“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
When we are called before the Lord after our physical death, or His glorious return, will we be ashamed? Are we walking the walk of a Christian or are we living by virtue of what “the world” considers normal?
The warnings throughout the Holy Scriptures of living a life without listening to Christ’s calls to us are clear yet how many of us know someone who accepted Christ then proceeded to live their life like they never heard of him? Is their salvation really secure? Is God really their co-pilot?
The quote above from John 14:26, was the promise Christ made to his disciples close to the end of his earthly ministry. He was saying that even though he would not be with them, or us, we had something referred to throughout the Scriptures as a Helper, a Comforter, a Counselor, the Spirit of the Lord, a Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth (hereinafter referred to as “the Spirit”) to see us through our mortal issues. This was a complete turn from the days before Christ’s human existence.
The Spirit in the Holy Scriptures
In the creation event in Genesis 1:2, we see how this Spirit could hover over the waters of the earth long before there was light, night and day and etc. It’s coming future presence among men was foretold in the 9th Century B.C., in the Book of Joel. (See Joel 2:28-29). Early in the 8th Century B.C., the Book of Micah tells of how this Spirit righteously judges. (See Micah 3:8). The Book of Isaiah, written in the mid-8th Century B.C., describes how it turns the wilderness into fruitful fields. (See Isaiah 32:15).
Yet, Christ chose to send the Spirit only to specific persons for specific events. The following are some examples:
It filled Bezaleel of the tribe of Judah, and Aholiab of the tribe of Dan, and others with knowledge of construction, and metal working to build the tabernacle to His specifications. (See Exodus 31:1-11).
The Book of Judges tells how Samson was gifted by the Spirit in his growing years (Judges 13:25), it gave him great strength (Judges 14:6), and aided him to kill thirty men (Judges 14:19), and a thousand more (Judges 15:15) in battle. In fact Samson had so much confidence in himself (not the Spirit) that he took the power loaned to him for granted. He placed more confidence in his credentials as a Nazirite (long flowing hair) over living righteously and the Spirit abandoned him. (See Judges 16:20). Yet, it answered Samson’s prayer and re-visited him one last time to bring death to the Philistines in their temple. (See Judges 16:28-30).
The Spirit came upon Saul to help him realize Samuel’s declaration that he was indeed the leader all Israel was seeking. He was transformed from an obscure timid member of the Benjamite tribe, considered the least of the twelve, into a man of confidence with the ability to prophesy (1 Samuel 10:10), and the strength, leadership and courage to destroy the Ammonite army. (See 1 Samuel 11:1-11).
What is the Spirit?
It has person hood. It isn’t courage or energy or the personification of a feeling or group. It isn’t a temporary emotional state. It has substance but not material substance. It has intelligence, feeling, knowledge, and ability to speak, rejoice, love, and it has memory and it can teach. It can grieve therefore it can love, as love is required before one can grieve. Psalm 139; Job 26:33; and 2 Corinthian 3, speak of how this Spirit is written on our hearts resulting in changed lives. It is Christ’s presence sent to us to accompany us in our earthly walk until we die or He returns. His Spirit, like Christ himself, is everywhere yet it is up to us to pay attention to it. Yet, we are prone to ignore the Spirit even after accepting Christ.
Some Are Driven to the Spirit
Many are filled with the Spirit after some tragedy/disturbance/anxiety/emptiness/disappointment visits their lives, driving them to despair/inner loneliness. As unpleasant as it events like these many times drives people to Christ and the eventual acceptance of the Spirits will. When we are ready to accept this gift we will be emptied of all the worldly things that can give only a temporary fulfillment or happiness. We no longer care about the same things. For example the alcoholic no longer wants to drink, the kleptomaniac no longer desires your possessions; the homosexual goes straight, the pyromaniac no longer sets fires, the pornographer no longer cares for pornography, the slanderer holds his tongue.
The New Availability of the Spirit
Close to the end of his earthly walk Christ revealed that the Spirit would from now on be with all men and women. (See John 14:16). He told of how it could convict each of us, and help us to realize our sinful nature. (See John 16:7-11).
Following the promise he made to his disciples Christ installed the Spirit permanently in the first Pentecost (See Acts 2: 17-18), and it’s been available to each of us ever since helping us to “walk the walk” of a Christian in this life. Ephesians 1:13-14, speaks of how we are sealed by the Spirit. All we need do, like Samson, is invite it to govern our daily thoughts, speech and conduct.
Sure enough, true to His word, the reception capability to the Spirit was implanted in our hearts before we were born. We often refer to it as a conscience; something some listen to better than others. For example, have you ever wondered how a young child can know right from wrong? True to Christ’s word the Spirit not only reveals our sinful nature, but it defines right from wrong. Eventually, if listened to, it will reveal how we need the redemption that we can only find in Him.
