Living In the Holy Spirit
February 28, 2021

Living In the Holy Spirit

** Watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyBdcUt6aQc

Last week, we ended our study on the Trinity with Paul’s benediction to the Corinthian Church, where he used God as a Trinity as the basis of His blessing.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14 NKJV)

This word, “communion” in the Greek language is the word “Koinonia,” which is most often translated as “fellowship.” And the fellowship we should be having is with the Holy Spirit.

And so, the question becomes, “How well to we know the Holy Spirit?”

Now to know more about the Holy Spirit as the Lord God, the 3rd person of the Godhead, and some of what we are going to be discussing today can be found on my spiritual transformation website under Bible Cliffnotes, entitled, “The Holy Spirit.” https://spiritualtransformationseries.com

Now, to know someone comes from having a personal relationship with them. It doesn’t come from knowing about them, it comes from knowing them.

The same is then true of the Holy Spirit. We talk about Him being the giver of spiritual gifts, personal talents, and the indispensable qualities known as the fruit of the Spirit. But do we really know Him?

What I’ve found is that we want the experience of the Holy Spirit, but we don’t necessarily want the relationship with Him, and the Holy Spirit is grieved and hurt when all we want is what we can get from Him, rather than wanting to get to know Him on a personal level.

So we need to get know the Holy Spirit. But I’m not talking about just knowing about the Holy Spirit, or giving mental assent to the Holy Spirit, but rather we are to get to know the Holy Spirit in the fullest measure possible.

In the Hebrew language, the word “to know,” is “yada.” It means to know someone intimately like a husband or wife knows their spouse. So, we are to get to know the Holy Spirit intimately.

Therefore, let’s not just seek the experience; rather let’s seek the Person of the Holy Spirit. Because the rest happens through relationship. It’s through having this personal intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit that we’ll get to learn about His gifts and talents and how to effectively use them.

Now, to understand what this fellowship looks like, three major categories about our own relationships play an important part in our relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Companionship

Fellowship means companionship, it means sharing life together. Companions are those who freely and willing interact with one another, and so for there to be companionship there needs to communication.

And we can see this type of relationship through the type of fellowship the Apostle Paul had with the Holy Spirit.

“And now I am going to Jerusalem, drawn there irresistibly by the Holy Spirit, not knowing what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit has told me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead.” (Acts 20:22-23 NLT)

This was an ongoing conversation that Paul was having with the Holy Spirit, as the Holy Spirit was telling Him what to expect, and what he was going to suffer for the sake of the gospel.

Phillip had the same sort of relationship with the Holy Spirit. He was holding evangelistic campaigns in Samaria, seeing hundreds, maybe even thousands coming to salvation, when it says an angel spoke to Him and told Him to go down to the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza (Acts 8:26).

When Phillip gets there the Bible says, “The Holy Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and walk along beside the carriage.’” (Acts 8:29 NLT)

Partnership

Our relationship with the Holy Spirit is a partnership. We work with the Holy Spirit. It’s kind of like a marriage ought to be. We should be working together, not working separately. And the same goes for Christians. Let me just say that we can do a lot more together in partnership than we can do separately.

And this is true of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul said, “For we are God’s fellow workers.” (1 Corinthians 3:9 NKJV)

I love the way the New Living Translations puts it. It says, “We work together as partners.”

Intimacy

It’s a deeper form of fellowship, in that it goes to the thoughts, intentions and the desires of the heart. It’s deep friendship. It’s an intimate friendship.

The Apostle James said, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously.” (James 4:5 NKJV)

The word “yearn” means to long for intensely and consistency. The Holy Spirit, therefore, is always yearning intensely for us. And He’s jealous for us. He doesn’t want us to have fellowship with anyone else, that is, with the other gods of this world.

But now we need to answer the question, how do we enter into such a relationship with the Holy Spirit? It’s by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18 NIV)

Now, there are several observations about this passage that I’d like to share.

The Contrast

Paul makes a direct parallel, a contrast if you would, between being drunk and being filled with the Holy Spirit. What’s at stake is what are we going to allow to influence or control our lives?

A person under the influence of alcohol experiences altered behavior. They may say or do things that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. Emotions may be heightened that may also cause a person to experience anger followed by joy and then a prolonged feeling of depression. If the person drinks too much, their mental processes will be affected and their decision making will be radically altered, and almost always with negative results.

The filling of the Holy Spirit also produces a change in behavior. We see once timid and scared disciples becoming bold evangelists. And within the context of this verse, we see a number of practical things associated with the filling like the wisdom needed to live in this evil age, an understanding God’s will, a heart filled with joy, an attitude of gratitude, and a healthy respect for God.

It’s A Work of God

Going back to the Greek language, this passage in Ephesians is written in the passive voice, which means that being filled with the Holy Spirit isn’t something we can do; rather it is something only God can do, it is a work of God.

Now, there are two important implication from this. First, the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to fill us, and second, we must make ourselves available to be filled.

To explain this, I like to use the word, “fillability.” Now, this is not a word that we’ll find in any dictionary, but I think it fits. When we use to get our cars filled up at the gas station, we’d pull in and tell the station attendant to “fill ‘er up.” And the attendant knew that this meant two things. First the car’s gas tank was close to empty, and that second, we wanted our gas tank filled up. That’s fillability.

