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Holy Spirit – The Person and work of God the Holy Spirit; the indwelling of the Spirit; the filling of the Spirit; the fruit of the Spirit.

The Bible teaches that God is one God and that there are no other gods. The Bible also clearly distinguishes between three parts or persons of God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, also known as the Trinity.

This article has been prepared to organize the large number of Scripture passages referring to the spirit of God to show (1) that the Holy Spirit is distinctly a person, that is, that He has personality; (2) that He is God, that is, that He shares all of God’s eternal attributes; and (3) that He has an objective, real ministry in the world during the church age, particularly in the lives of Christians.

The Holy Spirit’s Personality

The Holy Spirit has personality because He possesses the essential characteristics of personality, namely, intellect, emotion, and will.

His Intellect,

1 Cor. 2:10-11, For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

His Emotion,

Eph. 4:30, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

His Will,

1 Cor. 12:11, But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

His Relationship to The Father

Matt. 3:16, And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him,

Luke 4:18, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden,

Isaiah 61:1, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent met to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners.

His Relationship to the Son

Rom. 8:9, However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Phil. 1:19, For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

The Holy Spirit Shares the Attributes of God

Eternity,

Heb. 9:14, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Life,

Rom. 8:2, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Holiness,

Rom. 1:4, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Truth,

John 14:17, that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.

Omnipotence,

Gen. 1:1-2, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

Omnipresence,

Ps. 139:7-10, Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence?

If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there.

If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me.

The Holy Spirit Reveals Divine Truth

1 Cor. 2:9-11, but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

See also 2 Sam. 23:2; Micah 3:8; Acts 1:16; Heb. 9:6-8; 2 Pet. 1:15-21; John 16:12-14.

The Holy Spirit Glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ During the Church Age

After the Lord Jesus had ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit came to indwell all believers during the church age.

John 7:38-39, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’”

But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The purpose of the indwelling Holy Spirit is not to glorify the Holy Spirit, but to glorify Christ while He is absent from the earth.

John 16:13-14, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

“He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.

The believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and this glorification occurs on the inside of the believer.

1 Cor. 6:19-20, Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

When a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit (walking in fellowship), his life is written by the Holy Spirit. He is declared to be the epistles of Christ written by the Holy spirit.

2 Cor. 3:2-6, You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men;

being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.

And such confidence we have through Christ toward God.

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,

who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

When a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit, Christ is at home in the body.

Eph. 3:16-17, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

General Work of the Holy Spirit

Zech. 4:6, “… not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”

The following is a list of activities carried out by the Holy Spirit:

  • Casting out demons: Matt. 12:28
  • Comforting of believers: John 15:26
  • Reproving the world of sin: John 16:8
  • Making believers spiritually alive: Rom. 8:11
  • Making intercession for believers: Rom. 8:26
  • Making able ministers of the new covenant: 2 Cor. 3:6
  • Raising Christ from the dead: 1 Pet. 3:18
  • Was executor of Bible inspiration: 2 Pet. 1:21
  • Invites unbelievers to accept Christ: Rev. 22:17

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit lives permanently in every Christian. Rom. 8:9; Gal. 3:2; 4:6; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.
  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is called the “unction” in 1 John 2:20, and anointing in 1 John 2:27. These are synonyms for indwelling.
  • The prophecy of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is found in John 7:37-39; John 14:16, 17.
  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit must be distinguished from the indwelling of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ indwells the believer for the purpose of fellowship, Rom. 8:10; 2 Cor. 13:5.

The Holy Spirit indwells the believer for the purpose of function, Gal. 5:22-23.

Maximum fellowship with Christ comes through the function of the Holy Spirit in edification and grace living.

  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit must be distinguished from the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The indwelling is automatic at salvation.

The filling is a function of the believer’s volition or choice and may be lost through carnality, Eph. 4:30. The filling is commanded, Eph. 5:18. The filling is regained through confession of sin, 1 John 1:9; Prov. 1:23.

  • The Holy Spirit functions in the intake and application of Bible truth, John 14:26; 16:12-15; 1 Cor. 2:9-16; 1 John 2:27. This is the “how to” of edification.
  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is necessary because of the spiritual conflict in “high places” (spiritual warfare), John 7:37-39.

The Sealing Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The sealing work of the Holy Spirit is the basis for our eternal security. The three phases of salvation are given in Eph. 1:13.

Eph. 1:13-14, In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

  • First, you must hear the word of truth, the gospel.
  • Then, you must believe the gospel.
  • At that point, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit

You were sealed is the aorist passive indicative form of the verb σφραγιζω (sphragidzw), which means stamped with a seal.

  • In the ancient world, the seal was a guarantee or a transaction, e.g., a signet impression on a ring. Sealing was used to authenticate contracts, laws, invoices and military orders. The seal was also used in the ratification of treaties.
  • Seals were used to preserve tombs, libraries and treasuries. The seal was backed up by the force of the government in charge, e.g., the seal on the tomb of Christ was guaranteed by the Roman troops.
  • Seals indicate ownership; God owns the believer, having purchased him from the slave market of sin (Eph. 1:7; 1 Cor. 6:20)
  • The believer is sealed as a guarantee of his eternal security.

The Filling of the Holy Spirit

When a person accepts Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into (indwells) his life permanently. The Holy Spirit indwells for the purpose of glorifying Christ, but indwelling alone does not guarantee that Christ will be glorified by the believer’s life. For this reason, Christians are commanded to be habitually “filled” with the Holy Spirit.

Eph. 5:18, And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

The verb “be filled” means “to fill up a deficiency; to fully possess; to fully influence; to fill with a certain quality.” Here it is in the present passive imperative, so the verb is a command meaning “keep on being filled” with the believer receiving the action of the verb. The filling is by means of the Holy Spirit.

The responsibility of the Christian is to confess his sins. At any point in our lives we can take ourselves out of fellowship through personal sin. When that happens, we become carnal, not spiritual. Sin grieves the Holy Spirit and causes a breach in our relationship with God. The Lord promises that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us and cleanse us from unrighteousness. That is, upon the condition of our confession, He will heal the breach that sin has caused.

So, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, sin must be confessed. 1 John 1:9

See TOPIC: Confession of Sin

Nothing good is produced in the Christian’s life apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Rom. 8:8,9 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Gal. 3:3, Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Results of the Filling of the Holy Spirit

  • Imitation of Christ: John 16:14; 2 Cor. 3:3; Phil. 1:20
  • Perception of the Word: John 14:26; 16:12-14; 1 Cor. 2:9-16
  • Witnessing: Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 3:1-10
  • Guidance: Rom. 8:14; Eph. 5:16-18
  • Assurance: Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:5, 6
  • Worship: Phil. 3:3; John 4:24
  • Prayer: Eph. 6:18 with Psalm 66:18
  • Leadership in Ministry: John 16:13; Acts 10:9, 10; Acts 13:2; Acts 16:6

The Holy Spirit Provides Spiritual Power

The book of Acts is the book of spiritual power about where it comes from, how it is obtained, and how it is used. The promise of Jesus Christ to his disciples was “He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth. He dwells with you and shall be in you.”

The prophesy of John the Baptist in Matt. 3:11 regarding the coming ministry of the Lord Jesus also announced the ministry of the Holy Spirit for the church age.

Matt. 3:11, I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire:”

Examples of believers receiving the Holy Spirit:

  • At Pentecost: Acts 2:3
  • The Samaritan Christians: Acts 8:17
  • Cornelius and his company: Acts. 10:44
  • The Ephesian believers: Acts 19:6,7

The Benefits Derived from Spiritual Power

  • Men receive courage to rebuke sin: Matt. 3:8
  • Men are enabled to speak with confidence: Acts 4:31-33
  • Gives spiritual and moral strength: 2 Sam. 22:40; Isa. 28:6; Isa. 40:31; 41:10; Dan. 11:32; Eph. 3:16
  • Provides strength in weakness: 1 Cor. 1:27; 2 Cor. 12:9; 13:4
  • Provides spiritual gifts: Rom. 12:6; Eph. 4:11

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the character of Christ being formed in the Christian who is filled with the Spirit. Gal. 5:22, 23 lists the types of production which is the result of the fruit of the Spirit.

Love, joy, and peace are fruits of mental attitude, inward thinking that reflects the lack of mental attitude sins and the relaxation which comes from knowing Bible truth.

Long-suffering, gentleness, and goodness are outward, or directed toward “neighbors.”

Long-suffering, for example, is a relaxed attitude toward the human race and is a result of having love, joy and peace. This is faith rest under pressure which comes from people or circumstances.

Faith, meekness, and temperance are fruits directed upward, to God.

Humility, for example, is a grace attitude with regard to divine provision that gives glory to God for all support and blessing in life, rather than taking the attitude that one is self-made.

Conditions of Fruit-Bearing

The following are required in order for a Christian to have spiritual fruit:

  • Contact with the living water: Ps. 1:3; Eze. 47:12
  • Spiritual receptivity: Matt. 13:23
  • Death of the old life: John 12:24
  • Chastening (pruning): John 15:2
  • Abiding in Christ: John 15:4

Sins Against the Holy Spirit

The Bible speaks of five types of sin which can be committed against the Holy Spirit. Two are committed by unbelievers only and the other three are committed by Christians.

Sins By Unbelievers Only

  • Resistance of the Holy Spirit: Acts 7:51. This is rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ and a rejection of the pre-salvation ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11) through the sin of unbelief
  • Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit: Matt. 12:31, 32. This refers to rejection of Jesus Christ during His ministry on earth (during the previous dispensation, the Age of the Jews).

