I write this on a Sunday afternoon after having had a wonderful meeting with other believers and, after the chronological meeting was over; continuing my day strengthened in the Spirit, edified, joyful, and peaceful. I say “chronological” because I live and move and have my being in Jesus Christ and so while the Sunday meeting is an opportunity to gather together with others who live and move and have their beings in Jesus, to hear our teacher share his delight in Jesus, and have our spirits cry a resounding “Amen!”; there is no real end to the meeting because my body is the temple of God and His Spirit dwells in me (1 Corinthians 3:16). I am-along with other believers-the ecclesia, and we all live and walk in the Spirit. This is my Christian Life.
I can’t help wonder what Sunday Service was like for other believers. Did they go to a church building believing it was the only place they could meet with Jesus? What was the message like? Did their meetings end with the Song of Lord in their hearts? Did their meetings end with their hearts heavy with the burden of being wretched sinners, saved by grace certainly, but having nothing more in them than a determination that this week they would do better? How many of them heard a message on the life that is theirs now through the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit?
I ask myself these questions because-whether through social media or in person-I rarely hear anyone speaking of the Holy Spirit. When He is mentioned it is little more than that: a mention. I hear nothing of His ministry and very little of His necessity to the Christian Life. I understand His purpose is hard to nail down. After all, it is Jesus who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and that in all things He may have the preeminence (Colossians 1:18). The Spirit speaks not on His own authority (John 16:13) and so it is difficult to understand just what this Third Person of the Trinity does. I long to know more myself and so, while conducting this study of the Fruit of the Spirit, I went to the New Testament with a blue Bible highlighter and looked at every instance of “in the Spirit”, “of the Spirit”, “by the Spirit”, etc.
It’s a fascinating project and scriptures I have read innumerable times leapt off the page. Doing this study has convinced me the Christian Life is impossible without the Holy Spirit. Space does not allow for me to quote every scripture I highlighted because doing so, and including the context within which they occur, would result in my quoting the entire New Testament. I have managed to select those scriptures which were especially helpful in revealing the ministry of the Holy Spirit to me and I pray they do the same for you.
The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us. We cannot believe nor confess who Jesus is without Him (Romans 10:9). “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). Go ahead. Say it out loud. Use all the definitions of the Greek: Jesus is Supreme. Jesus has all authority. Jesus is God. Jesus is Lord. His Spirit in us testifies of Him (John 15:26).
The Holy Spirit reveals our relationship to the Father. “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” That’s 1 John 3:1. I know I am a child of God. I can say it out loud. How do I know it? Because Galatians 4:6 is true: “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” He is not merely God the Father. He is God MY Father. See also Romans 5:5.
The Holy Spirit teaches us to pray. “For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8: 26-27).
The Holy Spirit enables us to understand the things of God. “But as it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (Isaiah 64:4) But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirt of God for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).
The Holy Spirit shows us how Jesus has set us free. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8: 1-2). “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
The Holy Spirit reveals to us the hope we have both now and for the future. “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8: 9-11). See also 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 and Ephesians 1:13-14.
The Holy Spirit reveals to us the New Covenant. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?” (2 Corinthians 3:5-8)
There are so many more wonderful, beautiful scriptures! How I pray you search them out and read them for yourself! Underline them. Highlight them. Speak them out loud so your ears hear them. Let the Spirit minister to you and He will guide you into all truth (John 16:13). I know the Holy Spirit lives in me and is active in my life. I know it through experience and I also know it because the Bible tells me so. Because He lives in me, my life bears His fruit. His fruit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:25-26a)
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. ©1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.