Power to Witness

Up to now we have learned these things as to the power of the Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth; He guides into all truth; He brings to memory Christ’s teachings; He shows things to come; He glorifies Christ; He speaks not of Himself but of Christ; He, like believers, bears witness to Christ; He enables Christians to do greater works than those of Christ; He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He comes because Christ goes away; He is “another Comforter”; He is to abide with disciples forever.14

Now we come to Acts 1:8. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The Greek word for power is dunamis. Jesus was not speaking of political power, ecclesiastical power or electrical power. He used a new and different word meaning His disciples were “to be enabled.” This enablement was to occur “when the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Greek: epelthontos tou hagiou pneumatos eph’ humas). Genitive absolute and is simultaneous in time with the preceding verb “shall receive” (lêmpsesthe). The Holy Spirit will give them the “power” as he comes upon them.15

This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit referred to in Acts 1:5. “For John baptized with (or in) water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” This baptism was to enable them to be witnesses.

You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:48-49

Therefore, it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection. Acts 1:21-22

We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. Acts 10:39

The word for witness or witnesses is the Greek word: matures. The word is generally translated into English as martyr. There for a witness had to have a direct and personal relationship with Christ Jesus, but they also were empowered to the point to having courage to witness—even unto death.

They were being sent from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and then to the uttermost part of the earth. The Holy Spirit’s power would send and is continuing to send witnesses for one purpose—complete world conquest for Christ.16

The events within the Book of Acts follow this outline: witnessing in Jerusalem until the end of chapter 7, with the martyrdom of Stephen. The scattering of the saints sent the gospel through Judea and Samaria in chapter 8. The conversion of Saul and the spread of the gospel to Romans in Caesarea by Peter (chapters 9 & 10) took the gospel to the edge of Palestine.

The gospel spread to the Greeks in Antioch (chapter 11), and through Paul’s witness during his missionary tours which ended with his arrest and arrival in Rome (chapters 11 to 28).17

The power of the Holy Spirit enabled the Peter, Paul and others with a message and preaching that was not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that the faith of every believer might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.18

The only secure place for faith to find a rest is in God’s power, not in the wisdom of men. One has only to instance the changing theories of men about science, philosophy, religion, and politics to see this. A sure and powerful word from God can be depended on and experienced in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Such was the testimony of Paul to the Romans, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit.

So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:18-19) He wrote similarly to the Thessalonians. “Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

The operation of the Spirit’s power is distinctly seen in the regeneration and sanctification of the believer as well as in the believer’s empowerment to confidently declare the gospel.

This endowment of divine power brings personal boldness and the power of the Spirit into the believer’s life in order to accomplish mighty works in Christ’s Name and thereby making his witness and proclamation effective.19

Other results of the power of the Spirit include: 1) prophetic utterances and the bold declaration of thanksgiving and praise (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 1 Corinthians 14:2); 2) enhanced sensitivity to any sin that grieves the Holy Spirit as well as a greater desire for righteous thinking and living (Ephesians 4:30, Romans 13, James 4:8-10); 3) a life that brings glory to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14; Acts 4:33; Ephesians 5:1-19); 4) a greater desire to pray (Acts 2:42-47; 4:23-31; 6:4; 10:9; Romans 8:26-28; 1 Corinthians 14:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17); 5) a growing desire for the true manifestation of spiritual gifts and the spiritual maturity needed to rightly administrate them (1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 14; Hebrews 6:1-2).

We must embrace all of the elements of the Spirit’s action: the charismatic for mighty works; the intellectual for guidance into truth; the moral and spiritual for producing holy lives. The power of the Spirit transfers the kingdom, so to speak, from the shoulders of the Master to those of the disciples, but the latter are empowered for their tasks by the might of the indwelling and abiding Spirit.

The Kingdom of God suffers violence when believers full of the Spirit’s power choose to pursue the Kingdom’s advancement. That advancement is clearly tied to the bold, obedient and holy lives of Christ’s disciples, who are full of the Holy Spirit.


 

End Notes

See Previous 1-12 End Notes in the Previous Two Blog Posts

13.  Robertson’s Word Pictures John 8:32

14.  ISBE 4385

15.  Robertson’s Word Pictures Acts 1:8

16.  Ibid.

17.  Ibid.

18.  1 Corinthians 2:4-5 

19.  Don Stamps Note, Life in the Spirit Study Bible, Acts 1:8

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Experience His Power and Presence!

The truth of Christianity is spiritually discerned. In other words spiritual truth can only be discerned by the illuminating and indwelling POWER and PRESENCE of the Holy Spirit. In the name of “reality,” science sometimes repudiates these inner experiences as “mystical.” But as followers of Christ we cling to them as most real, data of experience as true and reliable as any other form of human experience.