Sins by Believers

  • Lying to the Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3. This refers to false motivation, approval of the lust sin.
  • Grieving the Holy Spirit: Eph. 4:30. Refers to producing sins from the area of weakness in the sin nature. Any sin in the life of the believer which involves a moral or ethical issue.
  • Quenching the Holy Spirit: 1 Thess. 5:19. Producing human good from the areas of strength in the sin nature. Examples: giving, prayer, witnessing for the purpose of gaining approval. Human good soothes the conscience and keeps the believer from confessing his sin.

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Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Christian

A Spiritual Gift is a unique ability sovereignly given to each believer by the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation for the purpose of serving the Lord.

  1. Purpose of this study – to look at all of the Spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament and to understand the purpose and function of each gift.
  2. Objectives of this study – To show the logic in the use of gifts and to enable each student to be able to understand, for himself, the validity of the permanent gifts and the futility of the temporary gifts in today’s church.

Introduction to Spiritual Gifts

  • God bestows on every believer at the moment he is saved, at least one Spiritual gift.
  • Since each believer is a priest, he is to function in his priesthood as both servants and ambassadors.
  • The Believer’s Spiritual gift determines how he is to perform his priestly duties.
  • A believer-priest is not on this earth to live for himself, but to live for others. (Love God and love your neighbors as yourself)

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

In order for believers to function in their Spiritual gifts, he must first be trained (equipped) by those God has given as teachers and communicators of the Word of God.

Ephesians 4:8,11-13

Therefore it says, ‘WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.’

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

These three benefits of the training our communicators give us are all reflected and accomplished by the function of our Spiritual gifts together for the common good.

Spirituality; Introduction to Spiritual Gifts

When Studying Spiritual Gifts, it is important to remember the principles of Spirituality that make the function of the Spiritual Gifts possible and effective.

  1. Spirituality is an absolute; you are either spiritual or you’re not.
  2. Spirituality is what the Spirit of God produces in the life of the believer – we reflect
  3. A believer is spiritual, not because he’s good or mature, but because the Holy Spirit is in control and leading the believer. – Gal. 5:22-23 Fruit of the Spirit
  4. Spirituality is accomplished simply by yielding to the Holy Spirit; the will of God and permitting the works of God is our lives. – Walking in the Spirit and being Led by the Spirit. – Gal. 5:18;25
  5. Yielding to the Holy Spirit (being Filled with the Holy Spirit) is accomplished by desire, confession, and dependence on Him. – 1 John (the theme of the epistle)
  6. Desire (repentance), Confession (acknowledgment of sin), and Dependence (faith) are the three aspects of Spirituality and provide the mechanics to ensure fulfillment of God’s plan for our lives.
  7. When a believer is Filled with the Holy Spirit, his Spiritual Gift can function within the body (church) of Christ as it was intended to do – Eph. 5:18
  8. Spiritual gifts are given to every believer the moment he believes in Christ – 1 Cor. 12:13; the Christian cannot choose his gift, but merely receives it as one of several benefits occurring at salvation. – (pos. truth)
  9. It’s important that each believer discover his Spiritual gift, develop his skills in utilizing his gift efficiently, and then put the gift into action as God provides opportunities.
  10. Spiritual gifts are designed to be used in the local church or in conjunction with the ministries of the local church; Evangelism, missionary work and similar forms of ministries that occur outside the church are designed to help expand and build the church worldwide.
  11. In order to discover our gifts, we first must know what gifts are given by God and how to recognize them.
  12. We have three main passages in the New Testament that outline and list the different gifts. Rom 12:3-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11, and 1 Cor. 12:8-10;28-30; 14:6,26

Christians are the Hands of God

During the Second World War, a church in Strasbourg was destroyed. After the bombing, the members of this particular church went to see what was left and found that the entire roof had fallen in, leaving a heap of rubble and broken glass. Much to their surprise, however, a statue of Christ with outstretched hands that had been carved centuries before by a great artist was still standing erect. It was virtually unharmed except that both hands had been sheered off by a falling beam. The people hurried to a sculptor in town and asked if he could replace the hands of the statue. He was willing, and he even offered to do it for nothing. The church officials met to consider the sculptor’s proposition – and decided not to accept his offer. Why? Because they felt that the statue without hands would be the greatest illustration possible that God’s work is done through His people.

Jesus Christ chooses human hands (gave gifts to men – Eph 4:8-14). Sometimes they seem to be the most infirm hands, the least potentially successful hands, or the least qualified hands – but those are the hands He uses.

Romans 12:3-8

  • Paul wrote the book of Romans to the Christians in the church at Rome
  • The theme of the book of Romans is: Justification by faith and the Righteousness of God
  • Several basic Christian doctrines are taught in this book: Natural revelation; universality of sin; justification; propitiation; faith; original sin; union with Christ; the election and rejection of Israel; spiritual gifts; and respect for government.
  • In chapter 12, Paul discusses the importance of Spiritual Gifts and how these gifts are categorized by God into two permanent categories.

Rom 12:3-5,For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,

so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Paul introduces the team concept in the Body of Christ. He shows that each believer shares equally in responsibility and function to one another and to Christ.

We also see “one family – one father.” We are all children of the same God who is the Father of the one Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 4:4-6

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

Romans 12:6, “And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

Verse six begins to break down the Spiritual gifts into two categories.

Prophecy – this term in the Greek PROPHETEIAN refers to communications in two forms:

Foretelling the Truth

Forth telling the Truth

To proclaim the Word of God concerning future events and concerning present events.

Romans 12:7, “if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;

Service – DIAKONIA means to wait on tables; it is definitely a serving others concept.

The “one who teaches” is the first of several participles. A participle is used to further define a preceding noun. In this case, teaching clarifies prophecy as being instructive and edifying.

Romans 12:8,, “or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

As communicators: teaching & encouraging; As servants: giving, leading and showing mercy

Paul teaches in this passage that doing good in contrast to doing evil, is manifested in the use of our gifts to express our love for one another and to show the love of God to mankind

1 Peter 4:10-11

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The same two categories/types of gifts are given by Peter in this passage: Communication and Serving gifts.

Summary for Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Peter 4:10-11

  1. Your Spiritual Gift should never give rise to feelings of superiority or inferiority.
  2. Your Spiritual Gift is a Grace Gift – selected by God with our best and the church’s best interests in mind.
  3. Your S.G. can only function as God empowers (serving gifts) or enlightens (communication gifts).
  4. Communication gifts are dependent on one’s lever of spiritual understanding (faith comes by hearing)
  5. Serving gifts require a willingness to serve and the empowering by the Holy Spirit who gives both strength and opportunity.
  6. The Holy Spirit will give insight to Bible Doctrine and growth to maturity for communicators. He will empower and offer opportunities to serve for non-communication gifts.

N.B.; But, there are actually three types of Spiritual Gifts taught in the New Testament:

  1. Communication Gifts
  2. Serving Gifts
  3. Sign Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Paul lists several of the spiritual gifts including the third category of spiritual gifts: sign gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Manifestation of the Spirit – this is what Spiritual gifts in action are; evidence of the HS in the life of the believer – gifts = ministries = effects

For the common good – this is the purpose of giving the gifts; to benefit the body not to serve one person or one group of people.

Paul begins his list of Spiritual Gifts to the Corinthians in verses 8-11.

For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

Listed in the Romans and 1 Corinthians passages are the following gifts: Definitions, purpose, function of each gift is given based on examples found both in scripture and in the lives of Christians throughout history.

Communication Gifts

Exhortation – Rom. 12:8

Exhortation is the God given ability to draw alongside of someone in order to comfort, to encourage, to rebuke, and to lead into insight toward action.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • makes time to be available to assist others
  • Sticks with people through thick and thin
  • Sees creative options when facing problems
  • Enjoys people
  • Understand feelings and attitudes of others
  • Confronts without being offensive
  • Works comfortably with group or one on one.
  • Persists without becoming discouraged
  • Shows deep concern for people who are going through difficulties

Teaching – 1 Cor. 12:29; Rom. 12:7

Teaching is the God given ability to lay down in systematic order the complete ladder of a doctrine and to apply it incisively and diligently to life

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Employs a logical, systematic approach to the Word of God
  • Feels people need to respond once they know the doctrine
  • Evaluates matters clearly and concisely
  • Summarizes information easily
  • Picks out main points quickly in a presentation
  • Studies cautiously and diligently
  • Gives attention to details
  • Prefers groups to one on one settings

Word of Wisdom – 1 Cor. 12:8; 13

This is the God given ability to locate formerly unknown principles as well as to combine known principles of God’s word and to communicate them to fresh situations.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Understands complex matter quickly
  • Makes decisions without hesitation
  • Puts ideas into words easily
  • Takes details and puts them together to make a complete picture
  • Seeks to know God’s view in daily activities
  • Assumes responsibility for tasks undertaken
  • Identifies problems
  • Negotiates acceptable course of action for self or others in difficult situations.
  • Recommends practical solutions that work
  • Lives confidently and consistently

Word of Knowledge – 1 Cor. 12:8; 13:2

The God-given ability to arrange the facts of scripture, to categorize these into principles, and to communicate them to repeated or familiar situations.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Enjoys study, digging for facts or details
  • Persistent, thorough
  • More task-centered than people-oriented as a rule
  • Tends to become impatient with people who fail to learn
  • Very precise
  • Patient, stays with a project until completed in all its details
  • Continually looking, searching for new information or data
  • Enjoys talking to well-informed people
  • Logical, scientific, serious
  • Tends to avoid games or discussion on deeply personal matters

Serving Gifts

Faith – 1 Cor. 12:9; 13:2

The God given ability to see through mountainous problems to the ultimate resource with the vision that is timely to rely absolutely on both God’s ability and willingness to perform in this particular matter.

