THE HOLY SPIRIT IS EQUAL TO GOD THE FATHER AND GOD THE SON

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,  set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come..” – 2 Corinthians 1: 21-22

The Holy Spirit is perfectly equal with God the Father and Jesus the Son and this is demonstrated in certain specific events in the New Testament:

At Christ’s baptism the Holy Spirit appeared like a dove and settled on Him while God’s voice was heard expressing His pleasure at the Son – Matthew 3:16-17

In the temptation of Christ – the Bible tells us that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tempted and throughout the temptations Jesus overcame Satan with the Word of God – Matt. 4:1-7 

While Jesus was in the upper room with His disciples just before His arrest and crucifixion, He talked about asking the Father to send them another Counselor, the Holy Spirit – John 14:16 and 26.

Paul declares in Eph. 2:18 that through Christ we, all Jews and Gentiles, have access to the Father through the same Holy Spirit. The doxology which we so often share also demonstrates the oneness of the Triune Godhead for we sayThe Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowships of the Holy Spirit, be with us all, now and forever.  Amen

Peter also tells us in I Peter 1:2 that we have been chosen by God, Father, made holy by the Spirit and enabled to obey Christ who has cleansed us by His blood.  He also says in I Pet. 4:14 that we are blessed if we are insulted for being Christian because it means that the Holy Spirit and the glory of God rests upon us.  I pray that when we go through trials and sufferings because of our faith in Jesus Christ we will stand firm knowing that it is because of the presence of the glory of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that leads to such insults and ridicule.

In Acts 2:3 Peter also declares the perfect equality of the Holy Spirit to God the Father and God the Son in His powerful evangelistic message on the day of Pentecost.
 
It is awesome to know that God Himself, the Almighty, All-wise – Everywhere present God lives in you and me by His Spirit and that it is the same Holy Spirit who indwelt Jesus and enabled Him to do so much good, exhibiting God’s love and demonstrating God’s compassion through healing, casting out of demons and standing courageously before His enemies. It is this same Holy Spirit who indwells us.  Such knowledge should totally liberate us from all our fears, prejudices, pride and sin and enable us to live lives transformed by God’s power to do good works and spread righteousness all around us.  There is victory in Christ Jesus who lives in us by His spirit.


 
PRAYER: “Dear Lord when I go through trials and sufferings because of my faith in Christ, help me stand firm knowing that You are with me” Amen. 

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THE REALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “And I will give you a new heart with a right desire, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart.  And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.” – Ezekiel. 36:26-27

The Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Godhead, is very central to our coming to faith in Jesus Christ. He is also very central to sustaining our faith. It is therefore essential that Christians recognize the importance of the Holy Spirit in God’s redemptive purpose. The Holy Spirit is the One who gives us power to live our new life in Christ. He also gives us power to share the gospel of God’s salvation of the world through Jesus Christ.  His work is crucial to the believer.
 
Yet though the Holy Spirit is so important, most believers do not have the faintest idea about who the Holy Spirit really is and what He does in the lives of us who believe. God’s plan for believers is that we be transformed in character to become like Jesus Christ as we read in Rom. 8:29: For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son.  So that His Son would become the First Born with many brothers and sisters. This is reiterated in 2 Cor. 3:18b – And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.
 
God knows that by ourselves we cannot bring any changes in our disposition – that is, the intrinsic nature of ours that seeks to have its own way. That is why God has made His Spirit available to guide us into all truth and righteousness.
 
The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father to bring believers into the intimate presence and fellowship of Jesus Christ as we read in John 14: 15-18;26. We should therefore treat Him as a person and regard Him as the infinite living God within our hearts, worthy of our worship, love and surrender.

 
PRAYER: “Dear Holy Spirit I surrender my all to You, come and live in my heart and help me live in Christ.” Amen. 

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”– Galatians 5:22-23

Contrasted to the acts of the sinful nature is a single-minded lifestyle called “the fruit of the Spirit.”  This is produced in God’s children as they allow the Spirit to so direct and influence their lives that they destroy sin’s power, especially the acts of the sinful nature, and walk in fellowship with God – Rom. 8:5-14; 2 Cor. 6:6; Eph. 4:2-3; 5:9; Col. 3:12-15; 2 Pet. 1:4-9.  The fruit of the Spirit includes:

“Love” – a caring for and seeking the highest good of another person without  motive of personal gain.

“Joy” – the feeling of gladness based on the love, grace, blessings, promises and nearness of God that belong to those who believe in Christ – Ps. 119:16; 2 Cor. 6:10; 12:9; 1 Pet. 1:8; Phil. 1:14.
“Peace” – the rest of heart and mind based on the knowledge that all is well between the believer and his or her heavenly Father, resulting in freedom from the turmoil of anxiety – Rom. 15:33; Phil. 4:7; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20.
“Patience”– endurance, long suffering; being slow to anger or despair –Eph. 4:2; 2 Tim. 3:10; Heb. 13:20.
“Kindness” – not wanting to hurt anyone or cause them pain – Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12; 1Pet. 2:3.
“Goodness” – zeal for truth and righteousness and a hatred of evil; it can be expressed in acts of kindness – Luke 7:37-50, or in rebuking and correcting evil – Mt. 21:12-13.
“Faithfulness” – firm and unswerving loyalty to a person to whom one is united by promise, commitment, trust and honesty – Mt. 23:23; Rom. 3:3; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:2; 4:7; Titus 2:10.
“Gentleness” – restraint coupled with strength and courage; it describes a person who can be angry when anger is needed and humbly submissive when submission is needed – 2 Tim. 2:25; 1 Pet. 3:15; for gentleness in Jesus, compare Mt. 11:29 with Mt. 23 with Mk. 3:5; in Paul, compare 2 Cor.10:1 with 10:4-6 and Gal. 19, in Moses compare Num. 12:3 with Ex. 32:19-20.
“Self-control” – mastering one’s desire and passions, including faithfulness to one’s marriage vows; also purity – 1 Cor. 7:9; 9:25; Tit. 1:8; 2:5. 
Paul’s final comment about the fruit of the Spirit indicates that there are no restrictions to the lifestyle indicated here.  Christians can – in fact, must – practice these virtues over and over again; they will never discover a law prohibiting them from living according to these principles.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IS LOVE

