Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Glory Within

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away : for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart , I will send him unto you.  John 16:7 

The Holy Spirit is part of the triune nature of God, but the Holy Spirit also has an individual personality.

Jesus promised His followers that upon His return to Heaven He would send the Holy Spirit to earth to comfort them:  

And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)

One of the main functions of the Holy Spirit is to direct attention to Jesus Christ:  

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26)

God the Holy Spirit, in spirit form and invisible to the natural eyes of man, is in the world today. He is active in convicting us of sin, drawing us to Jesus Christ, equipping believers with power for spiritual warfare, guiding us, and testifying of Jesus.

The Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit:

Ö     Has a mind:  

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.   (Romans 8:27)

Ö     Searches out the human mind:  

But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  (I Corinthians 2:10)

Ö     Has a will:  

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. (I Corinthians 12:11)

The will of the Holy Spirit guides believers by denying permission for certain actions:  

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.  After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia; but the Spirit suffered them not. (Acts 16:6-7)

Ö     Speaks:  

Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (Acts 8:29)

Ö     Loves:  

Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. (Romans 15:30)

Ö     Intercedes:

The Holy Spirit intercedes (prays to God) on behalf of believers: 

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 (spoken). (Romans 8:26)

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  (Jude 1:20)

From this list of capabilities one can immediately recognize the important functions of the Holy Spirit in spiritual warfare. The Holy Spirit guides your warfare. He reveals spiritual things that cannot be known naturally as in Elisha's young servant.  The Holy Spirit speaks the will and words of God to you. He also intercedes for you as you are engaged in spiritual battles.

There is a spiritual experience called the baptism of the Holy Spirit which involves the sign of speaking in other tongues (Acts 2) and the evidence of power to become an effective witness of the Gospel: 

 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.  (Acts 1:8)

To wage successful spiritual warfare, it is important for you to experience the baptism of the Spirit. This is the source of power for spiritual battles.

The Holy Spirit gives special spiritual gifts to believers. The main references listing the gifts of the Holy Spirit are:

¨      Romans 12:4-8:   

 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

¨      I Corinthians 12:7-10:

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

¨      Ephesians 4:1-16: 

He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

¨      I Peter 4:8-11:

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.  Use hospitality one to another without grudging.  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are necessary to equip the believer for combat against the forces of evil. The gifts of the Holy Spirit include the following:

     ®     Special gifts to equip God's people:  Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers.

     ®     Speaking gifts to explain God's truth:  Prophecy, teaching, exhortation, word of wisdom, word of knowledge.

     ®     Serving gifts to enable God's work:  Serving, helps, leadership, administration, giving, showing mercy, discerning of spirits, faith, hospitality.

     ®     Sign gifts to establish God's authority:  Tongues, interpretation, miracles, healings.

The Holy Spirit also develops spiritual fruit in the life of the believer. The "fruit of the Holy Spirit" refers to the nature of the Spirit revealed in the life of the believer. It is spiritual qualities which should be evident in the lives of all Christians.

  The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for power.
  The fruit of the Holy Spirit is for character in the life of a believer.

If you do not develop Christ-like character traits then you will become a victim of the forces of evil. Spiritual fruit is evidence of spiritual maturity. Like fruit in the natural world, it is a product which is the result of the process of life.

There are two types of spiritual fruit. There is the spiritual fruit of reproduction:  

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.          (John 15:16)

There is also the inner fruit of Christlike qualities. These qualities are completely opposite of the fleshly nature of man:  

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:19-23)

Although the power of the flesh was defeated at the cross, as a believer you experience this only to the degree that you practice faith in the finished work of Jesus. Therefore, to be effective in denying the power of the sinful nature of the flesh, it is necessary that you develop or "put on" the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit ministers in many other ways in the world.

The Holy Spirit has a sensitive nature. This means it has feelings that can be affected by the actions of man. Because of the sensitive nature of the Holy Spirit the Bible warns that: 

- we should not lie to the Holy Spirit           (Acts 5:3-4), 

- resist the Spirit                                                    (Acts 7:51), 
- quench the Spirit                                                (I Thessalonians 5:19), 
- grieve the Spirit                                                   (Psalms 78:40, Ephesians 4:30), 
- insult the Spirit                                                 (Hebrews 6:4-6), 
- blaspheme the Spirit                                         (Matthew 12:31-32 
- or vex the Spirit                                                   (Isaiah 63:10).

It is important that you do not offend the sensitive nature of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is offended by your actions He will withdraw His presence. You cannot wage effective spiritual warfare without the power of the Holy Spirit.

There are several titles used in the Bible to describe the Holy Spirit. It is important that you know the function of the Holy Spirit as you enter spiritual warfare.  The Holy Spirit is called:

The Spirit of God:                                                I Corinthians 3:16
The Spirit of Christ:                                             Romans 8:9
The Eternal Spirit:                                               Hebrews 9:14
The Spirit of Truth:                                             John 16:13
The Spirit of Grace:                                             Hebrews 10:29
The Spirit of Life:                                                 Romans 8:2
The Spirit of Glory:                                              I Peter 4:14
The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation:            Ephesians 1:17
The Comforter:                                                     John 14:26
The Spirit of Promise:                                         Acts 1:4-5
The Spirit of Holiness:                                        Romans 1:4
The Spirit of Faith:                                              II Corinthians 4:13
The Spirit of Adoption:                                       Romans 8:15

The Triune nature of God - God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit - with their combined functions in the realm of spiritual warfare are a powerful force of good in the universe.

But it is not enough just to recognize that the spiritual forces of good exist. The Bible says:  

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. (James 2:19)

The spiritual forces of evil believe in God and are fearful of Him, but they are still evil. To simply believe in God is not enough. You must acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. You must accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your sin, repent, ask forgiveness, and become a new creature in Christ.

Biblical Studies


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