Examples of this gift in function;

  • Changes quickly from one task to another
  • Persuades others to join in on projects
  • Sets a pace for others
  • Makes decisions and acts quickly
  • Tackles the seemingly impossible
  • Places confidence and rest in God
  • Remains determined in spite of difficulties
  • Challenges others to do what needs to be done
  • Leads out with new ideas
  • Sees the big picture of what is possible.

Giving – Rom. 12:8; 1 Cor. 13:2

The God given ability to make and to give things most liberally and beyond all human expectations.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Invests wisely
  • Seeks to know the facts
  • Dislikes emotional appeals
  • Sets and achieves long ranged goals
  • Evaluates the extent and worthiness of need
  • Dislikes inefficiency or waste
  • Makes decisions quickly, but holds back when not certain
  • Determines the merit before investing
  • Uses resources to get the most out of them
  • Often gives privately and without show

Mercy – Rom. 12:8

The God given ability to be sensitive or empathic to people who are in affliction or misery and to lift internal burdens with cheerfulness

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Recognizes when people have needs
  • Finds it hard to say no when asked to help
  • Jumps in quickly to assist even if it takes more time and energy than can be afforded
  • Lays aside personal plans to do for others
  • Relies heavily on intuitive feelings
  • Loves people regardless of their faults
  • Looks for the best in people without doubting
  • Acts as a peacemaker
  • Avoids argument or controversy
  • Conveys a contagious cheerfulness

Helps – 1 Cor. 12:28

The God given ability to see tasks and to do them for or with someone in order to lift external burdens from others.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Prefers short range projects
  • Likes to be told clearly what to do
  • Takes orders well
  • Accepts responsibility to do routine tasks
  • Sticks to a task until it is finished
  • Appreciates recognition for work done
  • Considers any task important
  • Joins in quickly to assist when needed
  • Supports and responds to those in leadership
  • Works with others more often than for others

Ruling – Rom. 12:8 (leading)

The God given ability to stand before people and to inspire followers by leading them aggressively but with care.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Assumes responsibility for projects
  • Develops efficient and effective plans
  • Confronts people enthusiastically
  • Gets a high level of productivity from others
  • Delegates responsibilities easily
  • Finds creative new approaches
  • Organizes people and resources well
  • Stays with a task until it is completed
  • Accepts the role of leader willingly
  • Expects each person to do his or her part

Administration – 1 Cor. 12:28

The God given legislative ability to stand behind people in order to collect data, to set policy, to develop plans which will guide a course of action with skill and wisdom.

Examples of this gift in function:

  • Plans carefully with attention to detail
  • Follows instructions with attention to detail
  • Gets the most out of available resources
  • Works hard to achieve efficiency
  • Sticks to a course once it is established
  • Confers, negotiates and supervises as needed
  • Expresses opinions freely
  • Keeps calm when there are obstacles
  • Guides the efforts of the team on projects
  • Charts a well planned course conscious of outcome

Sign Gifts

A sign gift was a temporary gift given by God to the Christians of the early church in order to fill the void in scripture until scripture was written. – 1 Cor. 13:8-10

These were given primarily to the Jews or to testify to the Jews because the Jews sought and demanded signs – 1 Cor. 1:22 cp. Mat. 12:39 (an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign).

Sign gifts ceased to function around the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD or at the time of completion of the writing of the NT portion of the Bible – circa. 96 AD

Healing – 1 Cor. 12:9

The God given ability to heal a person of various kinds of illness; The purpose in healing was NOT to cure sickness, but to draw attention to the message of the healer and his authority as being sent by God.

Examples of this gift in function:

Acts 3:1-8 – Peter healed a man born a cripple – cp. 4:4 – evangelism resulted

Acts 8:6-7 – Philip healed those paralyzed – cp. 8:12 – salvation resulted among many

Acts 19:12 – Paul healed the sick with handkerchiefs – cp. 19:18-20 = salvation & spiritual motivation among the believers.

Healings – ended a few years after the beginning of the church –

2 Cor. 12:7-10; 1 Tim 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:20; Phil. 2:25-27 – Paul was unable to heal himself or others toward the end of his life. (thorn in the flesh; Timothy’s stomach problems; Trophimus left sick at Miletus; Epaphroditus left sick; Paul was losing his eyesight.

Paul’s last example of healing was in Acts 28:1-10 in an area where the message (the Gospel) was not yet authenticated.

Miracles – 1 Cor. 12:10

The God given ability to cause supernatural events; this gift was never designed to entertain people or to prove the existence of God, but to draw attention to the message of the one performing the miracle. Since the message of the early Christians and Apostles was dramatically different from traditional Judaism, it was necessary to establish authority and credibility before the Jews to authenticate the new message for the church. This gift ended along with the gift of healing.

Examples of this gift in function:

2 Cor. 10:8; Heb. 2:3-4 – Apostles had this gift

Acts 13:8-12 Elymas was struck blind = resulted in salvation of the people

Acts 9:36-43 – Peter raised Dorcas from the dead = many believed

Acts 20:6-12 Paul raised Eutychus from the dead = believers were encouraged

Acts 28:3-6 – Paul was bitten by a poisonous viper. = witnesses refused to believe

Prophecy – 1 Cor. 13:2

Prophecy is a two purpose gift; to foretell the future and to forthtell the present; Similar to the gift of teaching, this communication gift was temporary while the Bible was being written. A person with the gift of prophecy had a supernatural ability to proclaim the Word of God without having the benefit of scripture or previous study.

Examples of this gift in function:

Acts 11:27-28 – Agabus

Acts 13:1 – Barnabas, Symeon, Lucius, Manaen and Saul (Paul)

Acts 21:9 – the four daughters of Philip

1 Cor.14: -Some members of the Corinthian church

Acts 15:32 – Judas and Silas

Prophecy – stopped once the scripture was completely revealed to the Apostles and written (96 AD). – 1 Cor. 13:8-10

Discerning Spirits – 1 Cor. 12:10

This is the supernatural ability to discern or distinguish between the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer and a demon in the teaching of an unbeliever. Without having the Bible to use to evaluate one’s teaching, the gift of discerning spirits was necessary to assure the early church of accurate teaching from those who claimed to be Prophets or Apostles.

Examples of this gift in function:

1 Tim. 1:20 – Paul was able to discern the motives of the two believers who were blaspheming God

Gal. 2:11-14 – and to discern the motive of Peter when he was hypocritical concerning Law and Grace

Examples of the loss of this Spiritual Gift by the Apostles:

Acts 18:18 – Paul’s inability to keep himself from offering sacrifices and taking the Nazarite vow to God. (A vow that applied only under the Law and not designed for the church – Paul cut his hair breaking the vow).

Acts 15:37-40 cp. 2 Tim. 4:11; Col. 4:10 – Paul disallowed Mark from going on a missionary journey with him because of Mark’s past failures – Paul was not able to discern the true motivation of Mark.

Acts 5:1-11 – Peter was able to discern the true motives of Ananias and Saphira c/w his failure to deal with the Gentiles/Judaizers. (indication he no longer had this gift).

Discerning Spirits was replaced by the completed Bible which gave the ability to discern to ALL believers who know the Word.

Tongues – 1 Cor. 12:10

This is the God given ability to speak a foreign language without prior language training. A person’s education or lack of education made no difference in the function of this gift. In order to evangelize unbelievers of different races, cultures and nations, the sign gift of tongues was given. – 1 Cor. 14:22.

Luke 21:20-24 – Warning was given by Jesus to the Jews that their nation and Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Gentiles.

  • Tongues flourished among the Jews for forty years until the prophecy of Christ was fulfilled and the nation of Israel destroyed.
  • This warning and eventual destruction was similar to that given by Isaiah to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. – Isaiah 28:11

1 Cor. 14:21-22 – This is also the first indication of Tongues in the Bible, quoted by Paul and fulfilled at Pentecost as the final warning to Israel.

  • When the Jews failed to heed this warning as they failed to do under Isaiah, Israel was once again destroyed in 70 AD.
  • The church (Gentiles) was given an equal share in the inheritance promised to Abraham for the Jews – Eph. 3:1-9

1 Cor. 13:8-10 – With the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation, Tongues was no longer necessary and thus ceased (stopped) since the warning to Israel was ignored and the prophecy of its destruction was now fulfilled.

  • This also explains why tongues was only seen three times in the book of Acts and explained in the book of 1 Corinthians all in relation to the Jews. It is not seen or discussed elsewhere in the Word of God or later than 56 AD when 1 Corinthians was written.
  • The reason tongues was no longer seen or discussed is primarily because Paul’s writings are addressed to Gentiles and tongues was not an issue or practiced among the Gentiles except as a sign Israel.
  • Since the Jews had already been witnessed to by tongues, the Jews living in outlying areas were the only ones who remained to be warned. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, oversaw this with the believers in Corinth who were giving testimony of the pending discipline of Israel and the joint-inheritance with the Gentiles.

