Classical thought paved the way to our understanding of God as Father, Son and Spirit who, “in their eternal mutuality of love constitute what we mean by the word ‘God.'”(Leslie Newbigin, Proper Confidence, 2)
THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
- SURVEYOR: … And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Gen1:2)
- THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND ANOTHER HELPER (PARACLETE) LIKE JESUS: … and He will give you another Helper, … the Spirit of truth, (John14:16-17a)
- INDWELLS BELIEVERS: He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:17b)
- TEACHER AND REVEALER OF CHRIST’S WORDS: … He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you (John14:26)
- GIVER OF CHRIST’S TESTIMONY: … He will testify of Me (John 15:26)
- GUIDE: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; (John 16:13a)
- PROPHET: … He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13b)
- GLORIFY JESUS … “He will glorify Me …(John 16:14)
EXAMPLES OF SPIRIT EMPOWERMENT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
And Pharaoh said to his servants,
“Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Gen 41:38).
2. BEZALEAL, SON OF URI OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH:
and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, “to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze…(Exod 35:31-32).
And Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel encamped according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him (Num 24:2).
When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. And it happened, when all who knew him formerly saw that he indeed prophesied among the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1Sam 10:10-11)
5. AZARIAH, SON OF ODED:
Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you (2Ch15:1-2).
6. ZECHARIAH, SON OF JEHOIADA:
Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He also has forsaken you.’“ So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD (2Ch 24:20-21).
Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke, and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? “I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you (Dan 5:13-14).
Though they had the Spirit of God at the beginning of their ministries, Samson, Saul, Balaam and many of the false OT prophets did not have good testimonies at the height of their ministry. Someone like Samson had a good ending after his repentance and subsequent Spirit empowerment before his final exploit and death but we cannot say the same of Balaam or Saul.
EXAMPLES OF SPIRIT EMPOWERMENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot… (Acts 8:29)
While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you… (Acts 10:19)
2. THE CHURCH AT ANTIOCH:
• As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.“ Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus (Acts 13:2-4)
3. COUNCIL AT JERUSALEM:
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: (Acts 15:28)
PAUL TO THE ELDERS OF EPHESUS:
“except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me (Acts 20:23)
- Just like the early disciples in the Upper Room before Pentecost, anyone who has confessed and believed that Jesus is Savior and Lord has been transformed into a new person by the Holy Spirit.
- But just like they had not been empowered for ministry by the Holy Spirit before Pentecost, so is anyone who is born again but has not received the Holy Spirit baptism.
- The baptism of the Spirit (immersion in Spirit) is the empowerment for ministry (Acts 1:8)
Why is it that many who have received the Spirit’s baptism are like the church at Laodicea– docile and or lukewarm?
Why is the gift dormant?
- We are not truly committed to the Giver of that power
- We don’t know what power God has bestowed on us
- We love the world and the things of the world
- We have not fully separated from the world (Umbilical cord with the world not fully cut of not even cut)
- Sin (Anything that separates us from God)
BUT WHY DO YOU AND I WANT THE HOLY SPIRIT TO MANIFEST HIS POWER THROUGH US?
- To glorify God?
- To partner with God in bringing many into His Kingdom?
- Enrich ourselves?
- Create followers after ourselves?
- To receive adulation?
NOTE: If the reason for seeking the power of the Holy Spirit is other than the first 2 reasons, we betray the Author of our salvation and the one that baptizes with the Holy Spirit?
We would be like:
- False prophets of the Old Testament
- Some of the Elders of Ephesus (Acts 20:)
- Some of Azusa’s early adherents
But if the reason we pray for the manifestation of the Spirit’s power through us is for the first 2 reasons, then:
We would be like:
- Early Disciples like Stephen, Peter, Paul, Barnabas
- Faithful Azusa disciples
It is very dangerous to ask for that in which we are not fully persuaded or in which we have not made a very serious commitment.
ARE WE REALLY PREPARED FOR THE CONSEQUENCES?
- Withstand pressure and opposition from family and friends.
- Willing to leave our comfort zones (a place of comfort and security literally and figuratively) to places of discomfort and insecurity.
- Willing to leave that high paying job to an uncertain future rather than reach out your hand and touch iniquity.
- Ready to sacrifice personal goals and ambition.
- Withstand persecution, covertly and overtly
IF PREPARED, THEN BE NOT AFRAID
• Despite what the enemy may throw at you and no matter the number of dark nights, knowing that the Lord is with you and that He approves is all that matters.They will surely gather against you but for certain, they will fail no matter the number of times they try and no matter the intensity of their attacks. If you imprint this Scripture in your heart: ‘Friendship with the world is enmity with God,’ and refuse to compromise, the Spirit will guide you in your daily walk with God and the ‘Blood covering’ will ward off all the DARTS of the enemy.
RADICAL COMMITMENT–THE MANIFESTATION OF LOVE
In agreeing to sacrifice Isaac, the child of promise, Abraham placed his obedience to God above himself, his family, his future lineage and even God’s promise. Though our sins put Jesus on the cross, it was actually God who sacrificed Him (He sacrificed Him because He could have stopped it but didn’t). Why? Because God had radically committed Himself to freeing humanity from eternal damnation. Jesus could have walked away from the cross but didn’t. Why? Because He was radically committed to His Father and His promise to redeem fallen humanity.
The Holy spirit could have unleashed such power to obliterate the whole of humanity for daring to lay hands on the Son of God but didn’t. Why? Because He was radically committed to the Father’s plan for humanity’s salvation.
Undergirding all the above is love. (John 3:16)
If we, like Abraham, would radically commit ourselves to God, the Lord Jesus and His Father will come to make their abode in us i.e., we will enter into that eternal mutuality of love in God since the Holy Spirit is already indwelling us.
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23)
THE POWER OF HIS RESURECTION:
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, (Phil 3:10 NLT)
• Having made that commitment to wholly be with God, and to continue to follow the dictates of the Spirit, and invariably facing persecutions (shunning, ridicule, criticisms, etc) from family and friends, church organizations and the occult, and remaining steadfast in the ensuing sufferings, you will tap into the power of His resurrection.
For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, (1Th 1:5-6)
PRAYER FOR THE SPIRIT’S MANIFESTION
- We believe your word, Lord Jesus, that we shall receive power after the Holy Spirit baptism.
- Though we have received that power, same power that raised You from the dead, we still act as if we have no power. We have failed to act in faith and have been dancing with the world. We confess our sin of unbelief and pray for your forgiveness.
- Spirit of God, your people are here in one accord. Have your way in every life present here as you have purposed even before the foundation of the world. May we experience and manifest your power as we follow your leading, in Jesus name we pray.(Acts 1:8)
- We plead your blood on all present here and promise that we will never hinder the Spirit through our actions from manifesting through us ever again.