New Covenant Living: Facts about the Holy Spirit, Part 2
Before we go further into this topic, I want to share a brief thought on revelation. In American, many people celebrate events such as Halloween by dressing up in costumes and masks. The masks serve to conceal identity and intentions, causing the one masked to be unknown.
Many people see God this way, as a being that is masked, hidden, and unknown, whose identity has not been revealed and whose intentions are mysterious and unknowable.
This is not the God of the Bible, who has revealed Himself by three primary evidences. First, He has revealed Himself in Creation, clearly revealing His character traits and intentions to any that will learn of Him from nature.
Secondly He has revealed Himself in the Bible, the Word of God, and any person, though he otherwise be a fool or mentally deficient, who will listen to the Word with an open heart, will see God there - His character of love and His intentions of prospering His children.
The third evidence of God's presence is the Holy Spirit, Who draws us to God, reveals Jesus to us, does the work of the new birth, serves as our counselor, teacher and guide. This "inner witness" is the strongest testimony of God to His children.
No, God is not masked, hidden or unknown. He has freely revealed Himself to us! Hallelujah!
Last time we discussed 9 facts about the Holy Spirit:
1) The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, present at creation. [Genesis 1:1-2]
2) The Holy Spirit was active in certain individuals in the Old Testament economy, such as prophets, priests and kings. [1 Samuel 16:13]
3) Symbols of the Holy Spirit in the Bible are Breath, Wind, and Fire. [Genesis 2:7; Luke 3:16; Acts 2:1-3]
4) The Holy Spirit was given to us all after Jesus ascended to the Father. [Acts 2:33]
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. [John 14:16-17]
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; John 6:44, 63, 65; I Corinthians 12:3]
7) At Salvation, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ. [1 Corinthians 12:12-13; I Peter 3:18-22]
8) At Salvation, the Holy Spirit adopts us into the family of God.[Romans 8:15; Romans 8:23]
9) At Salvation, the Holy Spirit makes us alive in Christ - we are reborn spiritually, born from above, made a new creation, etc. [John 3:3-7; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15]
This brings us up to date to this week.
10) At Salvation, the Holy Spirit seals us and acts as a down payment on our inheritance.
Ephesians 1:13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.
In Biblical times a seal was a sign of ownership. People in authority usually had signet rings with their symbol and/or name on them. When they would send a document to someone, they would seal it with wax, then press their ring into it to leave an impression. The seal did to things: it signified authority of the sender, and if it was broken, showed that the message had been tampered with.
So the Holy Spirit given to us at salvation is God's "mark" upon our Spirit, signifying that we are HIS!!! You know some people claim to be Christians, and sometimes on the outside it's hard to tell, but God knows those He has sealed with His Spirit.
Right trouble, you can go to the courthouse and get a certified copy of something, and a seal is pressed in it to show it's authenticity. And you can get a notarized statement with a seal showing that the signature was witnesses. So it's a legal stamp of ownership.
Dude that's a matter of opinion... personally I believe that we can become an apostate and break the seal.... But why would anyone who truly knows Jesus do that?
Well Dude, if you hang tight to the Holy Spirit, evil ain't got a chance! Not only is the Holy Spirit our seal of ownership by God, but He is the earnest of our inheritance, the deposit guaranteeing good things to come.
Now when a real estate transaction is in process, the buyer puts down "earnest money" or a deposit showing that he/she is sincere about making the purchase. That deposit is a guarantee that the purchase will be made.
Of course today, a person may fail to get a mortgage and not follow through on the purchase, but barring anything like that the deposit is a sign of good faith that the contract will be kept. So the Holy Spirit is God's good faith deposit to us, guaranteeing all the good things that are to come.
Now the contract we have with God, or the New Covenant, won't be fully complete until Jesus returns, but God has given us the Holy Spirit as proof that this will happen.
