One Step At A Time Christian Growth Series - Step 6 - The Holy Spirit
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:
in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13)

The Holy Spirit—is it a power? A force? Is it an “it” or a he? Is he God? Is he visible?

Perhaps the most misunderstood and least mentioned person of the Godhead is the Holy Spirit. A lack of understanding of Who He is and what He does lead to many misconceptions about Him.

I. THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

He is called many names in Scripture, including: Holy Ghost, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Father, Spirit of Christ, Oil of Gladness, and Comforter. He has all the attributes of God—omniscient (knows all,) omnipresent (all present,) and omnipotent (all powerful.) He is not an “it,” but is God. He is one of the three distinct persons in the Godhead.

1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” No one can adequately explain how God can be three Persons in one. All we can do is believe it. In Genesis 1:26 and 11:3-7 God refers to Himself as “we,” “us,” and “our.” In Matthew 3:16 the Scriptures tell us of the Holy Spirit descending “like a dove” upon Jesus before He began His earthly ministry.

HE IS A SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit cannot be seen. He is a spirit, like God the Father.

II. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

HE GIVES US THE SCRIPTURES

2 Peter 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Spirit moved or carried holy men to write, word for word, the Bible.

HE CONVICTS (CONVINCES) US OF SIN

John 16:8-11 says: “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

The Holy Spirit was the voice speaking to you when you got saved. He is the one who convinced you how terrible your sin was and how lost you were. He also encouraged you to get saved “now.” After you became saved the Holy Spirit continued to convict you of areas in your life where known sin surfaced. He is the HOLY Spirit and despises sin. He wants to use a clean vessel, so He points out the dirt in our lives until we get it cleaned up.

HE SEALS AND BAPTIZES US

This takes place the moment a person gets saved.

1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

Ephesians 1:13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

HE ASSURES US THAT WE ARE SAVED

Romans 8:15-16 says: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

One of the most miserable people on the face of the earth is a Christian who is not “sure” he is saved. If you have ever had doubts since becoming a Christian, you know the feeling. The Holy Spirit assures us that we have been saved.

HE INDWELLS US

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

The Holy Spirit began living inside of you the moment you were saved. He wants to be comfortable and welcome. Your body is His place. That is why it concerns the Holy Spirit what substances you put into your body, how you dress, and what activities you engage in. Your body is no longer yours to do with as you please. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has no body of His own, only yours.

HE GIVES US SPIRITUAL GIFTS

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 says: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

The moment you received Christ, The Holy Spirit gave you a spiritual gift to use in God’s service in you local church. No gift is more important that another. All are important. All are necessary for the Body of Christ to function effectively. Briefly the gifts can be categorized as the following: mercy, organizing, serving, teaching, prophecy, giving and exhortation.

He calls us to service

Matthew 9:37-38 says: “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Acts 13:2-4 says: “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.”

The Holy Spirit is the one who calls us to become Sunday School Teachers, Pastors, Evangelists, Missionaries, etc. He does it by giving us a burning desire for that area of service (see I Timothy 3:1).

HE COMFORTS US

John 16:7, “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. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”

The word “comforter” in the Greek is “paraclete,” which means, “along side of.” That is exactly what the Holy Spirit does. He walks along side us in difficult times, sickness, a death, pain, broken heart, etc. What a wonderful thought—a Christian never goes through tragedy alone!

HE TEACHES US GOD’S WORD

John 14:26, “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.”

John 15:26, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

Only a saved person can truly understand the Word of God. You have the Author living inside of you.

John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

The Holy Spirit makes the Word of God come alive!

HE HELPS US PRAY

Romans 8:26-27 says: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Have you ever began praying and ended up praying for a lot of things you hadn’t planned on? That was the Holy Spirit helping you know what to ask for.

HE UPLIFTS CHRIST

John 16:13-14 says: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.“

The Holy Spirit never brags on Himself. He prefers to be in the shadows while Jesus gets the glory.

HE SPEAKS TO US

Acts 8:29, “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.”

Acts 13:2, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”

The Holy Spirit speaks to Christians by the Word of God and by impression. Have you ever felt like the Holy Spirit was impressing you to witness to someone? His still, small voice is heard by those still enough to listen.

HE BEARS FRUIT IN US

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The Holy Spirit earnestly desires the character of Christ to be exemplified in our lives.

III. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Acts 1:8, “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.”

As a Christian, you were baptized and sealed by the Holy Spirit at the time of your salvation. However, the Holy Spirit desires to fill (control) you for service. Salvation is when you let Jesus come into your heart (house). The filling of the Holy Spirit is when you give the Holy Spirit all the keys to all the doors in the house.

Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”

That verse is a command, not a suggestion. As a hand fills a glove, so the Holy Spirit wants to fill and control you.

What is the power of the Holy Spirit? It is when He gives authority or boldness to your witnessing. It is when He speaks to a person inwardly, while you speak to them outwardly. It is that power which Jesus had that amazed the Pharisees that He had such authority. It is the same power sinners could not resist when Stephen spoke in Acts 17 as the words cut them to their hearts. It is the power Jesus promised the disciples in Acts 1:8 and commanded them to wait for until Acts 2. The power of the Holy Spirit is what the disciples had in the book of Acts to turn the world upside down for God.

HOW TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

1. Examine yourself and your motives: I Corinthians 11:28, “ But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” II Corinthians 13:5, “ Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

2. Confess all known sin and forsake it.

3. Yield yourself to the Holy Spirit. Romans 6:11-12 says: “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”

4. Ask to be filled. Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? God doesn’t haphazardly give His power to just anyone. You must want it desperately.” Psalms 81:10, “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

While at a Christian Camp, a young preacher asked a seasoned Pastor how he could have the power of the Holy Spirit. They were both near a swimming pool when the seasoned pastor threw the young preacher into the water. He held his head under for awhile. In a few moments the young preacher came up gasping for air. The pastor said, “Son, when you want the power of the Holy Spirit as much as you wanted air, you will have it.” What a clear picture!

THERE ARE TWO SINS A CHRISTIAN CAN COMMIT AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT.

QUENCHING (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

This is when a Christian pours water on the fire that the Holy Spirit is trying to kindle in his life. It is going in the opposite direction of where the Spirit of God wants to go. Many times this sin is committed while listening to preaching or during an invitation. Never refuse the Holy Spirit.

GRIEVING (Ephesians 4:30)

This is done by disobeying and ignoring the Holy Spirit. Are we to talk to the Holy Spirit? Yes! Sin and silence is what hurts the Holy Spirit most. He wants our conversation.

Greet Him in the morning, ask for His filling and guidance. Ask Him to accompany you for every task throughout the day. He will not demand your attention. He must be invited! If you have never spoken to the Holy Spirit, begin today. Get to know the one who lives in you.

JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

Many people say it must have been easy for Jesus to live right since He was God. That is not so. When Jesus left His throne to come to earth, He became a man and laid aside His godly powers. Everything Jesus did on earth was done as a man totally yielded to the Holy Spirit. Notice Luke 4:1 which says: “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,”

Matthew 12:28, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”

No, you will never see the Holy Spirit but you can get to know Him and be used by Him.

Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.
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