The Promise and Works of the Holy Spirit
The Promise and the works of the Holy Spirit.
First, I will discuss the promise of the Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ and then we will see the different works of the Holy Spirit.
A. The promise of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ promised to send His Holy Spirit during his last conversation with His disciples. See the disciples were very sorrowful because Lord Jesus said to them He is going to leave them in the next few hours. They couldn’t understand it. Jesus knew the purpose for which He came into this world – to give His life as a ransom for many, but they couldn’t grasp this truth. Therefore Jesus comforted a very tired and sad group of His disciples by saying, ” Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1). Then He said the following promise regarding the sending of the Holy Spirit. They needed another helper and comforter for their continued ministry in this world in the absence of the personal presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, like they had for the last 33 years. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you”.
Did you notice few words in this promise of the Lord? Number one-“He (Holy Spirit) with you forever”, Number two–the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit and number three- He (the Holy Spirit abides with you now (means in your midst) and He will be in you (inside you in the near future).
All these are very important points to remember. The Holy Spirit will never leave you after coming into your life in the New Testament period. For a person who believed in Christ as his or her savior, they have Holy Spirit along with their old flesh nature living in them. Remember, A believer, a child of God, has both mechanism -flesh and Holy Spirit. An unbeliever has only flesh but a believer in Christ has his old flesh and the new Holy Spirit until you are taken to the presence of the Lord. This is showing the permanent residency of the Holy Spirit in a person who accepts Christ as the savior. Secondly, this world knows nothing about this Holy Spirit. The world cannot understand Him. He is given only to a believer in Christ. Thirdly, the passage makes us understand this fact- the Holy Spirit was with the disciples until now but was never been indwelling permanently in them. In the old testament, as you recall, the Holy Spirit came and accomplished God’s purpose and left the people but never permanently indwelled in believers. But this time in the New Testament, it’s going to be different. He (Holy Spirit) will be in you forever. He is your new teacher, comforter, guide and helper as you live in this world. We will discuss more this under the subject indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But in the near future, the promise says when the Lord Jesus sends His Holy Spirit (in Acts 2), the Holy Spirit is going to come and indwell permanently in a believer- ‘forever’.
B. The works of the Holy Spirit.
1. Convicting Work of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit convicts the world and also convicts the believer. We will see both convicting works in the below notes
a. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit in the world.
Before we are saved God’s Holy Spirit was there to woo us to the son of God. This is called the convicting or the drawing work of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit convicts unbelievers about their sins, God’s righteousness, and the coming judgment. He convicts the need of the Savior in their life.
Read this convicting work of the Holy Spirit in John 16:7-11. The disciples, or for that matter, any believer is unable to convict the sins of another person. We are unable to make another person born again from above. We need powerful help in this ministry to reach out to people in this world. This is where the help comes from the power of the Holy Spirit. You and I are just the instruments in the hands of the Lord when we share the good news of the Gospel of Christ. The power of drawing people to Christ by convicting their sins comes from the Holy Spirit. Read what Jesus said to His disciples, ” But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged (John 16:7-11). This is the work of the Holy Spirit toward this world.
b. Convicting work of the Holy Spirit in a believer.
Secondly, the indwelling Holy Spirit in a believer convicts the sins of a believer. John 16:13 says the Holy Spirit “guides us to all the truth”. A believer may not know all the truth and that is why the indwelling Holy Spirit teach and guide us into all the truth. When the truth is confronted, of course, a believer is convicted. 1 John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins to him (Jesus), he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Holy Spirit living in a believer helps him to understand the errors and sins and confess to the Lord. Then the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. As a believer, we can all testify this ministry of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in a believer. Holy Spirit convicts us the sins of our life. Such convicting work is not available for an unbeliever. I am so glad the Holy Spirit is in me convicting my sins every day.
John 14::26 Jesus said, “He (Holy Spirit) will remind you of everything I have said to you”. Of course, Holy Spirit reminds us our errors and sins so that the broken fellowship with the Lord can be reinstated by agreeing and confessing our errors and sins. Holy Spirit living in a believer helps him to understand the errors and sins and confess to the Lord. Then the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. As a believer, we can all testify this ministry of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in a believer. Holy Spirit convicts us the sins of our life. Such convicting work is not available for an unbeliever. I am so glad the Holy Spirit is in me convicting my sins every day.