Hallelujah! So we can depend on the fact that God will keep His end of the bargain, Jesus will keep the other end, and the Holy Spirit is the deposit on the completion of the New Covenant, so we can't lose. Legally.... so to speak, it's a "sure thing".
Praise the Lord! So when the devil tries to tell you that God doesn't mean what He says, or that you've messed up too bad or whatever, just say "No sir, ya see I have this contract here, signed by God the Father and God the Son, and the Holy Spirit has paid the deposit. Nope, it's a done deal".
And you can also say ... "Look here devil, it's signed in Jesus' own blood. Nothing can cancel that out or destroy its' power. I'm under the covenant of blood. There's nothing you can do about it!"
Dude we are born again when we repent of our sins and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, no matter where that occurs.
Of course Dude, the Church is a gift from Jesus to help you grow ... so find one that teaches the Word and fellowship with them ... not as a requirement for salvation ... but as a help to your growth in Christ. Dude any church is a good church if it teaches the Word ... we are of all denominations here ... pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Amen peaches, that He does! And this brings us to point 11:
11) The Holy Spirit sanctifies us - wholly, body, mind and spirit, a continuous process throughout our Christian walk.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we are born again, as peaches said, the "slate is wiped clean" - ALL of our sins are forgiven and forgotten by Jesus, and the Holy Spirit cleans us up inside to be "just as if we'd never sinned". This is part of sanctification.
Sanctification means to make holy or to set apart for God's use. In the Greek it is the same root word as "saints" which means holy ones. Another meaning for sanctification is cleansing ... it is a process started when we are born again and is a life long thing...
Yes Dude, that is correct. And part of our faith is believing they are forgiven and forgotten, and to FORGIVE ourselves.
Why do I say it's a lifelong thing? Well when we are born again all of our past sins are blotted out ... and we receive a reborn human spirit, but we have the same old mind and body that are subject to sin.
And the Bible tells us that part of our growth process is renewing our minds by the Word - changing our old thought patterns and attitudes into godly, right ones. And also to crucify the sin nature or flesh that tempts us to sin.
And it's the Holy Spirit that assists us in this cleansing process ... as we grow in grace, these things will be revealed to us and we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in getting rid of them. This does NOT happen instantaneously or even over night ... it is a process of growth and healing.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you [as His firstfruits] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
Right! So part of the Holy Spirit's work in the life of a believer AFTER salvation is this sanctifying, or cleansing process.
1 Peter 1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
This verse shows us that the sanctifying or cleansing work of the Holy Spirit goes hand in hand with obedience to Jesus and the cleansing power of His blood.
Consider this, before we are born again, we are called "sinners", that is, we habitually practice sin. It is part of our inherited sin nature from Adam, part of our rebellion against God, and the bad choices we seem to have a REAL talent for making!!! LOL But what are we called AFTER we are saved? Whom does Paul address His letters to?
AMEN GRACE YOU GOT IT!!!!! We call ourselves Christians, that's true, and that's what we are , "little" Christ's, and are accepted in the Beloved. But in the Word we are specifically called SAINTS ... that is God's Holy Ones. And Paul exhorts us to live as is becoming as SAINTS! God doesn't see as as lowly worm dirt sinners barely saved by grace, but SAINTS. So Saint OlePappy, Saint Grace, Saint Athie ... how does it make you feel to be called that? LOL
Really it's part of seeing us as God does, as Saints, holy ones continually being sanctified and cleansed and taught and led by the Holy Spirit.
Well trouble you're called a saint whether you feel like it or not, that's how God sees you... as standing in Christ ... holy and beloved by Him. Not only would it revolutionize your life if you REALLY saw yourself as a saint ... and behaved accordingly.. but also see ALL your brothers and sisters in Christ the same way. That's how God sees our position in Him whether we feel like it or not ... it's true nonetheless.
So when we fail, and we do at times remember 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he forgives us our sins and cleanses us (sanctifies) us from all unrighteousness.
