What are the operations of the Holy Spirit today?
There are five operations of the Holy Spirit in relation to man, let’s look at each of them together:
Endowment with power! (often ignored)
- Read John 16:7-11, how does Jesus describe the work of the Holy Spirit? Look up the word ‘conviction’ in the dictionary and consider how it relates to the conscience spoken of in Romans 2:15.
- What does a Comforter mean to you? Look up John 14:26 and John 15:26 in the Amplified Bible and meditate on the numerous attributes of the Holy Spirit. Consider the plethora of ways He is willing to assist you in your journey in life.
- Although man is spiritually dead from birth due to his sinful heritage from Adam, Scripture reveals that God is not far from us at any moment (Acts 17:27). Based on your history, would you consider your salvation experience merely a theological doctrine or a powerful transformation in which you saw changes in your own life? Describe these profound experiences with a close friend.
- Indwelling: This is such a powerful and exciting topic to study! Look up the following passages and highlight them in your bible. If you are afraid of marking your bible, then buy another inexpensive one and go for it! (See John 14:17, Rom 8:9, 1 Cor 6:19, 2 Tim 1:14, 1 John 2:27, Col 1:27, 1 John 3:24, Rev 3:20). We are spirit, soul and body. Those who are without Christ have a soul and body yet they’re spiritually dead in trespasses and sin (Col 2:13). When we receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes along to permanently abide in us! Indwelling means He is present in a new way, sustaining a personal relationship with the individual. When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our hearts forever! Consider now, the Holy Spirit lives IN you!
- How do we define ‘Christian’? Consider this definition, “He is a man in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. His body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in virtue of which experience he is sanctified as the Tabernacle and consecrated by Father God’s indwelling”. He is also called a ‘saint’ because it is his duty to guard the sanctity of the temple of His Body (1 Cor 16:9, Rom 12:1).
- Sanctification: this sounds like a religious word but it basically means that after your spirit man has been regenerated from death to life at the point of salvation, your soul (mind, will and emotions) are slowly transformed by the word of God and conformed to the image of Christ. This process is called sanctification. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). As we walk with him, we grow in fruit and character. This is also known as ‘maturity’ in Christ.
- Sanctification II: Because we live in this world, we must contend with our own flesh (which still has the potential to sin), the world system, Satan and his cohorts. The soul is transformed in a progressive manner. The Holy Spirit acts directly upon the soul producing special virtues (Gal 5:22-23) as we have been born of the ‘incorruptible seed’ of the word of God (1 Peter 1:23). As newborn babes, we need the milk of the word to grow (1 Peter 2:2).
- Endowment with Power: This topic is too large to be covered in this study alone, although we will touch upon it. Look up Acts 1:8 in your Bible and discuss it together.
- Consider this, although Jesus had commissioned the disciples to do his works already, they were still not equipped with the necessary power to perform all that He desired for them, otherwise Christ would not have said so (Acts 1:8). Recall up to this point the disciples had:
- Been sent out to preach, armed with some spiritual power for that service (Matt 10:1).
- Their names were written in Heaven (Luke 10:20).
- They were clean through the words Jesus spoke (John 15:3).
- They were branches connected to the vine (Jesus) (John 15:5).
- They knew the presence of the Holy Spirit was with them (John 14:17).
- They had felt the breath of Christ and had received a measure of the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).
Despite all of this, they were not equipped for influential service in ministry until they received POWER (Acts 1:8). The above facts re-iterate that one may be in touch with Christ (be ‘saved’) and be a disciple of Christ but lack the necessary power to function in ministry to full effect.
This necessary power encounter occurred in Acts 2:1-4, after they had tarried in Jerusalem, and after that (Acts 8:12-16). These power encounters with the Holy Spirit occur today and have not ceased. People who say they have ceased are ignorant or in unbelief (see also Acts 10:44-46 and Acts 19:1-6). In layman’s terms when we are saved we have a ‘measure’ of the Holy Spirit but when we receive the enduement of power we are ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit to overflowing (John 7:38).
This second encounter with the Holy Spirit in addition to salvation has been both hidden and heavily contested down the millennia because it is the truth. A powerful Christian is a severe threat to Satan. This impartation is described as a baptism (Acts 1:5). Jesus in his own words described this necessary power encounter by being, “baptized with the Holy Ghost”. It is also described as, “the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38, Acts 10:45). Know this; Scripture clearly states that being ‘endued with Power’ has nothing to do with your salvation whatsoever that is settled. It is a separate and distinct encounter to equip you for service in Christ’s army.