To repudiate them would be for them to repudiate reality itself.8 For the greatest reality known within the human heart is when a human “knows” the Heavenly Father and the Son of God has come and made their home within the believer (John 14:23).

This is only made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit and no doubt is another form of assertion of the Spirit’s Presence within those who believe, and not a distinct line of mystical teaching. (Compare Woods, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature, page 243.)9

In John 14:26 the promise of the Spirit is repeated. The Father was to send the Spirit in the Name of Christ Jesus and teach the disciples all things as well as reminding them of everything Jesus had said to them.

The power of the Spirit quickens the memories of those who have learned the Word of God. Throughout the New Testament, and especially in John’s and Paul’s writings, there is no sense of conflict between Father, Son and Spirit in their work in the Christian. Everything proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and is accomplished in the Christian by the Holy Spirit. When Paul speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ being and living within the believer, he is saying that the Spirit does nothing apart from Christ Jesus and is in the heart of the believer to glorify Christ Jesus.

There are several Scriptures that give us understanding of the personality of the Holy Spirit. The designation “another Comforter,” taken in connection with the description of his work, is one. The fact that the Holy Spirit is sent or given as “Another” and “Another” is seen in the specific work which the Spirit is given to do.

I shared in an earlier blog that the Holy Spirit is “Another of like kind” Who has become our Paraclete, Helper, and Advocate, with the Father (1 John 2:1). This old word, from parakaleô, was used for legal assistant, pleader, advocate, one who pleads another’s cause. This title of the Holy Spirit is only in John’s writings, though the idea of it is in Romans 8:26-34.10

In John 15:26 this concept is made even more comprehensive: “He shall bear witness of me,” and yet more emphatically in John 16:14, “He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.” The sphere of the Holy Spirit’s activity is the heart of the individual believer and of the community of believers or Church. The Holy Spirit’s chief function is to illumine the teaching and glorify the person of Jesus.11

John 15:26 says, “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.” This verse of Scripture supports the doctrine of procession of the Spirit. Jesus used the words I will send (Future tense of the Greek word: pempso) to describe the Spirit of Truth Who proceeds in the present tense (ekporeuetai) from the Father.

The present tense here suggests eternal action of the Spirit and has been taken to indicate an essential relation of the Holy Spirit to God the Father.12

The Holy Spirit is The Spirit of Truth. His power always involves truth.  When He convicts, He is causing the person to realize the truth. When He justifies, He is making the new believer understand the truth.

When He sanctifies, setting us apart unto Christ and empowering us to be holy as He is holy, He again is causing us to know the truth. In other words, He Who deals in truth, makes His appeal through the truth, causing us to know the truth and therefore to be set free from all sin, self-condemnation and shame.

Knowing the truth sets people free. This freedom is won alone by Christ (John 8:36) and we are sanctified in truth (John 17:19). In John 1:17 truth is mentioned with grace as one of the marks of the gospel through Christ.

Freedom (intellectual, moral, spiritual) is only attainable when we are set free from darkness, sin, ignorance and superstition by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that causes the Light of the World to shine on us, in us and through us.13 


 

End Notes

See Earlier Blog Post for Notes 1-7.

8.    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385.

9.    Ibid.

10.  Robertson’s Word Pictures Entry John 14:16

11.  International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385

12.  Compare Godet, Commentary on John 15:26

13.  Robertson’s Word Pictures John 8:32

Five Levels of Relationship

Susan and I are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary tomorrow. She has been and continues to be the love of my life. Together we have traveled the globe telling the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. A close friend asked what were some of the things I have learned over the forty years. While there are several things, one of the most important things I have learned is that all of our relationships are on one of five different levels. The highest form of relationship should be our intimate and spiritual relationship with our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Paul the Apostle wrote to the Church at Rome, “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. (adoption) And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:13-18

There are basically five levels of relationship in our lives. While we expect to be on certain levels with certain people, each of us determine the level we are on based on our commitment to the relationship. All relationships are on the following levels:

LEVEL ONE: Acquaintance.

This level does not require deep intimacy at all. A relationship on this level is one where you are not sharing your problems or personal stories. People who are on this level with you don’t know your likes and dislikes. Your communication style is surface. When you speak to an acquaintance, communication is short and usually about the mundane everyday happenings concerning life.

LEVEL TWO: Casual.

People who are on this level with you are a short step above being a mere acquaintance to you. We generally have casual relationships with the people we attend classes at college with, or sit near at weekend church services or see them once a week at the coffee shop or at work.

