You can’t read through scripture without seeing the work of the Holy Spirit in it. From Genesis 1, as He’s hovering over the waters to Acts where He’s the power behind every move and work of the first church, the Holy Spirit is all over scripture. So, how come He’s so misunderstood? If you look at all the different churches, you’ll likely see tons of different ideas of the Holy Spirit. So, which one is right? And what does it mean for me?
In this episode, Whit and Adam explore scripture and church history to find out who the Holy Spirit is and what His presence in our life means. Check it out.
Two different responses to the Holy Spirit
Anytime we start talking about the Holy Spirit there are two different reactions.
There’s a group of you that when we start talking about the Holy Spirit, you get a little nervous because you’ve been to “those churches.” You’ve seen or you’ve heard about “weird stuff.” You’ve watched the videos on YouTube with people falling over and so forth. So naturally, you’re a little scared about this conversation.
Still, some of you hear the phrase “The Holy Spirit” and you’re all in. You’re like “I got my tambourine, I’ve got my flag, I’ve got my oil ready to go, just say the word.” You’re in.
Whether you find yourself in the first group or the second group or even somewhere in between, you are welcome in this exploration. We are seeking to learn more about our great God and that means we set aside preconceived ideas, and approach His word as a student ready to learn. So, let’s jump in.
What’s the point of His presence?
When you look at the world today, what do you see? When you watch the news are you overwhelmed by the brokenness, sadness, and pain in the world? Most of us are. It can seem like things are more broken than ever before, and that leaves us wondering, “How in the world are we going to fix this?”
The answer: We cannot fix it on our own. We need the power of the Holy Spirit. And you know what, the truth is, we never could do it on our own.
Let’s look at Acts 1v1-9 to learn a little more:
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the Kingdom of God.
And while staying with them He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.
“You will receive Power”
The disciples here in chapter one ask Jesus “Lord at this time, will you restore the kingdom to Israel?” They had in mind a political kingdom and empire. The disciples wanted the restoration of David’s kingdom, Israel’s glory days. They wanted the heathen Romans gone and the political fortunes of God’s people restored.
But how does Jesus respond? He says it is not for you to know the times or the season that the Father has set by his own authority. In other words, the Father is moving and working in ways that you have no idea about.
But He doesn’t stop there.
YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES UPON YOU.
He goes on to say “But you will receive power.” You want political power, social power, cultural power, and influence, but I’m going to give you something else. Something greater than all of that. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”
Jesus is saying, I’m about to go up, and when I do, the Holy Spirit is going to come down. When He does He will empower you to be My witnesses to the ends of the earth.
What does that mean, you will receive power?
The Holy Spirit is the empowering presence of God for the work of God in your life.
What does that mean? It means that the Holy Spirit is the one working out the will of God in your everyday life. He brings with Him an infusion of God’s grace into your life to accomplish God’s will for your life.
We tend to think of God’s grace as simply the forgiveness of sins, and it certainly is that, but it’s so much more. God’s grace is the power of God given to us so that the work of God might be accomplished both in us and through us.
Meaning, if you want life change, transformation, growth, all the good things that God has in store for you, those things don’t happen as the result of your willpower alone. They happen as a gift of God’s empowering grace and that grace comes through the person of the Holy Spirit.