The Presence of the Holy Spirit

God’s Promise to Be With Us

By Charles F. Stanley
  • April 21, 2017

The Holy Spirit is a person, not just a power or force. Even if a translation of the Bible may occasionally refer to Him as it, the overwhelming original Greek terminology signifies that He is a person.

When God created mankind, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). The plural pronouns in this passage refer to the three persons of the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All three were involved in the creation; and as human beings, we bear the image of the Trinity.

In the Old Testament, God’s Spirit would come upon individuals in order to achieve His purposes, but He could also leave. However, the night before Jesus was crucified, He promised to ask the Father to send the disciples a Helper, the Spirit of truth, who would be with them and in them forever (John 14:16-18). Even though Jesus would no longer be physically present with them, He wasn’t going to leave them to fend for themselves like orphans, but promised to come to them through the presence of His Spirit.

Why did the Father send the Holy Spirit?

Before His ascension, Jesus gave His disciples the assignment of proclaiming repentance for the forgiveness of sins in His name to all nations, beginning with Jerusalem. He told them He’d send His Father’s promise upon them, but they were to stay in the city until they were clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:47-49). Christ’s words were fulfilled shortly thereafter on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-6). While the believers were gathered together, suddenly they heard a noise from heaven that sounded like a violent rushing wind. “There appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them” (v. 3). They were all filled with the Spirit and began speaking in tongues (or languages) to the Jews from various countries, who were gathered in Jerusalem, and each one heard the message in his own language.

When does the Holy Spirit come?

Today, the Spirit comes to indwell and seal believers at the time of salvation (Eph. 1:13-14). The seal implies God’s authority and authenticity—we are now His children, and our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Since this seal cannot be broken by anything or anyone, it guarantees our eternal security.

The fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 describes what He produces in those whom He seals—“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” We could never consistently live out these qualities apart from the working of the Spirit within us.

This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message Your Convictions About the Holy Spirit,” which airs this weekend on TV.

Related Topics:  Trinity  |  Gods Promises  |  Gods Love

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26 Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

48 You are witnesses of these things.

49 And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.

6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.

13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

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