cultivate his influences. Romans 8:13
●Gives us witness of His presence with our human spirit, when he produces in us the effects of his influences; these influences being his love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance that we are a child of God. Romans 8:16
●Intercedes to God for us by praying according to the plan of God for our life, when we are immersed in our infirmities (trials and troubles; physical, emotional, and spiritual disabilities; the general weakness of the spiritual life). Romans 8:26
●Helps us to examine, investigate, and understand the things (the blessings of redemption; the blessings of salvation) that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:12
●Provides us with himself so that we can advance to spiritual maturity. Galatians 3:3
●Helps us operate in his love (self-sacrificial) and promote the spiritual welfare of one another. Galatians 5:13, 16
●Produces in us his fruit (spiritual qualities, spiritual influences, graces, elements of character), thus revealing to others the life of Christ lived out in us. Galatians 5:22-23
●Directs and empowers us to pray on every occasion. Ephesians 6:18
Are you beginning to understand that our Christian walk should not be centered on following the rules of the Mosaic Law or in following the tenets of any religious system? Its focus should be on learning how to depend on the Spirit. Its focus should be on learning how to cultivate a fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Its focus should be on learning about what is our responsibility that will cause the Holy Spirit to fill us with himself. We do have a part to play in our walk with God.
It’s not in following a prescribed format. All that does is convince us that we can adhere to a religious system. That’s it. We might look good to others around us, because we attend church every week, we consistently tithe, we go to all of the church events, we partake of communion, we confess our sins, we observe certain days, but hello where is the God who himself wants to be personally involved in our life?
What I’m going to say next I think will not only surprise you, but shock you. If I told you that there is a lot more to the ministry and purpose of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life, would you believe it? Well, there is. I don’t think many Christians are aware of this, because the Holy Spirit is replaced by doing this or that for the church, which says that if you do this or that, then whatever you are doing is being done in the name of God. In this scenario, there is no evidence of God as recognized by the believer as working personally in his/her life. So, the believer continues on doing this or that hoping that this will cause them to be recognized by God someday, unfortunately without any certainty that this will be the case.
With much anticipation, let’s take a look what else there is to say about the ministry and purpose of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer, who is filled with Him.
2IVP Bible Background Commentary Pc Study Bible version 5, 2005, 1 Dec. 2017˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
5The Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989, 2 Dec. 2017˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
6UBS New Testament Handbook Series Pc Study Bible version 5, 2005, 2 Dec. 2017˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
8Adam Clarke’s CommentaryPc Study Bible version 5, 2004, 3 Dec. 2017 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
12Vincent’s New Testament Word Studies Pc Study Bible version 5, 2005, 3 Dec. 2017 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
13Jamieson, Faucet, and Brown Commentary Pc Study Bible version 5, 2005, 5 Dec. 2017 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
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