The topic conjures up images of people swinging from the rafters or rolling all over the floor. It induces a feeling of mysticism and a lack of control.
But the Holy Spirit is none of these.
God is a God of order, not disorder.
When we mingle the mystical with Christianity we have an impure form of Christianity.
And while as God’s children we must surrender our lives to the control of the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t mean that we lose control of our faculties begin acting wild and crazy.
As I have pondered how to delve into this deep and somewhat complex topic of the Holy Spirit; I almost gave up completely. I could spend the rest of my life sharing with you about how the Holy Spirit works through us, in us; encourages us, helps us, and uses us to build up and encourage the body of Christ. Then there is the topic of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues.
Needless to say, I felt overwhelmed and feared that I could not possibly do justice to these topics – I am the least qualified to instruct on the Holy Spirit. Plus, I feared that I would lose sight of this series of Beyond the Grave.
So, what I would like to do is address three areas the Holy Spirit works in and through us and then recommend an excellent book for you to read that does far better justice to the this topic than I ever could.
The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of heaven
“You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13c, 14
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us [is] God,who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
Jesus was taken up to heaven, leaving His disciples in a country ruled by harsh dictators, at a time when persecution threatened – and eventually took – most of their lives. It would have been very easy for them to lose faith in Jesus as God’s Son and hope in the message of their reward in heaven.
So He sent the Holy Spirit. The way Paul describes the Holy Spirit in these passages is that the Holy Spirit is like a guarantee of His promise of our inheritance. Very much like when you go the bank to take out a loan, and the loan officer needs some guarantee that you are “good for it” and can make good on your promise to pay back the money you borrowed. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee that God will make good on His promise of our inheritance of Heaven and the reward that awaits us there!
The Holy Spirit gives life and power to our ministry
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11
Have you ever really read this verse? Imagine it! The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead…the Holy Spirit can literally dwell in you.
Let that sink in for a moment.
And when He does – He will give life to your mortal bodies. What would that mean for us if we all lived in the full power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us? What would our homes be like? What would our churches be like?
The Holy Spirit comforts and prays through us the will of the Father
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit [is], because He makes intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.” Romans 8:26-27
Have you ever felt burdened for someone or a situation and began to pray but found you didn’t have the words? Have you ever asked yourself if you were truly praying according to God’s will? One of the most beautiful roles of the Holy Spirit is that He prays through us. And since He is the 3rd person of the Trinity, He knows the will of the Father and by praying through us, we can always be certain that we are praying according to God’s will!
Not only that – we can be comforted knowing that He intercedes for us before the Father. Isn’t that wonderful?? So, we have Jesus who “always lives to make intercession” for us (Hebrews 7:25) and the Holy Spirit who makes intercession for us. Truly we can say, “If God be for us, who can be against us!”
Dear readers, This is a nutshell version of the Reader’s Digest version of the topic of the Holy Spirit. I don’t even consider this adequate – but there is not nearly enough room or time here to cover all the aspects of the function of the Holy Spirit.
If you would like to read more on the Holy Spirit – in particular the aspect of speaking in tongues – I would recommend “The Beauty of the Spiritual Language” by Jack Hayford. This book is balanced and thorough. It takes all of the mysticism and lack of control out of the this gift of the Spirit and offers a completely normal view of why this is important for every believer today!