New Covenant Living: Facts about the Holy Spirit, Part 1

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OlePappy - Father, bless all that come here tonight to study Your Word. Give us the wisdom to use the knowledge we gain. Thank You sweet Lord in the name of Jesus. Amen

Father God open our hearts to receive your Word with gladness, and make it alive to us. Jesus we stand in awe at your grace and sacrifice for us and are so thankful that you initiated the New Covenant for us.

Holy Spirit, as always we look to you as our teacher and guide. Make the Word alive tonight and give us a fuller understanding of who you are and what you want to do in us and through us. In Jesus Name AMEN

The topic tonight is: New Covenant Living: Developing Faith: Facts about the Holy Spirit. Covenant and testament mean essentially the same thing A covenant is a legal contract between 2 or more parties with blessings or advantages if it is kept and penalties or curses if it is not. The Old Testament or Covenant was primarily one of the Law of Moses or Torah. The New Covenant in Jesus' blood is one of grace by faith.

Broken - On of the best things about the New Covenant is that the Father has promised He will see to it that both sides are fulfilled
Nightglo - Broken, what two sides are you referring to ?
Broken - As OT said, a covenant is an contract between 2 parties, in which they each agree to keep certain conditions

Last time we continued our discussion about faith exercises. So far we've covered six faith exercises. One was making sure that what we speak is in line with the Word and expresses our faith, not doubting or cursing. The second one was training ourselves to discern between good and evil.

The third exercise is praying the Word. The fourth is resisting the devil and the fifth is faith working by love. And Faith Exercise # 6 is Walking it out, being led by the Spirit, following in Jesus' steps.

OK now our next "spiritual exercise" is spiritual body building and it involves the Holy Spirit. In discussing our topic for tonight, and praying about it, it seemed clear that to understand what the Holy Spirit has to do with building our faith, we need to have a foundation of understanding about the Holy Spirit.

So we are going to look at some facts about the Holy Spirit - not all there is to know - because that study could take years! But specifically things we need to understand to get the Holy Spirit's help in living for Christ and building our faith. We are trying to get an overview here - understand we could spend weeks on each point. But use these as a guideline in your personal studies.

1) The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, present at creation

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was [or became] formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Now the trinity, or 3 persons in the Godhead is a hard concept for some to understand and we aren't going into that tonight. But if you do a word study of the Holy Spirit, you will realize that He is as much God as the Father and the Son.

And the Holy Spirit was present in the beginning with the Father and the Son, in the form of a dove hovering or brooding over the water, much the same imagery as a bird sitting on her eggs and brooding over her nest. As a mother bird (in some cases the father helps) sits on the eggs and keeps them warm, it allows the bird embryo to develop and come to birth.

The same way the Holy Spirit in the beginning brought His creative energy, divine power and fire into the process of creation. And when we look at what God is doing and has done in the earth, we see the divine power of the Holy Spirit active in the hearts and lives of men.

To some the Holy Spirit is scary or mystical, somehow not REAL like the Father and the Son, but He has always been with us, bringing about the will of God in the earth and in men's and women's hearts.

Fact 2) The Holy Spirit was active in certain individuals in the Old Testament economy, such as prophets, priests and kings.

Time does not permit to go into all the things the Holy Spirit did that are recorded in the Old Testament, but it would be a profitable study for you to do. For just one Old Testament Example:

1 Samuel 16:13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon certain individuals to give them power for certain tasks. In this case the prophet Samuel literally anointed - or poured oil - upon David's head, declaring him as God's choice for king, and then the Holy Spirit came upon David to give David power to do what God wanted him to do.

3) Symbols of the Holy Spirit in the Bible are Breath, Wind, and Fire.

In fact the Hebrew word ruach and the Greek word pneuma are used interchangeably for breath, wind and spirit.

Holy Spirit as Breath of God: Genesis 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Holy Spirit as Fire: Luke 3:16 John answered them all, "I baptize you with [or in] water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Holy Spirit as Wind and Fire: Acts 2:1-3 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

Of course another symbol of the Holy Spirit is the Dove, which we touched on in Point #1. Now in the Old Testament as we've said the Holy Spirit came upon certain individuals to equip or empower them for specific tasks, but not upon everyone.

