Dat Holy Spirit Life

A 2020 Biblical Youth Investigation
By: Zion Saheli, Dream Hudson, Jason X. Heard, Khyla Gaston, Aaron Featherstone,
Hannah Jefferson, Samari Nash, & (Dr. Ammar Saheli, Class Teacher)

This essay, written by a collection of Northern California Christian youth during the COVID-19 – year 2020 pandemic, is designed to provide a brief, yet intimate look at the connections and inner-workings of the Holy Spirit. The Christian youth connected to this essay engaged in a seven-month study of the Holy Spirit and they are sharing their results with you. Enjoy! A special word of thanks to all the participating youth and the parents that made it possible for them to attend and engage.

By way of the Holy Spirit, He is not designed to be confusing, distant, or illusive. Without the divine and energizing work of the Spirit, Christianity fails. The presence of God has always existed with humanity. God was present in the Garden of Eden, the wilderness tabernacle, the temples, and now the life of every believer. About the intimate work of the Holy Spirit, it is Paul that reminds us, “…hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5 ESV). This is intimate language.

The mission of Christ and the equipping essence of Christian conversion and transfiguration is rooted in the work of the Holy Spirit. Despite the centrality of the Spirit in the life of every Christian and those seeking Christ, many are unaware of His identity, work, power, and position within the Godhead. Far too many Christians view the Holy Spirit as a mythic and unknowable force; He is often discussed as a disconnected aspect of the Christian faith. A Christian disconnected from the Holy Spirit is likened to a husband or wife saying they do not really know their spouse (someone they sleep next to every night). Consider a military soldier in the midst of battle being unaware of how to use their tactical equipment. The Christian that is unaware of the workings of the Holy Spirit can be equated to the in-danger soldier in a war that does not know how to use their combat resources. 

The God that we serve is clear and exact about how He engages with us. Revelation is critical; the only way we know anything about God is through what He has revealed to us through His Word and Spirit. The Word of God is replete with contextual blessings, messages, and instruction about who the Holy Spirit is and how He works. A time arrives when the Christian no longer has an excuse for not knowing about the Holy Spirit that dwells within the believer. Again, it was Paul that said, “…these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11 ESV).

Although most of this information will address the Holy Spirit from a New Testament perspective, He is introduced to us in supreme power at the beginning of the Biblical narrative. Prophet Moses recorded, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2 ESV). This essay is designed to highlight some of the revelatory and empowering aspects of the Spirit, as He works with and through the church and believer as the Comforter, Advocate, Paraclete, Helper, Counselor, Companion, and so much more. As will be shared through this brief narrative, the Holy Spirit seals and lives within us. We are prepared, built, born of, and justified by the Spirit. Additionally, we are washed, sanctified, and circumcised by Him and because of that, we should not grieve or quench the Holy Spirit.

Sealed by the Spirit
Based on Ephesians 1:12-14, when accepting Christ we are marked with God’s holy stamp and are given the Holy Spirit. This is an indwelling gift we possess and He remains with us throughout this life here on Earth. He convicts us, fills us with joy, and helps us spiritually discern things of this life. Based on Ephesians 4:29-31, just as a man would leave his mother and father, and a daughter her mother and father to become one with her husband and the man his wife, we do the same when accepting the Holy Spirit. We leave the flesh and the desires of this world to become one with Christ, and the Father through the Holy Spirit. We leave our sinful past and fleshly desires to become one with the Holy Spirit. Motivated by 2 Corinthians 1:22, we have the Spirit of God put in us when He calls us and we harken to his invitation. We have the presence of God in us while we walk on this Earth, through the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps we can view the sealing of the Holy Spirit through a prism of duality. On one level, we are sealed by way of an identifying mark of sanctification. The people of God possess the unmistakable Holy Spirit mark of God. Additionally, the Holy Spirit seals or locks us within the salvific plan of God. God alone can open and remove the salvation seal of the believer.

