Life in the Spirit- The Important Ministry of the Holy Spirit
This paper is about Life in the Spirit, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Having the indwelling Spirit of Jesus in us is of utmost importance in our walk with God. Jesus said ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be Baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence’ Ac1:5; ‘..ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be WITNESSES unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth’ Ac1:8. The main purpose for the indwelling Spirit is to fulfill the Great Commission and also to perfect us in Christ.
God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to die for our sins. After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus returned to heaven so He could send the Holy Spirit to finish His work. Jesus said ‘..He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father’ Jn14:12. Only by leaving could Jesus then send the Holy Spirit to be everywhere in the world to empower, to lead, guide, teach, protect, to intercede for us, and to perfect us, and to finish His work. This is the greater works ministry of Jesus. By sending His Spirit to be in us, people everywhere could be reached with the Gospel of Salvation. Please note that the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus Christ Php1:19 are synonymous. These titles all refer to the same Spirit of God as Ep4:4 states ‘There is ..one Spirit’.
The three chapters in the Gospel of John chapters 14,15,16 outline the important ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives as they detail our Life in the Spirit. We are complete in God only if we have His Spirit to lead us, teach us, guide us into all truth, and to reveal things to us. The Holy Spirit will only speak what Jesus tells Him, and He will only testify of and glorify Jesus Christ. Thus, the Holy Spirit is the representative or surrogate of Jesus on earth today, to live in us and to direct our lives.
But there is another reason also for having the Holy Spirit residing in us. The Holy Spirit’s job is bring us unto perfection and glorification- unto Sonship, to be like Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have.. received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which shall be revealed in us’ Ro8:14-18. This is what Life in the Spirit is all about- a future glory coming for all those who are led by the Holy Spirit.
Life in the Spirit- the Promise of the Holy Spirit
Before his crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples what would happen after He departed as found in John’s Gospel chapters 14,15,16. Jesus said He would send another COMFORTER like Himself, as He would not longer be with them: ‘ and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another COMFORTER, that he may abide with you for ever’ Jn14:16; ‘But the COMFORTER, WHICH IS THE HOLY GHOST, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you’ Jn14:26; ‘I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU’ Jn14:18. Jesus said ‘But when the COMFORTER is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me’ Jn15:26.
Jesus continued ‘..It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the COMFORTER will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you’ Jn16:7. Then before His ascension to heaven, Jesus told his disciples ‘..behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high’ Lk24:49,51. This promise of the Spirit was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. This promise is the same promise of the Father, of the Comforter, and of the Holy Spirit written in the New Testament for us today.
The Holy Spirit is the Power of God
The Holy Spirit is the Power of God to do the works of God. Zech4:6 states ‘Not by might, nor by Power, but by my Spirit..’ . Jesus said ‘..ye shall receive Power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon us’ Ac1:8. God has given us ‘the Spirit of Power..’ 2Ti1:7. Jesus said ‘ He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father’ Jn14:12.
Jesus began His ministry and did miracles only after He was baptized with the Holy Ghost. Lk3:22 tells ‘..the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him’. Jesus declared ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised..’ Lk4:18,19. Jesus said ‘All Power is given unto me in heaven and in earth’ Mt28:18. Paul wrote ‘and my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of Power’ 1Co2:4. Our power comes with the Holy Spirit Baptism given to us by Jesus.
The Baptism With the Holy Ghost- the Power of God Upon Us
The baptism with the Holy Ghost (BWHG) is the Power of God given to believers to witness Jesus Christ Ac1:8. When we are spirit-filled, we become the temple of God as the Spirit of God dwells in us 1Co3:16; ‘your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost’ 1Co6:19. The power of God then resides in us to do His will, to bring forth deliverance and healing. Jesus said ‘..these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover’ Mk16:17,18.
