Is the Holy Spirit for Me?

Introduction

There are many questions that are before us each day regarding the Christian faith. One of the most important questions has to do with the Holy Spirit and His work in the world. We can see many different ideas about the Holy Spirit in different churches, but what does the Bible say?

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is God, just like the Father and the Son. Please consider these verses: 2 Corinthians 13.14; Matthew 28.18-20; Genesis 1.2. We must remember that the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead or Deity just as much as the Father and Jesus Christ. If you read Acts 5.3-4, you will see the Holy Spirit is called God. The mind of man can never fully understand the deep things of God, but the Bible tells us the Holy Spirit is God.

But what does the Holy Spirit do? Is He for me? Let us consider three different points.

I

In John 14.16, Jesus explained the purpose of the Holy Spirit, who would come into the world after Jesus departed. Please read these verses: John 14.16-17; 15.26-27; 16.7-15. From these verses, we know the Holy Spirit has several responsibilities:
  1. He is our Comforter, a very special help. (John 14.16.)
  2. He is a teacher. (John 14.26.)
  3. He testifies of Christ. (John 15.26.)
  4. He convinces the world of God's righteousness, of sin, and of judgment. (John 16.7-11.)
  5. He is the guide to all truth. (John 16.13.)
  6. He is to glorify Christ. (John 16.14.)

After Jesus departed the world and went back to heaven (Acts 1.4-9), the Holy Spirit was to come and guide the Apostles and the early church by revealing all of God's truth to them (John 16.13), and causing them to remember what Jesus had taught them. (John 14.26.) This same Holy Spirit guided the prophets and writers in the Old Testament. (2 Peter 1.21.) Therefore, the New Testament was also given by God's revelation and inspiration through the Holy Spirit. Please read 2 Timothy 3.16-17 and 1 Corinthians 2.13. The Bible is one of the works of the Holy Spirit, that we can know God's truth and what He wants us to do. All we know about Jesus and God's truth is in the Bible. Therefore, by giving us the Bible, the Holy Spirit has done what Jesus said He would do.

II

One of the Old Testament Prophets named Joel had prophesied of a great day to come when God would send His Holy Spirit into the world. (Joel 2.28-32.) When Jesus was going back to the Father, He told His apostles to wait in Jerusalem for God's promise to be fulfilled. (Acts 1.4-5.) In Acts chapter 2, we read of God's sending the Holy Spirit with signs of power and glory. (Acts 2.1-4.) When Peter and the other apostles explained to the people what was happening, they told them it was what Joel has prophesied. (Acts 2.16-21.) God had sent the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the world. Many years later, when Peter witnessed God's accepting the Gentiles as Christians along with Jews, he referred back to Acts 2 as “the beginning” and understood that God meant this outpouring for all people who would come to him. (Acts 11.1-18.) As Peter and the brethren preached in Acts 2 about Jesus, they told the people to repent and be baptized, and God would give them the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2.37-39.)

Therefore, we all can have personal fellowship with God by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Please read Romans 8.9; 2 Timothy 1.14; 1 Thessalonians 4.8; Acts 5.32.) God gives to the Christian the gift of the Holy Spirit. How do we get this gift? Galatians 3.1-5 says this gift comes by the “hearing of faith”— the Word of God. John 7.37-39 says faith in Christ brings the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2.38 and 1 Cor. 12.13 tell us it is by baptism that God puts the Holy Spirit within us. All of these scriptures teach the same thing. When we come to Christ in faith and accept Him in baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit and become part of God's Kingdom doing His will in the world. (Acts 2.47.)

III

What does the Holy Spirit do for the Christian?

