“Jesus said: “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” John 16:7
Who is Holy Spirit and where did He come from?
There are many mistaken beliefs about who or what Holy Spirit is, or isn’t. Some view the Holy Spirit as a supernatural force. Others see the Holy Spirit as an impersonal, distant authority that God makes available to followers of Jesus Christ.
“What does the Bible say about of the Holy Spirit? Simply put, the Bible declares that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will.”
How can Holy Spirit be God? The Bible tells us that Holy Spirit is fully God. Along with God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ), God the Spirit (Holy Spirit) is the third member of the Godhead or the Trinity. (more about the topic of the Trinity in another post) We read this in the very first lines of the Bible – Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
Throughout the Bible we read about Holy Spirit. In 2 Peter 1:21 Holy Spirit moved the prophets with the words of God – “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 describes the bodies of believers as temples of God because the Holy Spirit is in them – “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own”. And in John 3:5 Jesus was clear that to be “born again,” to become a Christians, one must be born “of the Spirit” – Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Through these scriptures and more, we see that Holy Spirit is alive and is an essential element of the life of every believer.
So, if Holy Spirit has always been, then where has He been? We know that Holy Spirit was present at the Creation (Gen 1:1-2). We know that He spoke through the Old Testament Prophets (Judges 3:10, Judges 6:34, Judges 11:29, Judges 13:25, Judges 14:6, Judges 14:19, Judges 15:14, 1 Samuel 10:6, 1 Samuel 16:13, 1, Samuel 16:14 , 2 Samuel 23:2, 1 Kings 18:12, 2 Kings 2:16, 2 Chronicles 20:14, Isaiah 11:2, Isaiah 40:13, Isaiah 63:14, Ezekiel 11:5, Ezekiel 37:1, Micah 3:8).
Now in the New Testament, we read about Holy Spirit at the Baptism of Jesus. The three persons of the Trinity come forward, together yet distinct, at Jesus’ baptism. As Jesus comes up out of the water, Holy Spirit is seen to descend on Him like a dove while the voice of the Father (God) is heard from Heaven saying that He is pleased with His beloved Son. “The moment Jesus came up out of the water, he(John) saw the heavens open and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descending on Him, and a voice from heaven said, “You are My beloved Son; You are My Delight.” Mark 1:10-11 TLB
From these readings, we see that Holy Spirit always has been since the beginning of time, so what is the role of Holy Spirit in the life of the follower of Jesus Christ? First, it is impossible to follow God unless we are led by Holy Spirit. And the only way to be led by Him is to follow God’s command to be filled by Holy Spirit. “… but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him.” Ephesians 5:18 AMP
Holy Spirit wants to speak to us, particularly by God’s Word. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:25-26.
Holy Spirit wants to teach us who Jesus truly is. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth … He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:12-14.
The role of Holy Spirit is to give us power and assist in our struggle against sin. Before He returned to heaven, Jesus said, “…you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit … But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:5-8
Holy Spirit wants to be alive in our hearts. He desires to talk to us through the Bible – The Word of God. Holy Spirit wants to make us powerful to fight against the wants of our flesh with its passions and desires? The role of Holy Spirit is to help us, so let us not ignore Him, but listen to Him and obey Him.
How are we filled with Holy Spirit? Holy Spirit enters your life when you decided to give your life to, and become a follower of, Jesus Christ. However, we need to continually ask Holy Spirit to lead us, to guide us, to help us do what God wants us to do.
Holy Spirit has many roles. He is our: Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Interpreter, Counselor, Strengthener, Teacher, Guide, Convictor, Restrainer, Leader, and Director. (John 14:15-17, John 14:25-26, John 16:5-8, 13-15, Romans 8:5-11, 13-16 AMP)
The Fruit of The Spirit
“…But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:18-26
Another role of Holy Spirit is that of gift-giver (1 Corinthians 12:7). The nine Gifts of Holy Spirit are:
- Word of Wisdom
- Word of Knowledge
- Gifts of Healing
- Working of Miracles
- Discerning of Spirits
- Divers (or different) kinds of Tongues
- Interpretation of (different) Tongues
1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12:3-8 make it plain that every believer is given spiritual gifts according to the Holy Spirit’s choice or direction-for the purpose of building up of other believers and the Church.
Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He said to His disciples, “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). This promise of power comes after the Holy Spirit comes into your life, empowering you to witness, strengthening your Christian walk, and equipping you for Christian service to defeat the Enemy.
“No believer can say that they have no gift of the Spirit from God. God has given all believers gifts; some have several but everyone has these gifts. These gifts of the Spirit are given not for the believer but for the Body of Christ. It is to make the Body complete. These gifts are intended for the church to edify it, to strengthen it, to feed it, to exhort it, to encourage it and to have the Body of Christ empowered to do the work of Christ. These gifts are always to exalt Christ, to witness of God’s power, to build up the Body, and to work to enlarge the Body of Christ by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. There are several biblical tools and surveys that believers can use to discover their own gifts of the Spirit. These are helpful applications to allow the Christian to see what their gifts are and therefore how they can best help the church. There is no believer in Christ that does not have the gift of the Spirit.”
As your new life in Jesus Christ is empowered by the in-dwelling of Holy Spirit, these “gifts of the Holy Spirit” enable you to do the God’s work in new and greater ways. Seek your gifts. (More about the Gifts of Holy Spirit and determining your gift(s) in a later writing) Satan has always hated these spiritual gifts, because they stifle his effectiveness and desired control in the life of the believer. These spiritual gifts are not only vital to doing God’s work, but the releasing the gifts into your life brings divine, scriptural blessings in all areas of life. We cannot do any part of God’s work successfully without His gifts. Holy Spirit uses these gifts to bring into being eternal fruit. If a time ever existed when the gifts of Holy Spirit are essential for victorious Christian living, that time is now.
There are four attitudes towards Holy Spirit that are found in New Testament Scriptures. First, we grieve Him. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians. 4:30) When we sin, Holy Spirit experiences grief. He cannot stand the existence of sin and hates it when we, who are indwelled by Him choose to sin.
The next attitude towards Holy Spirit that is found in the New Testament Scriptures is that we resist Him. “You stiff-necked and stubborn people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always actively resisting the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 7:51) AMP When He convicts us of sin, we can resist Him. We can refuse to call something sin, that He calls sin. We can justify in our minds that we are guiltless.
The third attitude towards the Holy Spirit that is found in the New Testament Scriptures is that of “quenching Him”. “Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit. Do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecy or prophecies [spoken revelations—words of instruction or exhortation or warning]” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20) When we quench a fire, we pour water on it. When we quench the working of Holy Spirit in the life of the church, congregation, another believer or ourselves, we are “pouring cold water on the fire” in an effort to remove, resist, discourage, stifle, or forbid the moves of Holy Spirit in our life or the life of the church.
The forth attitude toward Holy Spirit that is found in the New Testament Scriptures is to “be filled”. “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is wickedness (corruption, stupidity), but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him.” (Ephesians 5:18) The One that we chose to Grieve, Resist and Quench is now filling us and indwelling us.
The filling of Holy Spirit is not only for those who are “super-saints” who by their total devotedness and self-sacrifice are deemed to have qualified for the indwelling of Holy Spirit. No, it is for every sinner and failure that has come to the end of themselves, who are learning to repent of their sins – including their cherished sins. It is of every one of us who sees and recognizes the perfect cleansing available to them by the Precious Blood of Jesus.
The place and role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual believer and of the Church as a whole is vastly important. It is a basic Truth of the Christian faith that no man can know The Father, except in the face of His Son Jesus. (John 1:18, 2 Corinthians 4:6) It is also true that no one can see that face (Jesus) and acknowledge Him as Lord except by the revelation of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3)
So, to answer that question, where has Holy Spirit been? It is imperative for every believer to know and understand that Holy Spirit is as alive and present in this day. He longs to inhabit your entire being just as He did that day in the Jordan River when He came down onto our Lord, Jesus Christ. Remember this… the SAME Holy Spirit that was present at the Creation of the earth, that spoke to the Prophets, that came down and indwelled our Lord Jesus Christ at His baptism and the Apostles in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost is still alive and is still present… He IS the SAME Holy Spirit that wants fill your life too.
Consider wisely your choice. Do you want to Grieve Him, Quench Him, Resist Him or Be Filled with Him!