Evidences of the Spirit
I Jn 3:24
24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. (NKJ)
This message was preached April 28, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com
Last week we spoke on the evidence and habit of the Holy Spirit in the OT. We said that when the Holy Spirit came upon people in the OT it could have been to give them power over the enemies of God. Many times the Holy Spirit came upon people to give them wisdom and understanding. Sometimes the Holy Spirit came upon them to give them guidance in performing a certain task, such as building the tabernacle or the furniture of it. And then Peter tells us that the Spirit came upon men in old time as they communicated and wrote down the word from God. That is how we received an inspired Bible.
But we did notice that it was always something special when God's Holy Spirit came upon someone. It could never be considered common or ordinary.
We said that in the New Testament, it was somewhat different. In the OT, saints were not often associated with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The vast majority of them never experienced that supernatural power of the Holy Spirit as we see in the New Testament. But in the NT every believer has the Holy Spirit. Every believer has the power of the Holy Spirit available to them. But not all believers avail themselves of the Spirit's power.
This morning we want to deal more fully with the work of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament age. This will be important when we come to study the rest of this chapter.
What are the evidences and habits of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament?
- The Baptism
- The first instance is in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost.
- Jesus had said to the disciples that they were to stay in Jerusalem until they were empowered from God.
- They remained there from the time of the ascension until Pentecost, a Jewish festival.
- On that day there were 120 disciples gathered together in this large upper room when the Holy Spirit came upon them.
- His advent was seen by the tongues of fire above everyone's heads and the gushing wind in a closed room, and by their ability to speak in languages they had never learned.
- The second is on the Samaritans in Acts 8.
- This happened after Phillip one of the seven deacons had went to Samaria to proclaim to them the gospel.
- They had believed and were baptized.
- When the church in Jerusalem heard of this they sent Peter and John to check it out.
- When they laid hands on the believing Samaritans they received the Holy Spirit with this same ability to speak in languages they had never learned.
- This let the Apostles know that God had also brought the Samaritans into the kingdom.
- The third is on the Gentiles in Acts 10.
- In this case Peter had received a special vision that he was to go to the house of a Gentile.
- When he got there he preached to them the simple gospel, and while he was speaking, the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles as it had upon the Jews in Acts 2.
- The Jewish believers who were of the circumcision, that is thinking that God would never save the Gentiles, were amazed at all this.
- God had done this to show these strongly Jewish believers that the Gentiles would also believe and be added to the Jewish belivers.
- One of the interesting things about this is that they were baptized in the Holy Spirit before they were baptized.
- When that happened Peter said. "Can anyone forbid water seeing these have received the gift of the Holy Spirit even as we."
- Each of these events were unusual or they would not have been such a big deal.
- This empowerment by the Holy Spirit was not something that happened to every believer who was added to the church.
- Every believer did receive the Holy Spirit but not by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- The Gifts
- This was the discussion of 1 Cor 12-14
- These gifts were what equipped the early church to do ministry.
- There are several lists of these gifts in the New Testament.
- None of them are exactly like the others.
- The primary thing that we get from 1 Cor. is that these gifts were always for the profiting of the entire congregation and not the individual who possessed the gift.
- Another thing that is evident is that no one had all the gifts nor was there one gift that everyone had.
- There was one gift that was misused - Tongues.
- It is kind of interesting that there was no quarrel over who had the gifts of giving, or encouragement.
- It was always those gifts that one might exploit in order to get some recognition for themselves.
- In 1 Cor 12-14 Paul lays out some very stringent guidelines concerning tongues.
- He also states that those who do not agree with his statements are not spiritual.
- The Fruits
- In Gal 5 Paul sets down the fruits that the Holy Spirit produce in a believer's life as opposed to the fruits of the flesh.
- Gal 5:22-24 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (NKJ)
- The Work
- This is not really our interest today.
- But the works of the Spirit are those things that He does directly as fulfilling the covenant of redemption.
- He quickens, leads, convicts, comforts, teaches, illuminates, etc.
- The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
- Often we are not aware of the working of the Holy Spirit.
- Since He is in every believer, we often take His actions for granted.
- He guides us.
- Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
- He teaches us and helps us understand the Bible.
- 1 Corinthians 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
- 1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
- He gives us wisdom to make godly decisions.
- He convicts us of sin and keeps us in line.
- He helps us not give in to fleshly desires.
- Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
- He dwells within us and confirms with our spirit that we are the children of God.
- Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
- John 14:17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
- Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
- Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"
- He helps us in our prayers and makes them effectual before God.
- Romans 8:26, 27 ¶ Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
We are shut up to dependance upon the Holy Spirit, We can never hope to live the life God 3wants without our dependence upon Him.