Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
One of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity is the Triunity of God which means God The Holy Father, God the Holy Word (Son - Human incarnation as Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
Apostle Peter says we are saved by the Triune God.
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.1 Pet. 1:2
Apostle Paul also vouches that we are saved by the Triune God:
Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.Ephesians 2.18
Verse 22 makes it clear that the Triune God acts in the life of a saved person to keep him Holy to the end. From the above scriptures, we understand that it is by God the Holy Spirit that a person is made holy (saved) is kept in that salvation. The relation with this person of God is very much important in the day to day life of a Christian.
Holy Spirit - A Gift
Bible says Holy Spirit is a gift from God to those who believe in Him
Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.Acts 2:38
The steps to receive this Holy gift are not so hard. Repent sins, turn to God, and obey the Word of God!
We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him.Acts 5:32
This is a privilege given to the Children of God only. (John 3.16 says how to become a child of God)
And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our heartsGalatians 4:6
From the scriptures, we can understand that the association with the gift of Spirit can be in 3 different dimensions. These states are of equal importance and I believe God wants a believer in all these states all the time.
Apostle Paul makes it clear to the church that the Holy Spirit lives in each of us.
Romans 8:11 - The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.
If the Holy Spirit lives in us, our fellowship is a temple of God.
1 Corinthians 3:16 - Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
Not only the fellowship of the believers but also each one of us, individually, is a temple of God, since the Holy Spirit lives in us.
1 Corinthians 6:19 - Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?
Paul makes it clear that the Holy Spirit indeed is God and we are being part of His dwelling! We were once not eligible for this privilege. However, though we were gentiles, through Jesus Christ, this great grace has been given to us too
Ephesians 2:22 - Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
Why does God live IN us?
We can view enlightenment in 3 levels.
Insight - Ability to perceive the deep/hidden fact.
Understanding. - Ability to judge or comprehend the insight.
Wisdom. - Ability to utilize understanding.
Paul says in his first epistle to Corinthians (2:10-14) that by His Spirit, God gave us the insight about God. God's Spirit enabled us to understand the wonderful things about God. The Holy Spirit gives the wisdom to explain spiritual things which a common man considers incomprehensible!
10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.
11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.
12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.
14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means
Verse 10 - Insight: God reveals Spiritual secrets by his Spirit. These spiritual secrets can start from the basic fact of who God is and what Salvation is. A majority of people have the insight that there is "a" God. That is why they try to attain righteousness by their own deeds. By revealing Jesus to the world, the whole of mankind has got a higher insight into who the true God is and how true Salvation can be achieved. However, only a few strive to continue that insight to the next level of understanding the truth.
Verse 12 - Understanding: Those who received God's Spirit can know and understand Spiritual secrets, which is the next level after the insight or revelation. Understanding follows an open heart and is followed by action on understanding. For example, once a person opens his heart to the insight of how true salvation is achieved, he understands that it is by faith and follows the word of God to the act of Confession. (Romans 10.10). However, those who go through this narrow door are very less.
Verse 13 - Wisdom: Those who understood Spiritual Secrets are given Spiritual Wisdom by the Holy Spirit. This is when the doors of the Word of God is opened to a person to perceive the mysteries in spiritual knowledge.
Daniel had this spirit of God which made him capable to stand before the King.
Daniel 5:14 - I have heard that you have the spirit of the gods within you and that you are filled With insight, understanding, and wisdom.
This gift is not a one-time activity. God wants us to keep on attaining the understanding and wisdom, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Ephesians 1.17 - ..... God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.
This is a special privilege given to us.
Ephesians 3:5 - God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit, He has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.
The initial level of insight about God-given by the spirit of God leads man to the ultimate truth, that is Jesus Christ. Jesus vouches that the Holy Spirit leads into the truth and the truth is nothing but Jesus himself.
John 14.17 - He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.
John 14.6 - I am the way, the truth, and the life.
The Holy Spirit continues to lead the children of God in this truth
Romans 8:14 - For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Once a person is led to the ultimate truth, the Holy Spirit continues his work by making that person holy before God the Father
1 Peter 1.2 - God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy....
Through the faith in Jesus Christ, one gets cleansed by the Holy Spirit which leads him to salvation.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 - ... a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.
1 Corinthians 6:11 - ... you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God..
When a person repents his sins, the change of heart is brought by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 2:29 - And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit.
From the scriptures, we can understand that the Holy Spirit lives in us to enable us to keep this holiness throughout the Christian life. In all the aspects of our life, the Holy Spirit helps us to keep our conscience clean. Let's examine some of the ways by which the Holy Spirit does this in our lives.
