Why You Need God’s Spirit
This world is engaged in a frustrating search for answers. The real answers have eluded the world’s greatest minds. Only God has the ultimate answers.
What is God’s Spirit, what does It do and why do we need it? God’s Spirit-the ability to think like God- is the only real, permanent and lasting answer to the problems of every human being!
Jesus Christ said: “… I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10) He taught the true values in life-the way which would bring true happiness.
He taught how we can receive God’s Spirit and that we can live forever! He taught that unless we receive and retain God’s Spirit, we can never hope to enter the Family of God. Because it is only through God’s Spirit that we develop the lasting character of God in this life, and are changed to live forever at Christ’s return.
God’s Spirit Now Available
Jesus Christ came to make the free gift of God’s Spirit available to every person as God the Father would call them(John 7:38-39) After teaching His disciples for three and one half years, His twelve apostles would then carry on the work He had personally begun. These men would have to face the prospect of carrying an unpopular message to a hostile world.
They would have to contemplate years of persecution, ridicule and possibly even martyrdom. A discomforting prospect to say the least! The apostles would need strength, encouragement and wisdom. They would need love, patience and endurance to follow in Jesus Christ’s steps and carry out His Commission.
He Promised Special Help
They would also need to recall the lessons taught to them by Christ during His ministry. As generally unlearned men, they needed wisdom to face the philosophers, scholars and intellectuals of that day. They needed faith and courage to confront the hostility of religious leaders who would attempt to stamp out their teaching time after time. And Jesus Christ knew this!
He told them: “I am not going to leave you alone in the world—I am coming to you” (John 14:18, Phillips trans.). Christ intended to continue to teach and support the twelve, but not in the flesh. God the Father possessed a means by which they would be aided in their efforts to spread the truth.
“But the Counselor- God’s Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he-properly translated IT-will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said unto you” (John 14:26, RSV).
The word translated “counselor” in the Greek is parakletos, which in the Gospel of John has the meaning of “helper, advisor, intercessor.” God’s Spirit was intended to help and support them in their work. And it would remind them of the lessons they had learned from Jesus Christ.
A Help and Comfort to Everyone
But Christ did not limit God’s Spirit to the apostles alone. Notice the apostle Peter’s promise in Acts 2:38: “… Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” r.s.v.
Only those who possess God’s Spirit are recognized by God as His,(Rom. 8:9-11). You can have the resources that will enable you to live the kind of life God intended from the beginning, and to ultimately live forever. But these gifts can come only from God’s Spirit.
What the Holy Spirit Really Is
The Holy Spirit is not a “third person” of a limited “trinity.” The Spirit of God is the very nature, life and mind of God.
1. What is the composition of God? John 4:24. But do the Father and Christ have definite form and shape? Gen. 1:26; John 14:9; Rev. 1:13-16.
COMMENT: The God Family is composed of spirit. The Father and Son have definite shape. We are told they each have a head, hair, eyes, nose, mouth, arms, fingers, a torso, legs, feet. Man, as we know, was created in the image of God. But we are composed of temporal matter. We do not have the power to live forever within ourselves as does the God Family.
2. What is another great difference between God and man—what is God’s attitude and general mental makeup? Ps. 99:9. Is there anyone as “holy” as God? I Sam. 2:2. Would you consider man, of himself, as being “holy”? Rom. 3:10-18, 23; 8:7; Jer. 17:9.
COMMENT: The word holy means ‘pure of heart’. The two beings presently composing the God Family possess a sinless, spiritual attitude and mind. God’s Spirit expresses the very mind and character of God.
3. What are some other characteristic attributes of God’s Spirit? Isa. 11:2-3.
4. Does God’s Spirit fill the entire universe? Ps. 139:7-8; Jer. 23:24.
COMMENT: God’s Spirit, like matter, exists in various states. It not only composes the members of the God Family, it also flows out from them to accomplish their will.
5. Is God’s Spirit also the power by which God created all things? Jer. 32:17; Ps. 104:30. How did God utilize His Spirit to bring various creations into being? Ps. 148:1-5. Notice the word “commanded” in verse 5. Also read Psalm 33:6-9 and Genesis 1:1-3.
COMMENT: Even though the Father and Son are described specially as being in definite locations with respect to each other, spirit proceeds from them and, as David said, fills the entire universe—much like air is everywhere present on earth. God’s Spirit is the instrument or vehicle by which the God Family creates!
