Friday, April 03, 2015

3 Practical Realities of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

If you are like me, talking to people about the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is not easy. There is a lot of ignorance and confusion about His presence and power. Although it is a challenge, let me encourage you to consistently emphasize that, at its core, Christianity is a Living Person, living in, a living person; Somebody living in somebody. Christ in you, Christ in me. The goal of the gospel is not just to get man out of hell and into heaven, but to get God out of heaven and back into man. Dwight L. Moody agrees Historically, followers of Jesus have always believed in the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). But practically speaking, one member of the Trinity is a forgotten person. The forgotten one is the Person of the Holy Spirit. In much of the Christian world, the Person of God's Spirit has been ignored, neglected and forgotten. Dwight L. Moody once said, "True, we have heard of the Holy Spirit, and we have read of Him, but we have little personal knowledge of His attributes, His offices, and His relationship to us." 1. Believers are the channels through whom He works The views concerning the Holy Spirit held by the average religious person today have almost no practical value. In most Christian circles God's spirit is entirely overlooked. He is nearly non-existent. His presence or absence makes no real difference to anyone. Many professed believers have virtually no conscious awareness that their body is the human temple where He dwells. Very few see themselves as the human channel through whom He works. In short, the Holy Spirit is a religious theory people agree with, not a reality they experience. 2. He is Jesus' successor God's will for Jesus was to live on earth approximately thirty-three years. Jesus said, I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father (John 16:28). Shortly before He returned to heaven, Jesus promised His disciples that He would send His successor - the Person of the Holy Spirit to be with them and live in them. God and Jesus live in us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. I am sure it surprised Jesus' followers when He said, It is good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you (John 16:7). 3. He internalizes the presence of Jesus A fundamental role of the Holy Spirit is to internalize the presence of Jesus. Our Lord said to his disciples, You know him (the Spirit of Truth, the Counselor), for he lives with you and will be in you (John 14:17). On earth Jesus was with them and could teach them, but he could not enter their personality and change them from within. Now, through the Holy Spirit Christ dwells in our hearts and does his transforming work there. If you are a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives in you. Nothing could be more beneficial to your spiritual development than to deepen your personal acquaintance with Him. Paul Schlieker disciples internationals and business professionals. He attends Christ Community Church in Omaha, Nebraska. Professionally, Paul is an insurance agent. He and his wife, Peggy have written several easy to use discipleship tools and Bible studies that train believers, introduce Christianity to seekers, and ground believers in Biblical fundamentals. See these resources, subscribe to a free monthly e-newsletter, read more articles by Paul and hear his sermons at http://www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com

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