The Holy Spirit: A Living Gift Part 2 of 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
WHEN GOD BESTOWS THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN THE HEART OF HIS CHILD, HE IS ALSO BESTOWING A LIVING GIFT WHO IS AT THE SAME TIME A DIVINE PERSON.
In Galatians it says, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6). God is Spirit. God is not localized in a body as man is.
God in Spirit comes to dwell within the body of every believer as a living presence. If you are a child of God, you will want to be led by the Spirit of God. The flesh may get a victory in your life, but it will never make you happy. You will never be satisfied with it, because you are sons of God, and He has placed His Spirit in your heart. There are four characteristics of the Holy Spirit that are important to all believers.
First, He comes into our lives to purify us and to reproduce in us the character and the personality of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wrote this to the Hebrews, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14). If the blood of animals was enough to cover over the sins of Israel, surely the blood of Christ can take away the guilt of sin. But the blood of bulls and goats was not adequate to remove the penalty for those sins, so Christ had to shed His blood, and die in our place.
But that’s not all that Jesus has done for us. He put His Spirit within us. He cleansed our conscience from the guilt that sin and dead works will bring. Anything that you try to do to earn your salvation is a dead work. We can know that we are right with God, because Christ has made us right.
Second, the gift of the Holy Spirit is all-powerful.
This power was never more evident than in the miraculous conception of Christ, when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary in great power. An angel foretold the birth of Jesus, according to Luke. “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God”’ (Luke 1:35). The Holy Spirit is called the power of the Highest. Mary will not ask how this shall be.This message from God is enough to help her over all the difficulty she will encounter. A divine power will be present within her, not the power of an angel, but the power of the Holy Spirit himself.
Third, the living gift of the Holy Spirit knows all the things of God as well as the things of men.
We are told in these verses in 1 Corinthians that the Spirit knows the deep things of God. “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). What we cannot get through the eye-gate or through the ear-gate, the Spirit of God can teach us. There are many things we can learn by studying the Bible—such as the history of it, and the poetry of it—but we cannot get spiritual truths that way. Why? Because, “God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.” There are certain things that only the Spirit of God can reveal to us.
Forth, the Holy Spirit, which God has given to us as a living gift, is spoken of as God in the Scriptures.
For example, Peter asked Ananias, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? …You have not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:3-4). There are people today who deny that the Holy Spirit is God. You will notice that Simon Peter believed He was God. First, he says, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit.”
Then he says, “You have not lied to men but to God.”
We can also see that the Holy Spirit is God in the statement Paul made to the Corinthians: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Do you want to be Christlike? Then spend time looking at Jesus.
There is a song we have sung that says, “Take time to be holy, speak oft to the Lord.” I believe we should change that first line to say, “Take time to behold Him.” Do you want to be holy? Then behold Him.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus;
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glorious grace.
I need this. I hope you, too, since a need of seeing Jesus Christ on the pages of the Word of God, so you may grow more like Him.
The Holy Spirit of God invites each nonbeliever to put faith in Jesus Christ, and to receive Him as Lord and Savior. He uses the Bible, the church, your family, your friends, and the emptiness of your heart to communicate this. If you will receive Jesus Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit will enter you, to work God’s good work within you. He will work for your eternal welfare. “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion…” (Hebrews 3:7-8). The Holy Spirit is speaking to those today who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior.
He is calling them, and drawing them to God. He is convicting them of their sin, and He is ready to welcome them into the family of God. If you are not a member of God’s family, my prayer is that you will accept Jesus before it’s too late. Let me know if I can show you the way.