This is the first in a series of blogs dedicated to understanding the need of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
One of the parts of being a Christian is knowing the Holy Spirit. This article is not intended to promote or debate the “infilling” of the Holy Spirit that is manifested by the Gift of Speaking in Tongues. I am not opposed to that and do not find it odd in any way as it is plainly spoken of and promoted in Scripture. However, the intended purpose of this is to explain several attributes and actions the Holy Spirit does when He is allowed to work within us.
I believe the Holy Spirit comes inside of us when we give God our lives through the forgiveness of sin via the blood of Christ and choose to walk in the path of change.
I also believe that the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the manifestation of speaking in tongues is an additional step.* I believe that one of the great problems we have, when we see or hear of additional steps, is that we put salvation at the position of first, middle, and last in our experience with God. A very foolish thing to do.
But, let’s face it, when God does things through us that we are not comfortable with, there will always be someone there to say that it’s false just because they have not experienced it or find it difficult to accept with a human mind and human eyes. Additionally, it is true that this gift can be abused. That is not the concern of this blog. However, we may discuss it at a later date.
I have found in my own life that I need more of the Holy Spirit daily. So much so that in our morning and evening prayers, my wife and I both begin by asking for more of the Holy Spirit. Dwight L. Moody once said, “I need a continual infilling (of the Holy Spirit) because I leak.” As comical as that sounds, it is a very accurate statement on the topic.
We get up, eat, then head out into a world that is fully wrapped up in itself. Everything that is not of God dominates our moment to moment. How can we really expect that which is opposite to remain? Paul called it dying daily (1 Cor. 15:31). That we must put our old man away every single day.
We rise in the morning and choose to let God lead us, guide us, love us. It has to be this way. If I am breathing, I am desiring to be like Christ. That requires my attention. And, in truth, I cannot be that righteous child of the King through my own ability. I need the Holy Spirit.
Who Is The Holy Spirit?
Prior to expounding on the works of the Holy Spirit, we should discuss “Who” the Holy Spirit is. The Bible clearly defines a “Trinity.” Often referencing the Three in the same circumstances: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. So the first thing we can say about the Holy Spirit is that He is a member of the Trinity. There are a number of passages that refer to the Trinity.
To avoid confusion, know that the word “trinity” is never used in the Bible. This often messes some people up. Don’t try to find it in your search. Worrying over that word’s absence is “splitting hairs.” The Bible speaks of a “Trinity” by referring to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (or Ghost) as three distinct individuals. Yet One. These Individuals are sometimes referred to as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. If you want a full explanation of how that works, ask God the Father. He understands it better than I do.
A belief system began some years ago frequently known as the “Jesus Only” movement. Briefly, they believed that because a few Scriptures referenced Jesus as being “one with God,” they evidenced that there is only Jesus. However, Scripture does not support that theory. Here are just a few verses that counter anything that says there is only Jesus (or only God, or only the Spirit).
As Paul closes out his book to the church at Corinth, he mentions them each:
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen” 2 Cor. 13:14 (NKJV).
The Gospel of Luke references them separately as the angel explains how Mary will become pregnant:
“And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God’” Luk. 1:35 (NKJV).
At the end of Matthew, Jesus postulates the Great Commission calling us out:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Mat. 28:19 (NKJV).
And though there are many, here is one more. I like this one because the three are interacting in Jesus’s ministry.
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” Mat. 3:16-17 (NKJV).
Jesus is physically being baptized in water, the Holy Spirit descends upon Him in the literal form of a dove, then God speaks from the parted clouds. They’re all Three there. This is the Trinity.
In each of these verses, you will see a reference that is underlined. I did some research** and if you look into the Greek meanings behind these words, you will find something amazing. Each verse contains references to Three distinct Persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And, as I pointed out already, these are just four verses. There are more.
And so establishes the Holy Spirit as a distinct member of the Heavenly team. A.K.A. the Trinity.
In the next study, we’ll talk about the different names used to describe the Holy Spirit and then move into the reasons we need Him in our life as Christians.
*Nowhere in the Bible does it state that we are required to speak in other tongues for the sake of Salvation. Much like being baptized in water, this is something is done in addition to and after being saved.
**These are the websites I often use for my own research beyond my personal study times – www.stepbible.org, www.biblestudytools.com, www.biblegateway.com, www.biblehub.com. www.eliyah.com, www.blueletterbible.org
Featured Image by Matt Hoffman