The Holy Spirit is given to the believer for empowerment and for service.
Text: Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:1-13; John 14:15-27
The Holy Scriptures is full of references to the Spirit of God coming upon individuals and performing supernatural feats. The essence of the Holy Spirit has never been lost to any generation that walked with God. He is the agent of fellowship between man and his Maker.
When a person accepts Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into life. This is the beginning of the new birth. He becomes a companion and guide to the believer in all matters of life and godliness. This initial presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a new believer is automatic, immediately such a believer confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of his life. However, this is not the ultimate.
For the purpose of endowment and manifestation of ministerial gifts for the service of God, the believer is to experience another level of infilling by the Holy Spirit. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that the disciples of Jesus experienced on the day of Pentecost. This infilling is heralded by a desire to receive and to function. No one can live to glorify God and do greater works for God except by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This study will focus on the person of the Holy Spirit and the conditions for receiving him.
The objectives of this study are:
- Explain the personality of the Holy Spirit.
- Discus the place of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer.
- Identify evidences of the presence of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life.
- Explain how we can develop and sustain a cordial fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Q1. WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT? John 14: 15-17
The Holy Spirit is a Divine personality, being the third personality in the Godhead. He has the attributes of knowledge, intelligence, feelings and affection. He speaks, knows all things and can be grieved. He is God’s gift to all who believe and accept Christ as their Savior. He is the comforter of the believer, welling up an inexplicable inner joy even in the face of trials of faith. He is the Teacher and a Guide, the Spirit of Truth that testifies continually about our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is the eternal and omnipresent Spirit of God (Hebrews 9:14), the Spirit of holiness (Romans 1:4), and the author of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians12:8-11).
Q. 2 DISCUSS THE PLACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER.
God owns the believer, having purchased him by the blood of Jesus Christ, and deposited in him the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is at work today in the following areas, in the lives of those that are filled.
a. Assurance of Salvation. Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 4:5-6
The Holy Spirit bears witness with the spirit of the believer on the reality of salvation and conversion. He empowers the believer to overcome habitual sins and evil lifestyles.
b. Power to witness. Acts 1:8
It is by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit that a believer is bold to testify of the salvation that is in Christ, His death and resurrection.
c. The Holy Spirit is a seal or mark of ownership on the believer so that the enemy is prohibited from mischief against him. Ephesians 1:13-14
- The Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier (one who separates and commissions) of the believer as a member of the holy nation and of the royal priesthood. 1 Peter 1:2
- The Holy Spirit is the Teacher of the believer, by impressions and expressions, bringing to life the truth the word of God. John 14:26
- He is the great Comforter who counters fear and succors troubled hearts, giving joy in place of sorrow and enough grace to navigate the troubled waters of life. John 15:26.
- The Holy Spirit, acting on the behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ leads the believer and guides him along the path of righteousness. The believer is privileged to receive direction on ALL matters of life from Him.
- The Holy Spirit is a Partner and a Helper to the believer in prayers. He interprets our wordless burdens into request before God and makes intercession for us when we are weak and down. Romans 8:26-27
- The Holy Spirit transforms our character and renews our mind for acceptable service to God (Romans 12;1-2) and for the manifestation of the fruits (Galatians 5:22-23).
- It is the Holy Spirit that equips the believer with supernatural abilities (spiritual gifts) for the profit of the entire body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). The same Spirit gives divine leading to believers as to area/unit of service in the body of Christ.
These are just few of the roles played by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
Q3. DISTINGUISH BETWEEN ‘INDEWLLING’ AND ‘BAPTISM’ OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. John 1:12; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18; 1 John 4:13; Acts 19:1-7, 2:1-4
When a person accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into his life as a mark of the new birth. The work of regeneration begins, and a seal of ownership is placed over the life of the new believer. He begins to enjoy the salvation presence of the Holy Spirit through hearing and obedience to the word of God. This is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit which the believer receives instantly upon repentance. This presence is nurtured and sustained by the fellowship of the word and prayers. The Holy Spirit presides over the soul at this point.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a deeper experience that involves empowerment and commissioning for service. Here the believer experiences a spiritual upsurge in power, zeal and knowledge needed for effective witnessing and service. Most times new believers are led through this experience by the laying of hands or by prophetic commands.
Any believer is entitled is entitled to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit at salvation. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a matriculation into ministerial and non-ministerial service in the body of Christ. The initial sign of baptism of the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak in an unknown tongue by faith and as the Spirit give utterance. There must be a desire and a yearning for it as well as a commitment to serve. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a gift of idleness. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a defensive and possessive measure, while the baptism is an offensive and expansionist measure, for soldiers of Christ. The promise of both is, therefore, to all believers, who are soldiers of Christ.
Q4. HOW CAN WE SUSTAIN BOTH THE INDWELLING PRESENCE AND BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST? 1 Corinthians 15:33; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Philippians 2:5
The indwelling of the presence of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be sustained by fellowship and by fervency. The fellowship aspect includes.
- Study of the Word of God at both personal and congregational level.
- Being prayerful at both personal and corporate levels.
- Cultivating the habit of being in worship to God at both personal and corporate levels.
- Keeping a Godly company of friends.
- Being very discretional in our access to print and electronic media.
On the other hand, fervency requires that:
- We clearly identify our calling and godly talents.
- We get committed to our calling, seeking to please God as our Master.
- We depend on the grace of God for inspiration and perseverance.
- We return all glory adequately to God for every accomplishment.’
- We watch and pray not to fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12
When all these are done consciously and consistently, our fellowship with the Holy Spirit will blossom and bear fruits that will abound to our account.
DAILY LIVING APPLICTION
It is very exciting to experience the full presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. His presence is a seal of possession. His baptism is an empowerment to expand the frontiers of His Kingdom. His presence and empowerment will make us to strive for master lawfully, compete according to His rules, and ‘run with patience the race that is set before us’. In the Holy Spirit we are winners.
1 Corinthians 12:7 – “but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”