These papers explore how to be filled with the Holy Spirit with the goal of being empowered to live a life that pleases God. This first article will introduce the Holy Spirit, emphasize the importance of Scripture, and explore the two realms—physical and spiritual.
Key verse: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7 KJV)
Why have this study on empowerment by the Holy Spirit?
- We don’t have much accurate teaching on the Holy Spirit; Satan has sown confusion with false teaching.
- The Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary in order for us to understand the Scriptures and to know Jesus.
- We are confused; We want to know and love our Lord better so that our lives count and have purpose; The Holy Spirit gives us power for this life.
- We know there is more to the Christian life and want to experience it; There is a major contrast between our lives and New Testament.
- Our prayer life is weak. We lack power and have partial fruits; need victory over sin; want to love more; want to be used by God.
- We want evidence that what we believe is real; assurance of our salvation; want to experience Him working through us; want to know Him with our hearts as well as our heads.
- We don’t know how to be filled; want to experience being filled.
Remember the disciples’ experience: before Pentecost they were fearful, confused and they even abandoned Jesus in His time of greatest need; but after Pentecost they were bold, fruitful and confident even to the point of martyrdom. That’s the kind of relationship we all want.
Let’s have a time of prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to make us receptive to His teaching (not mine). Let’s ask Him to open our hearts and our spirits as well as our minds.
Knowing about the Holy Spirit
The importance of Scripture
During this study, I really want your involvement. I encourage you to challenge me if I say something that is not accurate to Scripture. Consider carefully the verse that says: “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” 1 We are individually responsible for checking our beliefs against Scripture. “Now these [the Bereans] were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.“ 2 Unfortunately, many people have strong opinions based only on their background or church affiliation rather than what the Bible says—particularly on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
Dick Hillis (founder of Overseas Crusade) said: “there are only two kinds of people in the world:
- Those who need to know Jesus and
- Those who need to know Him better!”
This applies to the Holy Spirit too.
Do I believe in the filling of the Spirit? Absolutely! That’s why I asked our church elders to lay hands on me so that the Holy Spirit could accomplish His work in this study.
We know from Scriptures that there are two realms: the temporal world that we can see and touch, and the spiritual world that we can’t see and touch. Both of them are real but since we are in the temporal realm, we don’t have much contact with the spiritual realm.
It occurred to me that the Holy Spirit Whom we are seeking is the bridge between these two realms. He enables us to access the spiritual realm. Without Him, the spiritual realm is undiscoverable.3 I’ll attach a brief paper that shows the scriptures on this point.
What do we know?
What do we know already about the Holy Spirit? Is this something you have learned from Scriptures, or is it just your opinion?
- He is a member of the Trinity—God Himself
- He was at the beginning
- He inspired the Scriptures
- He reveals the Scriptures
- He empowers believers
- He is not an “it”
- He seals the believer (why?)
- He convicts us of sin (Is He the same thing as our conscience?)
Have any of you had a personal encounter with Him? Tell us about it.
What do you want to accomplish through this study?
These papers are based on a six-week adult Sunday School study at Sisters Community Church in Sisters, Oregon, January 2020, led by Drew Berding. The title of the study was ‘The Holy Spirit Empowering the Life of the Believer.’
Photo Attribution: Morning Brew – unsplash.com