4) The Holy Spirit was given to us all after Jesus ascended to the Father

But now every believer can (and should) be empowered by the Holy Spirit ... and we'll see some of the things the Holy Spirit does in us and through us as we move along.

trouble - but you said it was there since the world was made?

Yes trouble, the Holy Spirit has always been here ... but not in everyone until Jesus came.

Acts 2:33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he [Jesus] has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. dav has timed out.

Peter was telling the people that were gathered on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given to the church - every believer in Jesus - that this is the gift of the Holy Spirit promised by the Father, who was poured out upon us after Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended into Heaven.

5) The Holy Spirit is a person, not a vague presence or misty spirit or an "it". He indwells us to a greater or lesser degree, as we are willing, after we are born again.

Now the King James Version of the Bible called Him the Holy Ghost ... because the word used for spirit in those days (1611) was ghost. So you might hear Him called the "Holy Ghost", means the same thing. But He is not some kind of dead person spirit thingey haunting houses.

The amount of control and freedom the Holy Spirit has in our lives to do God's will depends on one thing - US. As we are willing to yield our lives to Him, His presence increases. We can quench His fire by disobedience, we can grieve Him by our sins. It's up to us what we allow Him to do in us and through us.

trouble - as a person figures the garbage to get rid of in their lives then he can come in?
Broken - Actually, He comes in to help remove the garbage

He both shows us the garbage that needs to be removed, and as we allow Him, He removes it. Change is difficult and He is very patient with us.

John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be IN you.

He lives with us and IN us - as I said, to the degree we will let Him. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman, I guess we should say THE GENTLEMAN... He gently urges us, but does not force us, to follow Jesus.

†Kay† - The Holy Spirit will not come where HE is not wanted

6) Before salvation, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and woos us to Jesus. The Father uses the Holy Spirit to draw us to Jesus and thus to Himself.

John 16:8-9 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;

Christians have a word they use that sometimes others don't know what they're talking about. That word is conviction. It means that the Holy Spirit brings a consciousness of your sin to you, that feeling of guilt, that is designed to lead you to repentance - a change of heart - and belief in Jesus.

Sometimes when a person is "under conviction" of the Holy Spirit, he/she will be very uncomfortable around believers, maybe even seem to sin more, because he/she is becoming conscious of their sin. But that's not bad news ... because the Holy Spirit is working in them to bring them to Christ!

TheTenderWarrior - O.T. ==> conviction is being found guilty...whereas comdemnation is someone trying to carry out the sentence for being guilty...

Right TTW in that sense, it's true. A conviction is also a firm and heartfelt belief in Jesus when a person repents and comes to HIm!

Broken - But conviction can mean literally "convinced of the truth"

John 6:44, 63, 65 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day… The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life..." He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."

Now whenever someone comes to Christ, it is the love of the Father drawing them by the Holy Spirit to faith in Jesus. Isn't that awesome? God Himself is calling you into a relationship with Him. And He just isn't sitting up in Heaven on high and yelling at you! He is sending His Spirit directly to your heart to bring you to Christ.

CaptainJulie - The Holy Spirit's conviction is one of God's best gifts to us.
By Faith Not By Sight! - So, it can be a good sign when someone reacts strongly upon hearing the Word, OT?

AMEN by Faith, a VERY good sign!!! And even after we are born again, the Holy Spirit convicts us of wrongdoing so we can confess it and be made clean again.

I Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

OlePappy - being convicted by the Holy Spirit is good, because its absence means something is seriously wrong with your walk with God

So whenever the Father draws someone to Himself, when the Holy Spirit convicts that person of sin and they repent and trust in Jesus, and cry out the confession of their faith: JESUS IS LORD! - it is the work of the Holy Spirit.

And the Holy Spirit doesn't stop at salvation, as we shall see, but He continues to work in that person's heart to make them all God wants them to be! Sometimes we believers presume to be the Holy Spirit and actually hinder His work by being judgmental and condemning when new (and even old!) believers stumble. Beloved this should not be so.