There may even be meaningful moments from time to time with such an individual. These relationships have their use and context, but they are not usually close, nor intimate. In such relationships people don’t hang out often and rarely become close friends.

LEVEL THREE: Close.

Close relationships are more personal and deeper especially when it comes to commitment. Most work related or extended family relationships no longer the close relationships they once did. Nor, do they usually require a close commitment.

In most ways, many people see themselves as “close” if they are friends on Facebook or Twitter. But close relationships should be more than being social media friends. Close relationships should be bonding, mutual and serious. Why?  They require being in proximity to one another, both geographically and emotionally.

LEVEL FOUR: Committed.

Committed relationships are a step beyond close. They create a certain level of vulnerability. When people are in a committed relationship they do not exploit or expose the weaknesses or frailties of those they are committed to. Sadly, modern thinking has destroyed many a committed relationship. This is due to the exposing of personal or private details to others.

The people in a committed relationship should have the expectation that each party will keep any information—learned because of the relationship—in confidence (even if the relationship ends).  This level of relationship requires trust. Why? Because when people are in a committed relationship they must trust one another. That trust cannot be violated because trust is the foundation of the commitment and love is the motivation.

Even if one person feels that their trust has been violated by the other, neither person exposes or exploits the other. When people “tell” what they have learned in previous committed relationships they hinder the development of future relationships. Why? Because if you will tell what you know about someone else, you will tell what you come to know in your present and future relationships.

LEVEL FIVE: Intimate and Spiritual.

The highest form of relationship is our spiritual relationship with our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is beyond close or committed. He lives within us. Therefore, this relationship is intimate. In other words, it is of the deepest nature. It requires consistent and close contact, warmth and a total commitment.

1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” The Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have chosen to dwell within us by the Spirit. For Jesus said in John 14:23, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

As believers, we have received the Spirit of Adoption whereby we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15) Abba is an intimate Aramaic term for Pops, Dad or Daddy. The Spirit of Adoption is the Holy Spirit Who has proceeded from the Heavenly Father into us because of the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 15:26 KJV says, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing in this blog how the development of a consistent, close, warm and deep spiritual relationship brings blessing to the first four relationship levels and our relationship with God. I encourage you to read the Scriptures in Romans 8 and Galatians 3 and 4. Ask the Father to give you a spirit of insight and understanding so you can know Him (The Father and the Lord Jesus Christ) better and be able to better all of the relationships in your life.

Robert

Changed from glory to glory!

Come to the altar today. Pray for the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in your life and those closest to you. Ask Him to move you outside of what is normal, to help you live and serve in ways that would stretch you to your full potential. When you pray think about how He empowers our living, inspires our praying and enables our serving by filling our lives with His presence and glory.

 Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

 Galatians 5:22 & 23 describes the “fruit” or character of the Holy Spirit. Take a few minutes today and meditate on these verses while holding the list in front of you. Thank the Holy Spirit for the previous development of His character in your life. Trust the Holy Spirit to help you look at your current circumstances and think about what “fruit” or character is needed for the season you are in.

Being open to the Holy Spirit’s direction and then embracing His power to change us from glory to glory is described in the Bible as the process of sanctification. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit that 1) sets us apart from the world and 2) enables to live holy lives. The Holy Spirit enables to live both for and as Christ. 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 

As we make more and more room for the Spirit to work in our lives, He begins molding and making us into the image or form of the Lord Jesus Christ by transforming us with ever-increasing glory. His purpose is to change us into the image of Christ or into true “Christians.” His ministry not only separates us from our old way of life but separates us to the progressive realization of whom and what we are to become in Christ Jesus through His power. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 

But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 

There is a great debate going on in Evangelical Christianity today. The debate has to do with whether or not Christ followers should expect and be expected to see change in their lives. These verses explain the view Paul shared after years and years of ministry. Along with the word “justified by His grace,” Paul uses such terms as, reconciled, regeneration and renewing. I believe Paul is explaining the steps taken by the Holy Spirit to justify AND sanctify us.

By being justified, we are reconciled to God. Once far from God in sin we have been brought near by the blood of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:9-10) We have been accepted because 1) the price has been paid in full and 2) we accept the price Jesus paid on the cross in our stead. In other words, we have been redeemed and purchased by the most valuable of commodities, the blood of Jesus Christ. The payment of His shed blood and our willingness to accept His payment for our sin has reconciled us back to God.