Next, we will discuss the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit.
2. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a believer in Christ.
1 Cor. 6:19-20.
Paul is writing to the believers in Corinth, which was a problematic church with a lot of issues like factions, lawsuits, immorality, questionable practices and even abuse of the different spiritual gifts and Lord’s Supper. But though they have all these problems, Paul addressed them in 1 Corinthians 1:2, “to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling”. In Chapter 2:1-2, Paul ask these believers in Corinthian church this question. “Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?” Of course, these believers in Christ are sanctified in Christ Jesus and they are saints by calling. Now Paul is reminding them a fact they should always remember in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “ do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” Listen carefully they are (their bodies) are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit and they are bought with a price and they are not their own. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” Why should they glorify God instead of creating division, questionable lifestyle etc? Two reasons: First of all– their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and second of all they are bought with a price – the price of the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
Of course, these believers in Christ are sanctified in Christ Jesus and they are saints by calling. Now Paul is reminding them a fact they should always remember in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “ do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” Listen carefully they are (their bodies) are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit and they are bought with a price and they are not their own. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” Why should they glorify God instead of creating divisions, questionable lifestyle and practices? Two reasons: First of all– their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and second of all they are bought with a price – the price of the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
Apostle Paul is using the Christian doctrine of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in all believers to validate his point– Believers in Corinth should stop living incorrectly (fleshly), but live correctly (spiritually) to glorify God. Why? They are indwelt by the divine presence of the Holy Spirit in them. Believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit so they need to keep their body and life clean to glorify God.
As we alluded before in the previous article the initial promise of Christ regarding the purpose of sending the Holy Spirit to this world also proves this fact of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a believer in Christ. Refer John 14:16 and there He promised, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever”. The next verse in John 14:17 Jesus promised, “He (Holy Spirit) abides with you, and will be in you.” Each word and proposition in Christ’s promise are important to consider. He said Holy Spirit “be with you forever” and “will be in you”. This is exactly what Jesus meant – the Holy Spirit will be in you forever.
Acts 2:38-39, Acts 10:45, Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 9:29.
Remember Holy Spirit is a gift given to believers in Christ. Acts 2:38-39 says, “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself.” You have to do no works to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. According to this passage, the only requirement to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit is repent and baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin. Then it says this promise is for all those who are called by God for salvation. You will be granted the gift of the Holy Spirit when you repent and get baptized. Based on Peter’s preaching, all three thousand people who believed and baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit for sure. Another passage that says Holy Spirit is a gift from the Lord is Acts 10:45. “All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.” Salvation is a gift of God (Ephesian 2:8) and Holy Spirit is also a gift of God to those who repent of their sins and turn to God. Romans 9:29 assures, “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” The dictionary defines irrevocable as “not able to be changed, reversed, or recovered; final”. The synonyms of irrevocable are “unalterable, unchangeable, irreversible, immutable, permanent, binding. Bible clearly proves the fact – Holy Spirit is a gift of God like salvation is and they are permanent, binding, immutable, unalterable and unchanging.
Salvation is a gift of God (Ephesian 2:8) and Holy Spirit is also a gift of God to those who repent of their sins and turn to God. Romans 9:29 assures, “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” The dictionary defines irrevocable as “not able to be changed, reversed, or recovered; final”. The synonyms of irrevocable are “unalterable, unchangeable, irreversible, immutable, permanent, binding. Bible clearly proves the fact – Holy Spirit is a gift of God like salvation is and they are permanent, binding, immutable, unalterable and unchanging.
2 Timothy 1:14 and Romans 8:9.
Other Bible passages for the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in all believer in Christ are 2 Timothy 1:14 and Romans 8:9 and 11. “Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you”. The passage says Holy Spirit dwells in a believer of Christ. Romans 8:9 says, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him…But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells in you. This passage proves the doctrine of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in all believers in Christ.
Corinthian believers, even in the midst of severe fleshly natures in their Christian life, still Paul reminds them the fact -the Holy Spirit is dwelling in them and he admonishes them to live correctly than incorrectly because God’ gift of the Holy Spirit is living inside them or indwelling in them. My dear child of God, God gave you the Holy Spirit when you repented and turned to Him as a gift and God’s gifts are permanent and unalterable according to Bible. This is the truth the Bible teaches.
3. Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I understand that Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a confused topic among some of the Christian believers. It also appears this misunderstanding is due to the absence of the correct understanding and interpretation of the Bible. Some believers in Christ assumes baptism of the Holy Spirit is a second blessing or a second experience for more faithful, pious or devoted Christians which empowers them to lead a victorious Christian life or to do Lord’s service with greater boldness and power.
The definition of the Baptism of Holy Spirit.
Let us see how Bible defines baptism of the Holy Spirit. Thank Lord, there is one definition available in the Bible which gives clarity to understand the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that is seen in 1 Corinthians 12:13 and this is the key passage for interpreting the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Apostle Paul is writing this letter to the believers in Corinth. He says to all the believers in the church in Corinth that by one Holy Spirit all the believers in the Corinthian church are baptized into one body (we know Christ’s body means the universal church). He also says it doesn’t matter whether they are Greeks, slaves or free- all were baptized by the Holy Spirit into the universal church of Christ (Christ’s body).
What is the definition of the Baptism of Holy Spirit means?
This is the conclusion we can come up with the above-referenced definition of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the work of the Holy Spirit by which He joins a believer into the ‘body’ which is the universal Church that belongs to Christ.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the work of the Holy Spirit by which He joins a believer into the ‘body’ which is the universal Church that belongs to Christ.
Now did you notice the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all believers? Not just for few upper-class believers? You don’t need any more than trusting in Christ for salvation to get baptized with the HS. “We were all baptized into one body (church)”. “We were all made to drink of one Spirit”. All believers are baptized into one body (church).
As you recall, the Church in Corinth had so many problems – divisions, quarrels, court cases, the disorder in Lord’s supper meetings and serious sins like immorality. But still, they all were believers who are saved by the Gospel of Christ and Paul is writing “We were all “ includes him and all the believers in the church at Corinth. Therefore, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the work of the Holy Spirit by which He joins believers into Christ’s church upon confession of faith in the Lord because Acts 2:47 says, “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved”. Church built the church per his prediction in Matthew 16:18 that declared, “ I will build My church” on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 and the Lord adding to members to the Church by the work of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. If Spirit baptized all believers in Corinth, whether Jews, Greeks, slaves or Freeman, then Baptism of the Holy Spirit by which He adds them to the church is not a second blessing or experience. Nor is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit meant for some elite and Pious believers.
No command in the Bible that says ‘be baptized by the Holy Spirit’.
Another point to remember is this – There is not a command in the Bible asking a believer to get baptized. We never see a command that says ‘be baptized by the Holy Spirit’. There is a command that says be filled with the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 5:18. But in the pages of the Bible, we don’t see a command given to a believer in Christ to get baptized by the Holy Spirit. Why such is command is not seen in the Bible is due to the fact that this is a free work of the Holy Spirit for each and every believer in Christ. No work or effort is needed from a born-again believer to get baptized by the Holy Spirit. It’s a free work of the Holy Spirit on behalf of a new believer by which Holy Spirit baptize a new believer in Christ to Christ’s church which is His body.
Secondly, 1 Corinthians 12:13 also says, the born-again believer in Christ is made to drink of the Holy Spirit.
What is this means? A believer has the new source of Holy Spirit and this new source is giving him drink (new thinking, new aspirations and new goals in life). In other words, previously he had to drink from the only source of ‘flesh’ and fleshly interests. Now he or she has Holy Spirit in him/her as a source of drink.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit promised by John and Christ and fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.
John the Baptist predicted that Jesus would come and baptize with the Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). Jesus also gave another promise in Matthew 16:18 “ I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it”. Acts 1:5, Jesus recalled John’s words, and told His followers that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from then. Acts 2 -The events that happened on the day of Pentecost ten days later seem to be the obvious fulfillment of the promise of Christ. Holy Spirit fell upon the believers. This was the time the Church was first instituted on the earth per the fulfillment of Christ’s promise.
Acts 11:16 refers back to Pentecost, explaining that Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, had an experience very similar to the day of Pentecost event. But this time in Acts 11:16 the Spirit fell upon the Gentiles, not just on the Jews. Peter says there, “And as I began to speak the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did for us at the beginning” – referring back to Act 2. “Peter said “ I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, “John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit”.
With this passage, we know for certain that Baptism of the Holy Spirit happened in Acts 2 and this is how the forming of the church happened and the Holy Spirit adds new believers in Christ now to the church by the same work of the Holy Spirit- baptism of the Holy Spirit
Water Baptism symbols Spirit Baptism already happened at the time of the new birth.
