I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
After declaring our belief in God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son, the Apostles’ Creed now move to state our belief in the Holy Spirit.
Who Is The Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is not a force or an influence, but a Person. Unless He is a Person, He cannot be lied to and tested (Acts 5:3, 9), neither can He be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). The Holy Spirit is a Person. In fact, He is the Third Person of the Trinity. In simple words, He is God. According to Acts 5:3&4, to lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God!
As Christians, we believe in God the Holy Spirit. We were baptized into His name as well as the name of the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19). We are blessed with the fellowship of the Spirit as much as with grace of Jesus and love of God (2 Corinthians 13:14). In simple words, as Christians, we have an intimate relationship with God the Holy Spirit!
What Does The Holy Spirit Do?
A quick survey of the Scriptures will show us that the Holy Spirit is the One who enables people to fulfill their calling, helps believers in our prayers, assures believers of our salvation, comforts and guides believers, gives gifts for ministry to the church . . . Below we will just highlight THREE of them:
(A) He Convicts Men, so says John 16:8-11 ~ And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Examples of His convicting work can be seen in the Pentecost audience (Acts 2:37), in the murderous mob (Acts 7:54) and in Felix the governor (Acts 24:25). In the case of the Pentecost audience, the convicting work of the Spirit led to their conversion. They saw their sins, they felt its evil and hence they turned in grief and sorrow to seek the Lord’s forgiveness. In the latter two instances, both the murderous mob and Felix saw and felt their sins, but unlike those in Acts 2, they did not turn to God for forgiveness. The conviction stops short of conversion.
It is God the Holy Spirit who convicts men. Some convictions lead to conversion while others only serve to condemn. Have you experience the convicting work of the Spirit? What is the result?
(B) He Regenerates Sinners, so says John 3:5-8 ~ Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
The reason why the Pentecost audience repented and believed in Jesus can be found here – they were regenerated! By a sovereign and mysterious act of God the Holy Spirit, He gave them new life. To adopt the words of the prophet Ezekiel, their heart of stone was removed and a heart of flesh was given to them instead.
When the Holy Spirit regenerates a sinner, that sinner is passive. He does do anything. It was something done to him. This is the meaning of the phrase “You must be born again” uttered by Jesus. He is not telling Nicodemus (and us) that we need to do something, but that something must be done to us, if we are to enter the kingdom of God! How humbling!!
It is God the Holy Spirit who regenerates sinners. All who are regenerated will repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ. Are you regenerated? How can you tell?
(C) He Sanctifies Believers, so says Galatians 5:16-18 ~ I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The Holy Spirit indwells the believer after conversion. As He is the Holy Spirit, He will work to cleanse and purge the believer of his remaining sin. As the believer grow in holiness, he will manifest more and more of the fruit of the Spirit, detailed in Galatians 5:22-23.
It is God the Holy Spirit who sanctifies believers. The proof of that someone has been regenerated is seen in that person being slowly but surely sanctified (made holy, more like God). Are you more God-like today compared to last year?
I Believe In the Holy Spirit. What does this mean to you?
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