Tuesday, June 17, 2014

COMING ALONGSIDE AND LIVING WITHIN

All a Christian has to do to receive the Holy Spirit is....ask.  Luke in his self-titled Gospel records Jesus saying this - If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13) Luke then records in Acts 1:4 Jesus really desiring His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit so He gives His disciples a command to "wait" for the Holy Spirit, "the gift my Father promised". The entire verse reads - "On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about."

Holy Spirit is Hagios Pneuma in the original Greek. Breaking it down further…Holy or Hagios (hag'-ee-os) means sacred, physically pure, and morally blameless. Spirit or Pneuma (pnyoo'-mah) means a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; vital principle, mental disposition, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit, life, and mind.

Luke uncovers the ministry of revelation by the Holy Spirit as he tells the account of a man named Simeon.
  • Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ." (Luke 2:26)
In Acts, Luke depicts the Holy Spirit as one who warns"I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me." (Acts 20:23)

Paul says we can experience God as a resurrecting power living within us for others as well as ourselves when he said - "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in youhe who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." (Romans 8:11)

Paul also reveals the Holy Spirit as "the God of all comfort" in 2 Corinthians 1:3 and then made sure he associated that comfort with Christ as he said two verses later - "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." Studying in the New International Version, I found the "weeping prophet", Jeremiah, calling God - Comforter - "O my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me." (Jeremiah 8:18)

In John 14:26 the Holy Spirit is called the Counselor (NIV), or the Comforter (KJVR) - But the Counselorthe Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Counselor/Comforter in John 14:26 is paraklētos (par-ak'-lay-tos) in the original Greek and means an intercessor, counselor, advocate, comforter, one who comes alongside another to help and represent.

I love this image of God Almighty providing His own Spirit to come alongside of us - forever.  However, God goes above and beyond by blessing the Believer with His Presence in front and behind the person (Isaiah 52:12), to the left and to the right of the follower (Psalm 91:7), alongside (John 14:26), and within (1 Corinthians 6:19).

According to 1 Corinthians 6:19 the body of the Christian is a Temple in which the third part of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, dwells.  Why does a Christian, a spiritually born again creation through the salvation plan of Christ Jesus, need the Holy Spirit/Ghost living within to continue life?  Because the benefits demand the question - why not? Does a Christian lose his/her salvation or reward if life is experienced without the Holy Spirit?  No.  He/She simply misses out on the extra supply of everything needed to journey through it.

Let's get right to it. Let's talk results.  Fellowship of the Holy Spirit and/or with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14) results in....
  1. Fruit for you life and other lives. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control (Galatians 5:22).
  2. The ability to "pray in the Spirit" meaning pray with the mind of Christ and/or your new heavenly prayer language (Jude 1:20/Ephesians 6:18).
  3. A new heavenly language to communicate your heart to God - called tongues (Acts 19:6/Luke 2:26/Romans 8:26). 
  4. The act of prophesying (Acts 19:6/Luke 2:26).
  5. Being able to speak to a situation under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Mark 12:36 and 13:11).
  6. Gifts - "God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will." (Hebrews 2:4).  The different gifts can be found in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10.
In Other Words....with the analogy of  a card game, those are the tells of a Christian who has the Holy Spirit within their mind, body, and spirit governing their life.

Are you interested in the Holy Spirit with all these provisions and more? In order to personally know the Holy Spirit, it helps to know Jesus first. Jesus is known as "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). John points out three important things about the Holy Spirit in association with Jesus once Christ had ascended to the right hand of Father God.

  • First, John portrayed the Holy Spirit as a Counselor/Teacher and said that He would remind us of all Jesus said (John 14:26). 
  • Secondly, "...when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truthHe will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and 
  • [Thirdly] he will tell you what is yet to come." (John 16:13).  

So, it is vitally important that we at least have the head knowledge of what Jesus said. Then when you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, from that point forward His Spirit will make God's Word come more alive and meaningful to you.

There does seem to be a usual procedure to the baptism of the Holy Spirit in one's life - salvation, water baptism, then Holy Spirit baptism. There were exceptions - God seemed to work in reverse on a group of Gentiles as Peter spoke the Gospel and John the Baptist had the Holy Spirit in him from birth - Acts 10:23-48 and Luke 1:15 respectfully.  However, the usual order I have observed is salvation, water baptism, then Holy Spirit baptism (John 14:15-17; Acts 2:38; Ephesians 1:13; Acts 8:16).

Salvation first, to declare with our mouths and believe in our hearts the answer - Jesus Christ, born in the flesh, crucified, died, buried, resurrected, ascended, and returning - provided by God for our sinful condition/nature (Romans 10:91 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Water baptism second, to publicly declare our faith and display our association with our Savior. All Jesus' disciples were called publicly.

Holy Spirit Baptism third, to empower the Believer with life more abundantly.

So, the question still stands to those who have not yet received - do you want God's Holy Spirit before and behind you, on either side, alongside of you, and within you?  Remember Luke 11:13, just "ask" and remember Christ's command to "wait" (Acts 1:4) because He desires Coming Alongside And Living Within.