I have always known since I can remember anything in this world that God the Father loves me, and God the Son (Jesus) loves me, and I knew that the Third Person of the Godhead is totally committed to the plan of salvation. But I have been deeply impressed as I’ve studied Romans on my current cycle through the TILE Bible reading calendar (available at www.thisislifeeternal.org) with how very personally involved the Holy Spirit is with me and with ALL who believe in Jesus.
Some years ago I memorized John 14 with all its beautiful promises. Following the Last Supper, as the disciples walked together to the Mount of Olives, Jesus shared rich truths with them (chapters 14-17). Jesus knew His time had come and wanted them to know that after He was no longer personally with them, they would be given the Holy Spirit Who would comfort them and teach them, and NEVER leave them!(John 14:16) This part of the Godhead known as the Holy Spirit seems to be gifted at serving the other two Members! (Please read John 16:13,14. This is humility within the Godhead!)
All through the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is active. A couple examples follow. Judges 13:24,25 gives a brief glimpse: “When her son was born, they (Manoah and his wife), named him Samson. And the Lord blessed him as he grew up. And in Mahaneh-dan…the Spirit of the Lord began to take hold of him.” Another reference is Exodus 35:31 where Moses writes: “The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts.”
So–what was different about the Holy Spirit’s work in the Old Testament? Could it be that with God “the Son” working closely with the human family on earth since sin occurred (I Cor. 10:4), there was a limiting factor as to how much the Holy Spirit could do at that time? Would there be accusations from Satan that the conflict was becoming “unfair” because it was Two against one? Some questions I realize must be put on hold until the day I can talk to Jesus!
Jesus told His disciples that He was going to send them a Gift that would be an essential part of their lives after He went back to heaven(John 14:26). They were to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them at which time they would receive power to tell people about Jesus everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus’ resurrection, the believers were meeting together in one place, including Jesus’ mother and brothers (Acts 1:14 and 2:1). Suddenly, the Holy Spirit came with a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the sky, and it filled the house where they were meeting with tongues of fire and they settled on each one of them! Godly Jews from many nations were in Jerusalem at that time, they heard the sounds and came running to see what it was all about. They were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers!
This was the beginning of a world-wide, pervasive power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the disciples were going to do greater things than He had done (John 14:12,13). But there was no way they could have done it without the presence, direction and help of the Holy Spirit(John 14:16-18). Pentecost coincided exactly with the Festival of Harvest which had been kept by the Jews for thousands of years. Truly it was a great harvest of souls reaped in the early years following Jesus ascension, and was to continue until the final events of this earth’s history as we now know it.
Now, back to Romans. In chapter 1, vs. 4 it states that God raised Jesus “through the power of the Holy Spirit!” Chapter 5, vs. 3-5:(NLT) says “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us–they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us, For we know how DEARLY God loves us, BECAUSE HE HAS GIVEN US the HOLY SPIRIT to FILL OUR HEARTS WITH HIS LOVE!!” Thank You, Holy Spirit! For being such an effective Member of the Godhead Team!
Romans 8:9,11(NASB)”However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. …But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through HIS SPIRIT WHO DWELLS IN YOU.”
I now am convicted that the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in every believer will raise ALL the faithful when Jesus comes to finally take us home to join His heavenly family in a relationship that all other beings in the universe will observe with awe and wonder. Thank You, dear Holy Spirit for Your power living in us! I also see God the Father and God the Son working right alongside the Holy Spirit in the culmination of the plan of redemption which was formed before the foundations of the earth were laid!
There’s more, oh, my! Tears flow. Romans 8:15: “So, you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into His family –calling Him ‘Father, dear Father.’ For His Holy Spirit speaks to us DEEP IN OUR HEARTS and TELLS US THAT WE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN.” Keep reading your Bibles dear readers! If you continue in chapter 8 you will find more that the Holy Spirit does for us: when we don’t even know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words! And the Father Who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads FOR US BELIEVERS IN HARMONY WITH GOD’S OWN WILL!
I have been shaken in my conviction that I have been way under appreciative to the Holy Spirit for the marvelous, wonderful work He does for EACH believer. Thank You, God! Thank You, Jesus! And, dear Holy Spirit, forgive my sin of omission – failing to realize how much I owe to You. Thank You, dear Spirit, for filling me with God’s love, and for praying for me in ways that I can never ever achieve in this world. Please equip me to share this message in a way that will enlarge the Kingdom of God!