Intermediate Edition

II. God’s Holy Spirit in His People


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Chapter 17  Part II

God’s Holy Spirit in His People

God’s incomparable gift of his Holy Spirit is critical to God’s relationship with each of his people – including God’s work in and through them. In part at least, this is due to the Holy Spirit being the prime means by which God renews and helps believers.

God Gives the Holy Spirit to His People

God gives his people his Holy Spirit, to live in them

[Paul, to believers:] And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.   Romans 5:5 NET

[Paul, to Timothy:] Protect that good thing [the truth] entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.   2 Timothy 1:14 NET

Having the Holy Spirit shows a person is one of God’s people . . .

[Paul, to believers:] For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.   Romans 8:15-16 NET

The Spirit testifies to believers that they are God’s children (v. 16). Accordingly, by the Spirit they call God “Abba” or Father (v. 15).

. . . Having the Holy Spirit indicates that God lives in a person

[John, to believers:] Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us.   1 John 3:24b NET

Having the Spirit of God verifies that God himself lives in us.

The Holy Spirit is God’s seal, guaranteeing what is to come

[Paul, to believers:] When you believed in him you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own possession, to his praise and glory.   Ephesians 1:13b-14 ISV

God’s “own possession” refers to believers, who have been marked as such by being given the Holy Spirit.

God Works in His People through the Holy Spirit

God saves his people through the Holy Spirit

[Paul, to believers:] God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.   2 Thessalonians 2:13b NET

God teaches his people through the Holy Spirit

[Paul, to believers:] But just as it is written, “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” 10God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.   1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NET

God works through his people by the Holy Spirit

[God, to Zerubbabel who was a leader of the Jews:] ‘Not by strength and not by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord who rules over all.” 7“What are you, you great mountain? Because of Zerubbabel you will become a level plain! And he will bring forth the temple capstone with shoutings of ‘Grace! Grace!’ because of this.”   Zechariah 4:6b-7 NET

God would accomplish the work he was doing through Zerubbabel by his Spirit. Mountainous problems would be overcome and Zerubbabel would “bring forth the temple capstone” (v. 7b) signifying the completion of the work (the rebuilding of the temple).

The Holy Spirit Renews God’s People

The Holy Spirit brings spiritual life

[Jesus:] The Spirit is the one who gives life; human nature is of no help! The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.   John 6:63 NET

Particularly in light of the verse’s first clause, the final statement may indicate that the words Jesus spoke were from (cf. CEV) or spoken through the Holy Spirit. As such they are words that the Holy Spirit uses to produce life – when people live according to them.

The Holy Spirit makes God’s people holy

[Peter, to believers:] God the Father decided to choose you as his people, and his Spirit has made you holy.   1 Peter 1:2a CEV

The Holy Spirit produces spiritual “fruit” in God’s people

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.   Galatians 5:22-23 NET

The Holy Spirit Helps God’s People

The Holy Spirit helps each believer

[Paul, to believers:] In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.   Romans 8:26 NET

[Jesus, to his disciples:]  I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth.   John 14:16-17a NCV™

The Holy Spirit leads God’s people

Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children.   Romans 8:14 GNT

The Holy Spirit may lead a person by an inner conviction or sense of assurance, by circumstances, or even by a discernible revelation. (Giving such a revelation to a person with a prophetic spiritual gift is one way the Holy Spirit leads and directs Christian groups.)

The Holy Spirit empowers God’s people to do God’s work . . .

[Jesus, to his disciples:] But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.   Acts 1:8 NET

Through the Holy Spirit the disciples would receive “power (ability, efficiency, and might)” (AMP), enabling them to witness for Christ far and wide.

. . . The Holy Spirit has a key role in what God’s people say

[Jesus, to his disciples:] You will be brought before governors and kings because of me, to testify to them and to the gentiles. 19When they hand you over, don’t worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say, because in that hour what you are to say will be given to you. 20It won’t be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.   Matthew 10:18-20 ISV

When they [the believers] had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God courageously.   Acts 4:31 NET

Pray for persecuted Christians