Love is kind, it is not rude or demanding, does not keep a record of wrongs ... we should be as sensitive to the needs and feelings of others as the Holy Spirit is - BIG challenge!

By Faith Not By Sight! - I find the best way to overcome judgementalness is to recall your past. That'll straighten you up real quick!

Amen by faith .... it is VERY humbling to do that, at least for me! LOL AMEN Broken! A good principle to live by.

Broken - Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Rom.14:4

Ok think about this. The Bible tells us that God demonstrates His love for us in sending Jesus to die for our sins. Jesus demonstrates His love for us by becoming sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. So how does the Holy Spirit demonstrate His love for us? He is God and God is love.

By Faith Not By Sight! - By being there for us
Poet - I think the Holy Spirit demonstrates His love for us by making his home within us and leading us to love others

When you think of it ... except for Jesus' sacrifice and suffering, becoming sin for us ... the Holy Spirit does the "dirty work" of salvation... convicting of sin and bringing us to Christ.

CaptainJulie - By convicting us and showing us what we need to change
Broken - By knowing the truth of who we really are and loving and comforting us anyway

Right ... this is GREAT love ... because most of us were a mess when He came to us ... and many of us still are! LOL But He loves us and isn't afraid to roll up His sleeves, so to speak, and work with us and in us ALL to bring us to Christ, and renew our minds, and help us crucify or put to death that nasty old flesh nature!

Now when we get impatient with others for not being perfect - or even with ourselves! - remember the great love and patience of the Holy Spirit and ask for MORE love and patience yourself!

Broken - Ooh, don't ask for patience, you know what it takes to work patience, right ?LOL
Festuss® - Tribulation worketh Patience,,,,,,right?

Yeah broken, but when patience has its complete work and that river of living water contents you and pacifies you and gives you that great peace ... well it's worth the trials it took to get ya there!

CaptainJulie - AMEN, OT!

7) At Salvation, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ:

One of the many wonderful things that happens when we receive Jesus is that we become part of His Body ... that vast and mighty brotherhood of all believers. And the Word tells us that we are baptized INTO the Body of Christ BY the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all BAPTIZED BY ONE SPIRIT into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Now this is not water baptism, but baptism or joining us to the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is an outward symbol of what the Holy Spirit has done for us inwardly.

If we could ever get a VISION of the Body of Christ and our part in it! If we could only accept each other and love each other as we are accepted in the Beloved! If we could only let the Holy Spirit open our spiritual eyes to this great truth ... well there would be no division in the body, would there? And we would have a reputation, not for shooting our own soldiers, but for body ministry and concern and sharing and fellowship as the early Church had.

Grace - OT, Amen!
Poet - but OT what about acts 2:38... Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

Ah poet a bone of contention! LOL But you notice it does NOT say be baptized in water ... so what baptism is it talking about here? Now I'm not against water baptism, and when you are born again you should be baptized in water as obedience to the Word, but I Peter clearly tells us that it is not water that cleanses us, but a clear conscience before God and by the power of Christ's resurrection.

I Peter 3:18-22 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Beloved - The Holy Spirit is the agent of restoration present in the lives of Believers who have been born from above. John 3:3

Baptism is used in at least 3 ways in the New Testament. 1) baptism in water (as in the baptism of John); 2) baptism INTO the Body of Christ BY the Holy Spirit and 3) baptism in the Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ. Baptism can mean to dip, as into water, which doesn't affect an inward change. It can also mean to submerge, as pickles in a vinegar bath, which changes the thing dipped into the nature of the thing it is dipped into. Like dye changes cloth into it's color. Being baptized into Christ changes our nature to be like His, and being baptized into the Holy Spirit changes us into His nature.

Broken - May I offer an illustration about baptism? Like a fish in the sea, the water surrounds and is within the fish, and also connects it to other fish

That's a good one too broken

8) At Salvation, the Holy Spirit adopts us into the family of God.

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship [or adoption]. And by him we cry, "Abba, [Daddy] Father."

Before we are born again, because of our sin nature, we were enemies of God. When we receive Jesus, we are not only reconciled to God - or make up with Him - but we are actually adopted into His family. Jesus is our elder brother and we are joint heirs with Him - we have a share in everything He has! And the Holy Spirit brings that adoption about and by Him we cry "Abba FAther" or "Daddy God".

