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The Holy Spirit’s Transformative Power
You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/live/FgxxARlB6ak?si=6IPAT4GxwCRDQSFx
Unfortunately, we really don’t see the transformative power of the Holy Spirit as we should. And the reason, I believe, is because far too many Christians are content to live their lives, we are far too content to live our lives, based upon secondhand experiences. What is happening is that we’re settling for what is second best.
And one of the main reasons is because we’re not able to bring to bear the power, authority, and resources of heaven upon the situations we find ourselves in. In other words, we’re not operating in the full power of the Holy Spirit.
Maybe to say it like this, we lack God’s power to implement what He tells us to do because we’re trying to do it in our own power and abilities. Instead, we need the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to be what God has called for us to be.
There is a verse in the Old Testament that speaks volumes about this. It was given by the prophet Samuel to Saul, as God was preparing Saul to be Israel’s first king. Samuel said, “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.” (1 Samuel 10:6 NKJV)
So, let’s dive into today’s message and see about the transformative power of the Holy Spirit and how it works in our everyday life
How Does the Holy Spirit Work?
Let me give you a quick rundown before we look at the goal of the Holy Spirit as it concerns our transformation. Now, I’ll delve further into these areas a little later, but for now, here’s a quick synopsis. What I hope this synopsis will do is wet your appetite for wanting to know more about it.
The Holy Spirit works in many ways to make us more like Jesus Christ. We see this mainly as He renews our minds to be like the mind of Christ.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
He also convicts us of sin and leads us to repentance. Jesus said, “And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8 NKJV)
We also see the Holy Spirit working through the word of God. He uses the power of Scripture to convict us and influence our way of thinking. He does this to shape us into godly people.
In the end, the power of the Holy Spirit inside every believer gives us the power to transform these lives from death to life. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:13-14).
Therefore, as children of God, we not only are to be led by the Holy Spirit, but we also need the power of the Holy Spirit manifested in our lives, giving us that extra oomph we need to get us through. (We’ll look at this, as we end our time together.)
Therefore, in this whole transformational process, what is the Holy Spirit’s Goal?
With the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us we are being transformed into God’s image. But how?
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NKJV)
It’s in those words, ‘unveiled face,’ that we find transformation’s beginning, because it has such a transformational meaning behind it.
Paul is referencing Exodus 34 when the skin on Moses’s face would shine after he had been in the presence of God. He was reflecting the Lord’s glory. The problem was that the Israelites sin prevented them from being able to see God’s glory. So, Moses had to wear a veil to protect the Israelites from the reflection of God’s presence and glory.
But now, we can come into God’s presence with unveiled faces. We aren’t hampered by sin like the Israelites were. Yes, we are still sinful, but Jesus’s death paid for that sinfulness when we put our faith in Him. Now we have access to God’s presence without any hindrance. Therefore, we have no need for a veil!
And why is that? It’s because as believers we have been bought through the blood of Jesus Christ and the veil that once separated us from the Holy of Holies, and that was torn from the top to the bottom when Jesus died upon the cross, now allows us direct access to God’s Mercy Seat. And therefore, we have direct access where we can gaze with unveiled eyes our Savior and Lord.
Because of what has happened we have been changed, transformed from glory to glory and into the image of Christ, and the more we change the more we reflect God’s glory in our lives.
The Apostle John describes the Holy Spirit’s transformative powers in making us more like Jesus in His first letter.
He said, “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” (1 John 3:24 NKJV)
Now, we already know the goal of the Holy Spirit’s work is to make us more like Jesus, but how does he do this? It’s a process known as sanctification. And it’s not as complicated as it may appear.
Sanctification is the process of the Holy Spirit stripping away our sinful habits and bringing us into holiness. Think of it like peeling back an onion. There are layers.
The Apostle Paul explains saying, “When you came to Christ, you were ‘circumcised,’ but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision – the cutting away of your sinful nature.” (Colossians 2:11 NLT)
The Holy Spirit works in us by peeling away our sinful characteristics and replacing them with godly characteristics. His work in doing this is what makes us more and more like Jesus Christ.
And as we have seen, the Holy Spirit does this transformative work by keeping us in contact with the mind of God. Remember what Paul said to the church in Rome.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
And so it is to our advantage, as Jesus said, that He died and was resurrected, because in that way He could send the Holy Spirit. In the economy of the Trinity, Jesus now gives to us the Holy Spirit who completes the work within us, transforming us into His image.
What is the Economy of the Trinity? The Economy of the Trinity is the ordering of activities within the Godhead. While the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all one in nature and attributes, they differ in their function.
