As we carefully study the Bible, we learn that in the past, for centuries, the Holy Spirit came upon a select people but for a short period. But Jesus made a promise about the Holy Spirit before ascending to heaven and said:
“The Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him and doesn’t know him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.” John 14:17
So there are these two distinct phrases in this verse, the Holy Spirit "living with" us and "being in" us. The first phrase indicates that the Holy Spirit lives with all believers who accept Jesus Christ. But the second phrase refers to a new experience that the Holy Spirit will live in believers soon. Therefore, Jesus asked his disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit:
“Being assembled together with them, he commanded them, “Don’t depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1: 4-5
And when the day of Pentecost came, Jesus fulfilled his promise, and believers were filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time:
“Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.” Acts 2:2-4
This promise wasn’t only for the disciples but for the entire church, which includes all the believers. This incident didn’t take place only then but was repeated throughout history. The Holy Spirit fell upon Christians several times, as reported in Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 10:44, as well as today. The Apostle Paul dedicated chapters 12 and 14 of his first letter to the Corinthians to educate the early Christians about the Holy Spirit. Likewise, Apostle Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost and quoted this verse from the book of Joel 2:28-29:
“It will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:17-18
The experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a one-time life event. As recorded in Acts 2:2-4, 4:8, and 4:31, the same believers experienced the filling of the Holy Spirit multiple times. Accordingly, the Scriptures urge us to be filled continually:
“Don’t be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
The undeniable influence and work of the Holy Spirit is evident in the "gifts" and the "fruit" of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit grants special abilities to believers according to his will (1 Corinthians 12:11). These abilities are called the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit, like patience, love, and kindness, is the byproduct of the work of the Holy Spirit and our obedience to his guidance. The fruit of the Holy Spirit directly reflects our spiritual maturity and the level of our dedication. In contrast, the "gift" of the Holy Spirit is granted to us not based on our commitment but solely on the discretion and foreknowledge of the Holy Spirit. In other words, one who receives extraordinary gifts does not necessarily have greater spiritual maturity. This may seem hard to digest, but we will discuss it further in the following chapters by referencing verses from the Bible.
Please click on “Fruit of the Spirit” to continue.
- The Holy Spirit provides wisdom, strength, and courage to live a purposeful life.
- The Holy Spirit enters our lives the day we sincerely decide to trust and follow Jesus.
- True: The Holy Spirit motivates us to live a new and honorable life.
- True: We begin living a new life when the presence of the Holy Spirit.