- Two Types of Spirits – As we study the Bible we see that the Bible speaks of two spiritual kingdoms – the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. These kingdoms are ruled by two distinct spirits – the Spirit of Truth (God and true believers) and the spirit of error (Satan and unbelievers). Eph 2:2 describes the natural state into which we are all born and in which the vast majority of mankind dies as they travel the broad road that leads to destruction.
1 John 4:6 “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
John 14:17 “… the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
Eph 2:2 “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan], the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”
- The Spirit and the Word at Work in Salvation – The Holy Spirit works through the words of Scripture. This is the means whereby a person receives the gift of salvation, or eternal life. This is what is in view in Luke 4:18 when Jesus spoke of being empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish the awesome task of saving His people from their sins. God vividly depicts the problem that man has brought upon himself, and the solution that only God can provide in Eze 36.
Rom 10:17 “… faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…”
John 3:5 “… Except a man be born of water [typifying the Word of God] and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth [make alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
Eze 36:26 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
- He Works Repentance unto Salvation – Unless God directly intercedes in an individuals’ life, he can never repent and become saved. One might repent from some outward sins but never can repent inside out, from his sinful nature, which is genuine repentance. “Repentance” is metanoeo (G3340), signifying a “change of mind or understanding or a renewed mind”. One can demonstrate remorse at what he had done (based on the “sorrow of the world”), but not repentance (based on “godly sorrow”), which is a gift from God and has everything to do with salvation. God utilizes His divine words of the Bible to give people spiritual life in their souls. As one reads the Bible, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment, as we find in John 16:8. As God opens our spiritual eyes and ears to comprehend our spiritually dead condition, we realize that we are sinners by birth and by nature, and that we have violated God’s Word, the Bible.
2 Cor 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
2 Tim 2:24-26 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
Acts 11:18 “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”
Rom 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
- He Indwells the New (Resurrected) Soul – What actually takes place in salvation? God uses many analogies in the Bible to describe how and where one is born from above, or becomes saved. One such picture is circumcision. God informs us that physical circumcision could accomplish nothing in and of itself, but was merely a sign pointing to a far greater spiritual reality of circumcision of “heart”. When God refers to the “heart” and the “spirit” (as we read in Eze 36:26), He is speaking metaphorically of our soul, the invisible part of our personality that will exist forever. God often speaks of circumcision in terms that can only be properly understood to mean spiritual circumcision. That is the meaning of the “circumcision made without hands” mentioned in Col 2:11. And what “instrument” is used to perform this type of “surgery” on one’s heart (or soul)? It can only be the “Sword of the Spirit” – the Word of God, the Bible – as Heb 4:12 indicates.
Rom 2:29 “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
Php 3:3 “For we [believers] are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
Col 2:10-11 “And ye are complete in him [Christ], which is the head of all principality and power: 11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:”
Eph 6:17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
Heb 4:12 “For the word of God is quick [or living], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Tit 3:5-7 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
- He Causes the Christian to Believe and to be Sanctified – “Belief”, or “faith”, is indeed a gift that God bestows on all of His children in mercy, since the recipients of this wonderful gift are totally undeserving of it. We learn that in order to enter Heaven we must be “holy”; and the only way we can become holy is by being clothed with the holiness, or righteousness, of God Himself. The Greek word for “holiness” is translated as “sanctification”. It is vital to understand than man is born spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, and this deadness prevents him from doing anything in order to become saved. Thus, salvation is an impossibility for man – except by the wonderful grace of God alone.
Rom 10:17 “… faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
Gal 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Heb 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
2 The 2:13 “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”
- He Will Open Believer’s Spiritual Eyes and Ears to Scriptures – Lord Jesus declared in John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit will guide believers into all truth. The Greek word for “guide” “hod” is also translated into English as “lead”. The Holy Spirit guides every true Christian into all truth from the Scriptures as they learn more and more about their blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He not only teaches us the truth from the Bible, but also causes us to remember it.
John 16:13-15 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
John 14:26“ But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
1 Cor 2:13 “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
- He Moves the Child of God to Obedience – When someone becomes saved he is a “new creature” (creation) in Christ, and God works in his life “to will and to do of his good pleasure” according to Php 2:13. This means that he will increasingly have a genuine motivation to obey the Bible. This means that when God redeems somebody, he acquires a new set of thoughts, words, and actions, which could be compared to learning a new language in a different culture. Tit 3:5 informs us that this renewing has to do with salvation and is the work of God the Holy Spirit.
Rom 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Tit 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
- He Gives Us Access to the Father – In fact, the Holy Spirit is intimately involved in the Christian’s prayer life. Only He can help us pray “according to the will of God”. This gracious fellowship with the Father by means of prayer is such a wonderful comfort, since quite often we find ourselves worried and beset by our own sin as well as the problems we face on a daily basis.
Eph 2:18 “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
1 Cor 2:11 “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
1 John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”
Rom 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Php 4:6-7 “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- He is the Down Payment and Seal of Our Salvation – Last, but certainly not least, each “born-again” Christian has the incomparable awareness that his body is now the temple of God. As incredible as that may seem, a true believer has become the dwelling-place of the living God. The true believer has also been given the Holy Spirit as the “earnest”, or down payment, of their salvation. Our physical bodies are merely “tabernacles”, or tents that are used briefly during our earthly pilgrimage; but our eternal home is God Himself: May God give us a greater sensitivity to the Sword of the Spirit – God’s Word – as we strive for greater obedience and humility in our lives.
Rom 5:9 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
2 Cor 1:22 “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
2 Cor 5:1-5 “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.