The Holy Spirit Lives Within Us
To many, the Holy Spirit is a figure that exists but is often regarded as a mysterious figure that only lives within the canon of the Bible. When it comes down to visualizing what the Godhead may look like, we have the classical images of God and Jesus to rely upon; but when it comes to the Spirit, this is where some problems may arise. What do you think of when the Spirit is mentioned? A traditional ghost? An Angel? Or perhaps an ethereal being that is beyond comprehension? I for one, have all images constantly interchanging because I believe that the image should not matter. A person might ask, “Why doesn’t it matter?” It does not matter because the Spirit dwells within the ones who were baptized in the name of Jesus the Christ. 

In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NLT), Paul states, “Don’t you realize that of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, those that move on belief and faith are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Through that rebirth (as discussed later), Christians now had the Spirit dwelling within them, becoming their own tabernacle.

In 2 Timothy 1:13-14 (NLT), Paul says, “Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me–a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.” This segment carries on with the idea that being imbued by the Holy Spirit, we became our own tabernacle. This means that we have full access to God at all times. In order to keep and not grieve or quench the Holy Spirit, one must live a righteous life in the eyes of God, but a life of sin may lead to forfeiture of the Spirit and salvation.

Living a righteous life is the ideal situation for a Christian, but like everything in life, struggles and hardships could place burdens on one’s consciousness and body. First Peter 4:14 (NLT) stipulates, “If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.” Hardship and stress will come from many places, but the hardships and struggles are not meaningless. Each struggle is an opportunity to learn as a Christian and person, for God allows certain things and events to happen so you as a person may grow. Like how Peter states, if you are insulted or picked on for being a child of God you will certainly be blessed. In the grand scheme of things, the hardship should not be looked at in distaste, but gratefully, for it is a chance to spiritually mature.

Finally, in 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT), Paul says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of God? You do not belong to yourself.” Paul identifies that through the Spirit living within us, we are not our own. We are a purchased possession, sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. The key point back to understanding emphasizes that our bodies are now the temple in which the Spirit lives. Living a life of sin is detrimental because it directly defiles the temple. Defiling the temple can be demonstrated through a self-destructive lifestyle such as lust, jealousy, envy, division and acts of wrongdoing. This can come through many forms such as a self-destructive lifestyle, lust, or acts of wrongdoing. Like anything of value, it requires attention and care. Your temple is of value to God and requires that you strive to keep your body and mind clean, presentable and in good physical and spiritual condition. Before moving to the next section, it is important to share that the Spirit is an active part of the glorious Godhead and access to the Spirit is not as obscure as you may think.

Prepared/Built by and Born of the Spirit 
The Bible records in 2 Corinthians 5:5 that God gives us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee for the new life in Christ. The new life is when you are pricked by the Spirit and baptized into Christ, with all sins being washed away. Before being baptized you must receive or be touched by the Holy Spirit. The encounter should be unmistakable, experienced and felt as God’s overwhelming presence. Ephesians 2:22 indicates that (Christians) are being built in a place where God lives through the Spirit. If God builds Christians in a place where He lives through the Spirit, then it is determined that, we shall receive the Holy Spirit, which is from God. Also, based on Ephesians 2:18, the people of God all have access to the Father by the Holy Spirit. So therefore, the Holy Spirit connects us with God. In Galatians 4:29, it says that the son, who is born according to the flesh, persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. Yes, everyone is born by the flesh, but not everyone is in possession of the Holy Spirit. When you have the Holy Spirit, you are not like everyone who lives within the ways of the world. Possession of the Holy Spirit is what makes a person spiritual. Those only born by the flesh may treat you wrong because they do not have the Holy Spirit.

Washed, Sanctified, & Justified 
While illustrating the immense grace and gift of God toward the church, Paul said, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). Far too often, the work of the Holy Spirit is underestimated. This text illustrates that the act of the believer being washed, sanctified, and justified is an impossibility without the Spirit. 

First Corinthians 6:10 explains that before we were renewed, some Christians were drunkards, revilers, and extortioners, but by the grace of God, we have been washed by the blood of Christ. Titus 3:5 (ESV) says, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” The washing process is also the renewal of the Holy Spirit. We were able to be washed and renewed through the mercy of our Lord God, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Righteousness is not the reason for our works, the Holy Spirit is.

