THE HOLY SPIRIT
Chapter 2: The Holy Spirit Gives You Life
The Holy Spirit has come to enable us to think God's thoughts. Our natural thinking is self-centered; the divine program calls for self-giving. We think of ourselves; God thinks of others. So something must take place that will bring man's thoughts into line with God's thoughts. The coming of the Spirit was intended to accomplish this.
The Holy Spirit came to enable us to share God's emotions. One of God's emotions is love.
It is not in man to yearn for the lost, to sacrifice strength and time, to weep and pray for the fallen. Only God's Spirit can put that love in us.
The Spirit has come to enable us to pray God's prayers, to pray in God's strength for the things God wants us to receive. We do not know what to ask for, and we have no ability to present ourselves to God. So the Spirit helps our weaknesses. Here is at least one very important aspect of the glossolalia (speaking in tongues). Jude exhorts us to build ourselves up in the most holy faith "praying in the Holy Ghost." What a blessed privilege is ours to reach beyond human understanding and, "praying in the Holy Ghost," to enter into the holiest of holies, in a living partnership with God in intercession.
Finally, the Holy Spirit came to enable us to do God's work. God's method was announced as "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the lord of hosts."
From "Why the Spirit Came" in Paraclete, Winter 1097, by Melvin L. Hodges.
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Life from the Spirit of Life
The Spirit of Life
You have received from the Spirit something worth more than all the silver and gold in the world -- life. Two of the titles of the Holy Spirit are Spirit of God and Spirit of life. Together with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, He took part in the creation of the world. The Spirit of life brought life to this earth. His life-giving power is the force that makes the laws of nature function. Your Friend, the Spirit of life, worked through these natural laws the miracle of life and birth that brought you into the world.
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life (Job 33:4).
For You to Do
1. Memorize Job 33:4.
2. Give two titles of the Holy Spirit that are mentioned in this section.
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Health from the Spirit of Life
Who can give you new strength when you are weak? Or vibrant health when you are sick? Who can protect you against the poisons in your envi-ronment, the diseases that you are exposed to? Who can give you peace and joyful release from the nervous tensions of your daily problems? Who can break the power of drug or alcohol addiction? Who can make the deaf hear, the blind see and the paralytics walk again? Who can heal cancer, leprosy, heart trouble and any other disease on earth? Who can even bring the dead back to life? Your Friend, the Spirit of life! The One who made our bodies knows how to make them well again.
The Spirit works in different ways to heal. Many are healed when they accept Jesus as Savior; others, when they are baptized in water or in the Holy Spirit. Many are healed instantly when prayed for; others, gradually. Some are healed while reading the Bible; others while taking communion, sitting in a church service, praying, or going about their work. As God's children pray and believe, the Spirit of life pours His life and strength into the one for whom prayer is made.
The Spirit of life brings health to the mind and nerves as well as to the body. He delivers people from depression, fears and all kinds of mental illness. And He sets people free from demon powers today just as Jesus did when He was here on earth.
The Holy Spirit worked through Jesus to bring healing and health to all who needed it.
"You know about Jesus of Nazareth, how God poured out on him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, for God was with him" (Acts 10:38).
After Jesus went back to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to take His place. The Holy Spirit filled the believers and kept on doing through them the very same miracles that He had done through Jesus.
Many miracles and wonders were being performed among the people by the apostles. ... And crowds of people came in from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those who had evil spirits in them; and they were all healed (Acts 5:12, 16).
The Holy Spirit gave the early Christians the charisma or supernatural gifts that they needed to carry on the work Jesus had begun. Nine of these gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12. Three of them are gifts of faith, healing, and miracles.
One and the same Spirit gives faith to one man, while to another man he gives the power to heal. The Spirit gives one man the power to work miracles (1 Corinthians 12:9, 10).
Many Christians today recognize that what the Holy Spirit did for the early church in the Book of Acts is God's pattern for His church today. They ask Jesus to fill them with the Holy Spirit and He does. They ask for the Holy Spirit to manifest His gifts through them and He does. As a result, many are receiving healing by the power of the Holy Spirit in answer to prayer.
James gives us the prescription for receiving healing. We are to ask the elders of the church to pray for us. They might be the pastor, evangelist, or deacons. In the Bible, oil is a symbol that represents the Holy Spirit. People were anointed with oil to show that they belonged to God and trusted in His Spirit to work in them. The oil doesn't heal. The Spirit does.
