NOTE: Discuss the consequences of not understanding each concept. For example, what would be the typical result of not thinking of the Holy Spirit as a Person? How was Jesus limited by a physical body, but the Holy Spirit is “omnipresent”?
1) I should interact with the Holy Spirit as a person, for He is God himself.
I should not think of Him as just an “inspiration”, a “presence” or an “influence”, without personality.
Acts 5:3-4 … Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field? Wasn’t it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!”
(NOTE: if unfamiliar with this event, the entire story can be found in Acts 4:34-5:10.) Click here to read the story.
1 Corinthians 2:10-11 … the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
Philippians 2:1 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit...
Ephesians 4:30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me,…
The Holy Spirit is a Person. He is not an influence, or a force, or an inspiration, but God Himself.
He is like a best Friend, yet so much more. My relationship with Him is in many ways to be similar to a good spousal relationship. What are the implications of such a relationship? Respect? Communication? Interaction? Nurturing? How would I treat a “force”?
2) The Holy Spirit lives in me, His temple. God owns me (whether I believe it or not). His ownership does not become true after I believe it.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (NKJV)
God’s ownership of me is a factual truth, which is not dependent on my acknowledgment of it. I do not bestow ownership, I can only acknowledge and act upon what He states to be already true. What are the implications of ownership? What rights or authority are generally understood to be conveyed by ownership?
New believers will typically not be resistant to this truth, because they don’t have preconceived ideas of God’s expectations.
In contrast, older believers tend to accept this truth intellectually, but be resistant to the implications.
3) He is the seal (deposit, guarantee, evidence) that I am God’s child.
Romans 8:9, 14-16 … if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. … All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons.… The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us. He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.
2 Corinthians 5:5 And the One who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.
Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts,…
Ephesians 1:13-14 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment (pledge, guarantee, deposit) of our inheritance,…
1 John 3:24 … And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.
1 John 4:13 This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is God’s evidence of my salvation.
I should actively seek after the Holy Spirit and be open to His guidance and instruction. As a disciple I should grow increasingly more dependent on the Holy Spirit and increasingly less dependent on a discipler (mentor). I should increasingly recognize the Holy Spirit’s promptings in my everyday life.
4) He has a plan for every day of my life. He wants me to learn to follow and obey Him. He does not expect to follow my plan.
Psalms 139:16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.
Jeremiah 10:23 I know, Lord, that a man’s way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
John 14:16-17 (Jesus said) And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
John 16:13-15 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.
1 Corinthians 2:9-14 But as it is written: What eye did not see and ear did not hear, and what never entered the human mind— God prepared this for those who love Him. Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit,… Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God.
I need to fit into God’s plan for my life. God wants me to follow Him, He does not want me to view Him as my Servant, fitting into my plans and assisting me whenever I determine I need His help.
I should feel free to make tentative daily and future plans, while always being mindful that He may want to change my plans.
5) He intercedes to the Father for me and teaches me to pray.
Romans 8:26-27 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.… He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Ephesians 2:18 For through Him (Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Ephesians 6:17-18 … Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
Jude 20 But you, dear friends,… pray in the Holy Spirit,
I need to maintain a continual active communication with the Lord, through conversational prayer, reading and studying the Word, listening to teachings, etc.
6) He baptized me into the universal body of Christ, with all true believers. (Refers to “spiritual” baptism, not to water baptism).
Matthew 3:11 (John the Baptist said) “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the One who is coming after me is more powerful than I. … He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
I need to understand my oneness with all members of the universal Body of Christ, the one and only true Church, bonded together by the Holy Spirit. There are some doctrinal and cultural differences between Christians that should not create divisions or resentments.
NOTE: Water baptism for a Christian speaks of “identification with” Christ. While water baptism has no merit before God for salvation, it is to be taken seriously as an outward witness of what He has already done inwardly in my life. I am expressing to others that I have died with Christ and died to myself, and that I want to live a new life in obedience to Him and through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within me.
Matthew 28:19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Acts 8:36-38 As they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, “Look, there’s water! What would keep me from being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Acts 10:47-48 “Can anyone withhold water and prevent these people from being baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.
Galatians 2:20 ...and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me
Colossians 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.
Recommendation: talk with your Pastor if you have questions on baptism.
7) He wants to use me to testify (tell) about Jesus to unbelievers.
Mark 13:11 So when they arrest you and hand you over, don’t worry beforehand what you will say. On the contrary, whatever is given to you in that hour—say it. For it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 10:19 But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour,
Luke 12:11 Whenever they bring you before synagogues and rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you should defend yourselves or what you should say.
John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—He will testify about Me.”
John 16:8-11 “When He (the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.”
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
God desires to use me to attract unbelievers to a believing faith in Jesus Christ. This should be through spoken words as well as the example of my life yielded to Him.
“Preach the gospel – and if necessary use words.” St. Francis of Assisi
8) He wants to use the spiritual gift(s) He has given me for others.
Mark 9:35 … He … said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Romans 12:4-8 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.
According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of one’s faith; if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
1 Corinthians 12:4, 7-11 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. … the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial:… But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
1 Peter 4:10-11 Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.
If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
Each disciple is unique in the plan and purposes of God. He wants to produce interaction and involvement between believers.
John 13:35 (Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
He wants to minister to other believers through me.
- He doesn’t want me to simply focus on how others can meet my needs.
- How am I investing my resources (time, energy, possessions) in other believers to help them toward spiritual maturity, spiritual fruitfulness and spiritual reproduction?
Important: In the physical human body each member functions to serve the body, not the body to serve the members.
9) He alone can produce spiritual life in and through me.
John 6:63 (Jesus said) “The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
2 Corinthians 3:6 … the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him.
Anything of eternal value must have its origin in the Holy Spirit. I am, and will continue to be, tempted to rely on myself until I leave this body. I need to be aware of this tendency, and not think of it as abnormal.