Examples of this gift in function:

Acts 2; cp. 10:44-46; 19:6 – At Pentecost the church received the gift to communicate the gospel in foreign languages

1 Cor. 12-14) – In Corinth some members of the church spoke languages the rest of the congregation did not understand

cp. Eph 3:1-9 – Tongues (languages) was also a sign to Israel that the Gentiles were now joint heirs in the promises to Abraham – (The Mystery Doctrine of the Church).

1 Cor. 14: 27-40 Biblical regulations for the use of the gift of Tongues:

  • Only two or three believers may speak in tongues as long as at least one person interprets. – vs. 27
  • No one is allowed to speak in tongues unless there’s an interpreter. – vs. 28
  • No woman has the gift of tongues since she would not be permitted to speak in church – vs. 34 – 35
  • Speaking in tongues could not have been forbidden providing it was done according to the above guidelines and as long as it was before the fall of Jerusalem and/or the completion of the canon of scripture – cp. 1 Cor. 13:8-10; – vs. 39
  • The use of tongues must be done properly and in an orderly manner – vs. 40

Interpretation of Tongues – 1 Cor. 12:10

This gift accompanied the gift of tongues so those of different languages would understand the message being spoken in the foreign tongue. Tongues was not to be practiced without someone with this gift present.

1 Cor. 13:8-10 – When tongues ceased the gift of Interpretation of Tongues was no longer necessary and thus it ceased as well.

Examples of this gift in function:

1 Cor. 14:26-28

SUMMARY AND APPLICATION

  • Knowing what your Spiritual gift is will come with Spiritual growth.
  • Functioning in your Spiritual gift does not require that you know what that gift is;
  • We need to be led by the Spirit and filled by the Spirit to function properly in our gift.
  • Spiritual growth will provide the believer with opportunities to function in their gift.
  • Since God has actually created/called us into His family for this purpose, we should not hesitate to desire we be used by God within our gift as soon as possible. – Eph. 2:10
  • God gives us our Spiritual gift at salvation; therefore praying for a specific gift is unproductive and not necessary.
  • God in his omniscience knows where we will and can function bestaccording to His plan.
  • No one gift is more important than another; therefore one shouldn’t be looked on as being superior to another.
  • Christians are not designed to all have the same gifts, therefore those who would teach that we should all have the gift of tongues or healings or teaching, or something else do not understand 1 Cor. 12-14 and thus are teaching untrue thing.

A publication of http://www.GraceNotes.info

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Holy Spirit Salvation Ministry

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Introduction.

God the Holy Spirit does seven things for each church age believer when he accepts Jesus Christ as Savior. None of these ministries make you feel better or any differently. There is no emotional experience with the Holy Spirit’s activities. All emotional experiences have a human source.

These seven things done for the believer by the Holy Spirit at salvation form the basis for unity among Christian believers.

Efficacious Grace**

Efficacious grace is the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to the believer in Christ, or the work of the Holy Spirit which enables the believer to have an effective faith in Christ as Savior. It is the Holy Spirit picking up a person’s positive signals of faith in Christ and carrying them to the point of salvation.

When we hear the gospel we are spiritually dead. When we believe in Jesus Christ, it is the faith of a spiritually dead person. How can a dead man hear anything? Furthermore, what good is the faith of a spiritually dead person? Therefore, we were totally helpless to procure eternal salvation in our spiritually dead state.

But God the Holy Spirit in His matchless grace comes to our rescue. First, He makes the gospel clear to us. This is common grace. Then He makes our faith in Christ effectual, giving our faith life, as it were. This is efficacious grace.

In John 10:27-28, Jesus said, “I give unto you eternal life, and you shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck you out of My hand.” It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to make our faith effective so that we can be given eternal life.

Therefore, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in common grace may be regarded as the inhale of the gospel. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in efficacious grace may be regarded as the exhale of faith in Jesus Christ.

When the spiritually dead person believes in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit takes that faith and makes it effective for salvation.

The origin of our faith is from a spiritually dead person, and therefore it has no ability in itself. Spiritual death means total inability to do anything by which we can enter into an eternal relationship with God.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit’s ministry at salvation is one of fantastic grace, both in making the gospel understandable and in making our faith effectual.

So in salvation, the spiritually dead person believes in Jesus Christ, while the Holy Spirit makes that faith effective for salvation.

The positive volition of the spiritually dead person does two non-meritorious things.

When he listens to the gospel; the Holy Spirit makes the gospel message lucid.

When he believes in Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit makes his faith effective.

Being spiritually dead, we cannot understand what we hear as unbelievers. Therefore, without the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace, none of us would have eternal salvation.

Effectual faith means the power to produce the intended effect and purpose, i.e., salvation.

Ephesians 2:8, “For you have been saved by grace_ [efficacious grace] through faith [effectual faith], and this[matter of being saved] _is not from yourselves; it is a gift from God, not from works, lest any man should boast.”

So in our salvation, there are two acts of sovereign grace:

  1. The first is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in making the gospel understandable. Common grace means that, being spiritually dead, we can not begin to understand any spiritual phenomena, including the gospel.
  2. The second is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making our faith effectual, called efficacious grace.

For those who reject the gospel there is no efficacious grace.

Matthew 22:14, “For many are called [the entire human race], but few are chosen [i.e., elected, become believers].”

Efficacious grace is a part of the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13-14.

God the Holy Spirit makes your faith effective for salvation and then guarantees it, seals it.

Regeneration

The second ministry of the Holy Spirit at salvation is called regeneration. It is taught in Tit. 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:23.

Regeneration is the technical term for being born again, because that is the way it is described in John 3:1-18, in our Lord’s discussion with Nicodemus.

John 3: 6-7, “-That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say to you: you must be born again. –

Being born again is a result of faith in Jesus Christ and occurs at the instant you personally believe in Jesus Christ.

We are born physically as dichotomous, having a body and soul, but no human spirit. However, at the moment we believe in Christ, God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit, making us trichotomous.

The moment God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit, God the Father imputes eternal life to that human spirit.

Remember that any kind of life must have a place to reside. The human soul is where human physical life resides, imputed at our physical birth. The human spirit is where eternal life resides, imputed at our spiritual birth.

Soul life exists forever. The believer will live forever in heaven; the unbeliever will live forever in the lake of fire.

John 3:36, “For he that believes on the Son has everlasting life. But he that does not believe on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

So regeneration means the creation of a human spirit for the imputation of eternal life. The soul is the residence of human life; the human spirit is the residence of eternal life.

The fact that the believer in Jesus Christ is trichotomous is found in 1Thess 5:23; Philemon 25.

Just as the soul is the residence for soul or human life, so the human spirit is the residence for eternal life.

Conception is the origin of the human body; this is biological life. When biological life emerges from the womb, God creates human life and imputes it to the human soul.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The baptism of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in Acts 1:5. It is mentioned in principle and mechanics in 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 4:5.

At the moment we believed in Christ, God the Holy Spirit took each one of us and entered us into union with the person of Jesus Christ.

As a result of being in union with Christ, we share what Christ has.

  1. We share His eternal life (1 John 5:11-12), giving us a double portion of eternal life.
  2. We share His righteousness, giving us a double portion.
  3. We share Christ’s destiny under predestination.
  4. We share Christ’s election.
  5. Jesus Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father, has a third royal title. We share in His royalty as His royal family.
  6. We become a new spiritual species, 2 Cor. 5:17

Once you are put into union with Christ also called positional sanctification, you can never get out. There is no sin or human good or evil you can perform that can disqualify you from being in union with Christ.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the basis for the new spiritual species and the royal family of God. This is a unifying factor in the body of Christ. We have equal privilege and opportunity to execute God’s plan.

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

At the moment you believe in Christ, God the Holy Spirit indwells your body, 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:16.

1 Cor. 6:19-20, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you . . .

The purpose of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is to provide a temple for the indwelling of Jesus Christ as the shekinah glory. This is necessary because we all have the old sin nature resident in the cell structure of our bodies, with a predilection to sin in certain areas.

In the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and temple, our Lord Jesus Christ dwelt between the cherubs as the shekinah gory. His presence there was a guarantee of blessing to Israel through their unconditional covenants.

Just as Christ indwelt the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem as a guarantee of blessing to Israel, so He indwells us as a guarantee of our escrow blessings. He lives in your body as a greater guarantee of blessing than the guarantee given to Israel. For Jesus Christ is the escrow officer; He is the one who makes the distribution of our blessings for time and for the eternal state.

The indwelling of Christ says that, if the indwelling of Christ in sacred buildings during the age of Israel was so important, how much more important is it that Jesus Christ now indwells your body. In fact, it is so important that the Holy Spirit preceded Him and made a temple for His indwelling.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit relates to the body of the Christian believer, while the filling of the Holy Spirit relates to the soul of the believer in Christ.

The indwelling of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit have nothing to do with your spiritual life experientially. It is the filling of the Holy Spirit that has to do with your spiritual life. The filling of the Holy Spirit is when the believer walks by means of the Spirit, where the Holy Spirit controls his soul, which is distinct from his body.

So the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit are not related; they are separate ministries.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with your personal life, how you act, or how you conduct your life. It is permanent. The filling of the Holy Spirit, however, is affected by our thinking or behavior, because personal sin is a factor, as shown in the next section.

The Filling of the Holy Spirit

The filling of the Holy Spirit is taught in Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:16.

