Friday, December 30, 2022

Activity of Holy Spirit


The activity of the Holy Spirit

Genesis one – the Spirit of God hovered, surveying the scene, then spoke into being the world in which we live. Then God communicated with Adam in the evening breeze.

Genesis six – In Noah's day it was the Spirit that sought to turn the people away from sin.

Genesis fourty one – of Joseph, who retained trust in God despite suffering, of him it was said "a man who is obviously filled with the Spirit of God".

And it continues in the Old Testament – God's Spirit enabling people to speak for Him and do special things for Him.

The sad end of the Old Testament is recorded:

Zechariah 7:12 "They made their hearts hard as stone, so they could not hear the law or the messages that the LORD Almighty had sent to them by His Spirit, through the earlier prophets.".

2 Peter 1:21 " It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God"


In the New Testament, it continues to be the Holy Spirit,that communicates God's truth. In John 16, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would complete the revelation of God the Father revealed in Jesus Christ, using the Apostles and NT prophets. They spoke and wrote the truth as Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 2:10. – "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, and His Spirit searches out everything and shows us(the Apostles)  even God's deep secrets." – how blessed we are to be able to read the New Testament, and know it is inspired by God!

Acts 2  This communication of truth was so evident on the day of Pentecost, when the once afraid  Peter, stands before a great crowd and delivers (spontaneously)  , a brilliant message . Peter had been confused and disappointed, but now by the Holy Spirit he clearly reveals that God was doing something special by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The people were convicted their sin, and sought forgiveness. Peter boldly issues a promise – "Repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"

This was a very special day, for the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven had sent down to earth the Holy Spirit to fill all believers. They were thus enabled to communicate in many languages the wonderful works of God.

Peter's message was from God, and the effect was by God the Spirit. About three thousand people believed and were baptised in water. What follows in the chapter, shows that they were also immersed by the Holy Spirit (baptised) into one body. Thus began the great work described in the letter to the Ephesians – 'one body by one Spirit '.

But I have missed so much. Let me briefly mention the life of the Lord Jesus.

-         Miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit –Matthew 1:18

-         Anointed by the Holy Spirit for service – Matthew 3:16

-         Led by the Holy Spirit to the place of temptation – Matthew 4:1

-         Casting out demons by the Holy Spirit – Matthew 8:16

-         He offered Himself, through the eternal Spirit , without blemish to God –Hebrews 9:14

-         He is declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of Holiness by His resurrection from the dead – Jesus Christ our Lord! –

-         Romans 1:4

-         He promised to send the Holy Spirit –  Acts 1:8

And so it is that we have the assurance of who Jesus is ,by the Holy Spirit.


In the book called 'Acts', let us trace the continuing activity of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2 – the Spirit gave utterance.

Acts 5 – Peter discerned a hidden lie by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 6,7  Stephen evidently served and spoke by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8 – Phillip was directed by the holy Spirit.

Acts9  - Saul was promised Holy Spirit fullness  for his service.

Acts 9.31 The disciples were comforted by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10.19  The Holy Spirit communicates to Peter.

Acts 10.44 The Holy Spirit came to the Gentile believers as a gift, enabling them to speak in other languages as proof to the visiting Jews that the Gentiles were cleansed by grace as much as Jews (Acts 15.8,9).

Acts 13.2 The Holy Spirit  gave directions.

Acts 19.2 The Holy Spirit's presence is directly linked to the Name of the Lord Jesus.( not outside that authority)

Acts 20.28 The Holy Spirit appoints overseers.(Shepherd  to care)

Acts 28.25 The Holy Spirit interprets and applies the Old Testament


I pause here and ask you to note the multivaried functions and activity of the Holy Spirit. Note well that the Holy Spirit came from above,  communicated and acted through whom He chose. It was always to the glory of God through Jesus Christ. It was not for the glory of men, nor was His presence focused on subjective feelings. Rather as one of the trinity, He was communicating for God.

Next – The Holy Spirit in the teachings of the Apostles.

Teachings of the Apostles


The Holy Spirit in the teachings of the Apostles

In one of the earliest writings, 'James', reads " The Spirit that dwells in us." – just like Romans 8:9

Now to trace the mentions of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel explanation – Romans:

The holy Spirit raised Jesus from death  1;4,  8;11

Our hearts are filled with God's love by the Holy Spirit. 5:5, 15:30

The new way to serve God is by the Holy Spirit . 7:6

The life giving Spirit gives freedom from sin.  8:2

To be controlled by the Spirit, is to think about spirit things. 8:5

Life and peace are the result of a Spirit controlled mind. 8:6

Renunciation of sin is by the Holy Spirit. 8:13, 14

God is our 'Abba Father' by the Spirit of God. 8:14.16

The presence of the Holy Spirit is a foretaste of glory 8:23

He is the one who comes alongside to help in prayer. 8:26, 27

Hope comes through the power of the Holy Spirit. 15:13

Sanctification is by the Holy Spirit. 15:16

Miracles and signs are by the Holy Spirit. 15:19

Wow, how blessed we are to have the Holy Spirit.  How shall we fit all the teaching into these short articles?? Please follow a concordance to study all the mentions of the Holy Spirit in Corinthians and Galatians – so important foe Christian living and victory over law keeping.(I may get to them later)..

