Power of living

Victorious Christian living is possible! Tomorrow, May 28, 2023 is Pentecost Sunday on the church calendar.

It is a day we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem and the birth of the Christian Church! It is a beautiful narrative: “On the day of Pentecost, all believers were meeting together in one place.

Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

At that time, there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.” (Acts 2: 1-6 NLT).

The beginning, growth, development and the expansion of the Christian Church as recorded in the New Testament Bible took place completely under the work of the Holy Spirit-His presence, empowering and leading the Church. The work of the Holy Spirit in Christian life and service cannot be fully accounted for but include the following:

  • He gives and restores life. (see Gen 2:7; Psalm 104:24-30; Ezekiel 37: 1-14; Joel 2: 28-32; Rom 8: 9-11).
  • He calls and commissions workers for the service of Christ. (see Acts 13:2; 20:28).
  • He guides God’s servants where and when He wants to do as He desires. (see 1 Cor 2:13; 1 Pet 1:12).
  • He inspired the writing of Scripture (see 2 Tim 3: 16-17; 2 Pet 1: 20-21), instructing the Church in Christ’s message. (see John 14: 26; 1 Cor 12:3).
  • He bears witness to the power of the Good News in signs and wonders. (see Acts 14:3; Heb 2:4).
  • He teaches the truths of the Bible to God’s people. (see Acts 1:16; Heb 9:8; 10: 15-17; 1 Pet 1: 11-12).
  • He bears witness to Jesus and brings Him glory. (see John 15:26; 16:14).
  • He convicts people of their sinfulness and need for the Good News. (see John 16:8).
  • He warns people against hardening their hearts. (see Heb 3:7-11).
  • He bestows gifts upon God’s people. (see 1 Cor 12: 4-11) and He energises and equips them to share the Good News, serve the Lord, and work for the Kingdom of God, and live victorious Christian lives.

It is extremely important that as Christian believers, we come to know God the Holy Spirit very well and walk with Him closely.

Let me ask a practical question: “Why is it that some believers grow in Christ to become mature, well balanced, fruitful and effective Christian disciples, while others spend most of their lives defeated, frustrated and unproductive?”

I tell you, the difference will be whether a person knows God the Holy Spirit well and he or she is regularly walking in step with the Holy Spirit.

Do you know the Holy Spirit as regenerator, or the one who makes us experience a new birth in Christ, and the one who empowers us to live lifestyles of godliness with integrity? Do you know the Holy Spirit?

Has He regenerated you or made you a brand new person from the inside? Have you been born again by the Holy Spirit? Have you been in-filled by the Holy Spirit? Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit since you believed?

Have you been empowered by the Holy Spirit for victorious Christian living and effective Christian service? Are you walking in step with the Holy Spirit?

You may ask: how can I obtain the infilling of the Holy Spirit?

The promise of the Holy Spirit Baptism is for all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, in all generations.

The first step, to receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit is to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord; that we rest entirely upon the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, upon His death on the cross as our substitute, and as the only basis for our acceptance before God.

The Repentance that leads to salvation is to change our minds on who Jesus really is and to believe in Him as God, Redeemer, Saviour and Lord. (see Romans 10:9). Then we receive new life in Christ and the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us.

The second step is to renounce all sin. The Holy Spirit is utterly holy, and we must make a clean-cut choice between the Holy Spirit and sinful, unholy lifestyle. We cannot have both.

The third step is to make and openly declare that you have turned your back on sinful, unholy lifestyle and to now embrace and follow Jesus closely. (see Acts 2:18).

The fourth step is obedience. This is one of the most fundamental things in receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit-the unconditional surrender of the will to God. “The Holy Spirit does not operate on an surrendered person.” A willingness to obey Christ and His Word is critical to receiving the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must be Lord and Master (or new Managing Director) when He comes in. (see Acts 5:32).

The fifth step is thirst or very deep desire for the in-filling of the Holy Spirit. We can find the fifth step in John 7:37-39a AMP:  “Now on the last and most important day of the feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, ‘if any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!

He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, from his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.’

But He was speaking here of the Spirit..” When you really thirst, it seems as if every cell in your body has just one cry, “Water, water, water.” Now apply this to baptism with the Holy Spirit.

When you truly thirst for Him, your whole being has just one cry (O God, give me the Holy Spirit, O Lord Jesus baptise me with the Holy Spirit”). Is your hunger and thirst for the Holy Spirit deep enough?

The sixth step is to ask God for specific and definite blessing of the Holy Spirit baptism. Jesus said, “ if you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13 NIV).

The seventh and final step is faith. Simply expecting from God what you ask-the baptism with the Holy Spirit! No matter how definite any promise of God’s word may be, we never realise it in our own experience until we believe it.

“For this reason, I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe [trust and be confident], that it is granted to you and you will [get it]” (Mark 11:24 AMP).

May God bless you with the infilling of the Holy Spirit and power to live a victorious Christian life.

 The author is a consultant in authentic Christian Spirituality and Discipleship and former CEO of Scripture Union)

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