We are filled with the Holy Spirit at salvation when God the Holy Spirit takes us and enters us into fellowship with Himself.

Thereafter, the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, which is the same as being under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, and this continues as long as he does not sin.

When we sin, we lose the filling of the Holy Spirit. We grieve the Holy Spirit. We quench the Holy Spirit. But through the use of confession of sin, we can once again become filled with the Holy Spirit.

To recover the filling of the Holy Spirit after sinning, we must use confession, which is described in 1 John 1:9.

The Sealing Ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit is found in Eph 1:13-14, 4:30.

The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit is a signature guarantee of:

  1. The Holy Spirit’s ministry in efficacious grace.
  2. Eternal life.
  3. Eternal security in time.
  4. Your assets of divine blessing (Eph. 1:3)

This is His ministry whereby the Holy Spirit signs the guarantee of our salvation, eternal life, eternal security and invisible assets. He puts His signature to our lives that we actually have our blessings.

Both the indwelling of Christ and the sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantee our blessings.

The Sovereign Distribution of Spiritual Gifts to each Believer

All three members of the trinity are actually involved in the distribution of our spiritual gifts.

God the Father was involved in the distribution of spiritual gifts as a witness to the strategic victory of Jesus Christ after His ascension. This began in the dispensation of the hypostatic union. Heb. 2:4.

God the Son was involved in the initial distribution of spiritual gifts to the first generation of the body of Christ or royal family. This follows the analogy of a Roman triumphal procession. This was a part of the distribution of blessings as a result of the triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ which terminated the dispensation of the hypostatic union, in His resurrection, ascension, and session. Eph 4:7-8.

After the first generation of the royal family, God the Holy Spirit is involved in all subsequent distribution of spiritual gifts, 1 Cor. 12:11.

At the very moment you believed in Jesus Christ, you were given a spiritual gift.

The distribution of spiritual gifts at the moment of salvation is the manifestation of team action in the body of Christ. It is the basis for administration and service in the royal family. It is the expression of the modus operandi of the church age believer, both as a royal priest and as a royal ambassador.

The Two Post Salvation Ministries of the Holy Spirit.

After salvation, the Holy Spirit has two post salvation ministries.

The enabling power of the Holy Spirit, for believers who are in fellowship, is called the filling of the Holy Spirit in Eph 5:18, and it is called walking by means of the Holy Spirit in Gal 5:16.

The teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit can only occur when a believer is in fellowship. This is the enabling ministry of the Holy Spirit to understand doctrine.

Therefore, the post salvation ministries of the Holy Spirit are related to our understanding of Bible doctrine, John 14:26, 16:12-14; 1 Cor. 2:9-16.

Bibliography (principal sources):

Chafer, Lewis Sperry, “Systematic Theology”

McCalley, Chester, taped sermons and printed materials.

Strong, A. H., “Systematic Theology”

Thieme, R. B. Jr., taped sermons and printed materials.

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The Person and Work of God the Holy Spirit

The Bible teaches that God is one God and that there are no other gods. The Bible also clearly distinguishes between three parts or persons of God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, also known as the Trinity.

This article has been prepared to organize the large number of Scripture passages referring to the spirit of God to show

  1. that the Holy Spirit is distinctly a person, that is, that He has personality;
  2. that He is God, that is, that He shares all of God’s eternal attributes; and
  3. that He has an objective, real ministry in the world during the church age, particularly in the lives of Christians.

THE HOLY SPIRIT’S PERSONALITY

The Holy Spirit has personality because He possesses the essential characteristics of personality, namely, intellect, emotion, and will.

His Intellect, 1 Cor. 2:10,11, For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

His Emotion, Eph. 4:30, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

His Will, 1 Cor. 12:11, But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

HIS RELATIONSHIP TO THE FATHER

Matt. 3:16, And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him,

Luke 4:18, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden,

Isaiah 61:1, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent met to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners.

HIS RELATIONSHIP TO THE SON

Rom. 8:9, However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Phil. 1:19, For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

THE HOLY SPIRIT SHARES THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

Eternity, Heb. 9:14, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Life, Rom. 8:2, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Holiness, Rom. 1:4, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Truth, John 14:17, that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.

Omnipotence, Gen. 1:1,2, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

Omnipresence, Ps. 139:7-10, Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence?
If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there.
If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me.

THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALS DIVINE TRUTH

1 Cor. 2:9-11, but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,  And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
See also 2 Sam. 23:2; Micah 3:8; Acts 1:16; Heb. 9:6-8; 2 Pet. 1:15-21; John 16:12-14.

THE HOLY SPIRIT GLORIFIES THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DURING THE CHURCH AGE

After the Lord Jesus had ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit came to indwell all believers during the church age.

John 7:38, 39, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'”
But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The purpose of the indwelling Holy Spirit is not to glorify the Holy Spirit, but to glorify Christ while He is absent from the earth.

John 16:13, 14, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. “He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.

The believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and this glorification occurs on the inside of the believer.

1 Cor. 6:19,20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

When a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit (walking in fellowship), his life is written by the Holy Spirit. He is declared to be the epistles of Christ written by the Holy spirit.

2 Cor. 3:2-6, You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts. And such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

When a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit, Christ is at home in the body.

Eph. 3:16,17, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

GENERAL WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Zech. 4:6, “… not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”

The following is a list of activities carried out by the Holy Spirit:

THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

  • The Holy Spirit lives permanently in every Christian. Rom. 8:9; Gal. 3:2; 4:6; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.
  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is called the “unction” in 1 John 2:20, and “anointing” in 1 John 2:27. These are synonyms for “indwelling.”
  • The prophecy of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is found in John 7:37-39; John 14:16,17.
  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit must be distinguished from the indwelling of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ indwells the believer for the purpose of fellowship, Rom. 8:10; 2 Cor. 13:5.

The Holy Spirit indwells the believer for the purpose of function, Gal. 5:22-23.

Maximum fellowship with Christ comes through the function of the Holy Spirit in edification and grace living.

  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit must be distinguished from the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The indwelling is automatic at salvation.

The filling is a function of the believer’s volition or choice and may be lost through carnality, Eph. 4:30. The filling is commanded, Eph. 5:18. The filling is regained through confession of sin, 1 John 1:9; Prov. 1:23.

  • The Holy Spirit functions in the intake and application of Bible truth, John 14:26; 16:12-15; 1 Cor. 2:9-16; 1 John 2:27. This is the “how to” of edification.
  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is necessary because of the spiritual conflict in “high places” (spiritual warfare), John 7:37-39.

THE SEALING MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The sealing work of the Holy Spirit is the basis for our eternal security. The three phases of salvation are given in Eph. 1:13.

Eph. 1:13,14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

  • First, you must hear the word of truth, the gospel.
  • Then, you must believe the gospel.
  • At that point, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit

You were sealed is the aorist passive indicative form of the verb σφραγιζω (sphragidzw), which means “stamped with a seal.”

  • In the ancient world, the seal was a guarantee or a transaction, e.g., a signet impression on a ring. Sealing was used to authenticate contracts, laws, invoices and military orders. The seal was also used in the ratification of treaties.
  • Seals were used to preserve tombs, libraries and treasuries. The seal was backed up by the force of the government in charge, e.g., the seal on the tomb of Christ was guaranteed by the Roman troops.
  • Seals indicate ownership; God owns the believer, having purchased him from the slave market of sin (Eph. 1:7; 1 Cor. 6:20)
  • The believer is sealed as a guarantee of his eternal security.

THE FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

When a person accepts Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into (indwells) his life permanently. The Holy Spirit indwells for the purpose of glorifying Christ, but indwelling alone does not guarantee that Christ will be glorified by the believer’s life. For this reason, Christians are commanded to be habitually “filled” with the Holy Spirit.

Eph. 5:18, And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

The verb “be filled” means “to fill up a deficiency; to fully possess; to fully influence; to fill with a certain quality.” Here it is in the present passive imperative, so the verb is a command meaning “keep on being filled” with the believer receiving the action of the verb. The filling is by means of the Holy Spirit.

The responsibility of the Christian is to confess his sins. At any point in our lives we can take ourselves out of fellowship through personal sin.

When that happens, we become carnal, not spiritual. Sin grieves the Holy Spirit and causes a breach in our relationship with God. The Lord promises that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us and cleanse us from unrighteousness.

That is, upon the condition of our confession, He will heal the breach that sin has caused.

So, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, sin must be confessed. 1 John 1:9
See TOPIC: CONFESSION OF SIN
Nothing good is produced in the Christian’s life apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Rom. 8:8,9 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Gal. 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Results of the Filling of the Holy Spirit

THE HOLY SPIRIT PROVIDES SPIRITUAL POWER

The book of Acts is the book of spiritual power: about where it comes from, how it is obtained, and how it is used. The promise of Jesus Christ to his disciples was “He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth. He dwells with you and shall be in you.

The prophesy of John the Baptist in Matt. 3:11 regarding the coming ministry of the Lord Jesus also announced the ministry of the Holy Spirit for the church age.

Matt. 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire:”

Examples of believers receiving the Holy Spirit:

The Benefits Derived from Spiritual Power

THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the character of Christ being formed in the Christian who is filled with the Spirit. Gal. 5:22, 23 lists the types of production which is the result of the fruit of the Spirit.

Love, joy, and peace are fruits of mental attitude, inward thinking that reflects the lack of mental attitude sins and the relaxation which comes from knowing Bible truth.

