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Let’s say you are thinking about buying a particular book. Are you more likely to buy that book because the author says it’s good, because a book reviewer says it’s good, or because a close friend says it’s good? I think all of us give more weight to the suggestions from our friends, especially because they have nothing to gain from making that suggestion.
In the same way, when someone close to us says, “I know from personal experience that following Jesus is the best decision that I have ever made. Making Jesus my Lord and Savior has completely changed everything for me,” it’s easier for us to make that same decision for ourselves.
The deeper the level of our intimacy with someone usually means we have more influence with them.
The Holy Spirit is as much a Person as Jesus. As much as Jesus dominates the pages of the Gospels, the Holy Spirit dominates the pages of The Book of Acts.
Jesus told us all about the Holy Spirit when He was discussing His ascension. He wasn’t going to leave us as orphans, but told us of the intimate connection the Spirit would make for us. For instance, Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you for ever—the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:16-17).
Notice that Jesus considers the Holy Spirit an irreplaceable and coequal part of the Godhead—I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor (see also Matthew 3:16-17; Luke 10:21; Matthew 28:19).
The word Jesus uses for Counselor is parakletos. This means One who comes alongside to help us. I like all the words the Amplified Bible uses: “Comforter—Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby.” Indeed, Luke records numerous instances where the Holy Spirit is alongside Christians to strengthen and encourage them (for instance: Acts 4:8, 6:10, 9:31).
Notice as well that Jesus tells us that as a part of the Trinity the Holy Spirit is eternal: “to be with you for ever.” Because the Holy Spirit is fully God, He knows the end from before the beginning. His perspective is infinite, so He can guide us in ways that only One who can see everything could guide us. For example, He leads us to places we might not have chosen on our own (Luke 4:1; Acts 8:29), or stops us from going somewhere at the wrong time (Acts 16:7), or talking with people we might have overlooked (Acts 10:19, 11:12).
Jesus also calls the Him the Spirit of Truth. He reveals things that we could not have perceived with our natural minds (see Acts 5:1-9).
And Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a great Teacher, “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). So we see the Holy Spirit helping us apply Scripture to our prayers (Acts 4:25-26) and to incredibly complex and delicate situations (Acts 11:15-18, 15:1-21).
The Holy Spirit is not a force to fear but a Person to know ever more intimately.
When our lives are transformed and expanding because of an intimate, ongoing, vibrate relationship with the Holy Spirit, we are witness (Acts 1:8). You cannot exhaust all that the Spirit has for you, so keep abiding and growing in that intimate relationship. Let it be said of you as it was said of Peter and John: “We can tell you have been with Jesus!” (Acts 4:13).
I’ve said this before, but I’m going to keep on saying it—Don’t stop at salvation, but press on to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Then allow Him to transform the way you think, love, and live!
If you’ve missed any of the messages in our series called We Are: Pentecostal, you can find them all by clicking here.
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