Now I realize this is a toughie for those who have had problems with their earthly fathers ... and sometimes the greatest act of faith in a believer's life is looking to God as their Father IN SPITE OF what they know about fathers.

Sometimes to receive God as our Father we have to think the OPPOSITE of what our real fathers are or were ... but by the Spirit of adoption we can get to know our Daddy God and receive His love as our father no matter what our experiences have been.

This is one reason too why the role of a father is so important. You are AS GOD to your children - how they relate to God as their Father depends to a great degree upon you. This is the reason that satan is seeking to destroy families, especially fathers, because it is a hindrance to trusting in God as our father.

But the Good NEWS is that since we have received the Spirit of Adoption... no matter what has happened in the past... we can be healed of our wounds and learn to see God as our Daddy.

Romans 8:23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Now there's a sense in which we are adopted already in our spirits by the Holy Spirit of adoption, but there's also another sense in which our full adoption AS SONS - receiving ALL that God has in store for us, is reserved until we get our new bodies. And sometimes dealing with these old fleshly things is hard to deal with... our spirits groan because of burdens here on earth.

But because the Holy Spirit is already at work within us ... showing us the first fruits or the start of what He's doing, our adoption as Sons of God with our new resurrected bodies is something we can begin to understand and long for. In other words, if our adoption into God's family is this good already, HOW MUCH BETTER when we receive our new bodies!

9) At Salvation, the Holy Spirit makes us alive in Christ - we are reborn spiritually, born from above, made a new creation, etc.

Now when God breathed life into Adam, Adam was totally alive - body, mind and spirit. But when Adam sinned, God said that he would surely die. Yet physically and mentally Adam lived a long long time. What was God talking about?

EPHESIAN - It could be that he meant that he would die spiritually.
Broken - He lost his unhindered relationship with God. From that point on, sin was a barrier between Adam and God. He lost the fullness of the Holy Spirit he had experienced before sin

Well Adam died spiritually when He sinned - Adam lost that innate ability to commune or fellowship or walk with God in the Garden without shame - in other words Adam died spiritually ... although it took a while for his body and mind to die too. And the Bible tells that we have inherited that sin nature from Adam... we are spiritually dead without Christ.

Festuss® - What happens to the Holy Ghost when we die? He lives in us, so what happens to Him when we die,
EPHESIAN - Festuss-We go to live with Him....I think nothing
Olepappy - the part of us that the Holy Spirit lives in does not die
§am † - Praise God the Spirit is everlasting!!!

He takes us to be with Jesus Festuss ... our spirits go back to God who made us ... athough our body rests in the earth.

When Jesus was visiting Nicodemus, He made this statement: John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again [or born from above]."

John 3:4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

Now Nicodemus took this literally and tried to imagine crawling back in the womb to be reborn of the flesh or by water.

John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."

But Jesus is saying, "Nope that's not what I mean!" (OT's translation, LOL) Jesus was talking about being spiritually reborn. Since we are spiritually dead as sons of Adam, we need to be spiritually reborn.

Elise - that is the verse people use to say that baptism is essential to salvation

Right Elise ... but it's a parallel verse: flesh/water = our initial birth (a woman's water breaks before a child is born) - and this is what Nicodemus was trying to puzzle out. But being born from above = our spiritual rebirth in Christ.

John 3:7 "You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Then Jesus compares being born of the Spirit to the wind. You can't see the wind, but you can see the results of its blowing around. In the same way, you can't see the spirit with the physical eyes, but when you are born again, you will see the results in your life.

trouble2 - yeah--

And sometimes it feels like the Spirit is blowing you all over the place! LOL But if we be patient as the Holy Spirit works we will see the change and understand why it happened like it did.

And as I said I'm not against water baptism at all, we should be baptized in water as obedience ... but understand the verses as they are in context.

EPHESIAN - so if you aren't baptized in water you can still go to heaven?

Ephesian ... that's the $64,000 question, isn't it! LOL And major "holy wars" have been fought over that idea. My answer is the Word says be baptised in water, so do it!

