I would like to share a teaching I used in my cell group back in February that describes a bit who the Holy Spirit is. The more we can understand how he operates, the more time we spend with Him, the more easily we will recognise His voice. I will be splitting this specific teaching into 3 posts (Part 2a, Part 2b, and Part 2c), as it is a lot of information. So here goes (some notes are extracts taken out of Wayne Grudem’s book “Systematic Theology”): The main purpose of the Holy Spirit’s work is to complete and sustain that which God has planned and Christ Jesus has begun. The Holy Spirit is now the primary presence of the Trinity, since Christ returned to heaven to be with the Father. The Holy Spirit is the “First fruits” (as mentioned in Romans 8:23) and the “guarantee / down payment” (1 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5) of the full manifestation of God’s presence. Depending on our response to the Holy Spirit (which should be faith and obedience), it could determine whether his influence (which is His presence and blessings) on our lives to be either weak or strong. Four distinguished aspects of the Holy Spirit is as follows (a short summarisation of information):
- the Holy Spirit empowers
Life The Holy Spirit is the breath of life that God breathed into each person. He gives and sustains life. Psalm 104:30 says, “When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.” The Holy Spirit gives new life. John 3:6 says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Galatians 5:16-17 says,”But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these opposed to each other, to keep you from doing things you want to do.” John 6:63 says, “It is the Holy Spirit who gives life, the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” The Holy Spirit empowers you for service by equipping you with the necessary skills and abilities (such as the Gifts of the Holy Spirit), and training, teaching and qualifying you to do what God has called you to do. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…” – Acts 1:8a Gifts are individual qualities given by God according to His plan for each unique person, such as some people are called to prophesy, while other are called to share God’s wisdom. Do not confuse the gift of the Holy Spirit with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Fruits are the characteristics of a reborn Christian, which ALL Christians are supposed to have and portray, regardless of their unique calling on their lives. Gifts are the tools given to aid you as an individual in your unique calling; the gifts you possess are most likely different to the gifts your best friend might have, based on the unique calling on your life. 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-11 says the following: “Now concerning the spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given though the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”
“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what he sees, or decide disputes by what his ears hear.” – Isaiah 11:2-3.
The work of the Holy Spirit is evident right throughout the Old Testament, the New Testament, the last 1,000 years and especially in the last 100 years and 20 years. All we have to do is set aside our disbelief, open our eyes, and listen. In the next post (Who’s Voice Is It? Part 2b) we will focus on the Holy Spirit purifying and uniting. In Part 2b I will approach the revelations of the Holy Spirit to open up the topic of How to practice listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit (Part 3). For now I am setting the ground work, and I hope all of this help you understand the different voices much better and which ones to respond to and which ones to ignore.