Paul wrote ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the Power that worketh in us’ Ep3:20. Paul told Timothy‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of Power, and of love, and of a sound mind’ 2Ti1:7. Later in this paper, we will see the importance of the Holy Spirit power needed for the coming Rapture.
The Acts of the Apostles detailed the importance of the BWHG in continuing the works of Jesus Christ. Altogether there were 8 accounts in the book of Acts of the Holy Spirit Baptism– of people receiving the Holy Spirit, praising, magnifying God, and speaking with other tongues. On that day of Pentecost, there were 120 disciples praying and tarrying to be filled with the Spirit Ac1:15. Jesus then sent the Comforter and they ‘were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance’ Ac2:4.
Later Peter and John ministered the BWHG to the Samaritans who had accepted Jesus Christ Ac8:17. Then Ananias prayed for the apostle Paul and he was filled with the Holy Ghost Ac9:17. While Peter told the Roman centurion Cornelius, his kinsmen and friends how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, the Holy Ghost fell upon them Ac10:38,44. Peter also spoke of many Gentiles being filled with the Holy Ghost Ac15:8. Aquilla and Priscilla ministered the BWHG to the mighty disciple Apollos Ac18:24-26, and Paul ministered the BWHG to 12 disciples previously ignorant of the Spirit Baptism Ac19:1-7. These accounts are examples of the importance of the Holy Spirit Baptism in our walk with the Lord, to empower us and to do His works. They all spoke with tongues, prophesied, and magnified God Ac10:46,19:6.
Life in the Spirit- A Personal Testimony
It is one thing to read something that happened in the Bible 2000 years ago, but another to experience the same thing. In 1972 when I was 33 year old, I had placed myself in a tough business situation where I owed a dozen people a lot of money in a deal that went awry. My goal in life then was to get rich. But Jesus said ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ Mk8:36. God used this incident to arrest me, and to turn me around to seeking Him and His kingdom first Mt6:33. He led me to a Full Gospel Businessmen International Fellowship convention held at a big hotel in Waikiki. There I heard many testimonies of once troubled businessmen finding Jesus Christ, also being filled with the Holy Spirit and serving God.
From my youth I always believed in God and prayed, but for the first time in my life, I knew that God was real and that He would help me. I wanted to be ‘saved’ Jn3:16 and to experience the Baptism with the Holy Ghost like the early disciples. So for three nights beginning on a Friday, alone during my work breaks, I prayed asking the Lord to help me in my problem, and to fill me with His Spirit. I was very persistent, and on Sunday night at around 10 pm, the Holy Spirit suddenly fell upon me. I felt a tremendous warmth enveloping me, and I too began to ‘speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance’ Ac2:4. Then I heard God’s audible voice from heaven calling me three times and said ‘Wyman, I have not forsaken you’.
Thus began my personal Life in the Spirit over 44 years ago, and I still cherish this spiritual encounter with God. Suffice to say that Jesus helped me in my financial dilemma and I have been serving Him ever since, preaching and teaching the Word of God. Ro8:1 states ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’. I have since met numerous people all over the world who have received the BWHG and who are now led by the Spirit of God Ro8:14. The Bible states ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ Heb13:8. Jesus filled me with the Holy Spirit that day as He did many others before me, and even today.
Life in the Spirit- the Gifts of the Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit
In our new Life in the Spirit, with the Holy Spirit Baptism comes certain gifts of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit which should then be manifested in our lives. Upon the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we receive spiritual power to testify of Jesus Christ. In 1Corinthians12, Paul wrote of the 9 Gifts of the Spirit. They can be categorized in three groups: The Vocal Gifts 1. Prophecy, 2. Tongues, 3. Interpretation of Tongues; The Intuitive Gifts 1. Word of Wisdom, 2. Word of Knowledge, 3. Discerning of Spirits; The Power Gifts 1. Faith, 2. Healing, 3. Miracles. Paul said the diversity of the gifts of the Spirit is manifested for the body of Christ to benefit by them. 1Co12:7 states ‘But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal’ . Throughout my Life in the Spirit, I have witnessed these gifts of the Spirit manifested whereby many believers have been blessed by them.