Long-suffering, gentleness, and goodness are outward, or directed toward “neighbors.” Long-suffering, for example, is a relaxed attitude toward the human race and is a result of having love, joy and peace. This is faith rest under pressure which comes from people or circumstances.

Faith, meekness, and temperance are fruits directed upward, to God.

Humility, for example, is a grace attitude with regard to divine provision that gives glory to God for all support and blessing in life, rather than taking the attitude that one is self-made.

Conditions of Fruit-Bearing

The following are required in order for a Christian to have spiritual fruit:

SINS AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Bible speaks of five types of sin which can be committed against the Holy Spirit. Two are committed by unbelievers only and the other three are committed by Christians.

Sins By Unbelievers Only

  • Resistance of the Holy Spirit: Acts 7:51. This is rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ and a rejection of the pre-salvation ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11) through the sin of unbelief
  • Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit: Matt. 12:31,32. This refers to rejection of Jesus Christ during His ministry on earth (during the previous dispensation, the Age of the Jews).

Sins by Believers

  • Lying to the Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3. This refers to false motivation, approval of the lust sin.
  • Grieving the Holy Spirit: Eph. 4:30. Refers to producing sins from the area of weakness in the sin nature. Any sin in the life of the believer which involves a moral or ethical issue.
  • Quenching the Holy Spirit: 1 Thess. 5:19.

Producing human good from the areas of strength in the sin nature. Examples: giving, prayer, witnessing for the purpose of gaining approval. Human good soothes the conscience and keeps the believer from confessing his sin.

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Baptism of the Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit’s work by which he places each believer into Union with Christ.

Introduction.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is one of seven salvation ministries by God the Holy Spirit.

  1. Efficacious grace
  2. Regeneration
  3. The baptism of the Holy Spirit
  4. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit
  5. The filling of the Holy Spirit
  6. The sealing of the Holy Spirit

Spiritual gifts

You can find a full description of the salvation ministries of the Holy Spirit in the topic “Holy Spirit, Salvation Ministries.”

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is one of seven Bible baptisms.

  1. The Baptism of Moses
  2. The Baptism of the Cup, or the Baptism of the Cross
  3. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
  4. The Baptism of Fire
  5. The Baptism of John
  6. The Baptism of Jesus.
  7. Christian Baptism, the water baptism of the believer

These topics are covered in the topic “Baptism.”

Definition.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a real baptism, an actual identification takes place. It is one of the seven ministries of the God the Holy Spirit at salvation, in which God the Holy Spirit, at the moment a person believes in Christ, enters the new believer into union with Christ.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the means of forming the royal family of God during the church age. It is a function of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit at salvation. By being entered into union with Christ, we are adopted as royal family of God. We are a new spiritual species.

This union with Christ is called positional sanctification or the sanctification of the body, Eph 5:25-27.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an emotional experience, 1 Cor 12:13.

It is a function of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit putting every believer into union with Christ, making him a new spiritual species.

There is only one baptism that unifies the royal family of God.

1 Cor 12:13, “For by means of one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves of free, all were made to drink into one Spirit.

Eph 4:5, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.

Rom 6:3-5, “Do you not know that all of us have been baptized into Jesus Christ? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into His death, in order that as Christ was raised again from the dead to the glory of the Father, we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death , and not only this , we shall also be united in the likeness of His resurrection.

The newness of life refers to our being a new spiritual species and royal family of God. So Rom 6:3-5 teaches identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

The many references to positional sanctification, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit are often found in the preposition phrase EN + the locative of CHRISTOS, translated “in Christ.” Almost everywhere this phrase is found, it is reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and resulting union with Christ.

1 Cor 15:22, “In Adam all die; so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Cf. Rom 8:1.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is related to the church age only. This ministry of the Holy Spirit is not found in the Old Testament, and there are no eschatological references to it beyond the church age.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the function of any spiritual gift.

Because the baptism of the Holy Spirit is universally provided for all church age believers, it is not in any sense experiential. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an act of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit. Any time God uses His divine power, whether it is the omnipotence of God the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, it excludes any form of experiential cooperation. That’s grace!

The baptism of the Holy Spirit could not occur until there was the strategic victory of Jesus Christ in the angelic conflict. The Levitical priesthood was inadequate for the church age. Now there was the need for a universal priesthood, since every believer was now a target of Satan.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred first in Jerusalem and included the gift of tongues to warn the Jews of the coming of the fifth cycle of discipline. Acts 2.

Union with Christ is a permanent identification which distinguishes Christianity from religion. In religion, man by man’s efforts seeks to gain the approval of God. In Christianity, the believer through union with Christ has a permanent relationship with God.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit forms the body of Christ, He being the head. Our Lord’s gift to His body is found in Rom 12; 1 Cor 12; Eph 4.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit Creates the Royal Family of God.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the means of providing a royal family for our Lord’s third royal title. The royal family of God also know as the universal Church or body of Christ, is formed at the moment of personal salvation through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Equal privilege for all church age believers is based on the doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a doctrine which involves the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, equal privilege in the royal family of God is related to two doctrinal facts:

  1. The omnipotence of the Holy Spirit creates a royal family of God, the body of Christ, as an organism, not as an institution.
  2. Simultaneously, from the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit creates a new spiritual species for spiritual living (not for psychological living) in the devil’s world. Every church age believer is a part of this unique spiritual species.

Furthermore, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit also provides equal opportunity for the fulfillment of the one plan of God through walking in fellowship under the control of the Holy Spirit.

The teaching ministry of the Spirit in a believer who is walking in fellowship is the fulfilling power of the Christian way of life. The Holy Spirit is a teacher, as in Jn 14:26, 16:12-14; 1 Cor 2:9-16; 1 Jn 2:27.

God the Holy Spirit is the One who teaches us Bible truth, which gives us the capacity for the new spiritual life provided by Him at salvation with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The Analogy of the Head and the Body.

The body of Christ is the family of God. The head is incomplete without the body. The humanity of Christ is incomplete without a royal family for Him.

This analogy teaches that the Church cannot be a living organism without union with Christ. The fulfillment of the head completing the body and the body completing the head is found in the prophecy given by our Lord in Jn 14:20, “you in Me and 1 in you.” “You in Me” refers to church age believers in union with Christ from the baptism of the Holy Spirit resulting in positional sanctification. “I in you” refers to the indwelling of Jesus Christ, a vital union between the head and the body.

All church age believers are formed into one body and one royal family, Eph 2:16, 4:4-5, 5:30-32; Col 1:24, 2:19

The Holy Spirit is the agent in the formation of the body of Christ, the church universal and the royal family of God. This is done by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

God the Father appointed Jesus Christ as the head of the body as a part of His third royal title. Synonyms for the royal family of God are:

  1. The Body of Christ
  2. The Church
  3. The Bride of Christ.

The Characteristics of the Baptism of the Spirit.

  • It is not an experience, and it is not related to human feeling.
  • It is not progressive. Therefore, it cannot be improved in either time or eternity. Our union with Christ is perfect from salvation.
  • It is not related to any human merit or ability. There is nothing you can do to have the baptism of the Spirit.
  • It is obtained in full at the moment of salvation. It is not a post-salvation experience. It is not a “second blessing.” Union with Christ is a completed ministry by the Holy Spirit. Hence, it cannot be reversed by any human failure.
  • It is eternal and unchangeable in nature. It cannot be canceled or changed by God or man. It is a part of your eternal security. No renunciation; no sin, human good, or evil; no moral or immoral degeneracy can cancel this ministry of the Holy Spirit.
  • The baptism of the Holy Spirit is known and understood only through perception of the mystery doctrine of the church age. Therefore, it cannot be applied in a state of ignorance. It is invisible, not subject to empiricism; it is subject to cognition of Bible doctrine only.

The Mechanics of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Gal 3:26-28, “For all of you are the sons of God [royal family] through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you were baptized into Christ, and you have put on [clothed yourselves] with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

There are no racial distinctions or racial prejudices in the royal family of God.

There were many slaves in the Roman Empire. Paul told slaves not to seek their freedom. “Neither slave nor free” means there are no social distinctions in the royal family of God.

Both male and female are equally in union with Christ and belong to the royal family. In a Christian marriage, You are not marrying someone who is beneath you.

Since the baptism of the Spirit is obtained in full at the moment of salvation, it cannot be reversed by any human failure.

The baptism of the Spirit is provided for all believers at the moment of salvation. Therefore it is a unifying factor, in that it is the means of forming the royal family of God.

The universality of the baptism of the Spirit precludes the possibility of it ever being experiential. It does not distinguish one believer from another; it does not make one believer superior or inferior to another.

1 Cor 12:13 is considered to be the key passage on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “By means of one Spirit [omnipotence of the Spirit], we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free. Furthermore, all were caused to drink by one Spirit.”

In union with Christ, all human distinctions are removed by the formation of the royal family of God. Neither race nor status in life is an issue. No racial, social or economic distinctions are made.

Drinking, like eating, is an illustration of the non-meritorious character of faith as the only means of salvation. All kinds of people can swallow. The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at the moment of personal faith in Christ.

The last phrase is the fulfillment of our Lord’s invitation, given in Jn 7:37-39, when Christ prophesied that we would all drink of the Holy Spirit by our non-meritorious faith. “Now on the last day of the great feast, Jesus stood up and shouted, saying, `If any person is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,”Streams of living water will flow from within him.’ Now this He communicated concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were about to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Christ was not yet glorified.

