The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit convicts, leads and guides souls to God. The work of the Holy Spirit is manifested in three levels:
The Holy Spirit impresses the person of his lost condition and the need for the Savior. The person comes to the Lord and confesses his past sins and by faith receives instant forgiveness and stands justified before God. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Then, the Holy Spirit convicts the person of God’s will and also of the person’s weaknesses through the daily study of the scriptures and prayer. Again, by faith the person receives daily from God all the necessary grace, power, and help to overcome his weakness. This is a lifelong process. “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory, with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).
The Holy Spirit is given only to the obedient: “the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32). Jesus said, “If ye love me keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:15, 16). The believer should not be under the power of sin. But what is sin? “… sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). One could not be filled with the Holy Spirit without obeying God’s law (Exodus 20) through the His enabling grace.
Level three involves an exercise of the same kind of faith for the purpose of sharing with others what the Lord has done in a believer’s life. As the disciples prayed for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and received it at the Day of Pentecost, the believers today should pray for the empowerment of the Spirit to take the truth to all the world before the coming of Christ.
The Holy Spirit gives the believers gifts to assist them in their Christian walk and witnessing. He decides how the gifts will be distributed, and to whom. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He will” (1 Corinthians 12:8-11).
There are many powerful promises that the Lord has given the church to claim the gift of the Holy Spirit. Here are a few:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!“ (Matthew 7:7-11).
“By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1: 4).
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:16- 20).
In His service,