Thursday, 11 November 2010

Thinking Thursday: The Spirit Within You

We are Christians because we have the Holy Spirit, not because we are forgiven.
Rom.8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.

So if he has control of us, who is the Holy Spirit?

He is the Spirit of truth: John 16:13 'the Spirit of truth'
He is the Counsellor: John 14:26 'the Counsellor'

He is a person:
a. He thinks: 1 Cor.2:11-12 … no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
b. He feels: Rom.15:30 … by the love of the Spirit …
Eph.4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God

c. He decides: 1 Cor.12:11 … he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
d. He speaks: Acts 13:2 … the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for work to which I have called them."
e. He teaches: 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.
f. He intercedes: Rom.8:26-27 … We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
g. He guides: John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.
h. He commands: Acts 16:6-7 Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
i. He appoints: Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all of the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.
j. He can be insulted: Heb.10:29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished … who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
k. He can be lied to: Acts 5:3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit …?"

Seeing him as a person rather than a force causes us to ask not 'How can I use him?' but 'How can he use me?'

He is God:
a. He receives divine acclaim: Acts 5:3-4 … you have lied to the Holy Spirit … You have not lied to men but to God.

b. He possesses divine attributes:
* He is all-powerful (omnipotent): Luke 1:35-37 … The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
* He is all-knowing (omniscient): 1 Cor.2:10-11 … The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God… no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
The Spirit who indwells us knows everything there is to know, will never be taken by surprise or caught unaware of, or unprepared for, any event that we pass through.
* He is in all places (omnipresent): Psa.139:7-10 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? etc.
* He is eternal: Heb.9:14 … the eternal Spirit

c. He performs divine activities:
* He creates:
Gen.1:2 … the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Psa.104:30 When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
* He regenerates:
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
Rom.8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
* He is sovereign: 1 Cor.12:11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
* He is the author of prophecy: 2 Peter 1:21 … men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

d. He participates in divine authority:
* Matt.28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …
* 2 Cor.13:14 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

The Holy Spirit and Christ:

John 14:16-17 … another Counsellor

Greek word used (allos) means 'another of the same sort'. Alternative word is (heteros) which means 'another of a different sort'. The Holy Spirit's identity and ministry is the same as that of Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who lives the life of Jesus Christ within us, and who desires to express the character of Jesus Christ within us.

See John 16:13-14 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own, he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come. He will bring glory to me by taking what is mine and making it known to you.

1 Cor.12:3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

[Based on Christ For Real by Charles W Price]

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