As believers, we should also manifest the fruit of the God’s Spirit to bless others. Here is a description of the 9-part Fruit of the Spirit which is basically only One Fruit Ga5:22. For ease of remembering, I have categorized them accordingly: the Sweet Fruit– Love, Joy, and Peace; the Pleasant Fruit– Gentleness, Goodness, Faith; the Sour Fruit- Meekness, Temperance, Long-suffering. To live and to walk in the Spirit, we need to possess the Fruit of the Spirit in all of its 9 aspects. Lacking any part of the fruit, such as meekness, temperance, or long-suffering makes us unbalanced and incomplete in our walk and Life in the Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit is God’s blessings to us and to others. When we exhibit the fruit of love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and long-suffering, we are blessed and we bless others spiritually. The world will then know we are Christians by our love and by our fruit!
Life in the Spirit- Sealed With the Holy Spirit of Promise
Paul spoke of a special sealing by the Holy Spirit to prepare us for the coming Rapture. He wrote ‘That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, Ye were SEALED WITH THAT HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE’ Ep1:12,13. First trust in Christ, then believe in Him, then be sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. What is this special sealing and important promise by the Holy Spirit? Being sealed generally denotes approval, called, destined, favored, important, special, and/or protected. Heb9:15 states ‘they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance’. This promise here speaks of a future Redemption for those sealed with the Holy Spirit; a personal deliverance, and even our eternal inheritance. Again, this promise speaks of the coming Rapture.
Paul continued ‘..grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION’ Ep4:30. Paul warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit who has personally sealed us for Redemption. What is this day of Redemption? It is the day of the Rapture when Jesus will return to deliver us out of this world. Paul said ‘Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord’ 1Th4:17. Only the sealing of Holy Spirit will make it possible for us to be Raptured and to escape out of this world that is falling apart.
Jesus said ‘And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your REDEMPTION draweth nigh’ Lk21:28; and ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36.
Life in the Spirit and the Coming Rapture
Finally, only the Holy Spirit can change us from corruptible to incorruptible and from being mortal to immortal to take us to heaven. Paul stated ‘that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality’ 1Co15:50-53.
Here we clearly see that our natural bodies in its present corruptible state cannot be taken in the Rapture because ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’ 1Co15:50. It would take the Holy Spirit to supernaturally change our body into a glorified body like Jesus’ to be translated into heaven.
As Jesus is incorruptible and immortal, so shall we be. 2Co3:18 states ‘But we all.. beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’. At the Rapture, we will experience a supernatural change in us. Php3:21 states ‘(Jesus) shall change our vile body, that it may be FASHIONED LIKE UNTO HIS GLORIOUS BODY..’.
Here are scriptures that relate to the miracle and our supernatural change at the Rapture. As Jesus was raised from the dead and taken into heaven, so shall the Holy Spirit do the same to us. Paul said ‘But if the Spirit of (God) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, (God) that raised up Christ from the dead shall also QUICKEN YOUR MORTAL BODIES BY HIS SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN YOU’ Ro8:11. By the power of the Holy Spirit, our mortal bodies will be changed and quickened for the Rapture. 1Co6:14 states ‘..God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power’. 2Co4:14 tells ‘Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you’.
This is our Life in the Spirit where the Holy Spirit will finally prepare us for the Rapture. Thus, we need the Holy Spirit in our lives to bring us unto perfection to be like Jesus Christ. Now here is the big question ‘How do you get the Holy Spirit?’ Jesus said ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? ’ Lk11:13. Just ask God to give you His Spirit and He will do so! Life in the Spirit is all about having the Holy Spirit in our lives to change and to perfect us! 1Jn3:2 states ‘Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is’. At the Rapture, we shall all then be perfected in Christ Jesus, as we shall be like Him when we finally see him coming for us!