Christ,- “The Word” (John 1:1 )-“spoke and it was done.” It was by the Spirit of God that the creative energy was transformed into the physical creation we see around us (Heb. 11:3). And it was by His Spirit that He reformed the surface of the earth (Gen. 1).
Man has no such spiritual attribute of creative power. God has purposely limited man’s creative abilities to dealing strictly with the physical world around him. And so man has learned to work with and use the physical laws which God set in motion—now to a degree seemingly bordering on the miraculous, but physical.
God’s original purpose for putting man here on earth was to train him for rulership in the Family of God. The earth is the training ground, to prepare mankind for greater responsibilities in God’ coming ruling Family on earth.
6. Is the creation all around us proof of the miraculous creative power of God? Rom. 1:20. Also read the short, 26th chapter of Job for more illustrations of God’s power. You might also like to read chapters 36:22 through to 42:6 to see how great the power of God really is!
7. Does God sustain, preserve and rule His vast creation? Neh. 9:6; Heb. 1:2-3; Ps. 66:7.
COMMENT: God sits at the controls of the entire universe, so to speak, and He rules and sustains everything by the awesome power of His Spirit!
The KEY to Living Forever
Man is subject to death. We do not possess the power to live forever. Eternal life and spiritual power are gifts from God. Let’s notice how having God’s Spirit is the key to living forever.
1. According to the biblical account, what happened to Jesus Christ after having been dead and buried for three days? I Cor. 15:3-4. How did the Father raise Christ from death? Eph. 1:19-21. Note that verse 17 tells us it is God the Father and Christ who are being discussed here.
COMMENT: Clearly, it was by the miraculous power of His Spirit that God the Father raised Christ from death to authority and power.
2. Is there any proof of Christ’s resurrection from the dead? I Cor. 15:5-8.
3. Was Christ the first of MANY who are to be resurrected to live forever? Acts 26:23; Col. 1:18; I Cor. 15:22-23; Rom. 8:29.
4. Does the Father promise that He will also have us live forever—as He did Jesus Christ? I Cor. 6:14; 15:49-53; II Pet. 1:4. Read the entire 15th chapter of I Corinthians together with Galatians 3:29; 4:7; and Titus 3:7. How essential is it to have God’s Spirit in order to be brought back at the resurrection? Rom. 8:9-11, 14-17.
5. When and how quickly will a person be changed? I Cor. 15:51-52.
6. What type of body did Jesus receive at the time of His resurrection? I Cor. 15:44-45. Will those who are changed be given the same kind of body Jesus Christ has today? Phil. 3:20-21; I John 3:2?
COMMENT: They will then be given a spirit composed body like Christ has now. Their natural bodies will suddenly be changed to bodies of spirit, if they are alive at the time of the resurrection. If dead, they will be resurrected from the grave with new, spirit bodies (I Thes. 4:14-17).
7. Was Jesus, with His spirit-composed body, able to suddenly appear and disappear? Luke 24:36-37, 31. Was He able to pass through barriers or walls? John 20:19. Can one composed of spirit transform himself into flesh and bone if necessary? Luke 24:37-39.
8. Are spiritual bodies capable of traveling through space at tremendous speed? Compare John20:17-19. Matthew 28:9
COMMENT: Notice that Christ traveled to the Father in heaven and returned to earth on the same day!
9. Once a person has been changed into spirit, can he ever die again? Luke 20:35-36.
10. Was Jesus to be “glorified” after His resurrection? John 17:4-5; Heb. 2:9. How did Christ’s body appear when seen by human beings? Rev. 1:13-16.
11. Will God also giving them this same great power? Rom. 8:17; Col. 3:4.
12. How did Jesus give His disciples a fleeting glimpse of this? Matt. 17:1-2. What other scripture gives us an idea of the future state of those at the resurrection? Dan. 12:2-3.
COMMENT: All this can come about only by having God’s Spirit working within us!
Our Spiritual Creation Now Possible!
Before the second phase of man’s creation can begin, God the Father must first begin to give us His spirit. “…the Gentiles also were given God’s Spirit” (Acts 10:45). This gift is from the Father and unites with the “human” spirit in each of our minds. Each human mind is like the nucleus of an egg with which the seed of God’s Spirit unites.
