The Manifestation of the Holy Spirit
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5: 8-21 (‘be filled with the Spirit”)
Text: 1 Corinthians 12: 7 and John 6: 63
The Holy Spirit (HS) and his gifts were given to the Church so that all members of the body of Christ can benefit from him (1 Cor. 12: 7). For this to happen, every born again believer must have been baptized (dipped) in the HS at first contact with the WORD of God (1 Cor. 12: 13). This baptism placed a mark of God’s ownership on such a person, and thereby placing responsibility on him or her to continue to live a godly life throughout his life time. However, in this regard, the person needs to be constantly filled with the HS, (Eph. 5: 18). This simple means to be controlled by the spirit. This requires the person to empty himself or herself of everything that may grieve the spirit (Eph. 4: 30); indeed, everything that is against God divine law, commonly called sin, so as to create room for the indwelling of the HS.
Now, one may asked, what is the HS? This question can be answered when we have the full knowledge of the scripture and the nature of God. In John chapter 4, verse 24, the Bible stated that God is a spirit. The beingness of God exemplifies the human being, which He created in his own image (Gen. 1: 27). When man’s spirit (1 Cor 2: 9-11) unites with God’s spirit (Psa. 143: 10), there is a perfect union. Without this union, man is empty, and need to be filled. God has all the attributes of man, but man lack the spirit essence of God, which make man always falling short of God’s glory (Rom. 3: 23), hence the need for constant filling with the HS. The HS is liken to a dove (Matt. 3: 16-17, because of his gentility; to wind (John 3: 7-8) because of His spread everywhere; to light (1 John 1: 5; Eph. 5: 15), because of his ability to shine in peoples’ soul and reveal hidden sin and the power of Satan. That is how the spirit is and how he works.
Literally speaking, the spirit (in Greek “Pneuma”) is a force that gives life to the body (Psa. 104: 29 & James 2: 26). The bible further describes the HS as the breath of life (Gen. 2: 7; 6: 17; 7: 15, 22). The HS is like the batteries in a transistor radio. Without the batteries, the transistor radio is but just a piece of furniture. When the batteries are fixed and the radio is turned on, it begins to function according to its designed purpose. Every man without the HS is just like the radio without the batteries. In one of our text for today’s message in John 6: 63, Jesus stated “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. From here we further receive a clearer picture and understanding of what the spirit is. The spirit is the WORD of God. The Bible in John 1: 1-2, confirmed God as the Word, which is further described as the Spirit (John 4: 24), and the word gives life (John 1: 4, and shines (John 1: 5); as we have stated from our text in John 6: 63, and as one of the attribute of the spirit as light (1 John 1: 5). Therefore we do not need any further definition of what the spirit is nor query what is meant to be filled with the spirit. To be filled with the spirit simple means to be filled at all time with the word of God, meaning to allow our lives to be controlled by the word of God. When we do, the word quickens us and begins to lead and direct our path (Psa. 119: 9, 105).
But how does the HS function in the life of a believer? First and foremost, the HS is evidenced in a believer in three ways – joy of salvation (Eph. 5: 19); thankfulness to God (Eph. 5: 20) and submission and humility in service (Eph. 5: 21-33). Further, the HS manifest in diverse ways in the life of a believer. In today’s message, we will look at five manifestations of the HS. These are: a) motivation for salvation, b) sanctification, c) witnessing, d) empowerment, e) unification of the body of Christ – the Church.
Motivation for Salvation
Like earlier stated, at the first contact with the WORD of God, the person is baptized in the HS. The word convicts him or her of sins (John 16: 7-8); and reveals the truth to his or her conscience (John 14: 16, 26). The process of spiritual rebirth sets in (John 3: 3-6; 1 Cor. 12: 13) and the person becomes a new creature (2 Cor. 5: 17; Gal. 6: 15-17). When an individual accepts Christ and God’s forgiveness, and willingly yields his or her life to Christ, such a person receives the HS (John 3: 3-6; 20: 22). The spirit therefore enables such a person to participate in God’s purpose and he or she begins to develop Godly character (2 Pet 1:4) and is sealed (Eph. 1: 13-14) for eternal life. This process is initiated and completed by the power of the HS. Hence no man can come to God except through the power of the HS.
As Agent of Sanctification
The HS sets us apart for God’s possession and purpose (Gal. 5: 16-17; 2 Thess. 2: 13), because we are sanctify and make ready for every good work (Heb. 13: 21; 2 Cor. 9: 8; 2 Tim 2: 21; & Col. 1: 10). The HS then constantly remind us of who we are (Rom. 8: 26-27), enables us to worship God in spirit and in truth (Acts 10: 46); helps us to develop Godly characters (Gal. 5: 22-23; 1 Pet. 1: 2); and constantly remind us of what God has revealed in his word (John 16: 13; 14: 16; & 1 Thess. 1: 6). This reminder is very important because it is God’s own mechanism to ensure that we are constantly being (filled) controlled by his word.
Enable Us to Witness Christ
The act of witnessing is very important in the scheme of God’s purpose. The great command in Matt. 28: 19-21 is imperative in the life of every Christian. However, it is the HS that enables a believer to undertake this great assignment with ease. We can see from the beginning of the spread of the gospel particularly from Pentecost that it was the HS that motivated and gave the disciples the utterances to speak with boldness (Acts 4: 8, 31; 6: 3, 5; 7: 55; 13: 9). The HS is given to those who seek for his power to function in God’s divine purpose (Luke 11: 13; 1 Thess. 4: 8).
Agent of Empowerment for Service
The HS helps Christians to fulfill their God’s given mission on Earth (John 1: 32-33; Acts 2: 4, 43; 1: 5; 3: 2-8; 5: 15; 6: 8; 10: 38). Through him God gives us ability to serve Him (1 Cor. 2: 4, 14), experience love, understand the truth and God’s standard for our living and for our benefits.
Agent of Unification of the Body of Christ
The HS helps to unify the Church as the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12: 13). When unity is lacking among people that claimed to be Christians, it means that the HS is not present amongst them. We are aware of the power of the HS in uniting the believers from Pentecost (Act 2: 42-47; 3: 16). The HS helps to build the Church (Eph. 2: 22); inspires godly worship in the Church (Phi. 3: 3); directs the Church’s mission (Acts 13: 2, 4); helps in the appointments of Church workers (Acts 20: 28; 6: 3); give gifts and ability to the Church (1 Cor. 12: 1, 14); empowers the preachers (Acts 2: 4; 1 Cor. 2: 4); guards and preserve the gospel (2 Tim 1: 14; Rom. 8: 9); promotes and preserves right relationship with God and other men (John 16: 8; Matt. 22: 37-42; 1 Cor. 3: 16; 6: 18-20; and helps us carry out the purpose of Christ (John 16: 12-14).
In conclusion, we need to be filled (controlled) by the word of God to enable us function in accordance with God’s divine purpose. The word of God is a guide (light) that direct and instruct us in to all righteousness so that we are thoroughly furnished into all good works (2 Tim. 3: 16-17). It is our prayer that you too will be filled with the HS of God for good works. Amen.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your word that has revealed your truth to us concerning the HS. Please LORD, enable us through your grace to always make ourselves ready and available for the HS to fill (control) us to do your will in Jesus name. Amen.