Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would “convict the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment; and of sin because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness because I go to the Father —; of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged” John 16: 8-11. The Holy Spirit would also teach and guide us “into all truth; for He will not speak of His own authority but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” John 16 :12-13. It thus follows that as Christians we cannot function without the Holy Spirit because He is our eyes, ears and feet into the kingdom of God.
Even Jesus while on earth depended on the Holy Spirit to conduct His ministry. This is because when He was on earth He dealt with two kingdom realms, the physical and the spiritual. The kingdom of God is a spiritual one and this is why we must be born again in the spirit in order to be connected to it. Mark reports that when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist “immediately, coming from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, ‘you are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased” Mark 1:10, 11
Before Jesus started His ministry He read from Isaiah 61:1, 2 “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has appointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”. Jesus is reported to have then closed the book and sat down and the said “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 1: 18-21). In effect Jesus was revealing that it was Him that Isaiah had years before prophesied about.
In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was only available to prophets, judges and kings. Prophet Micah attributes his ministry and power to the Spirit of the Lord. He says, “but truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and Israel his sin” Micah 3:8. Ezekiel writes “I fell on my face and I heard a voice of one speaking. And then He said to me, ‘son of man stand on your feet and I will speak to you’. Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me” Ezekiel 2:1-2.
Joel prophesied that in the last days it would come to pass that God would “pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my Spirit in those days” Joel 2: 28-29. These are those last days and the fulfillment of this prophecy came to pass on the day of Pentecost. Peter quoted this passage in his first summons after the outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2:16-17). Jesus had commanded His disciples not to depart from Jerusalem before this had happened because they would “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” Acts 1: 4, 8.
The Holy Spirit is the one that empowers us to do things that we would not be able to do in our own power. Jesus had pre warned the disciples that they would be arrested and sent before the Pharisee but also assured them not to worry because the Holy Spirit would give them words with which to witness with. Indeed as they were preaching the “priests, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them” and arrested them and put them into custody until the following day (Acts 4:3). This was all because of preaching in the name of Jesus and of the resurrection.
When they were brought before all the rulers, elders high priest and scribes to answer for the charges Peter “filled with the holy Spirit” explained everything and ended with the statement “ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4: 8-12). Peter and John’s boldness amazed their accuser because they “perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men” Acts 4:13. The Holy Spirit knows what we need and He empowers us accordingly. So if you feel scared to share the gospel ask Him for boldness and for anointing to forget yourself and give a witness for Christ.
Jesus promised His disciples that signs and wonders would follow them as they witnessed to others in His name. “In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents ; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will receiver” Mark 16: 17. All these attributes were witnessed and reported as happening with the first church. Indeed the reason Peter and John were in trouble in the above incident is because they spoke healing to a man who had been crippled form birth in the name of Jesus Christ. In the day of Pentecost they all spoke with different tongues.
There are some that believe that the gifts were for a specific time and are no longer applicable. One wonders when they stopped and if God stopped being who He is. I have personally witnessed many of these gifts in operation in places where people had deep faith in God and not in their power or knowledge. The Holy Spirit and the manifestation of gifts are as much available to us today as they were in the first church. The problem is that many have fallen away from the narrow path and gone to the road that leads to destruction. They are trying to understand the things of the kingdom of God from a mindset of the world. Jesus said that “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” John 3:3.
Paul also cautions the believer not to put their faith “in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” 1 Corinthians 2:5. The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God and reveals them to us “for no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” 1 Corinthians 2:11, 12. Many are going to psychic to seek help and to strange doctrines because the church has become Luke warm. If we go back to God and seek His face the power lost will be manifested.
How is that people are willing to trust mare human beings in the form of psychics but not God? The first church gained momentum because they operated under the power of the Holy Spirit and signs and wonders followed them. Today everything has been intellectualized and we are doing things by own power which is hopeless. You cannot fight the kingdoms of this world with the same power because like Jesus asked “how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man”? Mathew 12:29.
As Christians we are able to reach others and serve the church through our various gifts and ministries. Paul writes “there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities but it is the same God who works in us all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all— distributing to each one individually as He wills” 1 Corinthians 12: 1-5, 11. One of the things that Paul highlights is how we can test whether one is truly speaking by the Spirit of God or some counterfeit spirit. He says that “no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” 1 Corinthians 12: 3. So use this test to ensure what you are hearing is of God.
The Holy Spirit within us is a seal or guarantee that we belong to God. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us demonstrates the genuiness of our faith, proves that we are God’s children and secures eternal life for us. It is the Holy Spirit who works in us to transform us in this world pending eternity (Ephesians 1:13). Paul also remind us that our bodied “are the temple of God and that the Holy Spirit of God dwells in you” (1Corinthians 3:16) and warns against grieving “the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” Ephesians 4: 30. We can grieve the Holy Spirit by the way we live. Things like unwholesome language, bitterness, brawling, slander, bad attitudes toward others as well as sexual sins should be done with.
We are advised to be filled with the Spirit instead of being drunk with alcohol. Alcohol gives a temporary high which sometimes leads to disaster while being high with the Holy Spirit produces a lasting joy (Ephesians 5:18). Our concern should not be on how much of the Holy Spirit we have but on how much the Holy Spirit has of us. Becoming Christ like means dying to self daily and this is only possible if we submit daily to the leading of the Holy Spirit and constantly drawing on His power.