The portion of God’s Spirit which a person may receive in the beginning, does more than give us the possibility of living forever. It gives to us characteristics and attributes of God, just as a human father transmits the father’s attributes to his newly conceived offspring.
Before we can be born into the Family of God, the Bible shows we must grow spiritually.
1. Must we change our former way of living which was against God’s law? Rom. 12:1-2. What is this changing process producing in us? Eph. 4:22-24. Be sure to also read verses 25-32 of chapter 4, and verses 1-12 of chapter 5.
COMMENT. Our basic attitude of mind must be changed. This transformation is a tremendous undertaking. The receiving of God’s Spirit is the power needed to help renew our minds.
2.We must grow spiritually? II Peter 3:18. Are we to be like humble little children growing up—this time spiritually? I Peter 2:1-2; Matt. 18:2-3.
To grow spiritually, we must take in spiritual nourishment. Just as the embryo in a mother’s womb must be nourished with life-giving food, so we must be nourished by God’s truth. “… The words that I speak unto you,” said Jesus, “they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Those words are recorded in the Bible—and Jesus said we are to live by every word of God (Matt. 4:4).
We also absorb spiritual nourishment through personal, daily contact with God when we pray and through His Church.
3. Are we to work toward developing the character of God? Matt. 5:48.
COMMENT: Since it is impossible for any human, with the exception of Jesus Christ who became human to achieve absolute spiritual perfection in this life, the obvious intent of Jesus’ statement is that we should strive to "become perfect”—like our Father in heaven.
Only at the resurrection will this process be complete (I John 3:2, 9). But in the meantime, He tells us to strive toward that end, growing toward spiritual perfection while still human! We develop the character of God by obeying Him, and by giving to others in serving and helping others. This kind of character is developed through independent free choice combined with learning, experience, trial and test.
It is interesting to note that everyone who is truly growing and developing in spiritual character has his heart in the Work of God. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20).
4. What is the end of this growing process? Gal. 4:19; Eph. 4:13.
5. Will Christ “live in us" to help them grow spiritually? Col. 1:27-29; Gal. 2:20; I John 4:2-4; Heb. 13:20-21. Exactly how will Christ live in us? Phil. 1:19; 2:5; Rom. 8:8-10; Titus 3:5-6.
COMMENT: Notice how Paul explained this when he addressed true Christians in Rome: “But you are not in the flesh”but in the Spirit”—motivated and guided by God’s Spirit—”if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you”—that is God the Father transmitting His characteristics. But notice what Paul adds: “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9).
Great Spiritual Benefits Now
There are other great benefits available through the Spirit of God.
1. Just how many things does God make available through His power? II Peter 1:3.
2. Can the human mind—having only the “human” spirit which gives only human understanding—understand the things of God? I Cor. 2:9, 14. What must be added before a person can comprehend revealed knowledge? Verses 10-13.
COMMENT: God’s Spirit gives you the capacity to understand!
In John 6:63 Christ revealed: “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit….” God also revealed in Romans 7:14 that His law is spiritual and cannot be comprehended by someone who does not possess the Spirit of God.
This is not to say the Bible cannot be understood in an academic sense. Many are thoroughly familiar with what it says—some can even recite large portions of it from memory. But God inspired Paul to say that spiritual things are beyond the comprehension of human intellect alone!
Without God’s Spirit a person cannot really understand the Bible. And so the average individual is hostile and unreceptive to the truth and looks upon those who understand and practice it as peculiar! As Paul said, spiritual things are “foolishness” to the unconverted (I Cor. 2:14).
After baptism and receiving God’s Spirit, we begin to keep the laws of God and understand them. And the more we yield to God and His law, the greater becomes our spiritual understanding. Notice what God inspired David to write “The fear—respect—for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that DO his commandments…” (Ps. 111:10).
3. Is the carnal mind unable to really love God and man? Rom. 8:7-8; Jer. 17:9; Gal. 5:19-21.
4. But what are the capabilities of a spiritually motivated mind? Rom. 8:6; Gal. 5:22-23. Will God’s Spirit grant us the strength to do good —to obey God? Phil. 2:13; Heb. 13:20-21.
COMMENT: God’s Spirit will not force us. But it will give us the ability to see and understand God’s way.