In the Economy of the Trinity as it involves our redemption, we see each person of the Godhead function separately for the singular goal, our salvation.
The Father planned our redemption and sent His Son to accomplish it.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)
Jesus obeyed and accomplished the Father’s plan of redemption.
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38 NKJV)
And then the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit to maintain, bring to completion, and forever seal what the Father planned and what Jesus accomplish upon the cross.
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22 NKJV)
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14 NKJV)
To summarize, it was God the Father who planned and sent His Son, Jesus, to accomplish our salvation. Jesus then came and accomplished what the Father had planned through His death and resurrection. And it was the Holy Spirit who then sealed the deal.
Therefore, the Holy Spirit works within us God’s plan of salvation and to accomplish that He continues the transformation process making us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ.
The Great Commission challenges us to be those witness of Jesus Christ and the redemption He provided in His death upon the cross and His resurrection from the dead.
As followers of Christ, we are called to share the good news of His life, death, and resurrection with the world. And to accomplish this, the Holy Spirit gives believers the power to live like Jesus and be bold witnesses for him.
Jesus said in John 16:7 that it was to our benefit that he would go away so we would receive the Holy Spirit: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
If Jesus said it’s the best thing for us that He goes away, then it must be because there is something even better and more valuable about what the Holy Spirit was coming to do.
Here is one instance that gives us strong clues: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NKJV)
This verse sets the stage for the remainder of the narrative in the Book of Acts. It emphasizes the central theme of the book: the expansion of the church through the power of the Holy Spirit, as the gospel message spreads from Jerusalem to the farthest reaches of the known world.
As Acts 1:8 mentions, the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ. He gives us the boldness to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ in situations where we would normally be fearful or timid.
To Timothy, the Apostle Paul said, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
The power the Holy Spirit gives us is something that reflects in the natural as well as the supernatural. He gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
This supernatural power can be seen in the disciple’s boldness to preach the gospel. It was through the Holy Spirit’s power that Peter, who denied Christ, was now proclaiming Him. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that Peter and the rest of the disciples were giving witness of Christ to a hostile world.
And in our verse, we have this ragtag bunch of disciples, who were nobodies from nowhere. But through the transformative power of the Holy Spirit they began a movement that has endured time, cultural differences, geographical distances, persecution, martyrdom, apathy, and misunderstanding.
For believers today, what Jesus told the disciples in Acts 1:8 serves as a reminder of our ongoing responsibility to share the good news of Jesus’s resurrection and the transforming power of the gospel, all guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
He sends us out as witnesses and gives us the power to do it effectively. We have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to be effective witnesses of God’s love and grace.
One beautiful title that Jesus calls the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth.”
In John 16:13, Jesus said, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13 NKJV)
What Jesus is saying is that the Holy Spirit will guide us in the direction we need to go. The Holy Spirit will not leave us in confusion but will reveal the truth to us. He illuminates the dark areas of our lives to give us a clear vision of God’s purpose for us.
The Holy Spirit is our leader and those who follow Him are sons and daughters of God the Father. This is clearly brought out by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Roman church. In Romans 8:14-17, he says “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’”
And in John 15:26-27, Jesus says, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” (John 15:26-27 NKJV)
Now, the fact that He guides us into all truth means that He is the One who reveals God’s Word to us
In His prayer to the Father, Jesus asks Him to sanctify us in His truth, and then He said, “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17 NKJV)
The Holy Spirit inspires a deeper understanding of God’s Word, purpose, and will.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:9-11: “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-11 NKJV)
The Bible is complete and trustworthy, but we need the Holy Spirit to help us understand.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV)
The word “inspiration” in the Greek language means the Scriptures were literally breathed out by God. It comes from the Greek words for God and breath. And so, it was the breath of God, the Holy Spirit that breathed out these words into those who wrote them down, and it is the Holy Spirit that is breathing them into us today. In fact, the Bible was written under the supervision and direction of the Holy Spirit.
Peter said, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20–21 NKJV)
Further, by saying the Bible is profitable, means that it is useful, beneficial, and advantageous. It teaches what is true and reproves what isn’t, along with correcting and instructing us in how to get and stay right with God.
And what is the truth that He brings? It is Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
The Holy Spirit convicts our conscience and helps us see sin as it really is.
Sin is something that will always offend God and hold us back from being what God has called us to be. And so, when we sin, the Holy Spirit will bring those sins to our attention so that we can confess and repent of them.
Therefore, conviction is our best friend. If we stop feeling conviction, then we have bigger problems.
Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8 NKJV)
The word convict is a translation of the Greek word, “elencho,” (elen-go) which means “to convince someone of the truth; to reprove; to accuse, refute, or cross-examine a witness.” The Holy Spirit acts as a prosecuting attorney who exposes evil, reproves evildoers, and convinces people that they need a Savior.
The conviction of the Holy Spirit also comes before the sin happens. The Holy Spirit will start tapping on our hearts once temptation comes. Joseph fled temptation, crying out, “How could I do this great evil and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)
Now, it is our responsibility to rightly respond to that conviction.
When David was convicted by the Holy Spirit, he cried out, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” (Psalm 51:4). David saw his sin primarily as an affront to God.
Temptation however, is not a sin. Giving into the temptation is. Jesus was tempted, but He didn’t follow through with it, and therefore, He did not sin. You see, The Holy Spirit will nudge our hearts before we make the move. Therefore, it is to our advantage to listen to Him.
After hearing Peter’s Holy Spirit inspired sermon, it says the people listening were convicted of their sin.
“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ (Acts 2:37 NKJV) AND Peter responded, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38 NKJV) and he exhorted them saying, “Be saved from (this) perverse generation.” (Acts 2:40 NKJV)
The Holy Spirit brings to light our relationship to God. The convicting power of the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to sin and opens our hearts to receive His grace (Ephesians 2:8).
Let me throw a little wrench into this, by looking at the goal of the Holy Spirit in the conviction of sin in the lives of unbelievers and believers.
The role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who don’t believe is to use The Law to Convict Unbelievers of sin then He uses the grace of God to convince them of what Jesus has done for them, so that they can trust in Jesus for salvation.
And the role of the Holy Spirit for believers is to Convince Believers more fully of the work of Jesus Christ did on their behalf and to lead them to a life that flows from the love of God (Romans 5:5; Galatian 4:4-6; 5:22-23). He convinces us not to sin because of how much God loves us and how much we love God.
Therefore, our goal is to seek to know the Holy Spirit fully and be filled to overflowing with Him.
We become filled with the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. After Jesus’s resurrection, He showed Himself to the disciples. It says “When Jesus appeared to the disciples, He breathed onthem saying, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22 NKJV)
When we come to believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit enters, and we become His dwelling place.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? … Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19 NKJV)
Now, let me stop at this point for just a minute, for there has been some confusion as to this whole idea of baptism, is there one or two. There is one, but it is neither baptism with water or the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The one baptism is that when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we have first been baptized into Christ. Now there are several passages in the Bible that speaks to this, but here is one that makes it clear.
In Romans 6:3 it says, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” And when this happens, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, as it says that Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Now, it is in this Baptism into Christ that there are two baptisms available, neither one saves, but they are foundational and Jesus speaks of our need for both, and they are water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The problem, as I see it, is that many Christians aren’t experiencing being filled to overflowing because they haven’t received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They haven’t experienced the fullness and haven’t yet been empowered.
Of being baptized with the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5 NKJV)
There’s a special anointing, a special empowerment of the Holy Spirit that awaits all who come to faith in Jesus Christ.
The word “baptism” gives us this understanding. It’s a special anointing. The word means to be completely immersed. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “I want to completely immerse you in the power of the Holy Spirit, flooding every compartment of your life.”
We see this same meaning in what Jesus said in Luke 24:49.
“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)
The word “endued” means to completely cover or to clothe oneself in. Jesus is saying He wants us to be clothed in Holy Spirit’s power. It’s actually where we get the word envelop from. And so, what Jesus is saying as we are to be completely enveloped in Holy Spirit power. The Holy Spirit actually envelops us.
This isn’t some academic exercise that sounds good in church but has no application in real life. Rather, it’s the one thing that we as believers need above and beyond everything else, which is why Jesus told His disciples prior to His accession to wait for it.
We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit if we’re ever going to make an impact upon this present generation. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit so we can be like a river of living water allowing the Holy Spirit to overflow our lives so we can overflow God’s mercy and grace in the lives of everyone we meet.
And so, this year as we look towards that change, that transformation, and consider those things that are needed and what we need to do, let’s never forget to seek God first, and the filling of the Holy Spirit Who gives us the power to effect these changes.
And so, my prayer for you, and it is something I hope you seek further for your life, is what Samuel said to Saul, that the Holy Spirit will come upon you and to fill you so that you can be turned into that new man or woman that God has created for you to be. t
And so, my prayer is that you will not only accept this for your life, but that you would desire it above all else and be filled with the Holy Spirit to overflowing.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study