I began a new series on the Holy Spirit this week which will continue until May 19th, Pentecost Sunday. Why this series? I believe the Holy Spirit is the part of the Trinity that is least understood and is often relegated to the corner of the church in many ways. My goal with this series is that we will come to a better understanding of the importance, power, and purpose of Holy Spirit and that He will become a reality in our everyday life.
First, we must understand and believe that Holy Spirit is critical to all we do. So let’s look at a few points that Scripture teaches us about His role in our life and the life of the church. Jesus told the disciples YOU NEED A HELPER in John 16:7. It says “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” The word helper is the word “Paraclete” in the Greek and means someone who speaks before rulers on behalf of the accused, or also someone called in to help assist someone, such as an advocate or mediator. Jesus tells us in John 14:18 that He will send us another Helper. This word “another” is the word “allos” which means “another of the same kind” (DBL-Greek). Jesus is sending us a Helper who is just like Him and who would do what He would do if He were here with us. Holy Spirit is a different Helper but of the same order or kind as Jesus. He is God just as Jesus is God, but He will be in all believers unlike when He occupied the body of Jesus and was limited to one place and one earthly body. Jesus tells the disciples that it is to their advantage that He go away so the helper can come.
We see in Scripture that the work Jesus did on earth was due to the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit within Him and we must also have this same power within us. Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. Jesus did not begin His ministry until after He received the Holy Spirit. In Luke 4:18 Jesus tells the synagogue attendees that it is the Spirit’s anointing in His life that has enabled Him to preach the gospel to the poor, deliver the captives, open the blinded eyes and heal the oppressed. Holy Spirit was the power in all that Jesus did and He will be the power in all that we do. Just as Jesus needed Holy Spirit, we need Holy Spirit to do what we are called to do.
Jesus also told the disciples, “Do not do anything until you receive the power of the Spirit” (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8) The church today is prone to move in its own human power and that is why we do not see the signs, wonders and miracles that were seen in the early church. How much of the fruitless projects and work of the church could be eliminated if we would just wait on Holy Spirit to direct and empower us? The church has taken on a form of godliness, but it is lacking in power because the Holy Spirit has been eliminated in much of the life of the church.
The Holy Spirit enables us to understand and know God. He is instrumental in our salvation experience as He convicts us of sin, but He is also critical in our relationship with God the Father after we are born again. Paul explains this: 1 Corinthians 2:11 for who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Can you believe that God our Father wants us to understand Him and His thoughts, so He sends His Spirit to dwell within us? What a humbling thought. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 3:15 that we are the temple of God’s Spirit and that He dwells within us. This is why Jesus could say to His disciples and to us in John 14:12 that the same works He did we can also do. 1 John 4:17 tells us that as He is so are we in this world. It is because we have Holy Spirit inside of us who empowers us to overcome sin and to live in a manner that is consistent with the example Jesus left for us.
So why are so many not experiencing this incredible power and gift of the Holy Spirit? I believe it is largely due to the fact that many have fallen captive to Satan’s counterfeit for Holy Spirit and that counterfeit is the Religious Spirit. The Holy Spirit is about relationship. He only says what He hears and He only seeks to glorify Jesus (John 16:14-15). The religious spirit operates in direct opposition to Holy Spirit and is so good at mimicking God that it will fly under the radar of detection and most believers are unaware that they are bound in their thoughts and actions in a manner inconsistent with God and His Word.
I will address this counterfeit of Satan in more detail in an upcoming blog.
Have you asked Holy Spirit to be a reality in your life? If not, start now. If you are born again, He is within you. He desires to be a greater factor in all of our lives and He desires to complete in us the work He was sent to do. We are the only hindrance. Let’s pray that Holy Spirit have complete rule in our life, Spirit, Soul and Body!