Once reconciled, the indwelling Holy Spirit continually facilitates our ability to live in continual and progressive regeneration and renewal (being changed from glory to glory). The Greek word for regeneration is paliggenesia. Paliggenesia means new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, and regeneration. The word speaks to the renovation or continual regeneration of a Christ follower. It is the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better.

The word paliggenesia is often used to describe the restoration of a person or thing to their or its original or pristine state. This renovation, renewal and restoration of our lives can only occur as the Christ follower submits to and makes room for the ministry of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit fills the room that we have opened up to Him, a definite moral change begins to take place.

This change involves a definite break from the ruling power and love of and for sin, so that the believer is no longer ruled or dominated by sin and no longer loves to sin. Paul says, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus….For sin will have no dominion over you” (Romans 6:11, 14). Christ followers have been “set free from sin” (Romans 6:18). In this context, to be dead to sin or to be set free from sin involves the power to overcome acts or patterns of sinful behavior in one’s life.

The purpose of our redemption, reconciliation and regeneration is so we can overcome any and every sin in our lives and to be filled to overflowing with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. He enables us to live holy and upright lives. Why is this so important?

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11 

 For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face. Psalm 11:7

From these verses you can see that the promises of God given to those who desire God with their whole heart, who seek to walk uprightly and live righteously, are some of the greatest in all of the Bible. God hates sin. He loves, looks after and is endeared to the righteous. Our own righteousness is not attractive to God. In fact, it is but filthy rags. But, His righteousness flooding our lives, enabling us to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and spirit, gives us confidence to come boldly to the throne of grace. In our boldness, we ask without fear for what we have need of and for the assistance to do His great will. The power of the Holy Spirit that empowers us to live righteously emboldens us to believe the promises of God are now, yes and amen!

I pray that you will open your heart to the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying power today. I can promise you as the Psalmist said, if you will delight yourself in the Lord…He will give you the desires of your heart!        (Psalm 37:4)  

God bless you today! 

Robert

Transformed by the Power of the Spirit

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is very significant in the life of the Christ follower. Every Christ follower must continually seek to understand the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, both personally and in their service to others. This purpose calls for continual adjustment to the Holy Spirit. Why? So that He can fulfill His ministry both in and through our lives in a way that brings glory to the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is also His responsibility to teach us all things and remind us of the words of Jesus.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 

The secret of a wonderful, exciting, purposeful, and victorious life in Christ is dependent on our willingness to hear and obey the quiet leadings of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, most modern believers see the Scriptures as suggestions which hinder them in their clear hearing of the Spirit’s voice. His voice is of one purpose and that purpose is to have Christ completely formed within us.

Paul shared this same thought with the churches of Galatia saying, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,” (Galatians 4:19).

T. Robertson writes that Paul is using the example of an embryo developing into a child. Paul likens himself to that of a mother with birth pangs. He is in travail for their complete development (Greek word: ôdinô).1

The phrase, “Until Christ be formed in you,” (Greek: mechris hou morphôthêi Christos en humin), is a future temporal clause (meaning: until which time) and the first aorist passive subjunctive of the word morphoô.2

The Greek word morphoô is the root from which we get the English word metamorphosis. Synonyms would include transformation and transfiguration. We see both of these words in the Scriptures.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

There he (Jesus) was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Matthew 17

In Galatians Chapter Four the Apostle Paul is speaking to the Galatian believers who desperately needed the ministry of the Holy Spirit. His ministry would change them from a spiritual embryo into a baby. By using the Greek word morphoô Paul is telling them that they need to give outward expression of their inward character. This verse could be translated, “My children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be outwardly expressed in you.”3

Was Paul speaking to their inward character or to their new spiritual DNA? Was he saying that the character of the believer should be the DNA of the Lord Jesus Christ? Who is responsible to express this character?

The one responsible is the Holy Spirit. He is to express the Lord Jesus Christ first to and then in and finally through the life of the follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is an important spiritual aspect that has been misunderstood by most in the modern church. Most people have been taught that because Christ Jesus dwells in their heart by faith, it is their responsibility to experience, express and explain the work of grace in their lives. Such is not our responsibility. This responsibility has been given to the Holy Spirit.

If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17

I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. John 16:12-14

Let’s walk through this progression together…

  1.  We are commanded to obey the words of the Lord Jesus Christ when we become a  believer.
  2. We cannot do so on our own. To do so, we must rely on the Holy Spirit Who lives within us and has empowered us to hear and to do.
  3. The Holy Spirit “hears the words of the Lord Jesus” and then “speaks His words in and through us.”
  4. The Holy Spirit brings glory to the Lord Jesus by taking the commands and making them known, understood and then revealed through us.

