CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Led by the Holy Spirit
By Adam Davis
The Holy Spirit plays a central role in the life of a born again Christian. We are convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-9), which brings us to repentance and genuine saving faith in Christ. When we are born again, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5, 1 Corinthians 12:13). Once we receive the Holy Spirit, we are sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30).
As a believer, if you:
• Have ever read God's Word and understood its meaning, the Holy Spirit is at work in your life (1 Corinthians 2:12-13);
• Have ever experienced sadness or sorrow when you've sinned in thought or deed, then you have grieved the Holy Spirit and He is at work in your life (Ephesians 4:30);
• Have ever shared the Gospel with another person, the Holy Spirit is at work in your life (Acts 1:8);
• Have been prompted to pray for someone, something, a situation, the Holy Spirit is at work in your life (Romans 8:26);
• Realized you had and/or exercised a spiritual gift, the Holy Spirit is at work in your life (1 Corinthians 12:11);
The brief list above is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather illustrative, in order to bring assurance to the believer that the Holy Spirit has a wonderful and amazing ongoing role in our lives.
An important difference should be noted between the "in-dwelling" and "in-filling" of the Holy Spirit. When we are saved, we are indwelled with the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Christ as Savior and Lord. The in-filling of the Holy Spirit is ongoing in the life of a believer and is what empowers us to serve God and share the Gospel.
Sin and disobedience to God will grieve or "quench" (suppress) the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:19). A believer should pray for God's help in overcoming those things in their life which are quenching the Holy Spirit. We should hunger to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but we do not need to search for Him like He was ever gone. If we are not being filled, then we have grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit with our choices of sin and disobedience. We must be ever mindful that the Holy Spirit will never tell us or show us anything that is in conflict with God's Word (John 16:13-14).
Some Christian denominations emphasize — and even require — outward physical manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In many cases speaking in tongues, and/or certain other charismatic behaviors, are believed to indicate a particular person has been baptized by the Holy Spirit (indwelling), and, thus, that the given person is saved. With respect to denominational differences, there is ample Scriptural support which tells us that baptism of the Holy Spirit happens the moment of salvation (Acts 2:38-39, 1 Corinthians 12:13, 1 John 4: 13-15).
With regard to physical manifestations of the Holy Spirit, we must keep in mind that God is never the author of disorder or confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40). Furthermore, Scripture tells us we can see the work of the Holy Spirit in the "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23).
Image Credit: Fran Pregernik; "What would I do without her?"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Controversial-Issues | Theological-Beliefs
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Published on 4-18-16