Summary: What is the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the lives of His people? We receive spiritual life, we exercise gifts for the good of the body, and we are filled with Him to bear spiritual fruit.
We’ll continue our break from Genesis and look again at the Godhead. We’ve already shown that the Holy Spirit is a distinct Witness and that He has specific operations. This week we’re going to see that:
III. The Holy Spirit EVIDENCES His presence in His people
This is one of the touchier subjects and it can be somewhat confusing. It’s not really that it’s so hard to understand but there’s so much misinformation that’s just taken for granted. For instance if I mention speaking in tongues most people automatically picture someone speaking gibberish only God can understand. It’s not a very Biblical perception, but it’s the one most people have because the term has been defined that way as long as we’ve been alive.
Another thing is if someone says something about being full of the Holy Spirit. You can go onto Youtube and find videos of “church” services where the people are laughing hysterically, crawling on the floor, flopping, dancing, and jumping and whatever else. I even saw one video of a man crawling with a leash around his neck; another man held the other end, and when they passed by the camera a woman said, “The Lord just reminded me of an old hymn: ‘Where He leads me I will follow.’” Obviously being “slain” in the Spirit this way is either fake or it’s demonic possession, but it can confuse us about what it really means to be filled.
Less extreme, and something we see more often in Baptistic groups is the search for some kind of emotional experience. They might call it a passion for Christ or an outpouring of the Sprit or an extra blessing or something along those lines. This is why they have big bands at churches and you’ll hear them say something about worship being “really powerful this morning” or how the “Holy Spirit really showed up today.” What they mean is that they were moved emotionally by the music and they felt something they don’t usually feel. But it’s really just something that can be felt listening to music in general and it really doesn’t have anything to do with the Holy Spirit.
The same principle applies when praying or preaching; there’s nothing wrong with being fervent but we have to remember that being loud and talking quickly don’t equate being led or filled with the Spirit.
And so tonight I want to look a little at some of these terms and try to figure out how the Holy Spirit provides evidence of His presence in the lives of His people. It’s not a conclusive study but we’ll must talk about a few of the bigger terms. How does the Holy Spirit show that He’s present in His people?
We are filled with the Spirit
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
It sounds a little mystical but just read the rest to see what it looks like:
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God (Eph. 5:19-21).
You’ve got the speaking of psalms and hymns, making melody in your heart, giving thanks, and mutual submission to each other. There’s nothing here about more passion or revival or excitement.
We are baptized by the Spirit:
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many (I Cor. 12:1-14).