The Holy Spirit

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the Earth.   Acts1:8

By Dr. Rudy Rodriguez D.D.

In this series we are going to start a study about the “Reality of the Holy Spirit”. It is important for every Believer to correctly understand what the baptism in the Holy Spirit is. Christians need the power that comes with the Baptism in the Spirit in order to do their part in continuing the supernatural ministry of Jesus. Remember Jesus promised the believers that they would do greater works than He (John 14:12).

So, how can this be done unless the Holy Spirit is with us as He was with Jesus? Truly the church today needs the power that comes through the Holy Spirit and ought to remain in fellowship with the Holy Spirit so as to maintain this power and ability to minister the reality of Christ (The Anointed One) to a world in trouble.

WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is God. (Acts 5:3, 4). He is the third person of the Godhead. He has feelings (Ephesians 4:30), a mind of infinite knowledge (Romans 8:26, 27) and a will. He speaks. (Acts 13:2; John 16:13).

The Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of Truth”   (John 16:13).

He always speaks truth. He doesn’t like lies. He loves to bless people of truth and honesty.

The Holy Spirit is also called “the Comforter” (John 14:26).

He communicates the comfort and healing love of the Father to our hearts, giving us encouragement, joy and spiritual pleasure especially in times of trial and difficulty.

Also known as “the Spirit of God” and “the Spirit of the Lord”, the Holy Spirit is the one who gives and inspires wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).

THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

As well as those things mentioned above, the Holy Spirit is at work doing the following:

He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment    (John 16:8)

Without this special work of the Holy Spirit people would not be deeply convinced of their sinfulness, God’s righteousness or the coming judgment. Therefore in communicating the Word of God to others we must depend on the Holy Spirit to convince people of these truths. We may say what the Word says on these issues but it is the Holy Spirit who will do the convicting.

He guides us into all truth    (John 16:13). 

When we allow ourselves to be guided by Him, He will indeed show us what truths from the Bible we need to understand. Being the author of the Bible, He is best qualified to interpret it to us. He will show us many things both directly from the Word. What He shows cannot be the mere product of logic and reason., it is divine revelation. We must realize that the Holy Spirit never guides us in any way contrary to the Holy Scriptures. We must not believe every spirit claiming to be from God, but test the spirits according to the standard of the Holy Scriptures.

He regenerates   (John 3:5, 6). 

When a person turns to Christ (The Anointed One) for salvation and trusts Christ (The Anointed One) from the heart, the Holy Spirit is involved. At this time, the Holy Spirit causes the spirit of that person to be made new. (2 Corinthians 5:17). The human spirit, once dead in sin, is regenerated or made new by the power and working of the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to be born of the Spirit.

He glorifies Jesus    (John 16:14). 

The Holy Spirit always works to bring glory and honor to Jesus. He does not seek His own glory, but the glory of Jesus. He does this by revealing who Jesus is to us and through us so that all may praise Jesus. He makes Jesus real to people, by bringing the resources and reality of Jesus to the people on earth.

He reveals Jesus to us and in us    (John 16:14, 15).

Jesus said, “He will take of what is mine and declare it to you”. It is the Holy Spirit who communicates to our soul the knowledge of who Jesus is and what He is like. At the same time He works to form the nature of Jesus in us also. Being filled with the Holy Spirit in our body and soul, our nature is changed into the nature of the Son of God.

He is our leader – willing to lead us    (Romans 8:14).

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the [mature] sons of God”. The word for son here is the word for a mature son. Indeed, the only way to Christian maturity is to be led by the Spirit. It is not following a path determined by ourselves and our understanding of God’s laws that will make us mature Christians, but the path in which He, the Spirit, leads us. We need the Spirit to be mature. Maturity is more than knowledge; it is fruit that comes from relationship with the Spirit of God. (See 1 John 4:1-3)

He sanctifies. 

The Holy Spirit is given that we might be holy. It is the Holy Spirit who, working together with the word of God in our minds, sanctifies us. This means He sets us apart for God, cleanses us and puts us in order so that we can more truly show forth the love of God and the nature of Jesus. Holiness is the work of the Spirit. It is not a work based on self- effort or “trying harder”. Our part is to believe God’s word, and to yield to the leadings of the Spirit. It is by the Spirit however that our sanctification is achieved. This process of sanctification occurs mainly in the soul – the mind, the will and the emotions. “Sanctification is possessing the mind of Jesus, and all of the mind of Jesus” – John Wesley.

It happens more or less rapidly depending on how we learn to yield to God and study His Word; to change our thinking so that it centers on God’s love and God’s Word, and persist in prayer.

He empowers.

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

The power we receive from Him is power to preach and demonstrate the gospel of the kingdom of God, not in word only, but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20). Paul said that his message and preaching were not with the persuasive words of human wisdom, but with the demonstration of the SPIRIT and of POWER, that your faith should not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4). There are many kinds of demonstrations of the power of the Spirit. They are sometimes unexpected. Certainly the Spirit wants to give us power to heal the sick and cast out demons. (Matthew 10:1; Mark 16:17,18; John 14:12). This power of the Spirit is often referred to as “the anointing”. It is the anointing which enables us to do what Christ (The Anointed One) wants us to do as sons of God. And that is, to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8b).

The normal path to receiving this power involves at least 3 things. Which we will get into more detail later on in the study:

  1. The Baptism (immersion) in the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5; John 7:37- 39). This is the normal      introduction of the believer into the realm of personally flowing in the power (Authority) of God.
  2. Total dedication to God. Dedication to prayer, dedication to love, dedication to win souls for Jesus, dedication to focus on the Word and on the voice of the Spirit. This dedication involves self-denial (usually including fasting – which is going without food for a time), a constant dedication to humbling oneself, understanding the authority we have as believers, learning to hear the voice of the Spirit, faith and boldness.
  3. Brokenness. We must realize that our own self-will, selfishness, stupidity and pride are the main reasons for our failures in God. We realize in ourselves that we are rotten, corrupt and unable to do  anything of value. (Romans 7:18; John 15:5b). We therefore learn to surrender quickly to the Spirit’s  voice, not trusting our own minds, nor caring about our own reputation. When we make mistakes, we    receive correction meekly. When we have success, we give all the glory to God.

He fills us (Ephesians 5:18). We are commanded to be filled continually with the Spirit. This being filled affects our whole personality, our ministry for Jesus, and the focus of our minds. It affects our body also. (Romans 8:11; Luke 11:36).

He teaches us to pray (Romans 8:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 14:15). The Spirit of God knows what we should pray and how. That is why we must let Him help us here. One way is through the special prayer language He gives us when we are baptized in the Spirit. Another way is by inspiring our minds with the prayers that get results. Yet another way is through the deep groaning of intercession He produces in us.

He tells us that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

The Holy Spirit wants to bring us to the place where all these things are part of our lives.

 He produces in us the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). As part of our sanctification, the Holy Spirit produces in us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. These characteristics are formed in us by continual yielding to the Spirit of God.

In Galatians 5:19-21, we see the fruit of the flesh. I use these fruits to determine if I’m walking in the Spirit or in  the flesh.

He gives special supernatural gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). These gifts are given as the Spirit decides. However, we are not passive in the reception and operation of these gifts. To use the gifts requires faith, boldness and a degree of sensitivity to the Spirit. These gifts are given to help people by the supernatural wisdom and power of God. They are not the product of the rational mind. Rather they are supernatural operations of the Spirit which occur through those who are open to them. They are useful in evangelism and in every part of Christian ministry. In neglecting them, the church has neglected an important God-ordained means for achieving God’s work in the world.


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