I would like to focus on the "filling of the Spirit" in Ephesians 4:18. It is essential to survey the context:-

Ephesians 1:13 Each believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit.

 2:18  All believers by one Spirit have access to the Father.

2:22 The whole body of believers is made into a temple of praise by the Spirit. 3:15 The inspiration of scripture is by the Spirit.

3:16 The Spirit connects with our inner being (spirit) and heart to understand the unknowable love of God. 4:3 Unity is by the Spirit.

4:23 Spirit and mind are linked together. 4:30 He can be grieved.

5:18 "Be filled with the Spirit" – I would like to focus on this to clear up confusion about being filled with the Spirit.

 Five times in the book of Acts is mention made of disciples being filled with the Spirit. Each context verifies that  this was to enable serving the Lord. Here in Ephesians the explanation is given. It is the opposite of being intoxicated with alcohol, which removes control and moral guidelines, and ends up often with debauchery. The aftermath is devastating.

Filled with the Spirit is the opposite – full control, not by our self nature, but by God's Spirit.  Then verses 19-33 tell us what that will be like.

1       "Psalms , hymns and spiritual songs" will be our delight because we are enjoying the wonderful things that God , in Christ, has done. Review chapter 1-4

2       "Giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" If we let the Spirit help us count our many blessings, we will never cease to praise Him.

3       "Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ" This is not pleasing to the natural person, but for the born again , spirit filled person a  very moderate attitude prevails. Others are more important than self!

4       "Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord". It may be countercultural, but this is the command of the Holy Spirit. Would He be wise enough to know what is best?

5       "Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church". A husband filled with the Spirit will be responsible for, protective of, and faithful to the wife. Christ's love will prevail.

6       "Children obey". The Holy Spirit intends children to learn obedience, giving respect to parents, inspite of their faults.

7       "Fathers provoke not".  By the Spirit, Fathers will be able to control the natural instinct to abuse power, and implement the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

8       "Servants, obey your earthly masters" Servants filled with the Spirit will work well and not be troublemakers.

9       "Masters treat your slaves/servants right." How different the Christian master should be. In the face of temptation to make money, to abuse power, the Spirit guided master is reflect the Master in heaven.

The alternative to being filled with the Spirit is described in Ephesians 2:2  "following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air(satan controlling radio, tv, internet etc), the spirit that is now working in the children of disobedience.........passions of our flesh, desires of the body and mind..........."

Evidently there is a real conflict between the Holy Spirit and the natural world as dominated by the devil. Chapter 6:12 identifies this conflict, and the need to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  This is both to control our own sinful desires and to prevent others controlling us. Be careful not to welcome strange spirits into your mind and life. The Holy Spirit operates in us as we yield to His voice in the Spirit inspired scriptures. He leads us nearer to God our Father, He leads in praise filled Christian living and He fills us with God's love so that we can selflessly love others.

Well  there is more, but for now sing, submit, the Spirit.

Fruit of the Spirit


The fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22

Fruit is the final outcome of a seed, a shoot, a stem, a branch, a leaf and finally fruit.

Peter understood the concept of growth – 2 Peter 1. He encouraged adding e.g. 'add to your faith virtue'..... and finally 'add to brotherly kindness love'. Maturity is seen in the display of God's kind of love.

Returning to Galatians 5:22, the list begins with the priority of love. The reaction of many people is – 'I must be more loving' or others 'love makes me feel good.' Both expressions are the result of a misunderstanding.

LOVE is rather a motive, than a feeling. John 3:16 puts it clearly "God so loved the world that He gave......". It was not the worth of the objects, nor a warm fuzzy feeling that moved God to send His Son. He was  motivated by His intrinsic purpose of good, yes eternal  good for those He chose to love. Love is relational, seen best within the person of the Trinity. (John 5). God's kind of love is not blind, but overcomes the obstacles to effect the good intended.

So then, how can I who am by nature prejudiced, biased, revengeful, selfish and ignorant, where can I get God's kind of love? Certainly not from within, not from the world, but rather God by His Spirit to my spirit. Ponder for a moment the message to the Galatians and catch the fires of Divine love kindling in your soul:

In review:

1       We have received good news, that inspite of our unworthiness,(fit only to be crucified), the Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20

2      The blessing of the Spirit has not come to us by lawkeeping, but rather through God's grace, God's promise, through Christ suffering the curse for us. Faith says 'yes Lord" 3:26

3      Our very special relationship with God as 'Father' and our place as heirs (4:7) has been secured for us by God sending His Son into the world, born of a woman, born under the law.....4:4

4      The freedom (5:1) in Christ is priceless, but purposeful – "through love serve one another" (5;13).

 These blessings result from God's love. And this is the love being produced in us by His Holy Spirit.

