10 • The Coming of the Holy Spirit
After Jesus ascended into heaven about two thousand years ago, His followers in Jerusalem (about 120 people) started praying to God for the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be given as an abiding powerful presence with His children on earth (Acts 1:4; John 14:16-18). So, after some time, the Holy Spirit baptized (came in power on) the followers of Jesus and they were filled with power and joy (Acts 2:1-4). The Holy Spirit gave them the ability to speak in languages they themselves did not understand, so that they could converse with the people from the different nations and language groups in Jerusalem. Never before, in the history of mankind, was the Holy Spirit given to people in this way! God’s Book says that the Holy Spirit rested on Jesus’ followers like tongues of fire (Acts 2:3).
Many people in Jerusalem heard of the mighty acts of God in their own languages. You might wonder who this Holy Spirit is. Is He a person, or a power, or a force of some kind? The answer is that the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:4-10). The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is not only a force and a power, but essentially a being with a personality. Followers of Jesus call Him the Third Person of the Godhead. Followers of Jesus don’t serve three gods, but one God who is simultaneously revealed in three persons, each having a different role. Jesus is now in heaven praying for the church and upholding everything according the word of His power (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3). The Father is in heaven overseeing and sustaining everything in the universe and working all things according to the counsel of His will and for the praise of His glory (1 Corinthians 12:6; Ephesians 1:3-14). The Holy Spirit is given to believers to help, comfort, guide into the truth, sanctify (make holy) and save them from evil in this world (John 16:7,13; John 14:15,16; John 17:15).
The Holy Spirit can do many things! He gives gifts to God’s people (1 Corinthians 12:4, 7, 11) and He is God’s Superpower working in the world, but not like a Spiderman or Superman or like a Superhero we see in the films. The Holy Spirit’s main task is to unite, sanctify and reconcile followers of Jesus with God. God’s people, those who are filled with God’s Spirit, can (in a sense) do the same things Jesus did when He was on earth. In other words, miracles can occur as God wills through the prayers of His followers, if these are prayed in the name of Jesus and are under the control of the Holy Spirit (John 14:12-14). One of the signs that Jesus gives, through His Holy Spirit, is conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment so that all people will know they are guilty before a holy God and will be punished for their sin (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit does this so that people will seek the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Like birds flying in formation one behind another, so the Holy Spirit “flies” behind the exalted Jesus Christ to unite and reconcile believers to Jesus and to glorify Christ (John 16:14). Wherever Jesus is exalted and preached and presented as glorious through preaching on the Internet, Facebook, YouTube, Satellite Television, on the Radio, in a church building, classroom, in small groups, one on one on a street corner, or wherever, there the Holy Spirit works faith in God and repentance in the hearts of the hearers (Romans 10:13-15, 17; 2 Corinthians 4:13). The Holy Spirit takes what belongs to Jesus and gives it to His people. He directs and guides people in glorifying Jesus Christ (John 16:14). As 1 Corinthians 12:3 says, ‘…no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.’
Reality to consider: A thing we must understand is that the Spirit of God is called the HOLY Spirit. That means He is different from us and without fault, sin or moral corruption. He wants the people of this earth to be united with Himself and He does this by pointing people to Jesus Christ. By trusting in Jesus Christ our sins can be forgiven and we can become holy and have fellowship with God.
Read: Acts 1:4; John 14:16-18; Acts 2:1-4; Acts 5:4-10; Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3; 1 Corinthians 12:6; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 16:7,13; John 17:15; 1 Corinthians 12:4,7,11; Acts 4:29; Acts 19:11,12; John 16:8; John 16:14; Romans 10:13-15,17; 2 Corinthians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 12:3.