This is Lesson #3, in the 10 Ways to be a Stronger Christian series. The third key ingredient to making you a strong, solid believer is being passionate about the Holy Spirit.
If there’s anything that is needed in the earth today, it is the work of the Holy Spirit! In this lesson, we’ll begin to look at the power of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit that is monumentally necessary for every believer’s life.
To be a truly successful believer, you need to be passionate about the Holy Spirit. God wants you to desire the operation of His gifts in your life, your church, and your community in the same way He operated in the Early Church.
Do Not Be Discouraged
The lessons in this study of 10 Ways to be a Stronger Christian are based on a study I worked through by Rick Renner Ministries.
The precious Word of God states in Romans 8:1 (MEV): There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Therefore, do not allow the Adversary to bring condemnation for areas throughout this study series where you may be weak. Ask your Heavenly Father to help you become stronger and He will!
Recap of Previous Lessons
So far, we’ve looked at two of the ten ingredients required to be a Stronger Christian in this life: In Lesson 1, parts 1 and 2, we covered being passionate about lost souls. In Lesson 2 we covered being passionate about the Word of God.
We know that where the Word is taught and preached, the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit is found. This truth takes us into today’s lesson; being passionate about the Holy Spirit.
Jesus and the Holy Spirit Are Inseparable
The believers in the First Century had a passion for the Holy Spirit’s power and for experiencing His gifts at work among them. We see this throughout the book of Acts. Yet no one on earth knew the Holy Spirit better and more intimately than Jesus Himself.
From the beginning of His life in His earthly ministry through the end of His life and His resurrection, Christ was inseparably connected with the Person and power of the Holy Spirit.
Below is a list of 9 intimate roles the Holy Spirit played in Jesus’ life.
- Conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary (see Matthew 1:20).
- Baptized by the Holy Spirit at the Jordan River (see Matthew 3:16).
- Led by the Holy Spirit before, during, and after His testing in the wilderness (see Luke 4:14).
- Empowered to minister by the Holy Spirit (see Luke 4:18, 19).
- Raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8:11).
Jesus Empowered by the Holy Spirit:
- Cast out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit (see Matthew 12:28).
- Healed others by the power of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 5:17).
- Taught about the Holy Spirit (see John chapters 14-16).
- Offered Himself up and was crucified in the power of the Holy Spirit (see Hebrews 9:14).
Before His final ascension into Heaven, Jesus promised the baptism in the Holy Spirit to His disciples (see Acts 1:8). Once at the Father’s right hand, He poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:33).
From the beginning to the end of His life in His earthly ministry, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were inseparable. Everything Christ did, He did in partnership with the Spirit.
Should we expect to be successful if we do anything less?
The Disciples Mirrored Their Master
We learned that the first 12 individuals Jesus chose to accompany Him in the ministry were first called “disciples.”
The word “disciple” is the Greek word mathetes, which essentially means learners.
It carries the idea of a student who is completely submitted to his master and will do anything that is requested. The disciple’s job was to duplicate whatever the master did. All of this meaning is inherent in the word “disciple.”
The disciples watched Jesus, walked with Jesus, and ministered with Jesus for more than three years. They saw His total dependence on the Holy Spirit, and everything He did, they replicated in their own lives and ministries.
Once Jesus ascended into Heaven, the remaining 11 disciples became the original apostles and their apostolic ministries began in full force. They did what Jesus did by:
- Ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Preached the Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Healed the sick in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Everything the apostles did, they did in partnership with the Holy Spirit — just as their Master Jesus Christ had demonstrated.
References to the Holy Spirit
The apostles had an addiction to the Holy Spirit’s ministry! They understood that if they tried to do anything without Him, their efforts would be futile and fruitless.
Interestingly, in the NLT translation of the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is mentioned 200 plus, times.
This signifies the major importance of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is referred to so frequently, how vital do you think He should be in our life?
From Genesis to Revelation, I have found the Holy Spirit is symbolically depicted in 14 different forms. You can read the post here.
When you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, He changes the way you feel and the perspective in which you see things. Everything changes when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. That’s because He is God’s wine for the believer.
The Book of Acts: A Pattern for the Church
The book of Acts was written by Luke, and this book not only contains the history of the Early Church, but it is also a pattern for the Church of all generations. What happened in Acts is what is supposed to be happening in the life of every believer and every church throughout all generations.
Jesus’ last words before His ascension were a promise that the Holy Spirit’s power would be available to all believers. He said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you….” – Acts 1:8
His words were fulfilled. It says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Never underestimate the power of speaking in other tongues. When you speak in other tongues, it moves you into a supernatural dimension.” – Acts 2:4
We see the Holy Spirit
- Working through Peter and John as they laid their hands on the lame man near the temple, and the man was instantly healed. – (see Acts 3:6-8)
- Working through the apostles so powerfully that not only were they laying hands on people and the people were getting well, but even the sick who were laid in the path of Peter’s shadow received healing. – (see Acts 5:12-15)
- The apostle Philip was also used mightily by the Holy Spirit among the people in the city of Samaria. Scripture says, “Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed.” – Acts 8:6 – 7
- The gift of prophecy was in operation through a believer named Agabus. (see Acts 11:28)
- Approximately 24 years had passed since the Day of Pentecost. Paul was making a return visit to the city of Ephesus, and he encountered a group of John the Baptist’s disciples. After leading them to salvation in Christ, he laid hands on them to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. (Acts 19:2-6)
Over and Over, we see the same kinds of things happening throughout Acts. The Lord gave us this book as a pattern of what is supposed to happen in the life of every believer and every church throughout all generations.
Desire Spiritual Gifts
God encourages us to desire spiritual gifts.
In 1 Corinthians 14:1, we are told to “Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy….”
The word “desire” is the Greek word zeloo, and it is a word intended to imitate the sound of boiling water. It means to bubble over because something is so hot; to burn with zeal; to be deeply committed to a thing; to set one’s heart on something. It is where we get the word “zeal.”
This means we’re to be bubbling over with zeal for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are to be deeply committed to the operation of spiritual gifts and to be earnest about them. We’re to set our heart upon them and be completely zealous when it comes to operating in this supernatural dimension — in the work of the Holy Spirit.
If there is no miraculous working of the Holy Spirit in your life, you will probably experience frustration, marginal fruit, and very little power. That is why you need to have a passion for the Holy Spirit in your life. He will help you be a strong, mature believer, ready for whatever comes your way.
In the next lesson, we will look at the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Questions for Consideration
If you have not experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit but would like to, the promises of Acts 2:38-39 and Luke 11:9-13 will be encouraging for you to read.
What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you in these passages?
Be honest. How much do you rely on and include the Holy Spirit’s help and friendship in your daily life?
What do you regularly ask Him for help with?
How has He specifically helped you do what you could never have done on your own?
What area(s) of your life have you not asked Him for help with in the past, but you plan on inviting Him to help you with moving forward?
1 Corinthians 14:1 instructs us to “desire spiritual gifts.” This means we’re to be bubbling over with zeal for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We’re to be deeply committed to the operation of spiritual gifts and to be earnest about them.
After hearing this definition of the word “desire,” would you say that you desire spiritual gifts?
If not, why not?
How has this lesson changed your perspective on this subject?
Scriptures used are from biblegateway.com and unless otherwise noted, I’m using the New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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