5. Do those with God’s Spirit also have direct access to the Father and Christ? Eph. 2:13-14, 18; Heb. 10:19-20; 4:14-16. What are the special advantages of this close relationship? Matt. 21:22; Heb. 4:16. Why will we receive what we ask? I John 3:22-24; 5:14.
6. In what other way does God’s Spirit help us? Rom. 8:26-27.
7. Does God also give us the spiritual power needed to conduct His Work on earth? Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:18-20.
COMMENT: The gift of God’s Spirit provides the power to take the ‘good news’ to the world. That power is active and working in the Church God called to do His Work of WARNING the nations today!
The “Fruit of the Spirit”
The presence of God’s Spirit, is the sole factor in determining whether or not an individual is really a true Christian (Rom. 8:9).
1. Did Jesus Christ clearly indicate that a person is known by his “fruits,” or works? Matt. 7:20. In what way did He characterize Himself, His Father, and their followers? John 15:1-8. Does God expect us to bear only a little fruit? Verses 5, 8.
COMMENT: Christ calls and chooses “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit…” (John 15:16). Jesus was not talking about a momentary thrill — coupled with a “testimony”.— You must be led by God’s Spirit to be Christ’s (Rom. 8:14), and bear spiritual fruit!
2. How did the apostle Paul outline the fruit which God’s Spirit produces ? Gal. 5:22-23.
COMMENT: God’s Spirit gives you the traits of God’s character. If we lack these characteristics in our lives, we are likely to be producing many of the opposite fruits. These undesirable works are described in Galatians 5:19-21. They include strife, division. All these contribute to unhappiness, being unfulfilled.
3. What is the very first fruit Paul lists? Gal. 5:22; Rom. 5:5. Is love the basic characteristic of God’s nature? I John 4:16. Is it the greatest attribute God transmits to us by his Spirit? I Cor. 13:13.
COMMENT: The first and most important fruit of God’s Spirit is love. It is not just another form of human love, but the love that comes directly from God!
4. Is this the same love that will enable us to fulfill God’s laws? Rom. 13:10.
COMMENT: The original Greek word for “love” (in Gal. 5:22) is agape. In context it means devotedness or KINDLY CONCERN—a desire to serve God and man. John said: “By this we know that we are the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments…” (I John 5:2-3).
Notice the two necessary elements: 1) love God, and 2) love the children of God—human beings.
5. What is one of the principle ways in which we will show love toward our neighbors? Rom. 13:10.
COMMENT: The kind of love from God’s Spirit works no ill to anybody! Rather, God’s love is just the opposite—a concern and desire to serve, help and encourage others.
When you receive God’s Spirit, this is the very first fruit you should begin to show. You should think or work no harm toward anyone, developing concern to serve God and man. But over a period of time—not all at once— you can begin to have this fruit in your life as you use God’s Spirit.The other fruits of the Spirit, mentioned by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23, amplify this.
6. What is the second fruit that Paul lists in Galatians 5:22? Is it God’s concern that we are happy? Rom. 15:13.
7. Does the Bible give meaning to this fruit of God’s Spirit? Luke 15:7-10.
8. What kind of happiness does Jesus Christ experience? Heb. 12:2.
COMMENT: Christ was willing to suffer in anticipation of the real joy he would experience seeing others enter God’s Family.
9. What is the third fruit which God’s Spirit will give us? Gal. 5:22.
COMMENT: Peace of mind is what everyone would like to have. Many attempt to achieve peace of mind through escape into alcohol, other drugs, etc. A person who truly has peace of mind has greater control over emotions—even in trying circumstances.We enjoy greater peace and calm together with the lack of mental confusion.
10. Does peace of mind come from keeping the Ten Commandments? Ps. 119:165.
COMMENT: No one who consistently breaks God’s law can have real peace of mind.
Those who keep God’s laws know they are doing the right thing.heir goals and purposes are stabilized. They are at peace with God, with themselves, and with neighbors. They have “the peace of God… ” (Phil. 4:7).
11. What is the fourth fruit of God’s Spirit? Gal. 5:22.
COMMENT: “Longsuffering is an old English word for patience —which is the ability to have mercy. One who is short-tempered and easily upset with others is inviting real trouble for himself—physically as well as spiritually. Emotionally induced illnesses can result from the lack of patience.
Patience is the steadiness of mind by which you wait for the result to be achieved. One who is patient does not become frustrated because problems don’t always lend themselves to immediate solutions. Longsuffering (or patience) can only come from exercising God’s Spirit.
