Holy Spirit Upon Us
THE HOLY SPIRIT UPON US
A. Introduction: We have been dealing with the fact that God is one God who is three Divine Persons -- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
1. Each person in the Godhead took a specific role in redemption -- saving us from our sins and making us sons and daughters of God.
a. God the Father planned redemption and sent God the Son to die for our sins. Eph 1:4,5; John 3:16
b. God the Son willingly left heaven and came to earth to take our place on the Cross and pay for our sins. Heb 2:9,14,15; Matt 20:28
c. When God the Son, Jesus, went back to heaven, God the Holy Spirit came, and He now works in us the benefits of what was accomplished through the Cross of Christ. Titus 3:5; John 3:3,5
2. In the past few lessons, we have focused on God the Holy Spirit. He has come to do in us and through us all that Jesus did for us on the Cross.
a. The Holy Spirit is the member of the Trinity who actually applies to us and in us the salvation Christ provided for us on the Cross.
b. II Cor 13:14--The Holy Spirit works in us and with us as we intelligently cooperate with Him. Communion = KOINONIA = partnership, lit: participation; sharer, associate, companion.
3. In the past two lessons we looked at some specific things the Holy Spirit has come to do in and through us, and we looked at how to cooperate with Him as He works. In this lesson, we want to clear up some common misunderstandings about the Holy Spirit.
B. As we read through the Book of Acts, we see two distinct experiences with the Holy Spirit -- unbelievers can be born of the Spirit and believers can be baptized in the Spirit.
1. First, some things Jesus said. Remember, one of the titles given to Jesus is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. Matt 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33 (with = in)
a. Jesus spoke of the Spirit with, in, and upon. John 14:17; Acts 1:8
b. Jesus spoke of a well of water (eternal life) in us and rivers of living water (the Holy Spirit) which flow out of us. John 4:13,14; 7:37-39
c. Jesus said the world cannot receive the Spirit of Truth, but children of God can. John 14:17; Luke 11:13
d. On resurrection day, Jesus breathed on the disciples to receive the Holy Spirit. Yet, He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit who came upon them fifty days later. John 20:19-22; Luke 24:36-48; Gen 2:7; I Cor 15:45-47;
II Cor 5:17; Acts 1:4-8; Luke 24:49
2. In the Book of Acts, as the disciples began to go forth and preach the gospel, we see two different experiences with the Holy Spirit.
a. Acts 8:5-24--Philip went to Samaria, preached Christ, and the people believed.
1. v14-16--When the apostles at Jerusalem heard of the conversions, they sent Peter and John to pray for these believers to receive the Holy Spirit.
2. v17-19--When the apostles laid hands on the Samaritans, something demonstrable happened, so much so that Simon the sorcerer wanted to buy the power.
b. Acts 9:1-18--After Saul (Paul) was converted, he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
c. Acts 10:1-48--Peter was sent to preach to Gentiles for the first time.
1. v6,22,32,33--They were waiting for words to tell them what to do. The first thing Peter told them to do was believe on Jesus. v43
2. v44-48--Then, the Holy Ghost fell on them as He had on the disciples.
3. In Acts 11 we get more insight into what happened to the Gentiles. v13-18
d. Acts 19:1-7--When Paul went to Ephesus, he found what he thought was a group of believers.
1. He asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit since believing?
2. It turned out they were not yet saved, so Paul preached Jesus to them. Then, he laid hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit.
3. We get more insight when we look at Peterís first sermon on the day of Pentecost.
a. Peter preached the resurrection of Jesus and the fact that He is Lord and Christ, and the crowd was convicted. Acts 2:14-39
b. v38,39--Peter told them what to do -- Repent (believe and call on Jesus, v21; Luke 24:47), be water baptized, then receive the promise of the Father, the gift of the Holy Ghost.
c. Peter says this promise is for all whom God shall call. v39
4. Notice that a number of different terms are used for this second experience with the Holy Spirit -- baptized in, filled with, to drink, to receive, fall on, pour out, fire. Why?
a. It is in part to counteract the tendency of human flesh to make formulas out of everything. And, because we are talking about an encounter between an infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent Divine Person, the Holy Spirit, and finite creatures (us), words fall short.
b. How can an omnipresent Person be sent and come on the day of Pentecost? Wasnít He active in the earth before Pentecost?
1. Clearly, He was. But, obviously, there is something unique about the way the Holy Spirit began to work in the earth from the day of Pentecost on.
2. In the OT, the Holy Spirit came upon priests, kings, and prophets temporarily to empower them for special work.
3. Now, He permanently indwells all who believe on the Lord Jesus.
I Cor 6:19; Acts 2:16-18
5. The definitive term for this second experience with the Holy Ghost is ďbaptized in the Holy GhostĒ because that is the term used in connection with Jesus and His role in the experience.
a. Baptize is a Greek word written in letters of the English alphabet = BAPTIZO (from the King James version).
b. BAPTIZO = to cause something to be dipped or immersed.
6. As we consider the verses weíve read, we see two aspects to this second experience with the Holy Spirit.
a. Outwardly, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit comes on a believer and completely surrounds, envelops, and immerses Him.
b. Inwardly, the believer receives the presence and power of the Holy Spirit within (like drinking) until there comes a point where he is so full, the Holy Spirit wells up and flows out like a river.
7. And, in each instance, it is either clearly stated or strongly implied that there was a demonstrable physical manifestation when the Holy Spirit was poured out on people.
a. The manifestations vary (tongues of fire, prophecy, worship, etc.), but there is one manifestation common to all of them -- speaking in tongues.
