By Arch Hoercher
Do you know, if you are a Christian, that you have access to the very power and personality of God? This “power” is one of the many promises God has given to His believers. This “power” comes to us by the Holy Spirit. If you ask most Christians who God the Father is, you will generally get a good answer. If you ask who Jesus Christ is, you will probably get a good answer. But if you ask who the Holy Spirit is, most often you will get a lot of hemming and hawing. The Holy Spirit is probably the most misunderstood person of the Trinity – God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. There is no way that I could cover who the Holy Spirit is and why He is so important in the Christian’s life in this short devotional. There are books written about the Holy Spirit that only touch the surface of who He is. This devotional will attempt to give you some very important information as to why the Holy Spirit is so very important to the Christian and the Christian’s life.
It is important to understand that life would not exist if it were not for the presence of the Holy Spirit in this World. Psalm 104:27-30 (NIV): “All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.” Job 34:14-15 (NIV): “If it were His intention and He withdrew His Spirit and breath, all humanity would perish together and mankind would return to the dust.” The Holy Spirit is the animator of all life. Without the Spirit, mankind would cease to exist.
God’s promise to His children as spoken by Jesus Christ to His disciples: Acts 1: 8 – “But you WILL receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” When you first believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ you were given this gift; Ephesians 1:13 (NIV): “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” When you became a believer you received God’s promise of a Helper, the Holy Spirit. Every believer has received this promise. The Holy Spirit seals your salvation. He gives you the ability to know the personality of God because the Spirit resides IN you not around you. The Holy Spirit is a requirement to enter the Kingdom of God: John 3:5-6 (NIV) – “Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, NO ONE can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.’”
What needs to be understood is that the Holy Spirit of God resides in every believer. How the Spirit functions in each believer is different. One very important point is that each one of us has a free will. We have the ability to accept or reject the influence of the Holy Spirit within us to one degree or another. How much the Holy Spirit is operating in our lives is dependent upon how much we allow Him to. Psalm 1:1 (NIV): “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked.” Galatians 5:25 (NIV): “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” We either are keeping in step with the world or with the Spirit of God. Keeping “in step” is a choice that we make. The more we work at keeping in step with the Holy Spirit will result in a more active Spirit filled life. Keeping in step with the Spirit will bear fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV): “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” The more we walk in step with the Spirit the more of God’s attributes and personality we will display in our lives. The more of this fruit that we display the more we will think and speak as God would think and speak. The more we start thinking and speaking as God would, the more others will want of this fruit.
The Holy Spirit also gives gifts to the believer. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11: “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of he same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.” There is only one Holy Spirt who resides in every believer. These gifts are given according to His purpose, not ours. The purpose of the gifts is for the unity and building of God’s church. The unity of the church in performing God’s will on this earth is of paramount importance. Ephesians 4:3 (NIV): “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the body of peace.” If you have ever wondered why some churches seem to function better than others, it is because of unity not discord. The church has been likened to a body. Only one body, not several different bodies. The church of Jesus Christ is ONE body. Its function and effectiveness on the world is based upon unity. Unity in the Holy Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14: “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were ALL baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” The ultimate purpose of the church is to be a witness of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world. It is best performed when there is unity of the body. The body does not function well without legs or without arms. The church cannot be very effective is one eye is working against the other eye. Ephesians 4:30-32 (NIV): “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” What kind of witness are we if we fight among ourselves and display malice (spite, animosity, hostility, ill will or feelings, hatred, bitterness, backbiting) towards our brother and sisters in Christ. How can the church function as God wants it to function, if we display disunity.
The church is not OUR church, it is GOD’s church. Its purpose is God’s purpose. Our task and our goal is to keep in step with the Holy Spirit that resides within us. The more we surrender our will to the Spirit’s the more fruit we will produce in our lives. The more fruit that we produce, the more of the mind and personality of God will be displayed in our lives. The more of the mind and personality of God that we display in our lives, the more the Spiritual Gifts that have been given us will function to unify the church and its purpose.
So, where is the power? The power of God dwells within the believer in the person of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:11 (NIV): “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and BY the Spirit of our God.” You salvation is not possible without the Holy Spirit that resides within every believer. He is the seal of the promise given. Let’s all keep in step with the Holy Spirit and work in unity as one body to perform the purpose of God’s church on this earth.