1 Corinthians 10:1-4, says, “that our fathers were under the cloud and all passed through the seas, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea….”
Romans 6: 3 -5 says, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death….for if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection…
Biblical underlining meaning of baptism means union with or identification with someone or something.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit happened in a believer at the moment he or she trusted Jesus Christ as his or her savior by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:3-5 explains this fact happened in our life. Now water baptism pictures spirit baptism already happened in us. In other words, water baptism is a symbol of the baptism of the Holy Spirit already happened in Christ’s believer at the time of conversion.
In short, water baptism mirrors and thereby symbols baptism by the Holy Spirit. Now you see water baptism makes sense only if spirit baptism (confessing our sins and believing in Christ) already happened in a person. Otherwise, a person will end up testifying not the truth, but a lie. In other words, a person should not be taking water baptism if spirit baptism (confessing sins and turning to Christ as savior) didn’t happen.
4. Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
This passage tells us the following three things:
When are we sealed? what are we sealed with? why are we sealed?
When? – at the point of salvation.
What/who is the sealing? – sealed with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is whom we sealed with.
Why? -It is a promise or guarantee of the Christian’s future, eternal life, and inheritance with Jesus Christ.
What is sealing means?
The Greek word translated as “seal” is shragizo that means “to set a seal upon, mark with a seal.”
Per Bible in Esther 3:12 and Song of Solomon 8:6, a seal could be used to guarantee a document or letter and indicate ownership.
Matthew 27:66 and Revelation 5:1, the seal is used to protect against tampering.
The Holy Spirit is our seal in every sense of this word.
Tampering means to interfere with something in order to cause damage or make unauthorized alterations and exert a secret or corrupt influence upon (someone).
The seal of the Holy Spirit offers a wonderful glimpse of God’s role in salvation. When we receive salvation in Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. This seal of the Holy Spirit is the guaranty from God regarding future security of a believer. It assures believer’s future eternal life and heavenly inheritance. It exchanges our ownership for His ownership on us. In addition, this seal of the Holy Spirit protects a believer in Christ against forces of evil.
In Ephesians 6:12, when a believer in Christ face spiritual battles, the seal should provide wonderful encouragement and strength against the forces of the evil and provides assurance for the life to come.
Seal means– oath, promise, guaranty, preservation.
Rev 9:4 “And they were told they (locusts from bottomless pit) should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, not any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads”
The Ephesian chapter 1 says a believer in Christ was chosen by God even before the foundation of the world and time and he or she was predestined for salvation and God will make them stand holy and blameless in future in heaven with Christ. It was through the blood of Christ that God redeemed us. Per Ephesians 1:7. Per Ephesians 1:14, “He Holy Spirit was given to us as a promise that we will receive everything God has for us. God’s Spirit will be with us until God finishes His work of making us complete. God does this to show His shining-greatness.” (New Life Version). Therefore, Bible says Sealing with the Holy Spirit is a done deal or finished act at the time when you truly trusted Christ as your savior and not experimental to the believers in Christ- no unusual experience occurs when God seals. This is purely a seal of ownership by God.
Romans 8:29 says, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Whom God chose before the foundation of the world, He predestined them, He called them in time, He justified them forever, and then He already glorified them. See even a believer’s glorification in future in heaven is a done deal with the statement ‘already glorified”. This is what Sealing with the Holy Spirit accomplishes. Sealed for future glorification, Period! Done deal!
Sealing work of the Holy Spirit marks God owns you and no one can tamper you and until you get to His presence in heaven.
Significance: eternal security of the believer, keeps a believer safe until the day of redemption- complete deliverance from all sin. Paul assures his full confidence in God in Philippians 1:5, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:38 says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
A Christ believer’s future eternal security is not left in human hands but is dependent on the seal of God, promise, and power of God.
5. Anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Bible says in 2nd Corinthians: 1:21-22 “He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God”-all believers are anointed by God. Notice simple present tense in the word ‘establishes us’ and past aorist tense in the word ‘anointed us’. The first one (establishes us) is an on-going work and ‘anointed’ is a completed work in the past.