1.3.1 Saves from natural instincts. The natural instinct of Human beings is to sin. Paul says in Romans 7. 15 that he wants to do right but does what he hates. Apostle Jude tells about the ungodly people that they do evil because they don't have Holy Spirit.
Jude 1:19 - They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
In that case, if we do have God's Spirit, we should not follow our natural instinct. God wants us to be controlled by the Holy Spirit in all our ways
Romans 8:9 - You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.
1.3.2 Helps to obey men of God. A person who is led by Holy Spirit learns to be obedient to the men of God and never rebels against the church leadership.
1 John 4:6 - But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
1.3.3 Advocates and Testifies for us Holy Spirit is the only companion in our life who never leaves us.
John 14: 16 - And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.
He is our faithful advocate even during our toughest trials where everyone may forsake us.
Mark 13:11 - But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
Apostle Paul quotes the Holy Spirit as his advocate when he swears his passion for the salvation of the souls.
Romans 9:1 - ...My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it.
1.3.4 Brings forth the intimacy to God We got the Holy Spirit because we are his Children and Holy Spirit continuously reminds us about this parental relation and makes us bold enough to call our God as our father.
Galatians 4:6 - And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15 - ...you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
1.3.5 Fills hearts with Love The love of God is manifested in our life by our love to our fellow beings. Apostle Paul vouches that the love of God is perceived only by the help of Holy Spirit
Romans 5:5 - he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Apostle John iterates the fact that one who knows the love of God loves one another. If the Spirit of God lives in us, we will love each other as God loved us.
1 John 4.12,13 - No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.
1.3.6 Guarantees eternal life Holy Spirit even assures us even when we have slightest doubts on our salvation.
Romans 8:16 - For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is the guarantee or the certificate that we are redeemed to acquire all the inheritance of God as His children.
Ephesians 1:14 - The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people.
Holy Spirit is going to change our mortal body to the glorified immortal new bodies.
2 Corinthians 5:4,5 - ... Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:11 - And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Not only did we get the Holy Spirit as the advance token of the glorified life in heaven, but also we are now tasting the sample of that peaceful life with God.
Romans 8:23 - ... we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory ...
Once we understand that Holy Spirit dwells in us, it is our responsibility to keep in fellowship with him. It is a huge privilege that God lives in us. For the same reason, we should not take it for granted. God wants us to take the relationship to the next level by listening and submitting to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 6.3 - My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh
Yes, God is a patient God. However, He is a consuming fire too. Our words and deeds can put out the light of the spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 - Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.
Instead, God wants us to live in (or live by) Holy Spirit. This essentially means to let the Holy Spirit take control of ourselves, leading us to truth and making us holy as we have seen in section 1.
Romans 7:6 - Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
Living in the spirit rewrites living by the old style of living. If we follow the leading of the Spirit in every part of our lives, we are living in him.
Galations 5:25 - Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Apostle John also vouches for this and affirms that this is not a one-time activity but a continuous way of living.
1 John 3:24 - Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.
1 John 4:13 - And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.
2.1 How do we know if we are living in Him? Jesus said:
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. - John 15:5
We live in Him if we bear fruit.
Galatians 5:22 - But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The next dimension of the relationship with the Holy Spirit is being filled with the Holy Spirit or getting immersed in the Holy Spirit. This not synonymous with the baptism by the Holy Spirit but is the experience of being completely controlled and dominated by the Holy Spirit to attain the spiritual power to know God more. We can understand from Paul's words that it is not an optional experience for a Christian and everyone should strive for it.
Ephesians 5:18 - ......, be filled with the Holy Spirit .....
In the words of Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit is manifested by Power from Heaven.
And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven. - Luke 24:49
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Acts 1.8
This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost
Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Acts 2.2
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is all about experiencing the spiritual power from heaven. To be raised to this level, we must have a desiring heart and an open mind. Jesus says:
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. - Luke 11:13
In Acts, we understand that the Holy Spirit filled the people who prayed for the power from heaven.
After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. - Acts 4.31
It can happen when you are alone or in a fellowship. Acts 2nd chapter and 4th chapter shows that power filled the believers during their fellowship. In Acts 9, Ananias prays for Saul (Paul) to be filled with the Holy Spirit when he was all alone. You need not be in a church meeting to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 4th chapter shows Jesus was filled with Holy Spirit when he was all alone, fighting with Satan It can happen when we face our toughest battle in spiritual warfare. Acts 4.7-9 shows that Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was brought to trial before the leaders of the people. Luke 4th chapter shows Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when he fought with Satan. It can happen again and again. In Acts 2:4, it says, “...Everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit.” But then again in Acts 4:31, it says of many of the same believers, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” The outcome of being filled with the Holy Spirit The gifts experienced after being filled with the Holy Spirit may be different in different people. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12. 11
It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
Regardless of which gift is being reflected in our lives, the dimension of being filled with the Holy Spirit is obviously distinguishing before others. Such a person is recognized by others as someone who is special.