Think of it this way ... we wear our clothes and they get dirty. Do we throw them away when they get soiled. Do we say, bad shirt, you got dirty, now you're garbage? Sounds silly, but that's how some ppl act about their salvation. You make a mistake, you're thrown away! NAH, when we confess what we've done wrong, God forgives us and cleans us back up again.
And think about this ... do you say ... well you're clean now, I did the laundry, but you no longer deserve to be called a shirt! So I'm gonna call you a rag? LOL In the same way, God cleans us up and we are still called saints ....
Well trouble you can trust the Holy Spirit to pour in JUST ENOUGH NOT TOO MUCH cleansing power to do the job... and not make rags out of your soul!!!
Trouble, it IS a war ... but remember the Holy Spirit inside of you is your power over sin ... you can trust in Him. And we are NOT alone in this battle!!! The Holy Spirit is within us and we are told that GREATER is He that is within us than he (devil) that is in the world! We are bigger on the inside than the outside... so let the Holy Spirit inside of you rise up and give you power over the enemy outside.
Now as Grace said sometimes our fellow SAINTS aren't as sensitive! LOL and for some reason they think they need to pour in more Javex than the Holy Spirit does!!! Instead of praying for someone they THINK is stumbling and letting the Holy Spirit do HIS work, they try to take over the laundry ....
Trouble, remember last time when I told you that JESUS said HE would send the Holy Spirit and that HE would abide or dwell or live with in you FOREVER? The Holy Spirit doesn't LEAVE when we sin, He's right there coaxing us to confess our sin, so He can clean us up and we can get on with it!
Now it does GRIEVE Him when we sin and don't ask for His help ... or when we are tempted and don't ask for His help ... or when we are struggling and trying to make it on our own and don't ask for His help ... but He doesn't leave us.
So when you are IN trouble, just yell for help! God loves to help His children. Better yet, don't wait for trouble, seek Him all the time and He'll keep you OUT of a lot of trouble!!! OK so let's look at some ways that the Holy Spirit helps us in our everyday walk.
12) The Holy Spirit is our teacher, counselor, and guide.
John 14:26 "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
First of all, let's look at the Holy Spirit as our teacher. Have you ever read the
Bible and couldn't get a thing out of it?
Sure trouble... we have... and Athie reads it through every year and gets a certificate! I'm not that organized myself! LOL
It does seem to be hard to understand at times ... doesn't it? Well you have a BUILT-IN teacher who will tell you what it means! The first thing is to "lean not to your own understanding". In other words, don't try to figure it out with your own understanding, lean on the Holy Spirit.
Right trouble! And that's part of our faith walk, learning to lean on the Holy Spirit. Good point jimlas! That's a great starting place. That's one reason we pray before beginning these studies.
You see I can teach until I'm blue in the face (or in the fingers in this case! LOL) but unless the Holy Spirit brings you understanding.... you won't learn a thing!
As far as reading the Bible "all the way through" when you first become a believer ... that's a tall order! Well you read about the creation ... that's pretty simple ... and you make it through the flood ... but when you get to the "begats" you get lost! AM I right? LOL
And then there's all those laws!!! If you make it that far! YIKES
Anyway by now you're wondering, when do I get to the "good part"? LOL See I've been there too.
So what I advise is start small and slow ... go to the New Testament first. Read a gospel, say Mark is the shortest! And then maybe Ephesians which tells us who we are IN CHRIST. After you've read Mark about 10 times and Ephesians about 50 times (It's short!) then read another gospel or Acts. And when you read, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you figure out what it means, and how it applies to ME! Psalms and Proverbs are also excellent ... maybe read a chapter a day in them or something.
Yeah trouble, that's our secret plan, to make you a bible scholar! YIKES now ya know! LOL
And when you have a question, don't go around asking anybody and everybody for an opinion - that's a sure way to get confused! Go to someone you KNOW is grounded in the Word ... has read the whole thing and can tell you how it all fits together.