It is then our responsibility to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit. His power includes the unction to receive understanding He has made known to us and walk in it. We are to be doers of the Word, not hearers only. Believe today for the Spirit to work His power within you and become the person you dreamed you would be.

Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

Receive His Power! Open up to His Power! Walk in His Power! Start today!

I love you!

Robert

Listen for the wind

The whole creation has been groaning as though it was experiencing the pains of childbirth. As followers of Jesus Christ we have a hope (concerning these pains) that the world does not have.  Our hope? The Holy Spirit will help us in our weakness. When we do not know what to say or even what we ought to pray for, the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Listen for carefully today for the sound of His voice. The wind of the Spirit is blowing again. He is ever interceding.

I have been writing about the Holy Spirit’s expression. He historically has revealed Himself as like smoke, water, rivers and wind.

Jesus said that the Spirit—like the wind—is sovereign. In John 3:8 Jesus said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

  •  Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is invisible.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary,  but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

  • Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is incomprehensible.

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. Job 37:5

  •  Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is indispensable.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5

  • Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is life giving.

I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet — a vast army. Ezekiel 37:8-10

  •  Like the wind, the Spirit is irresistible.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, “This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, said the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6 KJV

In all things the Holy Spirit desires to explain and express.

Jesus said, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”  (John 16:13)

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

His expression grows exponentially when we fully embrace the Altar of His Presence through:

DEVOTION: Ardent and selfless affection for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and for people.

DEDICATION: The act of committing yourself experientially and expressively to the Kingdom of God.

DISCIPLINE: Training that produces God’s character and His pattern of behavior revealed in Jesus Christ.

His expression grows exponentially when we seek to Enlarge Our Understanding through:

EXPERIENCE: Some things are better caught than taught.

ENLIGHTENMENT: Removing the dimness or blindness from our eyes or heart. (Ephesians 1:18)

ENRICHMENT: Ask the Holy Spirit to express and improve the quality of our lives.

His expression grows exponentially when we willing to Bear the Burdens of One Another through:

SERVING: Making room in our own lives so that we can be made a storehouse for others.

SUPPORTING: Encouraging and elevating the ministry of others by adding value and strength to their lives as the Holy Spirit leads. How can we better support our brothers and sisters in Christ?

We must be willing to:

  • Praise each other
  • Accept each other
  • Respect each other
  • Trust each other
  • Need each other
  • Encourage each other
  • Reinforce each other

I pray you make room for the Spirit to flow into, from and through your life today.

Robert Stone

Holy Spirit

There is a River that Flows from Deep Within

It is so important, with all that is happening in our world, for every follower of Jesus Christ to make room for the Holy Spirit’s ministry. His ministry empowered the Lord Jesus Who “went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him (Acts 10:38).” Following after the example of our Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit desires to flow through our lives for the sake of bringing healing and deliverance to the hurting, helpless and hopeless of our world.

Metaphorically, the Holy Spirit flows as like a river. Rivers are channels or conduits to places where the refreshing of water is needed. Jesus pinpoints that the work of the Spirit as rivers or streams of living water was to flow from the believer’s life after Jesus’ ascension (John 7:37-39). The Holy Spirit manifested as a flowing river brings refreshing from within the believer outwardly making the believer an overflowing tributary of His Holy Spirit’s fullness, life, and love.

Ezekiel 47:1-9 says, “The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side. As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in – a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.”

Look at these truths about Ezekiel’s river:

1)  Water came out from within.

2)  Water was flowing.

3)  The river sought the path of least resistance.

4)  The farther the river flowed the deeper the river became.

5)  The river can be measured as to its expression and effectiveness.

6)  Everywhere the river flows, it brings life.

7)  Salty water become fresh and blessing is found wherever the river is flooding or flowing.

The River in Ezekiel 47 describes:

•  Water to the ankles: changing our direction.

•  Water to the knees: changing our praying.

•  Water to the Loins: changing our witnessing.

•  Water to Swim in: changing our lives.

Spiritual Expression given through us by the Person of the Holy Spirit it is important. We must remember to:

•  Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to teach us.

•  Submit to the Scriptures as our only rule of faith and practice.

•  Believe that Holy Spirit intends for us to fully understand Who He Is and His expression.

 •  Desire to grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually as we learn.

I encourage you to ask the Lord Jesus to help you make room for the Holy Spirit’s manifest presence to flow in, through and from your life today. There are both adults and children who are in your life who need His touch, His encouragement and His blessing. Open your heart to Him and then open your heart to others with the expectation of Him flowing from your heart, your voice and your touch. You will witness first-hand His goodness, His grace and His glory.

Have a blessed day.

Robert

 

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