Ephesians 1:13-14, explains that a confession of faith is good but until one is at one with Christ by a Spirit lead life they are lost. Matthew 7:21-23, tells how many who called out “Lord, Lord..” will not be allowed into His kingdom.
We Must Accept the Will of the Spirit
Yes, he has his arms out wide for us but we must agree to accept Him as our adopted father and give up our sinful conduct. It can be a tough nut to crack but we have at our disposal His Spirit to help us break free of the chains of whatever sinful thing has us in bondage. Those that ignore the Spirit, who enunciate a faith in Him but (figuratively) have their fingers crossed behind their backs, are gambling with their eternal salvation because Christ won’t be conned. One may talk the talk but if they never walk the walk of the Christian; if they are the nominal Christian, Christ himself said he would spew them from his mouth like lukewarm water. (See Rev. 3:16).
Jesus once said, ‘Why do you call me Lord and yet you don’t do the things that I command you?’ (See Luke 6:46). You see, our problem is that we’ve come to think of the term ‘Lord’ as a name and so we say, ‘The Lord Jesus Christ’ and we think of Lord as His first name, Jesus His middle name and Christ His last name; He’s the Lord Jesus Christ. But in reality when [we] say the Lord, [we] should put a comma there for Lord is not his name; it’s His title. That title signifies [our] relationship to Him. He is my Lord, He is your Lord. I am his slave, you are His slave. I am his servant, you are His servant.
Now as my Lord, He has the right of total control of my life. When he [thru the Holy Spirit] asks me to do something it isn’t mine to ask Him why. It’s only mine to obey. I am His servant, He is the Lord and that’s what the whole title is indicating. And that is why Jesus pointed out the inconsistencies of people who called him Lord and yet they didn’t do the things He command [of] them. That’s inconsistent. And if you are calling him Lord and yet you’re disobeying, you’re rebelling at His commands, you’re a part of that inconsistency. So not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” is [will] enter into the kingdom of heaven. He is pointing out that saying the right thing is not enough. Many people are [only] saying the right thing.” Chuck Smith, Senior Pastor, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, courtesy of blueletterbible.org
We Must Be Willing To Accept the Influence of the Spirit & Sincerely Worship
The Spirit is like Christ, pure, gentle, sane, true, wise and loving. It wants to be lord of your life so you are no longer in control but a passenger of your life walk. It will be the captain of your Spiritual ship. We’re as full of the Spirit as we individually desire to be. Yet, a fugitive impulse comes over us; we don’t want to meet the conditions required to be Spirit filled. It’s like when we want a nicer car. We want it but we don’t want to pay for it so we drive something less in cost. We go on with our middle way of driving, or living.
The Spirit will not tolerate the “self-sins,” like self-love, and self-confidence, self-righteousness, self-indulgence; no boasting, showing off, or “I did this ism.” The Spirit wants to take charge and run your life. It wants to run your life in contrast to the easy ways of “the world.”
You will know when you are filled with the Spirit. It will come on one immediately; not a gradual filling. You either have it or you don’t. None of this “I’m being worked on it; or God is still working on me.” We play this rationalization game because we want Spiritual salvation but we don’t want to stand out as different from “the world” or at least no too much different.
Numerous passages in scripture speak of the need for sincerity in our relationship with the Christ. (See 1st Timothy 1:5; 1st Peter 1:22; Colossians 3:22; and Matthew 6:5-8).
How to Be Filled With The Spirit?
Romans 12:1-2, speaks of presenting your vessel, i.e. yourself, as an empty container ready to be filled. Luke 11:9-13, directs us to simply ask Christ what he wants of us. Act 5:32, directs us to be obedient to the Spirit. Galatians 3:2, directs us to believe in the Spirit and resist our earthly passions.
In the final analysis it’s up to each of us to invite the Spirit to govern our conduct and thoughts. Without it our so called faith, based upon the mere recitation of words, songs or rituals that proclaim we accept Him leave us as subject to the second death as the most hard core atheist or pagan.
Morrow, Michael G., Ph.D., pastor, Union Missionary Baptist Church, Marion, Kentucky, “The Sealing of the Holy Spirit” sermonaudio.com, 9/2/12.
Sullivant, Michael W., Pastor, Pembina Valley Baptist Church of Winkler, Manitoba, Canada, “The Work of the Holy Spirit” sermonaudio.com, 9/8/02.
Tozer, A.W., “Who is the Holy Spirit?”, sermonaudio.com, 1/1/60.