So love is a very warm, undefinable reality. That which the Holy Spirit produces slowly  in our lives ( from self love to God's love to sacrificial love for others.) Some people feel cosy when they remember that God loves them. Maturity is when God's love controls us to selfless activity – "we love, because He first loved" 1 John 4.

JOY, is the second outcome of a Holy Spirit filled life. I watch people who are constantly stressed, fretting over the past or the uncertainty of the future. If the Holy Spirit has His way, we have a deep down contentment with God and His gracious mercies which are new every morning. This is more than happiness that happens sometimes. Rather joy is the heart  rejoicing that God is good and I am in His hands.

PEACE  is akin to joy, but rather relates is a response to distress and difficult circumstances. How can one have peace in war, in domestic violence, in social disorder, in family dysfunction, in sickness etc.  Only by trusting someone greater than ourselves. How can we know Him? - By the leading and instruction of the Holy Spirit.

PATIENCE – seldom in a woman, never in a man – but possible by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Our perception of others needs to be modified by the instruction of the Spirit. Our personal impetuousness needs to be condemned for what it is and replaced with Spirit begotten patience.

KINDNESS......GOODNESS......FAITHFULNESS........GENTLENESS..........SELF-CONTROL.   These are the outcomes of the Holy Spirit instructing the spirit of the believer. God's good fruit in our lives!

I conclude with two quotes from Galatians:

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" 5:26

"Those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life" 6:8

There is so much more , but enough for now, enough to cause our hearts to rejoice

Saturday, December 17, 2022

A Christian for real?


Becoming a Christian

The experience of conversion varies from person to person. But the two basic truths involved are important. The Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul preached "repentance toward God and Faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ".

All of humanity are born with the problem of sin – the inclination to go our own way without God. This may vary from simple selfishness to rebellious evil. Many are told that they are in themselves good and that they just need Jesus to go through life with them. Well, God has a different conclusion. From His perspective, we are all Adam's children – lost. More than that, God sees our independence and self directed ways as sin. Things that are often obscure to us, like pride, hypocrisy and devotion to other things are like idolatry to God.

When we remember that we were made for God, then it is appropriate that Jesus said "Repent". Repent means to recognize that we have sinned, failed to give God the honour due to Him, then to turn from our own way to Him with true heart surrender – "Yes Lord  you are right, I have been wrong".

For those who seek the Lord, there is a very definite solution to the problem of our disconnection from God. Repentance is good, but not enough. Faith in Jesus Christ, is God's universal solution. Keeping the law and commandments will not work. Doing one's best is insufficient. The only way to forgiveness and acceptance with God is by His way. His way is by Faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. Faith means to believe that God the Father sent His  Son into the world as Jesus. Faith understands the need to be saved by someone greater than ourselves and looks to the perfect person, Jesus Christ. Faith is to trust HIM to reconnect us with God.

The Jews and the Romans did not understand the events of crucifixion of Jesus . The Lord Jesus explained it many times.  He said He was as the Good Shepherd, giving His life for the sheep. Again, He was paying the ransom price to set guilty sinners free.

He said, after He rose to life again, that now through faith in Him, forgiveness of sins is freely available.


Faith in Him is to trust Him and His sacrifice, to make us right with God.

Faith also believes that He who died, rose again and is now seated in the place of highest honour at God's right hand.


This repentance of self and sin may seem crushing. But this faith in such a wonderful person enables us to be so much better than our best selves. To be 'in Christ' gives eternal security and everlasting blessedness. Gods' actions for us , in us , lead to the abundant life of being in the safe keeping of the great shepherd who said "My sheep hear my voice and they follow Me. I give unto the eternal life and they shall never perish"  John 10


God by the Holy Spirit interacts with each person individually but the principles of conversion remain the same – repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

I trust that my readers are definitely connected to God, not hoping for heaven by some other way. Feel good gospel is no gospel. Religious observance will not do. Good living will not measure up.

I  encourage all to take the Bible and read through the letter of the Romans, there discovering the Gospel from God's vantage point.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Word of God


It was our recent privilege to distribute Bibles to many enthusiastic children in the schools in our area. We pray that many children will find peace with God through searching the Holy Scriptures.

The Bible is more than a book of words, more than historical records about Israel and more than wisdom from human experiences. It is clearly a record of God reaching out to humans. God has been interested in individuals and much of the Old Testament is about God’s interactions with the Israelites.

When Jesus came, the emphasis in the New Testament was on personal connection with God. The book of the Acts initially focused on The Lord  calling Jewish people to turn back to God through the risen Messiah. The  book also records the Lord God reaching out to the Gentile people outside of the Jewish religion. Paul wrote many parts of the New Testament, explaining the blessing God gives to  the peoples of every nation. The treatise called Romans, is particularly significant in explaining how God chooses to reconcile people that are most unworthy. God has planned that by the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, guilty people can be forgiven and given a new life by the Holy Spirit. This good news makes disconnected people of all nations part of the family of God. By faith in Jesus the Lord, all believers are forever connected with the wonderful love of God.

I quote the purpose of God’s kindness:

So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will make you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

My prayer for those reading those Bibles and for all reading this article is the same.

If you do not have a Bible please email