But the Holy Spirit is the only one that can make the Word real to you ... no matter how many times you read it... depend on Him as your teacher. Now the Lord has set teachers in the Church to help us grow and mature in Christ... and thank God for them... but the Holy Spirit should be their teacher as well. If you aren't sure, just ask. And if they aren't sure! find another teacher!
John 15:26-27 "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning."
The Holy Spirit is not only our teacher, but our Counselor, the one called alongside to help. Now a lot of people tell me that they don't want to "bother" God with their every day troubles and needs ... they wait until they are REALLY in bad shape before they cry out to God.
But the Holy Spirit was sent to us to watch over and take care of every little and big thing that touches our lives. He wants you to lean on Him in every circumstance ... to call out for help and understanding ... to tell Him your troubles, and hurts and woes and doubts and fears.
I wouldn't even attempt to teach without leaning on the Holy Spirit ... I wouldn't have a thing helpful to say in my own strength. Don't wait until you really get in hot water ... trust in your Counselor for your every need!
Loli-mom ... OH YES just like an earthly counselor would talk to you about the good things you need to strengthen and the bad things to get rid of, so does our heavenly Counselor, the Holy Spirit.
Good thought Rose, AMEN. But it seems to me that most do not have any problems worshipping God when things are going well, but many have problems confessing their sins and shortcomings and needs while the problems are still small.
I John 2: 20, 26-27 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth also...I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.
We all have an anointing from God. Who can tell me what this is?
An anointing is a special empowering from God to do a specific task ... given by the Holy Spirit. Yes, it's a gift, we don't earn it, but like any other gift we need to receive it, open it up and put it to use! And that anointing from the Holy Spirit teaches us ... and, yes trouble, gives us boldness and power to witness ... and helps us discern good from evil, and real from counterfeit.
The anointing from the Holy Spirit gives us the strength and ability, spiritually, mentally and physically to do something. And our anointing REMAINS in us ... God leaves it there because we need help.
Now some people are wrongly taught that THEY have to be perfect for the Holy Spirit to remain in them .... but if that we true we'd all be in hot water!!! It is the presence of the Holy Spirit, the anointing of God, living in us that teaches us, counsels us, leads us and keeps us clean. We CAN NOT be holy in our own strength, we need the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit!
Right trouble... don't choke on yer halo!!! LOL
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
jimlas - We are perfected by the five-fold ministry!! :o)
I can't over stress how important the Word is in our Christian walk. It is our guide book, our map to Heaven, our test for right doctrine or belief, the basis of our faith.
And the Scripture is God-breathed, or inspired by God ... and we are told in the Bible that the Holy Spirit is the breath of God! He breathes life into us spiritually and physically... and breathes understanding into us as we read the Word.
Now the more of the Word you have in your heart the more the Holy Spirit has to work for "teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" Look at it this way ... if you don't have any of the Word in you, how can the Holy Spirit bring understanding? How can He teach you if you don't read the textbook?
Now the rebuking and correcting part ... hey none of us like that! If we're honest. But it's part of the Christian life ... and believe me when you're messing up the Holy Spirit has a way of bringing it to your attention!
"Training in righteousness". Well righteousness means to live a life in right standing with God. And in our human nature, we don't know how to please God. But the Holy Spirit teaches us how to please God.
Back to being holy... many people confuse a certain outward look with inward truth ... but holiness is from the inside out ... and it's not a matter of living up to some man's standard, but pleasing God. We're told that Abraham had this testimony ... that he pleased God. And that should be our goal also.
Now the goal of the Holy Spirit's training in the Word is so that we can be THOROUGHLY equipped for every good work... not halfway there... not lacking anything we need to please God. And it's all in the Word! Ok one more verse ...
2 Peter 1:21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was the one who "carried along" or inspired the prophetic writings in the Word. If the writers of the Word needed the Holy Spirit to write the Bible, how much more do we need Him to understand it?
