October 18, 2017

Why We Have the Holy Spirit (part 1)

I just started reading Acts on my journey through the Bible in 2013.  

After telling about Christ’s ascension, Luke writes about the apostles, and other devout disciples, gathering together in Jerusalem to wait “for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4) – i.e., the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

And so they waited, and prayed, and waited and prayed some more. And then the Day of Pentecost arrived, and they were suddenly baptized with the Spirit of Christ. They were filled with that Holy Spirit, and began speaking in tongues and proclaiming the glory and gospel of God. And we read how over 3,000 souls were added to God’s kingdom that very day.

But it kind of hit me, as I read…

This continual, permanent filling by the Holy Spirit is recent, as world events go. It’s only been happening for 2,000 years — compared to the 8,000+ years that the world has existed.

For all those centuries before Christ came to earth, men and women only knew God’s Spirit at certain times. They did not have Him dwelling within their very souls. They would be anointed with the Spirit for special ministries or purposes, and inspired by the Spirit to write the Scriptures.

The Old Testament saints did not have the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

And we do…

Can you imagine the difference? Coming to know your Creator personally, and yet not having His Spirit to assure you that you are His child? Not having the Spirit to comfort you in affliction, convict you in temptation, and remind you of the Holy Scriptures?

But we DO have the Holy Spirit! When we are born again into God’s eternal kingdom, He gifts us with His Spirit — and we have His presence ever with us, even into eternity. 

Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus about this very thing [Ephesians 1:13-14]:

“when you heard the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him,

[you] were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
who is the guarantee of our inheritance
until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

You see, the Holy Spirit was promised to all disciples of Jesus Christ. In John 14:16, Christ promised His followers that God would send ” another helper” after He was taken away:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,
to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth,
whom the world cannot receive, because it neither see him nor knows him.
You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”

Note here the use of “another” — it means a second one just like the first. Christ gives His disciples an incredible blessing! Unlike those who walked with Christ on the earth — they had to say goodbye at some point, and be separated from Him physically — we who have the Holy Spirit know His constant, unending presence.

He never leaves us! I guess that could be convicting, but it’s also oh-so encouraging!

I sometimes wonder what it was like to know Christ in the flesh. I wonder what mealtime conversations would have been like. I wonder how He would have interacted with the homeless, the sick, the hurting.

But we don’t have to wonder. Because we have a Counselor exactly like Jesus Christ! We have a Counselor who shares His personality and desires and character — who is the very Spirit that belongs to God the Son.

And that same Spirit is our down payment — the guarantee of our eternal inheritance. He is the promise that we will dwell in God’s presence forever. He is the promise of eternal, abundant life!

What else is He?  What else does He do for us?

Put your thinking caps on…

How would your life be different if you didn’t have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you at all times? {<–tweet this!}

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Click here to read part 2!

 

One of the Holy Spirit’s ministries is to remind us of the things we’ve read in the Scriptures.
But He will only do that if we are actually reading! So read it with me this week:

Tuesday: Acts 10-12, Proverbs 11:1-15
Wednesday: Acts 13-15, Proverbs 11:16-31
Thursday: Acts 15-18, Proverbs 12:1-14
Friday: Acts 19-21, Proverbs 12:15-28
Saturday: Acts 22-25, Proverbs 13:1-12
Sunday: Acts 26-28, Proverbs 13:13-25
Monday: reflection or catch-up day

 

Comments

  1. Ian Whitfield says:

    Thanks for that Elizabeth. We sometimes (always?) have a fog around us. I pray for the knowledge and presence of God in our lives through the Holy Spirit

  2. the white wave says:

    I think my life would be full of doubts about my salvation without the Spirit . . . but His Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.

    Also, I would think there would be no way our transcendent God would hear my prayers, but I know that the Spirit interprets our prayers into groans that are too big for words.

    • Jen, assurance and intercession are two of my favorite ministries of the Holy Spirit! We would be so lost and constantly discouraged without either of them! More on that tomorrow….

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  1. […] {Click here to read part 1} […]