The Apostle Paul said, “ But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruitsto be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13, ESV). Additionally, Romans 15:13-16 explains how we are able to admonish our church family as a result of being filled with knowledge and goodness, due to sanctification. In sanctification, we have been “set apart” or “made holy”. We were justified in the name of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God, meaning our God has declared us righteous. 

We Are Circumcised by the Spirit 
As previously stated in the introduction, the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the beginning of Scripture. The way the Spirit is revealed in the Old Testament is different from the Spirit revealed in the church-age. Under the Patriarchal and Mosaic covenants, we find God dispensing the Spirit upon people in various situations and contexts. By the time we biblically arrive to the church-age era, the Spirit dwells within the people of God as a permanent fixture.

In addition to the indwelling essence and power of the Spirit, the Apostle Paul juxtaposed the Old Testament usage of circumcision with New Testament conversion and transfiguration. The people of Israel (primarily boys, eight days old), were identified as the people of God through the physical and painful procedure of circumcision. Again, Paul flips the circumcision theology on its head in the letter to the Christians that lived in Rome. Old Testament circumcision functioned as a shadow, but was fully revealed under New Testament construction. Circumcision was introduced as a physically religious surgical procedure, but in its finality, it is a deep spiritual and cosmic concept. Notice what Paul said: 

Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. (Romans 2:27-29 ESV)

Paul made it clear that physical circumcision, as a theological necessity and source of salvation, was outdated in modality, but spiritual circumcision is required. Not only is it required, but spiritual circumcision is also an operation on the heart and performed by the Holy Spirit. How does this happen? How does the spiritual operation occur? Paul said, “…And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5 ESV). In their approach and coming to Christ, the hearts of humanity are changed, circumcised, and cut through by the pouring in of the Holy Spirit.

Do Not Grieve or Quench the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is our guide, comforter, aid, protector and most importantly, He is the third person of the Godhead. God would never give us anything we cannot handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). The Bible records, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30 ESV). Grieving the Holy Spirit is holding on to distress and past pain that is relentless and exhausting, leading to trauma, out of the ordinary behavior, and addictions. Ephesians chapter four highlights the predominant word of grieving and emphasizes how we are to be renewed in our minds and souls, pertaining to the old life we have lived. The Holy Spirit has five sins that can be committed by the Church. Not relying on the Holy Spirit, acting in and harboring bitterness, and denying or disobeying the Spirit includes grieving the Holy Spirit.

The Bible says to be forgiving of one another and especially to yourself. Quenching the Holy Spirit affects the movement made by the Spirit. Paul says clearly, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 ESV). Christian disobedience hinders our access and equipping use of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Thessalonians 5:15 (ESV), the apostle Paul said, “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” We sin when we both quench and grieve the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not fail our soul, and to be more in tune with Him we have to choose to be hearers and doers of the Word for our lives. Without the guidance and work of the Spirit, successful Christian living is not possible.

Philippians 3:3 states, “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh” (NIV). In this whole chapter, Paul is writing out ways for us to have a safeguard from “dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.” Through Philippians 3:3 Paul high
lights Salvation by faith. Faith is a very important tool as a Christian and it takes a lot of understanding, as well as studying to grow to strengthen your faith. He instructs us to boast in Christ Jesus, to give up in the flesh by a formal declaration of Christ, making our faith known through the power of the Spirit. We must continually remember not to put our faith and worship into the flesh.

As Christians, young ones especially, it tends to be a big challenge to put all of our faith into the Holy Spirit, given the fact that the Holy Spirit is not present the way God and Jesus revealed themselves in tangible incarnations.

This essay highlights the fact that people were able to observe God and Jesus. Moreover, we are left with the gift, known as the third person of the Godhead. The work of the Holy Spirit is more intimate because He is not physically present, but indwells, consumes, and saturates believers. The Holy Spirit seals and lives with and within us.

In addition, for most of year 2020, during our virtual Wednesday night Bible class, we engaged in a thorough study of who the Holy Spirit is and what He does for us, as our Protector and Savior.

For 2021, May God Bless & Be With You!
January 1, 2021

Posted on January 1, 2021, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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