Is there any one of you who is sick? He should call the church elders, who will pray for him and pour oil on him in the name of the Lord. This prayer, made in faith, will save the sick man: the Lord will restore him to health (James 5:14, 15).
You too, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, can be used by the Holy Spirit to bring health to others. You can show them in the Bible how Jesus healed the sick. Let them know that He still answers prayer and heals people today through the power of the Holy Spirit. Every believer in Jesus Christ has the right to pray for the sick and expect them to get well. Why? Jesus prom-ised it! So believe!
"Believers will be given these signs of power: they will drive out demons in my name; they will speak in strange tongues; if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed; they will place their hands on the sick, and they will get well" (Mark 16:17, 18).
For You to Do
Fill in the missing words.
3. According to Jesus' promise in Mark 16:17-18, ______________________ would place their ________________ on the sick, and the sick would get___________________.
4. Does the Holy Spirit perform miracles of healing today? _____________________.
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Resurrection from the Spirit of Life
The Giver of Life
The Holy Spirit raised up Jesus from the dead and changed His body. And He will do the same for you! The Holy Spirit lives in God's children now to give us the more abundant life that
Jesus promised. And some day He will give resurrection life to all those who believe in Jesus. He will so change our bodies that we will rise in the air to meet Jesus. In our changed bodies we will never again know weak-ness, pain, disease, or death!
But if Christ lives in you, although your body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God. If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you (Romans 8:10, 11).
For You to Do
5. Read Romans 8:10, 11 five times.
6. Thank God for the hope of the resurrection.
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Life and Health For Your Spirit
Spiritual life: You need more than just life for your body. You need the everlasting life that God has provided for your spirit. Jesus died in your place to give you that life. And the Holy Spirit brings that life to you. The change He works in you is so great that Jesus called it a new birth. We also call it conversion, indicating change. No one can be God's child or go to heaven without this miracle of spiritual birth. Jesus said:
"Flesh gives birth to flesh, and Spirit gives birth to spirit. Do not be surprised because I tell you, You must all be born again" (John 3:6, 7).
Here is what the Holy Spirit does for you in conversion:
1. The Holy Spirit leads you to Christ. The Holy Spirit gets you ready for conversion by letting you see that you are a sinner, condemned to eternal separation from God. He lets you know that you could not save yourself. He helps you understand that Jesus died in your place. He makes you want to leave your sins and accept the forgiveness Jesus offers you. He makes Christ real to you and helps you accept Him as your Savior.
2. The Holy Spirit breaks the power that sin has over you, gives you a new nature, and makes you a child of God.
For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
Those who are led by God's Spirit are God's sons (Romans 8:14).
3. The Holy Spirit comes to live in you, to help you, lead you and let you know that you are now a child of God.
Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you. the Spirit given you by God? (1 Corinthians 6:19).
To show that you are his sons. God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts (Galatians 4:6).
For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you a slave and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's sons, and by the Spirit's power we cry to God, "Father! my Father!" God's Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God's children (Romans 8:15, 16).
For You to Do
7. Do the steps here describe your experience of conversion? ____________________
8. If something seems missing in your experience, go back over these three steps and pray about each. Ask the Holy Spirit do His work in you.
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May ... God . . . keep your whole being, spirit, soul, and body free from all fault (I Thessalonians 5:23).
You feed your body, clothe it, and take care of it as best you can. Why? Because you want it to be satisfied, comfortable, strong and healthy. You must take care of your spirit too if you want it to be satisfied, happy, strong and healthy.
Prayer is just as important to your spirit as the air that you breathe is to your body. In the next lesson you will learn how the Holy Spirit helps you pray.
God's Word is food for your spirit. The Holy Spirit has come o help you understand the Bible. He is the Author of the Bible, so He understands everything in it. Long ago the Holy Spirit had men of God write in the Bible the things that you need to know.
Men were carried along by the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God (2 Peter 1:21).
Jesus promised the disciples that when the Holy Spirit came He would teach them. After they were baptized in the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, they understood God's Word better. Many of those who now receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit have the same experience.
The Holy Spirit ... will teach you everything, and make you remember all that I have told you (John 14:26).
Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them (Nehemiah 9:20).
In Catholic Pentecostals by Kevin and Dorothy Ranaghan you can read many testimonies like these:
"I suddenly found myself strongly drawn to the Scriptures. They seemed transparent to me. Prayer became a real joy."
"I went back to my dormitory room and stayed up until 3 a.m. reading the book of Psalms and Acts. I couldn't put the Bible down. I wanted to read more and more."
"Since this experience the Holy Spirit has taught me more about Scripture than I could have learned in a whole lifetime on my own. When I read the Bible now the words live because Christ lives for me."
©1969 by the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle in the State of New York, Paulist Press Deus Books, N.Y., N.Y. 10019. Used by permission.
For You to Do
9. Memorize John 14:26.
10. Think about your own attitude toward Bible reading. Do you really enjoy it? Would you like to understand it better?
11. Thank God for the Bible and for the privilege of prayer. Before you read the Bible every day, ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through it.
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How many times have you heard people say: "Look at that boy! He looks more like his father every day!" As children grow up, they usually do look more and more like their parents. What about
you? Do you look more like your heavenly Father every day? As you let the Holy Spirit lead you day by day, you will grow spiritually. Others will be able to see in you these characteristics that make you look like your heavenly Father. They are often called the fruit of the Spirit.
But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith-fulness, humility and self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23).
When you were a baby, you were very helpless. But as you grew you be-came stronger. You had new experiences and learned to do many things that you could not do before. God leads His children into many new spiritual experiences too: blessings, tests and work to be done for Him. These experiences will help you grow spiritually.
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a spiritual experience that God wants all of His children to have. It is also called "being filled with the Spirit." Remember that the Holy Spirit has the same nature as God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit wants to fill you so completely that your whole nature will be saturated with the nature of God. The nature of God is love and holiness. So when you are full of the Holy Spirit, you will be full of love and holiness.
Think of a dry sponge. If you put it in a bucket of water, it soaks up every drop that it can hold. Take it out and it just drips with water. Shake it, hit it, squeeze it and what happens? It just gives out the water with which it is filled. You are the sponge. Jesus wants to baptize you in the Holy Spirit, plunge you into the very Spirit of life until you soak up His nature in every part of your being. When you are full of the Spirit, troubles may shake you, people may strike you, but all the pressures of life just bring out the love of God with which you are filled.
John L. Sherrill, the Episcopalian author of They Speak with Other Tongues, tells about his baptism in the Holy Spirit:
At the actual moment of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, there was one overwhelming impres-sion: I was bathed in, surrounded by, washed through with love. ... We are so concerned with the power-aspect of the Holy Spirit. But the nature of that power, I am convinced, is love...
The secret ingredient in this kind of transforming holiness, I came to think, was love. When I came into contact with love as an overwhelming experience in the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, I found that I had been cleansed, built up, healed. I knew a kind of wholeness I'd never dreamed of.
© 1964 by John L. Sherrill. McGraw-Hill, Inc., Spire edition 1968, Fleming H. Revell Co., Westwood, N.J. 07675. Used by permission.
For You to Do
12. Memorize Galatians 5:22, 23. Pray that the Holy Spirit will produce these fruits in you.
13. Name two characteristics of the nature of God that people should be able to see in His children.
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Life with a Purpose
You weren't born just to take care of yourself. Your physical life has a purpose greater than just taking care of your body. And your spiritual life is more than just taking care of your spirit. You were born to have a part in God's great plan. He has a special plan for you - a work for you to do.
The Holy Spirit wants to help you fit into God's plan. Let Him lead you and you will discover the real meaning and purpose of life. He will give you a cause worth living for and worth dying for -- the cause of Christ. The Spirit will make you a witness for Christ in two ways: through your changed life and through your words. He sets your feet on the road to heaven and helps you invite others to go with you to your heavenly home.
But you will be filled with power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be witnesses for me (Acts 1:8).
For You to Do
14. Thank the Holy Spirit for coming to be your Friend and Helper.
Check Your Answers
2. Spirit of God, Spirit of life
3. believers, hands, well
13. love, holiness (could be others)
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Go back to Chapter 1: You Have a Friend -- The Holy Spirit
Go to Chapter 3: The Holy Spirit Helps You Pray