The Holy Spirit: How the Spirit is Always Involved in New Creation
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NIV)
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Other than the obvious, what exactly does this mean? To better comprehend the magnitude of this phenomenon, let’s examine who this Spirit is, what He has done and what power and gifts He provides for us. How do we and others know that the Holy Spirit resides within us?
Also known as the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Lord, God’s Spirit, the Lord’s Spirit and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit has existed as part of the Trinity since the beginning. Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV) says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Throughout all time, the Holy Spirit has been regenerative, restraining, indwelling and empowering.
God directs the work of the Holy Spirit so that humankind may be used by God for His purposes at just the right time.
In the Old Testament, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was selective and temporary. King Saul was filled with the Spirit of God until his behavior was no longer acceptable to God. 1 Samuel 16:14 (NIV) says, “Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.” At the same time as the Spirit of the Lord departed Saul, it “came over” David. 1 Samuel 16:13 (NIV) says, “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David...” The Spirit came upon people in the Old Testament for specific tasks, irrespective of their spiritual condition. Once the tasks were completed, the Spirit presumably departed from those individuals.
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit permanently resides in Christian believers. John 14:17 (NIV) says, “…But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” Furthermore, upon our confession of faith in the grace of Jesus Christ, we are reborn. God then commissions the Holy Spirit to provide each of us with spiritual gifts to be used for His purposes. Just as the Spirit of God played a vital role in God’s original creation, the Holy Spirit is now superintending the construction of God’s new creation. Through the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we may be sanctified and made holy.
The same Spirit of the Lord who restrained God’s wrath in the Old Testament now helps restrain us from sin.
As we are sanctified, we will boldly and confidently display the fruits of the Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV): “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, 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.”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for filling us with your Holy Spirit, so that we might be sanctified and led away from our sin nature. It is by grace that you gave us your son Jesus, that we might be sinless in your sight, and that you have provided us with an internal mentor to guide us in the paths of righteousness. We praise and love you, in Jesus’s name. Amen.
Want to learn more about the Holy Spirit? Check out our sermon series, "Chasing the Wind." Click here to watch the first week!