The promise of the Holy Spirit is a big promise. He was the gift who had been promised by Jesus for awhile. What was special about this gift?If you want to read a lot about it, the book of Acts would be a good place to start.
But the topic of the Holy Spirit is sprinkled throughout the Bible, especially in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, He is often called the Spirit when He appears. But let’s take a couple seconds for review. His presence is seen as early as Genesis.
Review of promises so far this month
So far this month, we have been reminded that God promises to supply all our needs, tells us we are valuable, and that those of us who have accepted HIs free gift of redemption, have eternal life. Today, to end this short series, I’ll talk a bit about the Holy Spirit. I can’t do a discussion of the Spirit justice in one post, but it’s a start.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
He is the third person of the Trinity. He is one God in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Each has a different responsibility in a way, yet they aren’t robotic about it, because those responsibilities often overlap. He is one God. The only way to describe it is that it is a mystery.
The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is often found if you look in a concordance under Spirit or Spirit of God. Yes, you will find information for unclean or evil spirits too, but you will find information under God’s Spirit coming on people for specific tasks such as prophets or short term tasks. Sometimes, even a donkey spoke. The Spirit seems to have been involved at creation with the rest of the Trinity. In Genesis 1:2b, it says “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
Another place to look is Bible Gateway. It is an online resource for many Biblical bits of information including concordance type info. First, choose the Bible version you want, including your language. Then, choose the word or phrase you are looking for and you will find verses galore to sort through. If you click on the verse, you can read the chapter it is in and find the context. It can be very helpful in learning the meaning.
What does He do?
The Holy Spirit has all the characteristics of God because He is God. He just has some different jobs in the Godhead than the other two…when you slice it down carefully. But there is a lot of overlap in the Godhead. It is not as neat and tidy as we try to make it.
These verses give you an idea of some of the work the Holy Spirit does that is unique to Him.
1. SEALS AND GUARANTEES OUR SALVATION
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him,
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,
to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV
2. RENEWS US
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness,
but according to his own mercy,
by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that being justified by his grace
we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:4-7 ESV
3. POURS GOD’S LOVE INTO OUR HEARTS
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand,
and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character,
and character produces hope,
and hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5 ESV
4. HOLY SPIRIT DEVELOPS FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN US
But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
5. NOT ONLY DEVELOPS THIS FRUIT, BUT GROWS HIS POWER IN US
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13 ESV
This list is not exhaustive by any means, but it will help you get an idea of a few of the things the Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and Son to do in your life. Their work is rarely independent of each other. It is only when we study to look at the differences in the three, that we see them, but they never work independent of each other.
When the Holy Spirit works in your life in one of the ways mentioned above, be thankful. It is a sign God is at work in your life.
When the Holy Spirit works in your life in one of the ways listed above, be thankful. When He brings to mind teaching from Jesus in a part of the Bible, take a look to see the context and remember what was happening and how He may be wanting to use it in your life. The Holy Spirit will NEVER, EVER “tell” you to do anything that against the will of God or the teachings of God in His Word.
For example, if you think the Holy Spirit is guiding you to start sleeping with your boyfriend before marriage, it is not the Holy Spirit giving you that word. How do I know? Because it is against clear revelation from God to you in so many parts of His Word that I can’t even begin to start quoting. If you are involved in a good church, your pastor, the leaders of your church, and anyone there you actually ask, will honestly tell you. Hopefully they will lovingly tell you, but if they don’t, at least take the message from God. Sometimes people who are truth givers aren’t always the most tactful. They are your best friends in the long run.
When you are suffering, think about how He may be using this suffering in your life to develop some of the characteristics listed in Galatians 5 or Romans 5. No, we don’t enjoy the suffering at the time, but there are ways to be thankful for the work God is doing in the same way we like having our home torn up for major renovations. We don’t enjoy that period at all. But we love the outcome. Often, our family and friends will notice the change in us more than we will.
This was not meant to be an exhaustive teaching on the Holy Spirit. It’s the condensed version. I did give you hints on ways to look deeper into the topic of the Holy Spirit.
I didn’t plan for this to be an exhaustive teaching on the Holy Spirit. You can find those teachings in other places. I do want you to think of the promise of the Holy Spirit that Jesus gave us in His place after He returned to heaven.
Change Point: Think about one or two aspects of the Holy Spirit’s work that you read about today that you found meaningful. Write them down. Take some time to memorize the verse or verses that align with that point for your encouragement. Write out ways this gives you comfort, encouragement, hope or any other feeling. Find ways to share it with someone else, whether it is truth for their encouragement or whether it is in terms of your personal experience.