Genesis 41:38 - So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?
We do not need to publicize that fact. It is an automatic outcome that, those filled with the Holy Spirit are recognized by others. Even before Jesus doing any miracle, his fame had spread in the whole region since he was filled with the Holy Spirit. People saw "something different" in him. Luke 4:14 - Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region.. In our words and deeds, we should be distinguished personalities. Above all, we will look great in the eyes of the Lord, and we will have a purpose in life.
Luke 1:15 - for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth
Ephesians 5: 18 continues as follows:
...be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The right way of worshiping God in the Holy Spirit is a demonstration of being filled with the Holy Spirit. We will be able to sing in the spirit, make music in heart, and give thanks to God for everything. Music is appreciated or evaluated only when it has volume. However, making music in the heart cannot be heard by a man but when the Holy Spirit makes music in one's heart, that becomes a spiritual song that praises God. The above verse explains that the way the Triune God is worshiped is Praising God the Father, in the name of God the Word, being filled with God the Spirit
The most prominent attestation of being filled with the Holy Spirit is displayed right on the day the first Christian Church was born.
Acts 2:4 - And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
Speaking in unknown tongues is a gift of Spirit as one of the signs of being filled with Spirit. There is a common misunderstanding that being filled with the Holy Spirit is (only) characterized by speaking in tongues. I understood from the scriptures that the gift of tongues is not the only proof that a person is filled with the Holy Spirit. When a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit, he is blessed with Spiritual gifts, and speaking in tongues can be one of them. There is no proof in the Holy Bible that this gift is ceased after the death of the first Apostles. On the contrary, the importance of this gift is emphasized several times! Those who speak in tongues speaks to God and edifies himself in spiritual growth.
1 Corinthians 14:2 - For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God... You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit..
The gift of tongues will enable us to pray in Spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:14 - ... if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying.
It is very obvious that only with the power from heaven that we can pray in the Holy Spirit.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. - Romans 8:26
Several other spiritual gifts are given when a person is filled with the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Luke, we can see that, Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, prophesied when he was filled with Holy Spirit
Luke 1:67 - Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy:
God may fill a person with the Holy Spirit to do the ministry of miracles and wonders in order to convince some people.
Romans 15:19 - They were convinced by the power of miraculous signs and wonders and by the power of God’s Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 12.8 -10, Paul mentions nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are special abilities to:
To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.
Before the experience on the Pentecost day, all the disciples were afraid of the Jews. They were in fact hiding with the fear of persecution. However, when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they became powerful and bold. Peter was filled with courage and did mighty preaching which caused 3000 people to join the church. Likewise, when they were summoned by the leaders of the people to be questioned on their ministries, Peter was filled with Holy Spirit and spoke boldly to them quoting the scriptures, better than a pharisee. Acts 4.8 - Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people... It might not be impossible for a person to be able to deliver a speech from the bible after learning some scriptures. But, speaking authentically with full confidence and courage needs help from the Holy Spirit. Only a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit can preach the word of God with boldness because the insight, understanding and wisdom of the Word of God can be attained only with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 4:31 - After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.
Such a person will be strong and brave to call out others' sin
Micah 3:8 - But as for me, I am filled with power— with the Spirit of the Lord. I am filled with justice and strength to boldly declare Israel’s sin and rebellion.
A person filled with the Holy Spirit is confident that no curse can touch them and no magic has any power against a child of God since the God of all wonders are with them. That is why Paul was courageous to rebuke the sorcerer who was feared by all the people. Acts 13:9 - Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye.
Holy Spirit gives distinguished wisdom in order to make us stand out from others. In Exodus, we see that God filled the craftsmen with the Holy Spirit to make them wisely so that they build the best crafts for God.Exodus 28:3 - Instruct all the skilled craftsmen whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom.
God also filled their leader Bezalel with the Holy Spirit to give him the wisdom and ability to lead the workers. Holy Spirit can make us experts in what we do.Exodus 31:3 - I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the ultimate hope gives us peace which cannot be given by this world. Our inner eyes open to see that the worldly comforts are temporary and what matters is spiritual joy. Romans 15:13 - I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can fill us with joy.
Luke 10:21 - At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit
Acts 13:52: And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Once the peace and joy in the Holy Spirit are filled in us, our lifestyle changes and we tend to live a life of goodness... Then the kingdom of God is revealed in our lives.
Romans 14:17 - For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Let us submit ourselves to lead a life that is filled with the hope and peace of the Holy Spirit.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)