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”– John 14:15-18

The Holy Spirit continues to bring love and life to us. The harvest that began on the day of Pentecost, more than 2,000 years ago, continues today, and will continue until the end of the Church age. The Holy Spirit is the agent of Pentecost and the revelation of the love of God. God so loved us that He would not leave us as orphans  but sent the Holy Spirit to be always present with us – John 14:18

He is a Person and not a force or a thing as some believe. The Scriptures confirm this by the personal ways in which The Holy Spirit responds and the personal things He does. The Bible also makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is one with God the Father and God the Son – John 14:16.  Since God is Love the Holy Spirit is also Love.  This is seen in the attributes that are given to Him and which are without exception, the attributes of God. He is Eternal, Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient. 

The Holy Spirit is love and out of love gives us spiritual life so that we can relate to God. God is Spirit and the only way to relate to Him is in spirit and in truth. The proof that we belong to God is seen in our love towards one another, for God is love. 

The purpose of the presence of the Holy Spirit is to confirm God’s love and His acceptance of Christ’s perfect sacrifice. The presence of the Holy Spirit reveals and glorifies Jesus Christ and to fill us with His love. The Holy Spirit enables us to understand the revelations of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice. He reveals that Jesus’ sacrifice has made the blessings of God available to all of us. The Holy Spirit not only reveals and glorifies Jesus Christ but empowers us to love and to serve Him.

Prayer Point: “Pray that the Holy Spirit should empower you to live for Christ and serve Him.”

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THE HOLY SPIRIT: THE CONVICTOR

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” – John 14:25-26 (NKJV)

A function of the Holy Spirit is convicting. ‘When He [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement’ (16:8). Jesus goes on to explain in more detail.

The Holy Spirit will convict of guilt ‘in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me [Jesus Christ]’ (16:19). The Holy Spirit is the goad, the spiritual conscience, bringing sin to conscious awareness.

When the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, He keeps before us the fact that we are sinners. Anyone who downplays the nature of human sin, whether in a secular or spiritual context, is perverting the gospel, because we cannot be redeemed without an awakened consciousness of sin. The Holy Spirit keeps before us the fact that we are sinners except by the grace of God in Jesus Christ. He won’t let us forget that it is God’s grace, not our works, that makes the difference in our lives.

The Holy Spirit will also convict of guilt ‘‘in regard to righteousness, because I [Jesus] am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer’’ (16:10). This is the positive side of His task, constantly convicting us that righteousness is always reflected in the person of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit, then keeps before us the model of Christ’s life. Thus, when we come to a career decision, a problem, or an ethical decision, the Holy Spirit brings to mind what Jesus would do as a model for how we should act in given situations.

In addition, the Holy Spirit convicts of guilt ‘in regard to judgement, because the prince of the world now stands condemned’ (16:11). The Holy Spirit keeps before us the fact that the world and all its works are under God’s judgement. This does not excuse us from doing God’s work in the world; we work to redeem, but we must not take ourselves too seriously, because the salvation of the world is not exclusively in our hands.  We work, but always under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer Point: “Pray that everything you do will be under the control of the Holy Spirit.”

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CHARACTER OF A SPIRIT-FILLED PERSON

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.” — Romans 8:5

One of the first things that comes to mind when Christians think about Jesus is His morally perfect character. When Jesus overcame the Devil’s temptation, He entered the wilderness “full of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1), and forty days later He emerged from the wilderness “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). As a result, Jesus “committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22). Likewise, the Holy Spirit helps us today to overcome temptation and sin in our own lives.

The Holy Spirit helps us recognize the anger in our heart and convicts us “concerning sin and righteousness” John 16:8 (NASB). And the Holy Spirit didn’t just leave us unaware of our sin, either. He gives us a “new heart” Ezekiel 36:26. We have a choice to live “according to the flesh” or “in accordance with the Spirit” Romans 8:5. Thus the “fruit of the Spirit” becomes evident in our life.

We can choose to give in to temptation and engage in “sexual immorality… hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition… envy, drunkenness… and the like” Galatians 5:19-21. But the Holy Spirit works to instill… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. — Galatians 5:22–23 NLT

When we exhibit self-control and are kind to someone who stabbed us in the back, we are following the lead of the Holy Spirit. When we are patient with our spouse, even though they are driving us crazy, we show signs of being Spirit-filled. And when we are gentle with those who sin against us, we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit and holiness in our character.

Whenever I talk about character, holiness, and avoiding sin, some people automatically get concerned that I’m being legalistic. Legalism usually refers to rules of people, rather than God, set in order to gain God’s approval, as though we are saved by our actions rather than grace. While God certainly does have ethical expectations for us, legalism is problematic because it promotes slavery to law rather than freedom from sin. Another problem with legalism is that rules don’t change us — the Holy Spirit does.

When we are shaped by the Holy Spirit, we don’t do what is right only because those who live according to their sinful nature “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21). Instead, as the Holy Spirit is poured out upon us like water to cleanse our hearts, He moves us from having a sense of duty to do what is right, to having delight in obeying God (Psalm 119). Overall, when we exhibit holiness, or the character of Christ, and avoid sin, we are the kind of person that the Bible calls spiritual (Galatians 6:1 NASB).

Prayer Point: “Pray to God to guide you to the path of righteousness.”

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