SBS Sermon Notes Note 07/03
The Holy Spirit
His Work, Gifts, Fruit and Baptism
Reading: John 14: 15-31
The presence of Yahweh's Spirit (the Holy Spirit) is the
greatest and best asset any believer can have. But, sad to say, in
Christian circles there is much confusion about the Holy Spirit. Areas
in need of clarification are:
I will attempt to answer a few of these questions in this Sermon.
- To whom is the Holy Spirit given?
- What work does He do in a believer's life?
- What 'gifts' does the Holy Spirit impart to the believer?
- What are the 'fruits' of the Holy Spirit?
- Can the Holy Spirit be withdrawn from a believer?
- How can we recognise the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives?
- What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
1. Given to the Obedient
To begin with the Holy Spirit is not given to unbelievers. They may be
influenced by the Holy Spirit; but they are not given the Holy Spirit
in the sense I am talking of Him this morning. Only believers who
endeavour to obey the Almighty's commandments receive the Holy Spirit.
I repeat, the Spirit of God enlightens - in varying degrees - 'every
one that comes into this world:' but what I am speaking about is far
more than the conscience of man. I am speaking about spiritual
fruit, holiness, wisdom and power the Spirit of God brings with Him
when He takes control of the believer's mind. The true believer
receives these from on high - in direct proportion to his/her faith
and obedience. Not blind obedience to man: but obedience to God.
Yahweh does not give His Spirit to the wilful sinner. The
Scriptures testify to this fact:
|And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
2. The Obedient Believer
When the Holy Spirit takes up residence in a believer's mind, He
inhabits the believer just as we humans would inhabit a house.
| Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
| Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
3. The Holy Spirit's Work
The Holy Spirit performs many duties when He takes up residence in a
believer's life. A few of His divine duties are listed below.
|But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things...
Note: Unless one has his/her eyes opened to spiritual realities
by the Holy Spirit it is impossible to appreciate spiritual
concepts and truths.
|verse 14:26 continued
|... and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
|But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.
| Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8: And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin,and of righteousness, and of judgment.
In other words the Holy Spirit convicts people of sin when they break
Yahweh's law, when they sin. (1 John 3:4). He will not only point out
disobedience (sin), but He also directs people to do what is right
(righteousness) and how to obey God. He will then go on to warn of the coming Judgement; when every soul on earth will be judged
according to his/her reaction to such awesome prompting.
The Holy Spirit's work goes even beyond those critical lessons.
|"He will guide you into all truth ... He will shew you things
to come. He shall glorify me, for He shall receive of mine, and shall
shew it unto you."
Note: These are vital lessons which the Holy Spirit of Yahweh teaches
with untiring efficiency.
Are you responding to His sacred work?
4. Spiritual Gifts
The Holy Spirit gives every believer one or more spiritual
gifts. These gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12. Notice these
facts about spiritual gifts: there are different gifts which manifest
themselves in different ways.
Every believer is given at least one gift - some have
several. The gifts are: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing,
miraculous powers, prophecy, discernment, tongues, interpretation.
Note how the Apostle Paul classifies the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He also places the receivers of these gifts in a hierarchic order of importance.
|verse 28 First:
|Miracle workers, Healers, Helps, Governments and speakers in tongues.
Let those who try to reverse this order by placing speakers in tongues
at the head of the list - beware!
Believers Have Different Gifts
Not every believer has the gift of healing or tongues or
understanding. Those who claim that every believer should speak in
tongues are mistaken. All the prophets of old and Jesus himself never
spoke in tongues. Neither did most of the reformers. For further information, see the Gift of Tongues.
5. Grieving the Holy Spirit
Disobedience grieves the Holy Spirit. If unchecked, disobedience will
result in the Holy Spirit abandoning the sinner.
|And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Can the Holy Spirit be withdrawn from a believer? The answer is yes if
he/she persists in sin. When David sinned grievously against God, by
committing adultery with Uriah's wife and then murdering that valiant
soldier, the king came extremely close to being abandoned by God.
David's penitent prayer is recorded in Psalm 51. Here is a portion of
that psalm which tells us that God can withdraw His Holy Spirit from
the unrepentant sinner.
| Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8: Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9: Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11: Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
David's prayer was heard and answered: but see how close he came to
losing the Holy Spirit.
6. Evidence of the Holy Spirit
The most reliable evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence is the
spiritual fruit He produces in a believer's life. The best
evidence of Yahweh's presence is 'holiness.' Holiness is a word meaning
set-apart for sacred use; to be pure, righteous, clean and without
sin. Holiness is being like Yahweh. Holiness is a sign of Yahweh's
presence. But there are other signs of the Holy Spirit. We refer to
them as the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Notice in the following
passage how the Holy Spirit helps the believer to overcome natural
(sinful) tendencies. A spiritual war is raging in the human
mind: the war of good against evil.
|This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17: For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18: But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20: Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21: Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23: Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
7. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is one of the most misunderstood
teachings of Scripture. Many believers confuse the baptism of
the Holy Spirit with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They also
fail to see the difference between the baptism, the
gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In reality the
Holy Spirit is quite separate from His gifts, His fruit and His
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the reality to which water
baptism points. Water baptism symbolises a death to sin, a burial
of the old sinful nature and a resurrection to walk in newness of
life. Water baptism is a meaningful drama, a shadow, a type. The
Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the substance, the
real thing! When the Baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place in a
believer's life he dies to sin. He/she doesn't knowingly sin any more.
His old evil nature is slain and buried. A new, nature then takes
over. Every believer who enters the Kingdom of God is, at some
soon-coming date, going to be baptised by Christ in the Holy Spirit -
yes every one of us. The one who does the baptising will be Yeshua
the Messiah - Jesus Christ. Of him John the Baptist said:
| I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is being counterfeited on a world scale
in our day. Millions of sincere believers in many countries are being
deceived. They believe that when they 'speak in tongues' they have
been baptised in the Holy Spirit. Oh what a tragic deception this is! This counterfeit baptism abounds in every land. Beware of the bogus baptisms!
See Lesson 20 where the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is dealt with in more detail.
What about the Trinity?
SBS Sermon Notes More Sermons about the Holy Spirit
Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
August 1997 ... Updated September 1999