And so, when we desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit, He will fill us up, and we’ll never run out of His help and power.

I like the way pastor, evangelist, and Christian author, F.B. Myers, looked at this. He said that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we never run out, and he likened it to the elevated train system. They run on three rails. Two rails are for the wheels, and the third is for the electricity, that is, for the power. The electricity is always there, but unless the train has contact with the third rail, it doesn’t move.

And so, it all comes down to a control issue. Who has got the controlling interest in our lives? Is it alcohol, drugs, power, possessions, lust, religion, or is it the Holy Spirit?

And before we move on, let me make this one last point, and that is, being filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean we have more of the Holy Spirit, but rather the Holy Spirit has more of us, and this happens when we choose to continually live under His influence and no longer under the influences of this world.

Now, in my book, “From Here to There,” I take two chapters to talk about how we get aligned with God, His word, will, and way. But the power to do this doesn’t lie within us; rather it lies in God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Without the fullness of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives all of these steps and principles that we learn from books and teachings won’t work. And that’s because we’re trying to put into practice spiritual principles by using natural techniques.

To the church in Ephesus Paul says, “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” (Ephesians 3:16 NKJV)

Paul is saying that within every believer there is tremendous power available through the Holy Spirit. He brings this into full view a couple verses later saying, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)

The power of the Holy Spirit enables us to walk upon the narrow road, confess and turn away from our sins to live in spiritual victory. The power of the Holy Spirit is the power to stop living for the world and all its enticements and start living for God.

Paul brings this out in his letter to the Galatian church saying, “I say then, walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16 NKJV)

The Christian life is not a once-in-a-while life. It is a way of life lived every minute of every day. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “Walk in the Spirit.” It means continuously living life dependent upon the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, and when we do our sinful nature will stop dominating our lives.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Now you may be wondering how the Holy Spirit is a gift? The Holy Spirit was given by the Father and Son to all those who believe. Jesus said if we will obey His commandments then He will, “Ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16 NIV)

Of this gift Jesus said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:13 NIV)

And the Apostle Peter said in his very first sermon, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38 NIV)

Now, what I have found in my studies and through my experience is that this gift is given in two ways.

First, Jesus gives to us the Holy Spirit when we come to belief in Him as our Savior and our Lord. This is seen in those hours after His resurrection when He showed Himself to the disciples, and after showing them His hands and side, and Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21 NIV). And then it says that Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22b NIV).

It was here, when He showed Himself to the disciples, that they came to belief in Him and He gave to them the Holy Spirit. Now, Jesus’s breathing on them is not without significance, because the word “Spirit” is the word for breath. In the Greek it is the word, “Pneuma” or current of air, or breath. And in the Hebrew, it is the word “Ruach,” and was used of the breath God breathed into Adam in the beginning that made him a living soul.

And so, Jesus breathed on the disciples the breath of God, the Holy Spirit, and made them into new beings, which is what Jesus said must take place to Nicodemus, a religious leader of that day. He said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3 NIV)

But Jesus also knew what they were about to encounter, and the power they would need to fulfill His purpose and mission in the world. And so, He said to them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” (Acts 1:4 NIV)

And that gift was the baptism of the Holy Spirit, where the disciples would receive power, or more literally they would be clothed in the very power of God to fulfill their mission to be those witnesses throughout the world.

Jesus said, “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:5 NIV)

And so, what we see is that this gift is given in two stages. Stage one is when we come to belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, being filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Stage two is where we are then baptized in the Holy Spirit and are clothed in the power of God, or as Jesus said, “endued with power from on high.”

“I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49 NKJV)

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4-5 NIV)

It is this that I would like to end our time together, looking at becoming endued with Holy Spirit power.

Now, the word, “endued,” literally be to be clothed in, which is also the same idea we get from the word baptized, that is, to be completely immersed in. And so, Jesus is saying that there is something more, something that will empower us to live our lives effectively for God’s kingdom.

And so, there’s a special anointing, a special empowerment of the Holy Spirit that awaits all those who come to faith in Jesus Christ.

How do we avail ourselves of this promise? I like to look at two key points in the Scriptures we just looked at.

Wait

Remember, Jesus told His disciples to go and wait in Jerusalem until they received the power and baptism of the Holy Spirit. But they didn’t wait by doing nothing, rather they were together unified in prayer. And then it says the Holy Spirit descended and filled them to overflowing with the power of God.

And so, there is power in waiting.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV)

And so, like the disciples, we too need to wait, but not by doing nothing, rather we are to wait with great expectation and anticipation for the Holy Spirit to move and clothe us in His power, for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Ask

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10 NKJV)

What is interesting is that these words, “ask,” “seek,” and “knock,” means that we are to be doing this continually. And so, as Jesus said that if we being evil know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will He give unto us the gift of the Holy Spirit when we ask.

And so today, ask the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit, and don’t doubt, because the Father and Son wants to give to us the Holy Spirit without measure, that is, fully and completely so that we can be His church, His bride, and His people.

And so, as believers we need to always be asking, always be seeking, and always be knocking on heaven’s door for the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives.









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