Though the Corinthian church had many believers who were not fully matured and obeyed the Lord when Paul wrote this letter, due to fact that there were divisions, court cases, family issues, Immaturity in observing Lord’s supper, he says “He who establishes us (on an going basis) and anointed us (used in past tense – in the tense of something completed in the past) is God”. In effect, in spite of the fact that carnalities and spiritual immaturities were present in many of the Christ-believers in the Corinthian church, they are all ‘anointed’ by God. Apostle Paul includes him also along with all believers in Corinth and says “anointed us” is God. Here the word ‘anointed’ is pointing toward something occurred at the time of their conversion. They are all anointed by the Holy Spirit at the time they put their trust and belief in Christ for salvation.
Bible says in 1 John 2:20 “You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know”.
Who is this Holy One? First John 2:27 gives us more on this anointing.
“But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in Him.”
This “anointing teaches” us about “everything” and it abides in us. Who is the teacher in a believer and who is abiding in us? Of course, the reference here is about the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it appears that the Holy Spirit is this anointing and if a person is a believer in Christ, they have this anointing with the presence of the Holy Spirit who abides in them. The Spirit teaches us about the things of God.
Few times I heard people say that a person is “really anointed”. What they really meant is this – he has a special God-given gift and are using this gift in a powerful way or they could mean that they really understand the things of God. Ultimately, all spiritual knowledge is from God and the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not teach that only some can have the special anointing of the Holy Spirit while others cannot. All true believers have the anointing of God – the indwelling presence and teaching, guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is universal in its nature. All true believers are anointed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Some can walk more closely in the Spirit but there is not a believer that does not have the Holy Spirit for if you don’t have the Holy Spirit, you are none of Christ’s (Romans 8:9). If you have the Holy Spirit, you have the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
1 John 2:19-20 says this – The spirit of antichrist denies that Jesus is the Christ… “they went out from us, why … but they were not really of us; if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us”. It’s because of the anointing and the resulting indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His teachings that a believer continues to remain with the body of true believers. God’s anointing in us teach us the truth and enables us to stand firm in the truth revealed in the Bible when false doctrines come in our way.
See, in the Bible, there is no commandment given to believers to get convicted, indwelt, baptized, sealed or anointed by the Holy Spirit. Why? Because all these works are done by God’s Holy Spirit at the time of our salvation with no effort of ours. Due to the fact that all these are the works of the Holy Spirit, individuals are not asked to seek these works. These are sovereignly, graciously and lovingly accomplished by God through His Holy Spirit at the time of people’s belief and trust in Christ as their savior.
6. Filling of the Holy Spirit
All the above works of the Holy Spirit that we discussed above are sovereignly and permanently granted by the Holy Spirit. The Bible passages indicate a believer has nothing to do with the above-described works of the Holy Spirit. A believer in Christ is baptized by the Holy Spirit for uniting him to Christ and the universal Chruch, convicted and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, sealed and anointed by the Holy Spirit. In addition, Holy Spirit distributed gifts of the Holy Spirit to serve Jesus Christ. This is based on the fact that there are no Bible passages asking or commanding a believer to get baptized, get convicted, get sealed or get anointed, get gifts of the Holy Spirit. Bible indicates these works of the Holy Spirit are divinely and sovereignly given to each and every believer at the time of his conversion.
However, filling of the Holy Spirit is a work that is commanded in the Bible and this command is seen in Ephesians 5:18-21, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”
You see the commandment, ‘be filled with the Holy Spirit’. It is like saying, “Please be quiet”. Be filled with the Holy Spirit is an imperative mood – a commandment.
Filling of the Holy Spirit can happen when we come to the Christ. This is why a newborn believer is usually very happy and ready to witness the Lord and wish to do great things for the Lord because we yielded or surrendered to God at the time of our salvation. I remember the day I got saved. The day I got saved I was so happy and joyful in my heart.
However, this seems not a permanent state in a believer.
This is why the exhortation ‘be filled’ – present imperative mood showing durability.
The command is used in the present tense indicating a durative idea of “keep being filled by the Holy Spirit”. Keep on filled!
While the word ‘baptized’ in 1 Corinthians 12:13 (“For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink”) is used in aorist sense (once and for all completed idea), the command to “be filled with the Holy Spirit” has this durative idea of keep on filled.
Christians are those who have been born again, who have received eternal life, who are baptized into the body of Christ, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and who are sealed by the Holy Spirit. All these works of the Spirit are evident in any true Christian.