John 7:38 teaches that the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs when we believe in Jesus Christ at the point of our salvation. “Streams of living water will flow from within him” is a prophecy of the filling of the Spirit, i.e., residence, function, momentum inside the Christian during the church age only.

The Prophecy of the Baptism of the Spirit.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit was never mentioned in the Old Testament because it is a part of the mystery doctrine for the church age.

But the baptism of the Spirit was prophesied by the Lord Jesus Christ before the church age, in the upper room discourse.

Jn 14:20, “On that day [Pentecost] you shall know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.”

I am in My Father” is the identity of divine essence indicating that Jesus Christ is eternal God, coequal with God the Father.

You in Me” is the prophecy of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and resultant positional sanctification, being in union with Christ.

“I in you” refers to the indwelling of Jesus Christ.

Just before His ascension, our Lord said to the disciples in Acts 1:5, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now [ten days].

This prophecy was fulfilled ten days after our Lord uttered it in Acts 1:5.

The Baptism of the Spirit Begins the Church Age.

The prophecies about the baptism of the Holy Spirit were fulfilled on the day the church age began, around 32 A. D. Jesus prophesied the church age as future,

Mt 16:18. “Jesus said, `I say to you [Peter] that you are PETROS [little stone] and on this PETRA [giant rock, Jesus Christ] I will build My church; and the gates of hell will not overcome it.’

The future active indicative of OIKODOMEO, translated “will build” is important, for it indicates that no Church had existed up until that time, and no church would exist until after the resurrection and ascension of Christ. God the Father will actually do the building, but it will be built on Jesus Christ, the Rock.

On the day of Pentecost, the baptism of the Spirit took all the believers present and entered them into union with Christ. At the same time, God the Son gave the first spiritual gifts. One of the first gifts to be exercised was the gift of tongues, simply because in Jerusalem during the Feast of Pentecost were thousands of Jews who spoke many different languages.

According to Isa. 28, the gift of tongues was used as a last warning to Israel that they were going out as a client nation to God.

Though not mentioned in Acts 2, we know the baptism of the Spirit occurred on the day of Pentecost because of Peter’s retrospection in Acts 11. At the Gentile Pentecost, Acts 11:15-17, Peter recognized that what happened to them on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem (Acts 2) was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Acts 1:5. In retrospective exposition, Peter said, “And as I [Peter] began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as He did on us at the beginning [Pentecost, Acts 2:3]. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say [Acts 1:5 is the one recorded example], `John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.‘Therefore, if God gave to them [Gentiles] the same gift as to us [Jews], when they had believed in the Lord Jesus, who was I that I should stand in God’s way?’”

The Holy Spirit fell on them” refers to an experience Peter had in Caesarea. Gentiles came to his place in Joppa and asked him to come to Caesarea, which he did. As Peter began to speak on that occasion, the Gentiles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit as did the Jews on the day of Pentecost.

Peter recognized the Gentiles were a part of the body of Christ, for they had their own Pentecost, as it were. Therefore, the baptism of the Spirit applied equally to both Jew and Gentile; it was not a Jewish monopoly.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit Creates a New Spiritual Species

There have only been two new species created in human history. Israel was created as a new racial species; and the Church is a new spiritual species.

From the new racial species came the client nations to God in the dispensation of Israel and in the millennium.

From the new spiritual species, the Church becomes the basis for Gentile client nations to God.

As a result of the baptism of the Spirit, the new spiritual species was created which makes no distinction between Jew and Gentile. There is no racial distinction in Christ.

In Gal 6:15, this is described as “neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, but a new [spiritual] species.”

2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new [spiritual] species. The old things have lost their power; behold, new things have come.

At the moment of entering the believer into union with Christ (positional sanctification), the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit creates a new spiritual species through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The new spiritual species is designed for unprecedented availability and delegation of divine power.

People like to think of “old things” as whatever were their bad habits which they have given up in the energy of the flesh. However, what you can do in the energy of the flesh cannot make you a new creature in Christ Jesus. Being made a new creature in Christ Jesus depends on the power of the Holy Spirit.

However, “the old things have lost their power” refers to:

  • Pre-salvation influences, which may continue if there is no perception of doctrine and spiritual growth;
  • Position in Adam and resultant spiritual death, Rom 5:12, 1 Cor 15:22, “In Adam all die; in Christ shall all be made alive.
  • The old sin nature. The old sin nature has lost its power; you can only give it back its power experientially through the function of your own negative volition;
  • The “old things” include genetic, environmental, and volitional handicaps. Whatever were your handicaps before salvation, they have lost their power over you and are no longer the handicaps to keep you from advancing in the spiritual life;
  • The function of human power in Satan’s cosmic system. By an act of negative volition, you can get under Satan’s power. But divine power has superseded cosmic power now.
  • People emphasis taking priority over God emphasis. The provision of divine power to the royal family of God makes it possible for relationship with God to take precedence over relationship with people.

New things have come” refers to:

  • The baptism of the Spirit.
  • The plan of God.
  • The unique equality factors in the protocol plan.
  • Our very own portfolio of invisible assets (blessings) prepared for us by the omnipotence of God the Father.
  • Our unique royal commissions of royal priesthood and royal ambassadorship. As a royal priest, we represent ourselves before God. As a royal ambassador, we represent God before the world.
  • The unique mystery doctrines.
  • The indwelling of all three persons of the Trinity.
  • The unique availability of divine power.
  • This is a dispensation of no prophecy, only historical trends.

The Application of the Baptism of the Spirit.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit demands that the believer think of himself as a person, totally apart from any form of superiority or inferiority. You are not to think of yourself as superior or inferior, or with any form of human prejudice or hypocrisy.

Spiritual living must replace psychological living.

Gal 3:26-28, “For you are all the sons [children] of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you, who were baptized into Christ, have clothed yourselves with Christ [union with Christ]. Therefore, there is neither Jew nor Gentile [no racial distinctions in Christ], there is neither slave nor free [no social distinctions in Christ], there is neither male nor female [no sexual distinctions in Christ]; for you are all one in Christ.

The entire world (the unbeliever) is not the family of God. Only those who believe in Christ become the children of God, at which point the baptism of the Holy Spirit makes us in the church age royal family of God.

All church age believers have been baptized into Christ, losers and winners, spiritual and cosmic believers alike.

Clothed yourselves with Christ” means we are in union with the head. The head can exist without the body, but the body cannot exist without the head. In other words, the great power experiment of the hypostatic union, in which our Lord relied upon the omnipotence of God the Father and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, has overflowed to the church age.

Jesus Christ was sustained in His humanity by the omnipotence of God the Father and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit. We have been “clothed with Christ” in the sense that, through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we have become a part of that same great power experiment, as the body of the head, Jesus Christ.

Jew and Greek are two distinct races, and the most famous races of the ancient world. The Jews thought of themselves as superior because of the Mosaic Law. The Greeks thought of themselves as superior because of their great history of thought and cultural genius in Attica and Ionia in the fourth and fifth centuries B.C. The Jews despised the culture of the Greeks. The Greeks viewed the Jew as having no culture, no philosophical background. So there was a great racial antagonism between these two races of the ancient world.

Racial prejudice is evil. Stupid people think in terms of racism. We do not have the right to think this way. Every time you are guilty of racial prejudice, confess it! Even the psychological conclusion that every race has its good and bad ones is at best human viewpoint.

The application of this doctrine is to begin to think of yourself as a person, not as a race. There is no such thing as either a superior or inferior race in Christianity. The royal family of God is the body of Christ, and all races in the world have responded to the Gospel and believed in Jesus Christ. Race is no issue, for every church age believer is in union with Christ.

There is neither slave nor free.” At the time this was written in the Roman Empire, there were a tremendous number of slaves. Many of the slaves were among the first church age believers. So this refers to social distinctions as they existed at the time of writing.

From the moment you believe in Christ, you are no longer to look at other believers in terms of social distinctions. You are no longer to regard any person as being socially beneath you or above you. Social distinctions are removed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There is neither male nor female.” This helps to illustrate the principle; for boys will always be boys, and girls will always be girls. The difference between the two is obvious. However, the point here is that the old cultural, psychological distinctions which have been used for years, i.e., that one sex is better than the other, are all gone with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. As a believer, to say you are better than a man or woman means you’\are arrogant.

This does not change authority principles which still stand as a part of establishment. But authority does not connote superiority in the royal family of God.

In your spiritual life, you no longer look at a man or woman through love or hatred, but spiritually you regard them as a member of the royal family of God. This is the only true non-sexual discrimination.

Christians involved in the sexual issues of our day (such as women’s liberation) are in psychological living. There is no place for such thinking. It is true there are certain things a man can do and a woman cannot, and vice-versa. But as we look at other believers, we must regard them as being just as much royal family of God as we are.

Bibliography (principal sources):

Braun, Ralph, “Categorical Notebooks”

Chafer, Lewis Sperry, “Systematic Theology”

McCalley, Chester, taped sermons and printed materials.

Strong, A. H., “Systematic Theology”

Thieme, R. B. Jr., taped sermons and printed materials.

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Holy Spirit – Sustaining Ministry

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By R. B. Thieme, Jr., Pastor
Berachah Church, Houston, Texas

During the period of the first advent, the humanity of Christ was sustained by the indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit. The humanity of Christ had to be sustained by God the Holy Spirit, just as the members of the royal family, the church, would be sustained by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit during the Christian life.

