Holy Spirit Power

The picture above is taken from an article published on November 7, 2017, titled,The Holy Spirit–Our Helper,” by WellSpring of Life International, and the article opens with the following statement:

We often find ourselves in difficult situations, faced with challenges sometimes nearly impossible to cope with. These challenges could be physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and the list goes on. Helpless you often wonder if it’s all worth it! Life can be just unfair! However, today be joyful! We have help! Yes–the Holy Spirit. Alleluia! (Quote source here.)

I’ve been thinking about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Christians as we are right now in the “in-between” 50-day period between Jesus’ resurrection (celebrated on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023) and Pentecost, which will be celebrated this year on Sunday, May 28, 2023. Pentecost is “a Christian holiday which takes place on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31) (quote source here).

The role of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is often misunderstood. In an article published on September 10, 2021 in The Christian Post titled, Most adult US Christians don’t believe Holy Spirit is real: study,” by Leonardo Blair, an award-winning investigative reporter and Senior Features Reporter at The Christian Post, he brings to the forefront from a study conduct by Arizona Christian University how misunderstood the third person of the Trinity is among professing Christians today. His article opens with the following information:

Of an estimated 176 million American adults who identify as Christian, just 6% or 15 million of them actually hold a biblical worldview, a new study from Arizona Christian University shows.

The finding was published by the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University in its recently released American Worldview Inventory, an annual survey that evaluates the worldview of the U.S. adult population. Conducted in February, the survey included a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults.

The study shows, in general, that while a majority of America’s self-identified Christians, including many who identify as evangelical, believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing and is the Creator of the universe, more than half reject a number of biblical teachings and principles, including the existence of the Holy Spirit. (Quote source here.)

Further down in his article he states:

Some 62% of self-identified born-again Christians contend that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being but is merely a symbol of God’s power, presence or purity. Another 61% say that all religious faiths are of equal value, and 60% believe that if a person is good enough, or does enough good things, they can earn their way into Heaven. All these positions challenge a biblical worldview. (Quote source and more findings from the survey are available here.)

These are astonishing statics coming from “self-identified born-again Christians.” Regarding the Holy Spirit, Jesus made the following statements to his disciples right before his crucifixion and resurrection regarding in John 14:15-21, 25-27 and John 15:16 (NIV):

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them….

All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid….

When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.

This morning I received a link to an article published on April 25, 2023, titled, How Can I Recognize and Understand the Holy Spirit Better?” by Bethany Verrett, freelance writer, blogger, and contributor on BibleStudyTools.com. She opens her article with the following:

The mystery and nature of God is one that people will not fully understand this side of heaven, and the saints in eternity will spend all that time getting to know Him. One of the unique and complicated aspects of the nature of God is His Triune nature. There is only one God, but He is also three distinct persons. Of these three persons, the one that many consider the most mysterious–even though He is always with the believer–is the Holy Spirit.

Jesus called the Spirit the Comforter, and sometimes the Holy Ghost. It is the presence of the Spirit that sanctifies and convicts Christians after they are saved. It is the Spirit who works in the lives of unbelievers as well, testifying to the truth of who Jesus is to lead them to repentance and salvation. Because this work is spiritual, it can be difficult even for ardent and mature Christians to discern the working of the Holy Spirit.

With prayer, the Bible, and wisdom from other believers, it is possible to recognize the voice and workings of this often misunderstood person in the Trinity. (Quote source here.)

The rest of her article covers the topics of (1) Who is the Holy Spirit?; (2) Is the Spirit just a feeling?; (3) What does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit?; (4) How can I apply this to my real life?; and (5) A prayer to understand the Holy Spirit better; and her article can be read at this link.

A couple of other articles I came across this morning regarding the role of the Holy Spirit include an article published on January 18, 2021, titled, What Christians Need to Know about the Holy Spirit as a Person,” by Jessica Udall, contributing writer on Crosswalk.com; and an article published on October 5, 2022, titled, 10 Roles of the Holy Spirit in the Life of Christians,” by Penny Noyes, M.Ed., author and contributor on Christianity.com.

The Apostle Paul wrote about what life by the Spirit looks like in Galatians 5:13-26 (NIV):

Life by the Spirit

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

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 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.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness 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.

That is a good place to start in understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers. Which are we most prone to doing? The acts of the flesh, or fruits of the Spirit? The more we allow the Spirit to control us, the more those attributes of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control will take center stage in our lives.

I’ll end this post with the last words of Jesus before he ascended to Heaven that are found in Acts 1:8 (NIV): But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…

And in all Judea and Samaria . . .

And to the ends . . .

Of the earth . . . .

YouTube Video: “First Things First” by Consumed by Fire:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here


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