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So, by this time in our course you are probably asking yourself why we have spent so much time dealing with the voice of God. Since this unit is on the Holy Ghost shouldn’t we be talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Well, there is a reason we spoke of the voice of God first. That reason is because the Holy Ghost IS God. If we are going to be moved by the Holy Ghost then we need to know His voice. Simple enough?
So after going through all that we did about His voice we have learned a few things. We have learned that He speaks through the scriptures. Often you will find that the Holy Spirit brings a verse to your memory at the time you need it. I have quoted scripture before even reading it. When I actually found it in the Bible I thought, “Hey, God just said what I said!”
We also learned that the Holy Spirit will not contradict the scriptures, or act in a way that is not right according to them. So when someone claims “the Holy Spirit made them do it” about something unscriptural then you can know that the spirit they are talking about is anything but holy!
We learned that feelings and emotions are NOT the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Now, you may have these when He moves on you, but they are not the evidence of Him, or the “prompting” of Him. The prophets never acted on emotion, and saying “thus saith the Lord” was too big of a deal to rely on a feeling.
We learned that God can thunder His voice audibly from Heaven if He chooses, but more often He uses His still, small voice. We also learned that the still, small voice is a power that you can understand in the form of words when it is “spoken” to your soul.
These are all things we need to keep in mind as we begin to cover the actions of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
When a person sets out to talk about the Holy Spirit it may be overwhelming. There is so much to cover! But since we now have some basics down it is time to dive into the Holy Spirit and His working in our own lives. I have had to spend a while in prayer over this.
I have been asking God where I should even begin. The answer is quite simply, begin at the beginning.
So, since we have already mentioned that the baptism of the Holy Ghost happens at the moment you receive the promise of salvation we will pick up from that point. What happens when you receive the Holy Ghost? What is the work of the Holy Spirit?
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Remember we said that the still, small voice speaks to your soul? The soul is located in the core of your body. It is not the mind, or the brain. That is where the thinking takes place. But the soul is in the core, the belly so to speak.
What is that living water? I have mentioned before that it is Jesus. But let me give even more detail. Jesus is the word of God. Jesus is life. So what flows out? Life is what flows from us. Words of life, actions of life, and so on.
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
So what exactly is it that happens in the beginning? You are filled with life! You are changed from being dead to alive. Your speech changes from hate to love. Your actions change from selfish to selfless. You become a new creation. You are born again. This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Guess what, you have some learning to do! Don’t worry, we all do. The verse uses the word “teach” as a verb. That means it is a current action. In other words, the Holy Ghost will constantly be teaching you. No one on earth has everything figured out, but we can have the Holy Ghost who is a great teacher!
We are also told here that He will bring what God has said to our remembrance. But wait, how can we remember what we have never learned? That is exactly why the Holy Ghost teaches us! How will He teach us, is the question?
1 Corinthians 2:12-14
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The things spoken by the prophets in the Bible are the things said and taught by the Holy Ghost. So the Bible itself is one way that He will teach us. Then, when the need comes, He will cause us to remember the scriptures in case we may have forgotten.
It is not uncommon for a person who has just become a Christian to have a strong, and even unquenchable, desire to read the Bible. They may read through whole books of the Bible at one time! I always laugh when I think about it because the very first book of the Bible I ever read through was Revelation. What a way to begin learning!
Over time we tend to lose that desire, though. It’s sad, but true. The reason isn’t because we no longer want to (though that may be how we feel). The reason is because during the course of our lives we are constantly attacked and bombarded by Satan and the wickedness of this world.
Over time that can drag us down. We become worn out. But that doesn’t mean we have to stay in that place!
Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
Among the many reasons for Jesus washing the feet of the disciples here, He is teaching yet another lesson. He that is clean and forgiven of his sins doesn’t need to have this done again, … except for his feet.
The feet are the part of the body that walks through the mud, dust, and dirt of this world. Spiritually speaking, it is the part of us that gets dragged down and worn out as we not only see the wickedness around us but sometimes walk in it ourselves.
When that happens we don’t need to be forgiven and born again, … again. We need to have that part of us that is in the world washed. In other words, we need to bring our natural human flesh under submission and begin to build ourselves up in the faith again.
We have to rediscover the joy of our salvation, the word of God, the presence of God. There is no better way to do that then through reading the Bible, worship, and prayer. And, we should not forsake one to do the other. We can’t simply pray without seeking His face in the scriptures and in worship.
Before long you find yourself refreshed and the joy of salvation, the desire for God, the rivers of living water, all flow freely again.
13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Aside from teaching us, calling scripture to our memory, and filling us with the joy of salvation the Holy Ghost is also our comforter. Among all of this, He also brings the fruit of the Spirit into our lives.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
How great a comfort all of these things are! Not only do we gain the comfort from Him for ourselves, but for others also. This is part of the power that we are told we would be given when we have the Holy Ghost.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Many people mistake the gifts of the Spirit to be the power of the Holy Spirit. But this is not the case. The power is actually the life-giving, living waters that flow from our belly, as it was said earlier. From that comes the fruit of the Spirit, and the learning of the word of God, as well as the power to walk in that word.
Through all of these things, we become powerful witnesses to the world!
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
1 Corinthians 1:18
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
2 Corinthians 10:10
10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
This is the power that we would be endued with from on high. It is the power to be a witness. This is the power through the Holy Spirit, who is the very word of God (as He is the Spirit of Christ).
In bearing the fruits of the Holy Spirit such as love, joy, peace, and so on we become different from others in the world. Others take note of us that there is something different about us. I have personally had many strangers just walk up to me asking me for prayer. They sometimes know without ever even hearing of me that I am a Christian. This is because there is something different, a different spirit about me. The Holy Spirit is in me.
So our very lives become a powerful witness, and our words become a witness as well as we speak of God as people who know Him. Because of these things the world is reproved of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Because they can not help but see us, hear us, and know the difference between good and evil. Thus, we bring with us the power through the Gospel to change their lives.
This is all just the beginning. These things are for every Christian and they are given at the moment of salvation. The Holy Ghost Himself (as we have said many times) is given at salvation. All of this comes with Him. These things are evidence of the Holy Ghost in our lives.
I would also like to mention here that often Christians look at the fruits and think, “I don’t have a lot of that.” They may even begin to wonder, “Do I really even have the Holy Spirit?” But, I want to point out that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are FRUITS. They don’t just pop up on the tree suddenly. They grow over time and with proper care. So have patience.
Now, on top of the power and the fruits of the Spirit there are also the gifts of the Spirit. Those gifts are normally what people like to focus on. That is because the gifts are so “supernatural” that people think they are somehow “special and powerful” just because they “speak in tongues or prophesy.”
But, while they are indeed things to be desired, they are NOT to be desired for the purpose that many people want them for. Many assume these gifts are the power, but they are only tools by which the power can flow. We will begin to talk about that in our next unit.
September 13, 2016 at 9:40 pm | | 1 comment