Ministry Resources

We Believe – Part 2

Have you ever had questions about what Christians believe? Have your friends asked you why you believe the way you do and you haven't been able to answer them? If so, this course is especially for you. Even after you have studied it, you will want to keep it on hand for a quick reference any time a question arises. Series written by Judy Bartel, adapted from the book 'We Believe' by Ralph M. Riggs.

The Spirit-filled Life

The Spirit-filled Life

A Spirit filled life should be the goal of every believer. Being filled with God’s Spirit is another step or progression that should take place in the experience of every Christian. A Spirit-filled life is one that is completely yielded and consecrated to the Lord.

Jesus promised His disciples that when He went back to His Father He would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

The Helper will come—the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and He will speak about me (John 15:26).

This coming of the Holy Spirit happened on the Day of Pentecost. The story is in Acts 2. Since then it has been possible for every believer to live the Spirit-filled life.

In this lesson we will learn what it means to have a Spirit filled life. We will also learn something of the reward that comes with being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Being Filled with Spirit

Ephesians 5:18 instructs us, “Be filled with the Spirit.” This can happen when one becomes a born again Christian and is baptized in the Holy Spirit. Jesus used these words, baptized in the Holy Spirit, to indicate a beautiful spiritual experience His disciples were going to have. He said in Acts
1:5, “John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

As believers we can be baptized in the Holy Spirit just as the first disciples who waited in faith, thanking and praising God. They obeyed the instructions Jesus gave when He said, “And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait…until the power from above comes down upon you” (Luke 24:49).

One of the ways we can know we have been filled is that God’s power will come upon us as it did on the believers on the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit will speak through us in languages that we have not learned. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak” (Acts 2:4).

It is important that a Spirit-fled life show resulting character traits or “fruit” as they are sometimes called. “But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23).

If we think we are Spirit-filled and we are not showing these characteristics, we should go to the Lord and ask Him what is wrong. If we do not have these traits, we can hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us.

And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free (Ephesians 4:30).

We can keep filled with the Holy Spirit by walking in obedience to God’s will.

Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, always give thanks for everything to God the Father (Ephesians 5:18-20).

These Scriptures help us to understand what is meant by living in the Spirit. When we allow the Holy Spirit to direct our lives, we grow and develop into mature Christians (Galatians 5:16). The Holy Spirit keeps us alive and active so that we feel strong and ready to do the work of the Lord. This idea is stated in 2 Corinthians 4:16: “Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day.”

Sustained by the Spirit

The Holy Spirit was sent to be our Helper. One of His titles is the Comforter. When someone comforts us, he makes our lives easier. He holds us up when we are under pressure. That is what we mean when we say the Spirit sustains us.

The Holy Spirit sustains us. He helps us in every aspect of our Christian growth. The Holy Spirit helps us in our prayer life. “We do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).

The Holy Spirit also guides us. Romans 8:14 says, “Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons.”

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and is the great Teacher and Guide into all truth. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you” (John 14:26). “When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth” (John 16:13).

Among the results of the Spirit-filled life are the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings us. These gifts can become tools to make our work for God easier and more effective than it could be otherwise. One of the first gifts is power for Christian service.

But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1: 8).

The Holy Spirit makes available to us His gifts, which are special provisions for Christian service. “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them” (1 Corinthians 12:4). Gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 are: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. There are also other gifts and abilities that God through His Spirit wants to give us.

So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach; if it is to encourage others, we should do so. Whoever shares with others should do it generously; whoever has authority should work hard; whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully (Romans 12:6-8).

The Holy Spirit also has blessings and glory for God’s children.

God’s Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God’s children. Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ’s suffering, we will also share his glory (Romans 8:16-17).

The marvelous outpouring of the Holy Spirit comes in modern times just as it has in the past. God is baptizing many Christians in the Holy Spirit. Let’s pray that this will continue. Pray for your church that your pastor, deacons, and all of the members may he filled with God’s Spirit and be used of Him.

It is this Spirit that will sustain us even if we face problems, hunger, hardship, persecution, poverty, or death “…in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!” (Romans 8:37).