12. Is gentleness also an important result of having God’s Spirit? Gal. 5:22.
COMMENT: Gentleness means first of all usefulness, then willingness, graciousness, affability.
Notice Paul’s statement to the Thessalonians: “But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children” (I Thes. 2:7). The apostle used this analogy to describe how he and others of God’s ministers dealt with the members of God’s Church. A nurse must be firm and loving, kind and sure, able and compassionate—all at once! She must clothe, feed, train. It takes a qualified as well as a willing person to be a good nurse.
The gentle person is willing to take extra steps to look out for the needs of others.
13. Is goodness also an attribute of God’s Spirit? Gal. 5:22.
COMMENT: Goodness describes a person possessing God-like qualities. This is a person who is showing the other fruits listed by Paul, and as a result is becoming more like God.
14. Is faith one of the vital fruits of God Spirit ? Gal. 5:22. What is God’s definition of “faith”? Heb. 11:1.
COMMENT: Faith is evidence that you shall have what you do not yet see.
15. Is it possible to please God without faith? Heb. 11:6. Must obeying God’s laws and good works make you acceptable to God? James 2, verses 14-26.
COMMENT: As Hebrews 11:6 explains, faith that God exists and that He blesses the obedient.
16. Is the faith which comes as a free gift from God (Eph. 2:8) through God’s Spirit, in reality the faith of Jesus Christ? Phil. 3:9; Rom. 3:22.
17. Did Paul plainly state that Christ lived in him? Gal. 2:20. How did Christ live in him? Phil. 2:5; Rom. 8:9-10. Then did Paul live by the faith of Christ? Notice Galatians 2:20.
COMMENT: If WE were able, to supply the faith to obey God, we would earn our own salvation. It would be the result of self-righteousness that are as “filthy rags” to God (Isa. 64:6).But the above scriptures speak only of the faith of Christ not our faith. His own strong faith- in us- enabling us to please God.
18. Will meekness also be one of the traits ? Gal. 5:23. Who set an example in this regard? Num. 12:3.
COMMENT: Many falsely assume that meekness is always synonymous with weakness.
When God was about to disinherit and destroy Israel because of their many rebellions, Moses—in spite of many false personal accusations against him—asked God to save them (Num. 14), and in meekness he instructed those who “opposed themselves”—see II Tim. 2:24-25). A meek person is not a revengeful person!
19. What is the last, and one of the least understood fruits of God’s Spirit mentioned by Paul? Gal. 5:23.
COMMENT: The world has often misunderstood the meaning of the word “temperance.” Temperance does not mean abstinence! Temperance means SELF CONTROL, The proverbs of Solomon are replete with exhortations about temperance—a vital attribute of God’s Spirit.
20. When we receives God’s Spirit, do these precious fruits suddenly appear overnight—almost all at once? II Peter 3:18; Matt. 5:48. No.
COMMENT: Fruit does not appear overnight on a tree. It takes time, water, the nutrients of the soil and sunlight to grow. Likewise, it takes time to grow spiritually!
21. How can a person start down the road toward possessing the fruits given by the Spirit of God? Acts 2:38.
Spirit Must Be Used and Renewed
Let’s notice the example of the Corinthian Church in Paul’s day.
1. Were the members of the Church of God in Corinth given Gods Spirit? I Cor. 3:16. Yet were many of them not really showing the fruit of the Spirit? Verses 1-3.
COMMENT: Notice that Paul was addressing the Church of God. But they were acting like the average man would act. They had arguing, debating and contentions. There was division and party spirit among them. These are some of the very same things listed as the “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-21!
What was their problem? Since they had God’s Spirit, which makes you a member of the Church (I Cor. 12:13), why were they producing these unspiritual, works?
2. Must God’s Spirit be put to use? II Tim. 1:6-7.
COMMENT: Even though the members at Corinth had the Spirit of God, they seemed to have lost sight of the fact that it must be used. They were producing works of the flesh—”doing what comes naturally”—simply because they were not “stirring up” the Spirit of Christ and drawing on it to produce results! (Phil. 1:11.)
3. Would Christ’s analogy in John 7:37-39 indicate that His Spirit flows into and out from us? Notice also Isaiah 44:3; Jeremiah 17:13 and John 4:10, 13-14 in this regard. The “Lord” referred to in Isaiah 44 and Jeremiah 17 is none other than Jesus Christ of the New Testament before He became a human being.
