February 9, 2015

The Holy Spirit

I've been reading the excellent book Forgotten God by Francis Chan - and it's all about the Holy Spirit, and how sadly, most Christians ignore Him and His powerful role in our faith.  I am learning a lot, and wanted to share a few things from the book that I found helpful.

Theology of the Holy Spirit 101

"If the Holy Spirit dwells within you, a number of things should be part of your life.  I am going to explore several...."
  • The Spirit helps us speak when we are in precarious situations and need to bear witness
"And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
Mark 13:11

"for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."  Luke 12:12 

  • The Counselor teaches and reminds us of what we need to know and remember.  He is our comforter, our advisor, our encourager, and our strength.  He guides us in the way we should go. 

"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God!  Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
Psalm 143:10

"So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied."   Acts 9:31 

"While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."  Acts 13:2 

"For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements:"  Acts 15:28 

"But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God."   I Corinthians 2:9-10 

"This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree."   I John 5:6-8 

  • From the Spirit we receive power to be God's witnesses to the ends of the earth.  It is the Spirit who draws people to the gospel, the Spirit equips us with the strength we need to accomplish God's purposes.  The Holy Spirit not only initially draws people to God, He also draws believers closer to Jesus.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."   Acts 1:8

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."   Romans 8:26

"that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."    Ephesians 3:16-19 

  • By the power of the Spirit we put to death the misdeeds of the body.  The Spirit sets us free from the sins we cannot get rid of on our own.  This is a lifelong process we entered into, in partnership with the Spirit, when we first believed

"For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death."   Romans 8:2

  • Through the Spirit we have received a spirit of adoption as children, which leads us into intimacy with the Father, instead of a relationship based on fear and slavery.  The Spirit bears witness to us that we are His children.

"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,"     Romans 8:15-16

  • The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin.  He does this both before we initially enter into right relationship with God and as we journey through this life as believers.

"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. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged."   John 16:7-11

"because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake."  I Thess. 1:5 

  • The Spirit brings us life and freedom.  Where the Spirit is, there is freedom, not bondage or slavery.  In our world that is plagued with death, this is a profound truth that points to real hope.
"But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."   Romans 8:10-11 

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."   2 Corinthians 3:17 

  • By the power of the Holy Spirit we abound with hope because our God is a God of hope, who fills His children with joy and peace.

"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

  • As members of God's kingdom community, each of us is given a manifestation of the Spirit in our lives for the purpose of the common good.  We all have something to offer because of what the Spirit gives to us.

"To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."   1 Corinthians 12:7

  • The fruit of being led by the Spirit of God includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  These attitudes and actions will characterize our lives as we allow ourselves to be grown and molded by the Spirit.  The Spirit is our sanctifier.  

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."    2 Corinthians 3:18

"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 

Forgotten God, p. 75-76

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Thank you for sharing!