Acts 2:4,33,38,39; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6; Acts 8:18,19; 9:17; I Cor 14:18
b. In the case of the conversion of the first Gentiles, the apostles accepted the manifestation of tongues as proof that the Gentiles received the same thing they received. Acts 10:45-47
8. What is the purpose of this second experience? It gives the Holy Spirit greater access to us. We yield more of ourselves to Him.
a. Acts 1:8--Jesus told His born again followers that they would receive power (DUNAMIS) or ability when the Holy Ghost came on them.
b. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the doorway to the supernatural in our lives. Jesus did no miracles until the Holy Spirit came on Him. Acts 10:38;
John 1:33; 2:11
C. We are touching on an area where there is a lot of controversy and misunderstanding. We want to clear some of it up.
1. A lesson like this brings up an obvious question. Why teach these kinds of things to people who are primarily charismatics?
a. The more accurate knowledge we have of these things, the more intelligently we can cooperate with the Lord.
b. Many Christians who have had this second encounter with the Holy Spirit have the experience but lack understanding, and through ignorance, put other off Christians.
2. Some Christians mistakenly say that if you havenít been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you donít have the Holy Spirit. That is not correct.
a. Anyone who has believed the facts of the gospel and confessed Jesus as Lord has been born of the Spirit of God. John 3:3,5; Titus 3:5
b. The Holy Spirit put eternal life (which is the life of God) into your spirit at the new birth. Obviously, there is a sense in which when you have the life of God in you, the Holy Spirit is in you because God is omnipresent. So, anyone who is born again has the Spirit of God.
c. However, the Bible clearly mentions two experiences with the Holy Spirit -- the Spirit within and the Spirit upon or born of the Spirit and baptized in the Spirit.
3. Some Christians say that there arenít two distinct experiences with the Holy Spirit -- that new birth and baptism in the Holy Spirit are two sides of the same coin. They are different ways of describing the salvation experience. Others say that there is a second experience, but it is a second work of grace or sanctification which frees you from sin.
a. But, neither one of these ideas matches up with the events recorded in Acts.
b. The Bible clearly describes two experiences with the Holy Spirit -- the Spirit within and the Spirit upon, or born of the Spirit and baptized in the Spirit.
c. The model in scripture is two distinct experiences, the second of which is evidenced by speaking in other tongues, and sometimes other manifestations.
4. Some Christians struggle with the baptism in the Holy Spirit because of excesses they see or hear about in Pentecostal and charismatic circles.
a. However, reacting to the errors of others can often lead to imbalance on the part of the one reacting. They tend to throw the baby out with the bath water.
b. We canít throw something out because some people misuse it. We must focus on -- what does the Bible say?
5. Some Christians base their beliefs in this area on experience -- I prayed for tongues and nothing happened so it canít be real. But, we canít base what we believe on experience.
6. Some say the second experience, the baptism in the Holy Ghost, ended when the last apostle died. There is nothing in scripture which even hints at that. I Cor 13:8
7. One thing which makes this more difficult to discuss is the fact that we live almost two thousand years after the events in the Book of Acts occurred.
a. We have two thousand years of unbelief and misinformation to sort through.
b. We have to learn to put all that aside when we read the Bible.
c. If I didnít know anything other than what the NT says about the Holy Spirit and His work, what would my concept of Him and His work be?
8. You must realize that everything written about the Holy Spirit in the epistles was understood by the first Christians in the context of the Book of Acts.
a. In the epistle to the Ephesians the Holy Spirit is mentioned fourteen times.
b. Acts 19:1-20--tells us what the context of that epistle would have been to the Ephesians. When studying the Bible we must always ask -- what did this mean to them, not what does it mean to me. Eph 5:18,19; 6:18
9. Sometimes the issue is raised -- arenít there additional fillings with / by the Holy Spirit after the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Examples -- Acts 4:8,31
a. We immediately run into difficulties trying to understand and explain how an infinite Being can indwell and work through finite beings, and our words fall short.
b. What we see in these instances is not that the Holy Spirit went somewhere or that the apostles needed another Acts 2:4 experience.
c. We see the partnership or communion that is supposed to take place between believers and the Holy Spirit. A need arose and the disciples depended on the Helper, the Comforter, Who was there with the ability and power they needed. Luke 12:11,12; 23-33
d. Eph 5:18,19--Be being filled. These verses gives us instruction about how to continually yield to the Spirit of God in us.
D. Conclusion: We have not said everything there is to say about the Holy Spirit and His work in us. But consider these points:
1. The Holy Spirit is God the Fatherís gift or promise to the Church, to His children.
Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; 2:39; Gal 3:13,14
a. An all wise, all loving God has surely picked the best gift for His children.
b. Remember, Jesus said it was expedient that He go back to heaven so the Holy Spirit could come. John 16:7
2. There is something tremendously beneficial about giving the Holy Spirit the greatest access possible to you and learning to cooperate with Him as He works in your life.
3. The Holy Spirit is in us, ready to help, ready to administer more grace and life.
a. He is here to show us the things that have been provided for us through the Cross. I Cor 2:12; John 14:26; 16:13
b. He is here to bring to pass in our lives the things that have been provided for us through the Cross. Phil 2:13; II Cor 3:18
4. We cooperate with this Divine Person, the Holy Spirit, by giving Him the greatest access to us, learning what the Cross provided for us, believing it, and speaking it out.Rom 10:9,10; Philemon 6; Eph 5:18,19