The Prophesy of this Ministry

Isa. 11:1-3, 42:1, 61:1a.

The sustaining ministry of the Holy Spirit occurs first at the virgin birth,

Matthew 1:18-20; Heb 10:5.

The Holy Spirit is the source or agent of conception. The Father planned Christ’s human body. The Holy Spirit was the agent carrying out the mechanics of the virgin birth. He provided the perfect chromosomes which fertilized the female ovum. The Holy Spirit is thus the agent in the execution of the hypostatic union.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit begins at the Incarnation:

John 3:34.

  1. Not only does the Holy Spirit indwell the body of Christ, but He also filled His soul.
  2. This is the total sustaining ministry to royalty. our Lord, in His humanity, was born into royalty as the son of David.
  3. His spiritual royalty is different. His spiritual royalty is being totally sustained by the Holy Spirit.
  4. There was no spiritual royalty in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit had no permanent indwelling in the physical body of any Old Testament believer in Christ.
  5. Glorification of Christ by means of the ascension and session instituted battlefield royalty. This caused the age of Israel to be interrupted so that the royal family of God, the church, could be formed. This is accomplished by means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit entering us into union with Christ.
  6. Therefore, the church age believer is also royalty by being in union with Christ. As royalty we have the privilege of being indwelt by God the Holy Spirit.
  7. Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords is true royalty. Therefore, His body is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and His soul is filled by the Holy Spirit. This is why church age believers have the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit and are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  8. Thus, the total ministry of the Holy Spirit to the incarnate Christ has been continued in the church.

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit Related to the Baptism of Jesus Christ:

Matthew 3:13-17.

The dove speaks of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit. Water represents the kingdom of God. Christian converts identified themselves with the kingdom of God by being baptized. They were testifying to the fact that they no longer had any responsibility to Judaism. Our Lord in the water represented the plan of God for our Incarnation in Christ. Christ in the water represented to others His dedication to the plan of God.

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit Related to the Public Ministry of Christ:

Matthew 12:18.

Jesus quotes the prophesy of the Holy Spirit’s sustaining ministry of Isa 42:1. In the same context, He says that His miracles were performed in the power of the sustaining ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Lk 4:14-21 tells us that the teaching ministry of our Lord was also performed in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit had a part in the resurrection of Christ:

Rom 8:11.

The permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a guarantee of resurrection for the royal family:

1 Pet 3:18-19.

The sustaining ministry of the Holy Spirit is transferred to the royal family.

  • Just as the Holy Spirit sustained the humanity of Christ during the incarnation, so now the Holy Spirit sustains the believer during his life.
  • Jesus Christ was sustained as perfect royalty; we as church age believers are sustained as sinful royalty.
  • The strategic victory of Christ demands the tactical victory of the royal family on earth during the intensified stage of the angelic conflict.
  • The total ministry of the Holy Spirit, which never occurred before Christ, includes both the permanent indwelling of our human body and the filling of our soul. This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to royalty only.
  • This ministry to the royal family demands the filling of the Holy Spirit and applied doctrine also known as edification. This is why Paul wrote in Gal. 4:19, “until Christ is formed in you.” This is synonymous with the believer’s spiritual self esteem, which is the beginning of spiritual adulthood.
  • This is why we are commanded in Eph 5:18; Gal 5:16, to be filled with the Spirit and to walk by means of the Holy Spirit.
  • The sustaining ministry of the Holy Spirit is then transferred from the resurrected glorified Christ at the right hand of the Father, to the royal family of God on earth
  • The believer is commanded to avail himself of the sustaining ministry of the filling of the Holy Spirit, Rom 13:14.
  • The filling of the Holy Spirit sets aside the lust pattern of the old sin nature which distracts from the perception and application of Bible doctrine.

The Royal Family’s Glorification of Christ through the Ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The purpose of the sustaining ministry of the Holy Spirit in the church age is to glorify Christ, John 7:38-39. Rivers of living water means the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Compare John 16:13-14 to the previous verse.

It is the present ministry of the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ. He accomplishes this through the metabolization of doctrine and the many expressions of that doctrine that come from maturity.

Edification or growth in Christ causes the believer to be a letter of commendation written by the Holy Spirit and read by men of our generation, 2 Cor 3:1-3. The letter of commendation principle is the royal family walking in maturity.

At the point of spiritual self esteem, there exists in the soul of the believer a balance of residency between the filling of the Holy Spirit and maximum applied Bible truth resident in the soul .

At this point Christ is formed in you, Gal 4:19, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit becomes a real working power, Eph 3:16-17; Acts 1:8.

The fulfillment of the transitional ministry of the Holy Spirit and its results in the life of the believer are found in Phil. 1:20-21.

For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

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The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Definition and Description

The Holy Spirit indwells the body of the believer at the moment of salvation, 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 3:16. This indwelling provides the divine power to offset the continued presence of the sin nature  which also indwells the body after salvation. In addition to the indwelling Spirit, the filling of the Holy Spirit is required to provide the control and power for Christian living.

The sin nature continues its disruptive tactics and seeks to frustrate the plan of God for the believer’s inner life. When the sin nature controls through sin then the believer is carnal. The carnal believer behavior leads to backsliding (reversion). When the Holy Spirit controls the soul, that is the filling of the Holy Spirit. In the life of every believer, human ability must be superseded by divine ability.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is also a sign of royal family status on earth. In the Millennium, all believers will continue to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

No indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a Christian occurred until the church age. Therefore, we are royal family who complement Christ’s battlefield royalty. We receive five additional ministries of the Holy Spirit at salvation: indwelling, sealing, spiritual gifts, filling, and baptism.

While some believers have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit in every dispensation, all believers are indwelt with the Holy Spirit in the church age.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in other dispensations was technically the enduement of the Holy Spirit. For example, David said, “Take not Your Spirit from me,” Ps. 51:11.

It is important to distinguish between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is permanent, and the filling of the Holy Spirit which is temporary depending on the use of confession of sin. When we sin we lose the filling of the Holy Spirit, but not the indwelling of the Spirit.

While the indwelling of Holy Spirit emphasizes the body, the filling of the Holy Spirit emphasizes the believer’s soul. Therefore, the sphere of indwelling is always stated as the body of the believer, 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19-20. Your body is the sacred building of the church age. This indwelling makes it impossible for demon possession to occur.

Additional principles related to the Spirit.
We are commanded to “grieve not the Spirit,Eph. 4:30.
We are commanded to “quench not the Spirit,” 1 Thess. 5:19.
We are never commanded to be indwelt by the Spirit (this always exists), but to “be filled with the Spirit,” Eph. 5:18, or to be “walking in the Spirit,” Gal. 5:16.

The Inner Conflict Between the Sin Nature and Indwelling of Holy Spirit.

The prior indwelling of the sin nature from physical birth and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit from the new birth result in a great inner conflict, Gal. 5:17.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the principle of victory over the sin nature, while the filling of the Holy Spirit is the function of victory over the sin nature. The Spirit indwells to be available to provide power; the believer makes use of that power by walking in the Spirit.

Therefore, emphasis is placed on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which divorces the believer from the power of the sin nature and marries the believer to a second husband with a new way of life. It further provides a new marriage counselor for the new life in God the Holy Spirit.

The inner conflict between the sin nature and indwelling of the Holy Spirit is portrayed in Rom. 8:2-8 and Gal. 5:16ff. The sin nature has a head start at birth. It is only overcome by a personal positive attitude to doctrine, especially the doctrine of Confession of Sin.

The Prophesy of the Indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, Jn. 7:37-39.

It was prophesied prior to the beginning of the church age by Christ. There are three spiritual uses of water, one is mentioned in Jn. 7:37-39.

For salvation, Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17.

For doctrine, Jn. 3:5; Eph. 5:26.

For the Holy Spirit, Jn. 7:39.

In Jn. 14:16-17 Christ again prophesied the indwelling of Holy Spirit, “will be in you.”

The Primary Objective of the Indwelling of Holy Spirit.

The primary objective of the indwelling of Holy Spirit is the provision of divine energy to execute the Christian way of life. This includes the attainment of all objectives of God for your life.

Advancement to maturity and glorification of Christ is accomplished through the filling of the Spirit and perception of doctrine.

Perception of doctrine is the ministry of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Jn. 14:26. The Holy Spirit provided accuracy of recall through a photographic memory for the writing of Scripture, Jn. 16:12-15 cf. 1 Cor. 2:9-16 and 1 Jn. 2:27.

Anointing and Unction are Synonyms for the Indwelling of Holy Spirit,

1 Jn. 2:20, 27.

Anointing relates the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to the church age believer as a sign of the royal family of God. The indwelling of Holy Spirit is the royal family escutcheon. Because the royal family lives in the Holy of Holies forever, it is important that we are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit demonstrates that we are royalty. Anointing appoints us ambassadors for Christ.

The Distinction Between the Indwelling of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is both permanent and functional, while the indwelling of Jesus Christ is the guarantee of blessings and promises in the believer’s advance to maturity. The indwelling of Jesus Christ is also in the body and is permanent.

There is definite evidence that the backsliding (“reversionistic”) believer does not benefit from the indwelling of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. 13:5; Rev. 3:20

Bibliography (principal sources):

Braun, Ralph, “Categorical Notebooks”

Chafer, Lewis Sperry, “Systematic Theology”

Strong, A. H., “Systematic Theology”

Thieme, R. B. Jr., taped sermons and printed materials.