However, Bible indicates only Christians yielded to God are being filled by the Spirit. Hence submission and surrender to the Lord are important for the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, Scripture indicates filling is repeated again and again.
Acts 2- disciples filled by the Holy Spirit as they waited in prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit and again in Acts 4:8 Peter filled by the HS in front of the Sanhedrin. In 4:31 early Christians after prayer filled by Holy Spirit. After the prayer of Ananias Paul filled by the Holy Spirit ( Acts 9:17). A second time Paul filled by the Holy Spirit in Acts 13:9.
We need to remember it is possible to be Christian and not filled with the Holy Spirit. That is why the command ‘be filled with the Holy Spirit.’
And the result of such filling by the Holy Spirit is given here in Ephesians 5:18-21 they are listed below.
“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father and being subject to one another in the fear of Christ”.
Did you notice this? The filling of the Holy Spirit results in speaking psalms and other Bible verses to one another, singing hymn and spiritual songs, happy, thankful and praising God mindset and being in subjection to one another in the fear of the Lord, doing daily given duties and assignments in a God obedient and God-honoring way.
It’s interesting to note that the Colossians 3:16-17 shows same results when the Word of God richly dwells in a believer. It says, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
There for we can conclude this- when the word of God richly dwells in you it will produce the same result as the filling of the Holy Spirit. Hence, when the Word of God (Bible) richly dwell in your heart, you are going to be filled by the Holy Spirit.
Those who are yielded to God and obedient to the Word of God that richly dwell in a believer or surrendered to God on an ongoing basis, the filling of the Holy Spirit could very well be a continuous reality. The filling of the Holy Spirit also seems to depend on a moment-by-moment relationship and yielding to God which may be hindered by sin. It doesn’t appear filling of the Holy Spirit is a second event or epochal experience in a believer. However, Scripture indicates this is based on a believer’s yielding or surrender to God on a moment by moment basis.
Sin, worldly and fleshly yieldings can hinder filling of the Holy Spirit in our Christian life thereby affect our spiritual growth and maturity. However, rich indwelling of the word of God in our hearts and minds coupled with yielding/surrender/obedience to the word of God and daily ongoing moment by moment leaning on the Holy Spirit (walking by the spirit), removing dirt and sins by allowing the Lord to clean us by confessing and forsaking our sins, will result in the filling of the Holy Spirit in a believer.
Before a person comes to Christ in faith, he or she has only one mechanism and that is the ‘flesh’. Now at the time of conversion and placing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy
Spirit comes to dwell in a believer. Now from that point, a believer has flesh and Holy Spirit in him. A carnal or fleshly Christian has less of the filling of the Holy Spirit (means less control of the Holy Spirit in his life) and a Spiritual Christian has less of flesh’s control in him. All believers in Christ have Holy Spirit dwelling in them. However, there is the difference in the filling of the Holy Spirit. The more a believer surrender and yield to God and the more a believer walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit, the more he or she will be filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus the command is given ‘be filled by the Holy Spirit’. Our passage above in Ephesian 5:18 says, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation. A person who drinks wine will be controlled by the wine that results in dissipation. In contrast, the command is ‘be filled with the Holy Spirit’ which results in ‘speaking psalms and other Bible words, singing hymn and spiritual songs filled, happy, thankful and praising God mind set and being in subjection to one another in the fear of the Lord’. Same way if you feed your flesh you will be filled and controlled by the flesh. However, if you feed and let Holy Spirit grow in you then you will be more controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5: 16-17 gives us a glimpse of the conflict between flesh and Holy Spirit in a believer. It also shows the importance of walking by the Holy Spirit. It says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
The acts of the flesh
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The result of walking by the Spirit is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlenesses, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
The Spiritual growth is the progressive transformation from a fleshly controlled to a Holy Spirit controlled/ filled lives.
These traits and characters described above under the fruit of the spirit above seem to prove the fact that a believer is being controlled and filled by the Holy Spirit. Your excellent and heavenly characters of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are the ultimate results of being filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Filling of the Holy Spirit is not apparently a second work of grace or a life-changing experience of one time. However, it is based on how much a believer is yielded to God, surrendered to God on a minute by minute basis. If a believer is yielded and surrendered to God on an ongoing basis, this could very well be an ongoing and continuous reality. But every believer in Christ is commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit.