Stage 1

Holy Spirit

"...Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit" Ephesians 1:13 (see also 4:30; 2 Cor.1:22).
When Jesus went back to His Father, He did not abandon us as spiritual orphans in the world. He sent us his Holy Spirit into our lives. The Holy Spirit is the personal presence of God.
"...I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth...I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you...I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you..." John 14:16-18;16:5-7 (read Acts 2:1-4).
The Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons of the Godhead (Matthew 28:19). That means that although the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Father and the Son, He is indeed God (note Peter's words in Acts 5:3-4 and John's description of Jesus in John 1:1-2). All three Persons are actively involved in the process of salvation, as shown in this scripture:
"For through [Jesus] we both have access to the Father by one Spirit" Ephesians 2:18.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

"We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit" 1 John 4:13.
The Holy Spirit is God's gift to every believer. When a person personally receives Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to live on the inside, imparting spiritual life.
"Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call'" Acts 2:38-39 (see also John 7:37-39).

Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit has a two-fold ministry toward the believer:

In the believer

The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within the believer to help him to grow in the Lord. The Holy Spirit...
"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit" Jude 20.

Through the believer

The Holy Spirit also empowers the believer to serve and glorify God in the world. The Holy Spirit...

The New Way of the Spirit

"But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code" Romans 7:6.
The old way of religion is to try to be accepted by God through self-effort. But God's standard is so high, no one can reach it in their own strength. So the Gospel has introduced another way - "the new way of the Spirit." It is the Holy Spirit who causes us to live a life pleasing to God. He is the inner power which changes us from the inside out (2 Cor.3:17-18). He reveals the finished work of the Cross and makes it a daily reality in our life. He sets us free so that we can walk with God.
"...because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death" Romans 8:2.

Empowered by the Spirit

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses..." Acts 1:8 (see also Luke 24:49).
Not only does the Holy Spirit indwell the believer, but He also desires to fill him with power to be an effective witness. The Bible calls this infilling being "baptized in the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5). Just as water baptism means to be immersed in water, so baptism in the Holy Spirit means to be immersed in the power of God's Spirit. This is God's promise for every believer. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is:

A command from God

"Do not get drunk on wine...Instead, be filled with the Spirit" Ephesians 5:18 (see also Acts 4:31).

Something we ask for

"...how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13 (see also verses 9-12).
Being filled with the Holy Spirit manifests itself in a number of ways: a supernatural language (Acts 19:1-6), prophecy (1 Cor.14:5), signs and wonders (Hebrews 2:4; 1 Thess.1:5-6), other gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor.12:8-10), empowered prayer (Eph.6:18) and anointed worship (Phil.3:3). The Holy Spirit anoints us with the same anointing that Jesus had (Acts 10:38; John 14:12). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we become the hand of Jesus touching people's lives today.
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" Luke 4:18-19.
God desires every believer to experience the power of the Holy Spirit both in him (for personal growth) and through him (in empowered ministry to others).
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being...who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3:16,20.


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