  1. He brings sanctification. (1 Peter 1.1-2.) This means the Holy Spirit helps us be like God--pure and holy.
  2. The Holy Spirit encourages us to live a holy life by dwelling in us. (1 Corinthians 6.19-20.) We arc the temple of the Holy Spirit; therefore, we cannot defile our body.
  3. The Holy Spirit strengthens us to fight the spiritual warfare. (Romans 8.13; Philippians 2.12-13.)
  4. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. (Romans 8.26-27.)
  5. The Holy Spirit is given to us by God as assurance that He has saved us and will continue to help us. Read: Ephesians 1.13-14; 4.30; 2 Corinthians 1.22;5.5.)
The Holy Spirit is God in us--God in the Christian, doing so many wonderful things for us. We do not fully know how the Holy Spirit does all this and more because the Bible does not tell us, but we know the Holy Spirit is with us and in us to God's glory. How do I know the Holy Spirit is in me? Do I have a strange feeling? Can I only feel His presence? No. The Bible tells us how we can know the Holy Spirit is within the Christian. Please consider these points:
  1. We know the Holy Spirit dwells in us because of our faith in Christ and what He told us. (Galatians 3.2-5; 3.14; John 7.37-39; 1 Corinthians 12.3.)
  2. We know we have the Spirit if we have been immersed in water for the forgiveness of our sins. (Acts 2.38; 1 Corinthians 12.13; Titus 3.5-6.)
  3. Through our knowledge and understanding of God's love, we can know the Holy Spirit's presence. (Romans 5.5.)
  4. If we obey God, we can know of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (Acts 5.32.)
  5. Because of the struggle against sin and the desire to be holy, we know of the Holy Spirit's help. (Romans 8.13-14; 1 Corinthians 6.19-20; Romans 8.5-9.)
  6. If we have the fruits of the Spirit in our lives, we know the Spirit is with us. (Galatians 5.22-23.)
My friends, let us not think that the Holy Spirit is just some strange feeling or emotion. Let the Bible be your guide and you can see the great blessing God wants to give you through the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion

Let us close our brief study with two questions:

        1. What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? This phrase is found often in the Bible; sometimes it means a miraculous presence of the Spirit; sometimes it does not mean that. Please read carefully these passages: Exodus 31.3; 35.31; Luke 1.41,67; Acts 2.4; 4.8,31; 9.17; 13.9; Ephesians 5.18. Especially notice Luke 1.17 in comparison to John 10.41. John the Baptist was full of the Holy Spirit from his birth (Luke 1.17), but he never performed any miracles. (John 10.41.) Therefore, to be filled with the Spirit does not always mean a miraculous event. To be filled with the Spirit is to be under God's control (Romans 8.5), to trust in God rather than ourselves. Ephesians 5.18-21 teaches if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will be filled with praise, thanksgiving and humility.

        2. What about miracles like tongue speaking, healings, etc.? Obviously, what people call miracles today are not what we read about in the Bible. The purpose of miracles was to confirm the messages of the Gospel--show that the word was from God. Please read 1 Corinthians 12.8-10; Mark 16.15-18; Hebrews 2.3-4; John 20.30-31. The apostles played the major part in the performance of miracles: Acts 2.42-43; 4.33; 5.12; 6.5-6; 8.5ff. From Acts 8.14-18, we know the apostles had to lay hands on someone before that person could perform any miracle. Since there are no more apostles, there can be no more miracles as in the days of the New Testament. 1 Corinthians 13.8-10 and Ephesians 4.8-15 tell us that the time of miracles was only until the church reached a stage of maturity. Please read these passages. Since God has finished revealing His word--the Bible--there is no more need for confirmation by miracles.

Our faith must not rest upon what we see (2 Corinthians 5.7), for we walk by faith. If we spend our time looking for signs and wonders, we can be deceived by Satan. (Matthew 24.24; 2 Thessalonians 2.9-12.) We are to seek God's truth which is in His word.

Does this mean if there are no more miracles that the Holy Spirit is no longer working in the world? Not at all. The Holy Spirit is very active and working and you can be a part of His work. There is no need to fear the evil powers of darkness, God's power is with us through the Holy Spirit. You can be just a Christian and follow God's way. We began this short study by asking, “Is the Holy Spirit for me?” Yes. Yes. The Holy Spirit is for all who will accept God's way. We hope you will come to Christ in faith. Please let us help you in your study. Contact the nearest church of Christ in your town or village.