Holy Spirit (Part Six)

With this post I intend to change the direction of our study of the Holy Spirit.  Up until this time we have been talking theory and foundational material concerning the Holy Spirit.  In the weeks to follow my intent is to deal with practical application of the previously mentioned truths concerning God’s Spirit in our  lives.

1 Corinthians 6:11 states we have been washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Spirit of our God.  As we examine what has been said we find that among the responsibilities resting with the Holy Spirit is the responsibility to sanctify and justify believers by the name of Jesus Christ.  This is not man’s responsibility.  Man’s sanctification and justification can’t be accomplished by his good works.  It is the Spirit who sets us apart for the work of God.  It is the same Spirit who justifies us before the Father.  The responsibility of mankind is to accept God’s gift of salvation through obedience to the Gospel.  It remains the work of the Spirit to set us apart as justified believers reconciled to a gracious Father and ready to do the work of bringing praise and glory to the name of God.

As Christians set apart to do the Lord’s work we face a great battle.  Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness.  It is a battle against Satan and his demons.  The battle isn’t about earthly things nor is it about direction.  This battle is for the souls of men.  As the Spirit dwells within  us He gives us strength to deal with the battles and temptations we face.  Romans 8:13 clearly states the boundaries of these battles.  Scripture says, “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die:  but if you live by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”  It could be stated no more certain terms.  If we live by the direction of the Spirit we live.  If we fail to follow His direction we die.  To win our spiritual battles and ultimately the spiritual war we must walk by the Spirit.  This is only the beginning of what God intends His Spirit do in our lives.

In my mind,  one of the most important works of the Spirit is His responsibility to bring us the assurance of salvation.  We know from Scripture such as 1 John 5:13 that God intends we be absolutely certain of our salvation.  The Holy Spirit gives us this certainty.  In Ephesians 1:13-14 Scripture says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession to the praise of His glory.”  The Holy Spirit was given as a seal assuring both believers and the world around them of the Father’s ownership and the assurance of their salvation.  The seal of the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that we belong to Him.  Through the Spirit God has marked us as His own.  God further gives the Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.  This deposit is a small measure of the greater portion to come later.  When we buy a house we put down a deposit guaranteeing what is to come later.  When we pay for the purchase we produce in much greater quantities the very item we placed as a deposit.  In the case of a retail purchase our deposit is money.  The deposit God gives to us is the Holy Spirit.  God is bringing a little of heaven down to us.  He is guaranteeing  our inheritance of heaven!  The Holy Spirit is a little part of heaven dwelling within us.

The deposit of the Holy Spirit is recognized by those who receive the Spirit. In Acts 19 Paul asks an interesting question. In verses 1 and 2 Scripture says, “There he found some disciples and asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  Paul could have asked them a number of different questions but he didn’t.  Paul chose this question.  He asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  The implication is astounding!  Paul is implying in no uncertain terms that Christians receive the Holy Spirit when they become believers.  Furthermore, Paul’s implication by the inspiration of God is that we know when we receive the Holy Spirit!  We know because there are things the Spirit does for us that can be done in no other way and by no other being.  More to follow.  Think on these things!

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4 Responses to Holy Spirit (Part Six)

  1. Royce says:

    Excellent! Thanks for putting it in plain English.

    Royce

  2. Thanks Royce.

  3. I read this yesterday, Dell. I had to think and pray about it off and on all day today to get to the point where I could accept that Acts 19 says what it says.

    It says, “… when you believed.” Not “… when you were baptized.” Or “… when you were saved.”

    And you know what? It makes sense! Jesus says (John 16:13</a) "He will guide you into all truth." Then, five verses later, in the same circumstances – "when He comes" – the Lord says, "he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment." (16:8) Inspiring both the speaker and the listener! That moment of belief opens the door to the Spirit working on the conscience of the new believer.

    Dell, thank you for sharing this powerful insight!

  4. Royce says:

    The same Peter who spoke the words of Acts 2:38 is the very one who makes clear when one receives the Spirit by stating his own experience. Twice he says in Acts that he received the Spirit when he believed (Acts 11:17, 15:7-9). That is the consistant teaching of Paul’s teaching as well.

    Royce

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