FAQs about the Holy Spirit - Part 1

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Aren't you a bit presumptuous to talk about such a deep subject?


Exactly what is the Holy Spirit? Is it some sort of energy field?

According to a recent survey by the Barna Institute, approximately 60% of American Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is some sort of impersonal force. The only thing we can say to these people is, "May the Force be with you!" But the rest of us know, in all capital letters, that THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON. He doesn't like to be called "it" any more than you would.

Why are there so many different opinions about the Holy Spirit?

Why are there so many different denominations?

Why do so many Christians miss the Holy Spirit?

The Jews, God's own chosen people, missed Jesus. So why are you surprised when Christians miss the Holy Spirit?

Is it possible to be a Spirit-filled Christian without checking your brains at the door?

Learned theologians are still debating this one.

Is it possible to be a learned theologian and still have the Holy Spirit?

Spirit-filled Christians are still debating this one.

Why did God send the Holy Spirit to us?

God's Word tells us that the Holy Spirit comes to teach, encourage, correct, and empower Christians. Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus lowered Himself to be born in a stable. Today the Holy Spirit lowers Himself to live in our hearts.

Is the Holy Spirit only for full time Christian workers?

Nothing could be further from the truth. All jobs in God's Kingdom are important. Among the most important jobs are being a spouse and a parent. In truth, it may take more grace on some days to be the mother of small children than to be the pastor of a mega-church. It may take more patience to deal with a wayward child than to rule a nation. And it may take more courage to stand for your marriage than to lead a cavalry charge into battle. Whatever grace you need, the Holy Spirit will supply it. No detail is too small to escape his loving care.

No matter how hard I try, the Christian life doesn't work for me. I quit!

Good! That's exactly what God has been waiting to hear. Now are you ready to try it His way? We are helpless to live the Christian life in our own strength. We can only begin to live it after we receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Didn't I receive the Holy Spirit when I got saved?

For the most part, the Holy Spirit lies imprisoned in the hearts of unbelieving Christians. The Lord says, "What good does it do to get baptized in the Spirit if you let the old man stay in control?"

Does the Baptism of the Holy Spirit occur at the time of our salvation, or is it a separate experience that happens afterward?

The Bible shows an amazing diversity in how the Holy Spirit works.

AFTER - Acts 8:14-17 and 19:1-7 record the the Christians in Samaria and Ephesians receiving the Holy Spirit as a separate experience some time after they received salvation.
AT THE SAME TIME - Acts 11:11-17 records the household of Cornelius receiving Salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at the same time.
REPEATEDLY - John 20:22, Acts 2:1-4 (Pentecost), and Acts 4:31 record the first church in Jerusalem receiving repeated in-fillings of the Holy Spirit! Pentecost is the second and most widely known of these in-fillings.

So much for those who insist that God conform to their own preconceived notions! Jesus told Nicodemus "The wind blows where it pleases. You hear the sound of it, but you know neither where it comes from nor where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

What is the recipe for receiving the in-filling of the Holy Spirit?

If you reduce the Holy Spirit to a recipe, what you are left with is probably not the Holy Spirit.

When will I be ready for the Holy Spirit?

We can't fully surrender our wills until we are convinced we're in a hopeless situation. As long as we see a way out, we will generally opt for it. (Charles Stanley, "The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life")