4. Do we receive God’s Spirit all at once—to last as long as we live, or must the “supply” be replenished every day? Phil. 1:19; II Cor. 4:16.
COMMENT: The Spirit of God, which is administered by Christ, is a moving force that can’t be bottled up within you. Jesus compared it to living waters which come into you, and then flow out from you in “good works”—love, peace, etc. It circulates like electricity in a complete circuit—from God, into you, and then out from you as the “fruits of the Spirit.”
Since God’s Spirit must flow into and out from us, then obviously it must be continually supplied. Therefore, the supply of God’s Spirit must be renewed in us through contact with God (Luke 11:13).
Not Generally Available Before Christ
1. Did God offer the first human beings opportunity to receive His Spirit-His way of thinking? Gen. 2:8-9, 16-17.
2. But which way did they choose to go? Gen. 3:3-7.
3. What was their punishment for disobeying God? Gen. 3:16-19. Were they denied further access to God’s Spirit? Verses 22-24.
COMMENT: God’s express intention from the beginning was to give us His Spirit. It was only after our first parents directly disobeyed a specific command from God that His Spirit was denied. And so, it is true that God gives His Spirit only to those who try to obey Him (Acts 5:32).
4. Did our first parents’ transgression set a pattern for the entire human race? Rom. 5:12.
COMMENT: From the moment man disobeyed God, he was cut off from access to the Spirit of God and the gift to live forever. Ever since then, God has permitted man to go his own way, setting apart 6,000 years during which He has allowed mankind to learn the painful results of following the dictates of the carnal mind. And mankind has continued choosing the way of disobedience to God (Rom. 3:23), which has resulted in untold suffering and death!
An atonement, had to be made —which was to be the sacrifice of Jesus Christ 4000 years later. In the meantime, God’s Spirit could not be offered in general in the face of such disobedience. But there were some notable exceptions.
5. Did those serving God have access to His Spirit? I Peter 1:10-11.
6. Did Caleb have God’s Spirit too? Num. 14:24-30. What about Joshua? Num. 27:18; Deut. 34:9.
7. Did King David have God’s Spirit? I Sam. 16:13. ( the “Lord” was Christ.) What did David say that further proves he did have God’s Spirit? Ps. 51:11.
COMMENT: Jesus Christ, before His human birth, was the member of the Godhead who administered God’s Spirit to those serving him in the Old Testament. Notice: “And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised [God’s Kingdom], since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect [at the first resurrection]” (Heb. 11:39-40,r.s.v.)
8. Did God promise long ago that He would again make His Spirit available ? Ezek. 36:26-27. Will it make obedience to His laws possible? Same verses and Hebrews 8:8-11.
9. Did Jesus specifically promise that God’s Spirit would live in His disciples after His death? John 14:16-19.
10. Is the way to receive God’s Spirit now open to all who are called by God? John 6:44; Acts 10:43; 13:26; 2:38.
COMMENT: Today, all who are called by God the Father can have His Spirit, enabling them to overcome and grow spiritually toward the Family of God.
11. Will the knowledge of God and opportunity to receive God’s Spirit-His way of thinking be made available to everyone? Isa. 11:9; Joel 2:28-29.
Spirit Arrives On Pentecost
1. What did Jesus promise His disciples regarding the receipt of power from God? Luke 24:49. Where did He tell them to wait for this power? Same verse and Acts 1:4-5, 8.
2. How did God’s Spirit come to them on that day? Acts 2:1-12.
COMMENT: Speaking through them- that every man there from every nation HEARD THEM in his own language! They were not speeking in different tongues. The miracle was in the HEARING!—Acts 2:8.
3. What was the name of the day on which this display of God’s power occurred? Acts 2:1.
COMMENT: The word “Pentecost” is a Greek word meaning “fiftieth.” God’s Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection.
It marked the beginning of God’s creative work in man—the development of Godly character. It was a forerunner of the era foretold by God long ago when He said to His ancient nation Israel and through it to the whole world: “…the days come…that I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah…, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts…” (Jer. 31:31-33).
—The House of Israel today is America and the British descended nations and many of the nations of Western and North Western Europe and the state of Israel. This prophecy will also be fulfilled in ALL nations.
How to Receive God’s Spirit
1. Is God’s Spirit a gift from God? Acts 10:45; II Tim. 1:6.
2. How readily will God give us His Spirit today when called, and if we ask for it? Luke 11:10-13. But how do we know God will hear us when we ask Him in prayer? I John 3:22-24.
3. Are repentance and baptism clearly initial steps in our obedience to God by which He is bound to keep His promise to give us His Spirit? Mark 1:14-15; Acts 2:38; 5:32. As God the Father calls us.
Then you are promised God’s Spirit through the laying on of hands by one of God’s called ministers.
The Spirit and God’s Church
1. Once we have truly repented, been baptized and received God’s Spirit, do we automatically become part of a “body”? I Cor. 12:13. What body is Paul talking about? Verse 27; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18.
COMMENT: In I Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul has drawn an analogy between the human body and God’s Church. And as we discovered, in v 13 he is speaking about being baptized—put into—the spiritual “body” or Church of God.
Therefore, “joining” a group that calls itself a church—having one’s name on the membership roll of some group—does not make one in true fact a member of the Church Jesus founded. We cannot become a part of the body of Christ by simply making a decision to “attend” a church service.
What makes you a member of the true Church of God is having God’s Spirit. Those who have not received God’s Spirit are simply not a part of the true body of Christ— (Rom. 8:9.) God promises His Spirit only to those who repent and are baptized (Acts 2:38; 5:32).But after we are baptized—what then?
2. What did Christ commission His ministers to do for those He has put in His Church? Matt. 28:19-20; John 21:15-17; I Peter 5:1-3. (Notice the last three words of each of the three verses in John 21.) For what purpose are God’s ministers to “feed” Christ’s “sheep”? Eph. 4:11-15.
COMMENT: God has set His ministers in His Church to “feed the flock” so they may grow spiritually—”For the perfecting of the saints (which are the church members), for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [fully mature, full grown] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13).
Spiritually, God’s Church is the “mother” (Gal. 4:26) of all who have received God’s Spirit. Christ has given His ministers the responsibility to instruct, teach and counsel the members of the Church (Heb. 13:17). Through this “feeding” process, each of us receives the spiritual nourishment necessary to grow spiritually.
Finding the True Church
We have just seen that the members of the true Church of God are those who individually have God’s Spirit. This church is a spiritual organism. And Jesus Christ is its head. The true church understands God’s plan, and is fulfilling Christ’s commission to preach the "good news" of the coming Government of God on earth as a witness to all nations.
Knowing this, it then becomes all important for you to definitely locate the true Church of God. But exactly how do you go about finding God’s Church and His ministers? Just where is the Church God is working through today?
Don’t all of the churches claim to be part of the true body of Christ? Will any church say it is not the church Jesus founded? Of course not! What are some of the signs that would lead us to the true Church?
1. Would the true Church of God follow Christ by upholding God’s law? Matt. 5:17; 19:17-19; 28:19-20; John 15:10. Would that Church be striving to literally keep the Ten Commandments of God and other instructions of Christ? John 14:15; Rev. 3:7-8; 12:17.
COMMENT: The true Church upholds God’s law. It recognizes that God set in motion a law that, if obeyed, would bring humanity every good thing.
God’s Church proclaims that His law is not done away, but has been expanded by Christ (Isa. 42:21) to cover every aspect of human activity. Very few churches today teach obedience to every one of God’s Ten Commandments. Those few who do acknowledge these commands refuse to obey other instructions of God found in the Bible. Don’t assume that a church professing the name of God is necessarily a church that literally obeys Christ!
2. Would God’s Church be relying on human traditions and ideas for its principal doctrines? Would it deeply understand that the whole Bible—Old Testament and New—is the true Word of God? Luke 4:4; II Tim. 3:15-17; 4:2; Isa. 8:20.
COMMENT: The only “scriptures” accessible to Timothy were books of the Old Testament. God’s Church believes all of the Bible to be inspired by God. The true Church uses the Old Testament as did Christ and the apostles, and believes it is also a part of God’s Word for us today. It must be understood in the light of the New Testament.
God’s Spirit and You
When you do receive God’s Spirit, your attitude and approach toward life will begin to change. And as you grow spiritually, you will experience peace of mind, understanding and a positive outlook toward the future!
Summary, A. C. Study. Free Library Copy
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