§am † - Can't the water mean the "Word" also. (or Jesus)
Broken - Of course. I prayed with a cancer patient moments before he died. He was not baptized, except perhaps in the tears of his family. I have no doubt he is with the Lord now.

But if it is impossible to do so - as the thief on the cross - or say someone who is saved and dies in the desert - then I don't think God's gonna boot you out of heaven on a technicality - especially after all the trouble He's gone to - to get you saved!

Elise - Jesus said He was the way, and that no man gets to the Father except through him
By Faith Not By Sight! - By being publicly baptized, you declare your faith and obedience to God
Beloved - Some good folk even sprinkle or pour... Is that OK OT?
Elise - I have heard some be as picky as to say it needed to be in running water, not a baptistery!!
§am † - If Christ Jesus was Baptized as my example then I must follow His example.
Elise - i agree sam!
TheTenderWarrior - amen SAM!!! good point!!!!
Broken - Folks who make up rules about the hows, generally do so because they want baby Christians to become like themselves instead of like Jesus
Elise - Jesus had a powerful thing happen when he came up out of the water

Well I was sprinkled AND dipped , so I got it covered. And OP nearly drowned because he was so much bigger than the preacher that the preacher dunked him but couldn't get him back up! LOL

OlePappy - I've been sprinkled, I've been sprayed, I've had water poured over me, I've been dunked almost to the point of drowning, but God loves me anyway

Now I don't advocate OP's method! Hahahahhahahaa But the bottom line is about how should YOU be baptized? Well ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and do what He says. I'm confident He'll reveal to you what you need to do.

Broken - The key thing is the desire and motivation of your heart. I know a lot of people who have been dipped who ARE dips hehe
found in Him - As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us
Elise - Amen! That is true for all parts of your life..
§am † - The representation of the water (Holy Spirit) has no saving power. It is the blood that covers us that counts in salvation.

Quite frankly I wish people would quit arguing about water baptism, just DO IT and go on with their Christian walk.... Instead of spending their whole lives arguing about it!

Broken - OT, it is one of the "milk" concepts listed in Hebrews. Guess that means a lot of folks like arguing like a bunch of spoilt kids hehe

Broken or arguing over spilled milk! LOL

§am † - back to the word water...can it also be the "Word"? I felt your interpretation correct, but a pastor said born of the Word and the Spirit to me once.

Here's one passage: Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Festuss® - And it also says that we are begotten by the Word, meaning conceived

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Now when we are born again, or born of the Spirit we are made new. The Bible says that ALL things are made new! A brand new beginning just as if I'd never sinned! Pure and holy in Jesus Christ - in right standing with God through Him. It's awesome what the Holy Spirit can do in a willing heart!

Galatians 6:15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

Now in Paul's day there was a big fight about whether you should be circumcised or not ... Paul pointed out that the IMPORTANT thing is that we are a new creation in Christ. What a topic for meditation! To ponder on what it means to be a new creation.... take some time this week and think about that!

Father God thank you for sending the Precious Holy Spirit who loves us and works within the human heart to make us like Jesus. Help us to cooperate with the process and not hinder His work. In Jesus Name AMEN

OlePappy - Thank You sweet Father for loving us. You loved us, Saved us and you send the Holy Spirit to minister to us. Thank You, Oh thank You sweet Lord in Jesus name. Amen

§am † - Father I lift OT and OP up to you tonight. Thank you father for the Spiritual change you cause in us. Thank you for this site and the Church USA. Bless these chat rooms, Bible study and the Prayer room. Give us through your Spirit a renewal each day as we grow in you. In the name of JESUS amen. Nite all May God bless you abundantly.

Next time we'll talk more about the Holy Spirit's work in a believers life - leading up to how He helps build our faith. Holy Spirit Facts #2

Back to Holy Spirit Index

Father God, help us to be loving in all our ways, and to be tenderhearted towards our brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. Speaking the truth in love, let us draw together in the unity of the spirit as members of the Body of Christ, encouraging one another as Your coming draws near.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.


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Original lesson 5/31/99
Revised: August 02, 2001