After a person has responded to God through faith in Jesus Christ, the immediate challenge is living a victorious (obedient) Christian life. We must understand that the means to living such a life does not come about by our own efforts. The immediate question which arises from that statement is: If I can’t live an obedient life in my own strength, is it even possible? The answer is YES! God in His goodness has provided a way to live a life pleasing to Him. The answer is to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, which we shall explore by answering the following 3 questions:
- Who is the Holy Spirit?
- What is our relationship to the Holy Spirit?
- What role does the Holy Spirit play in our lives?
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is not some vague influence, inane (Without intelligence) force or mystic idea, HE IS A PERSON. This means He is knowable, He can communicate and make Himself real to us. As such, He has all the characteristics of personhood. We cannot necessarily see Him, but He is real and has a great impact on our lives.
He is God (The Lord, 2 Corinthians 3:17), the third equal member of the threefold Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
LIKE GOD THE FATHER AND GOD THE SON, THE HOLY SPIRIT IS:
- ETERNAL: No beginning and no end (Hebrews 9:14)
- OMNIPRESENT: Present everywhere (Psalm 139:7-8)
- OMNISCIENT: All knowing (I Corinthians 2:10)
- OMNIPOTENT: All powerful (Job 33:4; Luke 1:35)
What is our relationship to the Holy Spirit?
He spiritually renews us: Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit
He lives in the body of every believer: 1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own
He is the Seal (security) of the believer: Ephesians 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit
He intercedes with the Father on the believers behalf: Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
He distributes spiritual gifts to believers: 1 Corinthians 12:4, 11 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit …All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as he determines.
He teaches & reminds believers of Jesus words: John 14:26 But the Counsellor, the 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.
What role does the Holy Spirit play in our lives?
The Holy Spirit is best experienced when we are filled (Controlled) by Him.
Ephesians 5:18 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, instead be filled with the Spirit“.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to live in the power of the Spirit. But first, before we can live in the power of the Holy Spirit, a person must have the Spirit of God dwelling within them. When we received Christ, the Holy Spirit immediately came into our lives. Therefore, to not have Christ means we do not have the Spirit.
Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the flesh but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
WHAT DOES BEING “FILLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT” MEAN?
Being filled with the Holy Spirit means to be totally controlled by the Holy Spirit. That’s how we are able to do the will of the Spirit. That means our thinking, speech and actions, will be in accordance with the Bible, which the Holy Spirit wrote through godly men (2 Peter 1:20-21).
The word filled means; “being kept filled”. That tells us it’s a moment by moment state of mind and will, every day.
The apostle Paul encouraged young Timothy to live a godly life by saying:
1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.
The only way Timothy could set an example for the believers in his whole lifestyle was to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
PROOF OF A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN
The Fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. A Christian who is Spirit filled will be easy to pick out. Their life will be characterised by the virtues listed above.
Singing psalms and spiritual songs with thanksgiving in their hearts. Ephesians 5:19-20 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Notice in these two passages, that they flow directly on from the major statement made, “Be filled with the Spirit” and “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly”.
When a person obediently has God’s Word richly indwelling them, they will be controlled by God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit can then produce the fruit in that person’s life, and their natural response will be to thank and praise their heavenly Father.
Sadly, the reverse is true also. If a Christian is not dwelling in God’s Word, nor are they expressing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and they’re not thankful, then such a person is not under the control of the Holy Spirit.
HOW DO I BECOME A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN?
1) Confess your sins before God and turn your back on them in your living (1 John 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:20-21)
2) Make a firm decision to surrender your whole life and thinking over to God (Romans 12:1-2)
3) Hunger after a life of righteousness (Matthew 5:6)
4) Saturate yourself in the Word of God (Colossians 3:16)
Memorise: Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. (2) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.