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FIRST-PERSON: Experiencing the Holy Spirit

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) — For some Christians, the Holy Spirit is something we experience intellectually through songs and hymns but not someone we consciously relate to on a daily basis. We know He exists, and we know that He is a part of the Trinity of God, but because we don’t know what Scripture teaches about Him, we tend to ignore Him.

There can be plenty of confusion, emotionalism and even misuse of Scripture when it comes to the doctrine, presence and work of the Holy Spirit. However, if we don’t desperately yield to and depend on the Holy Spirit in our daily lives, we can never expect to walk and live in the freedom and victory that only comes from the Spirit of our great God.

Consider these truths about the Holy Spirit that we simply can’t ignore:

1. The Holy Spirit authored the Scriptures.

Anything that we know about God and how to live with Him comes from the Bible, authored by the Holy Spirit through the pens of men. Key Scriptures include 2 Timothy 3:16 — “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” — and 2 Peter 1:20-21 — “… no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” When we fail to engage Scripture on a daily basis, we starve our souls of knowing Him intimately.

2. The Holy Spirit exalts Jesus.

Any kind of work of assertion that puts more focus on “giftings,” “expressions” and “fillings” than on Jesus, you can be sure it is not the Holy Spirit. The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to exalt Jesus. The Spirit has come that we might be deeply impressed with the person of Jesus Christ and His work. As Jesus said in John 15:26: “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” To the extent that we exalt Jesus, the presence of the Spirit becomes more palpably real in our lives.

3. The Holy Spirit makes us the church.

The church is a not a building, but rather the church is a people. When the Spirit of God makes His home inside of us as believers, we become the church. We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit sent to tell the world that Jesus is alive! “Do you not know that you are God’s temple,” the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” As we seek out fellowship with other believers, the manifestation of the Spirit becomes more evident in our lives.

4. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin.

The Spirit awakens us to the reality of sin and the need of a Savior. Then, as born-again children of God, the Spirit in us will awaken a heightened sense of sin. Where things may not have bothered us before, now there is a grieving that takes place when we sin. As Jesus said of the Spirit: “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). The closer we draw to the Spirit, the more consciously aware we are of strongholds of sin in our lives.

5. The Holy Spirit guides us in everyday life.

We’re completely dependent on the work of the Spirit to help us understand His Scriptures, to guide us to live according to the Word and to direct us in the ways of righteousness and holiness. As Paul put it: “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). These qualities of the Holy Spirit are not character traits we work up; they are the natural expressions of the Spirit radiating from us.

6. The Holy Spirit seals believers until the day of redemption.

One of God’s great desires is for His people to feel secure in His love and power as they go into the world to be witnesses. Everything else in life may be unpredictable and unstable — our health, job and relationships — yet our identity in Christ and our eternal destination are completely sealed, and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Key Scriptures include Ephesians 4:30 — “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” and Romans 8:38-39 — “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The more we rest in the Spirit, the deeper is our assurance that this world is not our final home.

Lord, make us Spirit-filled Christians who faithfully proclaim the Spirit-authored Scriptures to a people who are being Spirit-awakened for the glory of God to be witnesses to a lost world that’s in desperate need of the Spirit’s work.

    About the Author

  • Shane Pruitt

    Shane Pruitt is executive director of next gen evangelism at the North American Mission Board.


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