Summary: The Spirit can guide our thoughts and words and interpret things we cannot express to God. For individual Christians as well as churches ¡V human wisdom often fails us. We need to always have deference for and seek God¡¦s Holy Spirit in our thoughts
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
A lady whose car stalled near Mangum, OK called a road service operator. When he got to her location he checked out the car and informed her that she had run out of gas. Her immediate question was, ¡§Will it hurt the car if I drive with the gas tank empty?¡¨ We laugh at that situation, but it was obvious that she had no idea how an automobile is powered and how an engine operates.
The same can be said about many Christians when it comes to the Holy Spirit. There are those who over-emphasize and others who under-emphasize the Holy Spirit, while others ignore the Holy Spirit altogether.
Some people have fixated on the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2. However, like much of the Bible, a broader look is required. Collectively we get a much clearer picture and understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit when we look at the bigger picture.
Before Pentecost, John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:11 NASB, ¡§As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.¡¨ This verse has caused some controversy, but again one must not isolate one verse. The next verse expands the thought that includes end-times judgment. For those who do not embrace God¡¦s gift of salvation, they will be swept up like chaff on the threshing floor and burned in fire.
In preparing his listeners for the church to come, Jesus said in John 16:13 NASB, ¡§But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.¡¨ Beginning in verse 7, the concept of the counselor is presented to conjure up a courtroom and a legal image. In a world versus Jesus setting ¡V the Holy Spirit is a believer¡¦s defense Counselor.
In preparing apostle¡¦s to become his ambassadors, Christ assured them in Luke 12:11-12, not to worry. He said, ¡§When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.¡¨ And their assurance is our assurance today.
There have been numerous times I have been called to meet with an individual on the spur of the moment and did not have a clue as to what to say ¡K but as things unfolded, thoughts and words appropriate to the situation came to me that could only be attributed to God¡¦s Holy Spirit.
The apostle Paul stated that he spoke ¡§not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. ¡¨ For individual Christians as well as churches ¡V human wisdom often fails us. We need to always have deference for and seek God¡¦s Holy Spirit in our thoughts and direction. Human wisdom, in the absence of direction from God¡¦s Holy Spirit has resulted in many factions and splits within Christendom!
In 2 Peter 1:19-21 NASB the writer said, ¡§But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.¡¨ The Old Testament validated that God¡¦s Word is true and sure and that is why we must rely on God¡¦s inspired Word as the ultimate source of truth. God¡¦s Word, revealed to human beings is truly an expression of his great love for us.
God¡¦s love and mercy and his divine will are all made known to us through his Spirit. Paul said it this way, ¡§¡K no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. ¡¨
As we have already mentioned, Matthew, Mark and Luke mentioned that the baptism of Jesus would include God¡¦s Holy Spirit. And 1 Corinthians 12:13 NIV reads, ¡§For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body¡Xwhether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free¡Xand we were all given the one Spirit to drink.¡¨ The church is composed of many types of people from a variety of backgrounds with a multitude of gifts and abilities. It is easy for these differences to divide people, as was the case in Corinth.
Despite our differences, however, all believers have one thing in common¡Xfaith in Christ. Only in this essential truth the church finds unity. All believers are baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body of believers, the church.