THE HOLY SPIRIT – (PART I)
And I will give you a new heart with a right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command. Then after I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike. But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth – Ez. 36:26-27, Joel 2:28-29 & Acts 1:8
THE REALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit, the third person in the Godhead, is very central to our coming to faith in Jesus Christ. He is also very central to sustaining our faith. It is therefore essential that Christians recognise the importance of the Holy Spirit in God's redemptive purpose. The Holy Spirit is the One who gives us power to live our new life in Christ. He also gives us power to share the gospel of God's salvation of the world through Jesus Christ. His work is crucial to the believer. Yet though the Holy Spirit is so important, most believers do not have the faintest idea about who the Holy Spirit really is and what He doe in the lives of us who believe. God's plan for believers in that we be transformed in character to become like Jesus Christ as we read in Rom. 8:29: For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like his Son. So that His Son would become the first born with many brothers and sisters, This is reiterated in 2 Cor. 3:18b – And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.
God knows that by ourselves we cannot bring any changes in our disposition – that is, the intrinsic nature of ours that seeks to have its own way. That is why God has made His Spirit available to guide us into all truth and righteousness.
Without the Holy Spirit:
- There will be no creation, no universe, no human race – Gen 1:2.
- There will be no Bible – 2 Pet 1:4.
- No New Testament – John 14:26; 15:26-27; 1 Co 2:10-14.
- No power to proclaim the gospel – Acts 1:8.
- There will be no faith; no new birth, no holiness, in fact without the Holy Spirit there will be no Christians in the world.
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT
- The Holy Spirit is God – Acts 5;34, and has all the attributes of deity. He is the third Person in the Trinity.
- Scripture reveals the Holy Spirit as a Person with an individuality all of His own – 2 Cor 3: 17-18, Heb 9: 14, 1 Pet 1:2. We should never think of the Holy Spirit as a mere influence, or power because He thinks (Rom 8: 27), Feels (Eph 4: 30 ; Rom 15:30), wills (1 Cor 12:11), and has with capacity to love and enjoy fellowship.
The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father to bring believers into the intimate presence and fellowship of Jesus Christ as we read in John 14: 15-18;26.
We should therefore treat Him as a person and regard Him as the infinite living God within our hearts, worthy of our worship, love and surrender.
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OLD TESTAMENT TIME The Holy Spirit:
- Had an active role in creation:- The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters – 1:2, preparing the way for the creative word of God that is Jesus, the Second Person in the Trinity to shape the world. He was thus an agent in creation.
- Was active in communicating God's message to His people using prophets, leaders, psalmists, as well as ordinary people (Amos 7:14-15).
- Energized leaders – Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David, Zerubbabel to do exploits for God.
- Equipped individuals for special service – Joseph, Samson, Bezalel, and Oholiab – to do artistic work for God's tabernacle – Ex 31: 1-11; 35: 30-35.
- Led people to live righteously – Prophet priests, kings and ordinary people.
The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament times filled only few people but the promise in Joel 2: 28-29 about the general outpour of Holy Spirit was fulfilled at the time of Pentecost as we read in Acts 2:1-4.
NEW TESTAMENT TIME The Holy Spirit was involved in the incarnation – Matt. 1:18 and Lk. 1:35: The Angel replied, the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and He will be called Son of God. He is also revealed as revealed as:
- Agent for Salvation – He convicts us of sin (Jn 16: 7-8), revealing truth about Jesus to us (John 14: 16 ;26), giving us new birth (John 3:3-6), incorporating us into the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:3). At conversion we receive the Holy Spirit (John 3: 3-6; 20:2) and become partakers of God's divine nature – 2 Pet 1:4.
- Agent of Sanctification – When the Holy Spirit indwells us at conversion, we come under His sanctified influence (1 Cor 6:19; Rom 8:9). As the agent of our sanctification therefore :
- He cleanses, leads and motivates us to live holy lives – delivering us from, bondage of sins (Rom 8:2-4)
- He confirms to us that we are God's children (Rom 8:16).
- He helps us to worship – (Jn. 4:20-.24; Phil. 3:3)
- He helps in our prayer lives, interceeding for us as we cry to God (Rom 8:26-27).
- He produces Christlike graces of character that glorify Christ – Gal 5:22-23.
- He acts as our divine teacher – guiding us into all truth (Jn. 16:13, 1 Cor. 2:9–16) disclosing Jesus to us and guiding us into close fellowship and oneness with Jesus (Jn. 16:14).
- He continually imparts God's love to us (Rom. 5:5) and gives us joy comfort and help (John. 14:16; 1 Thess. 1:6).
- Agent of Service
The Holy Spirit empowers believers for service and witness, giving us divine anointing and enabling us to proclaim God's word with boldness (Acts 1:8).
He enables us to work miracles, He gives spiritual gifts to edify the church (1 Cor.12:14) so that Christ's presence, love, truth, and righteousness are made real to the fellowship of believers for the common good (1 Cor.12:7-11).
To be continued!
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