And the Bible did not originate with man ... it is not a product of man's will... but of God's will as revealed by the Holy Spirit. And to make that Word real to us, we need the Holy Spirit to counsel us, teach us and guide us!
Father God give us a greater hunger and thirst for your Word ... and precious Spirit open the eyes of our understanding that we may understand how to please God. AMEN
Yes Rose the same ONE!!! Rose the Holy Spirit moved upon certain individuals at certain times for specific tasks... such as Samuel and King David ... in the Old Testament. But in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is in all believers.
EW they are one, so walking with one is walking with all. The Holy Spirit was sent to lead us into God's will.
Jesus is in agreement with God's will, so the Holy Spirit is also leading us in Jesus' will. And since the Holy Spirit is in agreement, it is His will too. God has revealed Himself to us in three persons ... as Father, as Son and as Holy Spirit. In a way they are the same... but I wouldn't say the names are interchangeable... say in a specific verse ... I believe that there are reasons that in one place the Holy Spirit is mentioned, in another Jesus, etc.
And Jesus is the Living Word of God ... that is revealed in the written Word of God. And a word is someone's communication of their thoughts and desires ... so in Jesus we can see God speaking of His love for us... to Him we are worth saving ... worth Jesus giving His life for.
And Jesus said before He ascended to the Father, that He would send someone JUST LIKE HIM to lead us into all truth ... the Holy Spirit
Yes EW it can be confusing ... but we are told to focus on Jesus primarily ... because He is our savior and the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus prayed to God and was helped by the Holy Spirit
We are told in Philippians that Jesus set aside His equality with God and His godly attributes (all knowing, all strength, being present everywhere, etc) when He took on the form of a man.
So in the flesh, although He was born without sin, He was subject to the same temptations we are ... and needed the same help we do. So He needed to pray to God to seek His will and Jesus needed the help of the Holy Spirit to do the right thing ... just as we do.
That's why we are doing these studies EW, to a lot of people He is a stranger! Come on! Get acquainted with your Counselor, Teacher and Guide! Praise the Lord
Thats the way it is for most Christians. It's hard to understand with the mind ... how can three be one? People can give examples .. like an egg has a white, a yolk and a shell, but it is still an egg... but of course God is much bigger than an egg!
I've also heard this ... we are body, soul and spirit ... Jesus was God in the flesh (body), the Father is like the soul - the thinking part of man ... and the Holy Spirit is like the spirit part of us.
Also as water can exist in three "states", solid/ice, liquid/water and vapor/steam, then God is one but is revealed to us in three persons.
Another way to look at it is this: I am one person, but how you perceive me depends on your relationship to me ... to OP I'm a wife ... to my children I'm a mom... to you I'm a teacher, etc.
Remember EW that Jesus was LIMITED in His knowledge while here on earth ... He had laid aside His knowledge to come here... so there were things He did not know while on earth ... Right EW ... don't take the analogies too far!!! That's the problem with comparisons ... they always fall short.
This is what Paul said in Philippians 2:5-11 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature [or in the form of] God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature [or form] of a servant, being made in human likeness.
So here we see that Jesus set aside His equality with God ... the FORM or likeness of God.. and made himself NOTHING ... taking on a form of a man. While He was on the earth, He voluntarily limited Himself - what He could know or do, to what the average person could know or do.
When Jesus was on the earth, He depended on the Holy Spirit to tell Him God's will, just as we do today. So there were things about God that Jesus knew in Heaven, that He had laid aside to come to earth.
And this brings us back to the point of this section 12) The Holy Spirit is our teacher, counselor, and guide. Jesus is our example in all things in our Christian walk. He needed the Holy Spirit's guidance and power while He walked as a man how much more do we?
Next time we'll talk more about the Holy Spirit's work in a believers life - baptism, fruit, intercession, spiritual gifts, power. Holy Spirit Facts #3
This page has been visited times.
Vibrant Pages™Web Design