The Holy Spirit

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Rexlion, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
    Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.


    Jesus said, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24). Genesis teaches us that God the Holy Spirit existed before the earth was given its form. When God created this place, the Father willed it into being, and the Son spoke with the ‘breath’ (so to speak) of the Holy Spirit to bring it into existence. The Hebrew word for ‘spirit’, ruach, comes from a root that indicates ‘wind’ or ‘breath.’ Likewise, the Greek word for ‘spirit’ is pneuma, which similarly denotes a blast of breath or a current of air.

    Thus, one of the noteworthy aspects of the Holy Spirit is His creative power. He has enough power to create an entire universe filled with thousands of galaxies as well as an earth teeming with a rich diversity of intricate living creatures. The Holy Spirit had the power to form the first humans from the dust of the earth and to breathe life and sentience into them. He has the power to know the mental thoughts and spiritual intents of multiple billions of people simultaneously, and the power to potentially interact on a personal level with each of those individuals.

    It was God the Holy Spirit who spoke to Abram:
    Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
    Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
    Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
    Gen 12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him;


    Because Abram followed the Holy Spirit’s directions in obedience, God changed Abram’s and Sarai’s names to Abraham and Sarah; He inserted the ‘ah,’ the sound of the breath of God, into their names.

    It was God the Holy Spirit who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush. The Holy Spirit told Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But Moses made many excuses, one of which can be seen here:
    Exo 4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
    Exo 4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
    Exo 4:12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

    God promised to supply Moses and Aaron with the right words to say by the breath of their mouths; essentially, the Holy Spirit spoke through His servants by guiding their hearts and minds and thereby giving into their thoughts the words they should speak.

    In Judaic tradition, when the shofar horn is blown by the breath of their mouths, the powerful breath of God is one of the things this is supposed to signify and remind them of.

    In His earthly ministry, Jesus understood the significance of this picture of the Holy Spirit as “God’s breath.” When speaking with Nicodemus, Jesus remarked:
    Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit
    .
    A modern gentile Christian might wonder why Jesus likened the Holy Spirit to the atmospheric wind, but the Jews of that day were being painted a meaningful picture.

    Likewise, a modern Christian might be perplexed as to Jesus’ purpose in blowing on His disciples:
    Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
    Joh 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

    Jesus was demonstrating to His disciples that the Holy Spirit was about to come upon them with power and endue them with authority. The same Holy Spirit who created the world and man, who led Abram out of Ur, and who spoke to and through Moses was about to enter into them, live inside them, guide and direct them, enable them, and empower them to go forth under divine authority to help fulfill the Great Commission.

    This is the same life-giving Holy Spirit who lives inside each genuine disciple of Jesus Christ.
    Rom_8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
    It is as if Jesus has personally breathed upon each one of us and has given us the same enduement from on high as He gave to those first disciples.
     
  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    We can see in the O.T. that the Holy Spirit interacted on a personal level with Abraham, Moses, and many others. He spoke through the prophets. The Holy Spirit anointed the kings of Israel, including Saul and David. He also provided wisdom and enablement to people for the fulfillment of specific tasks; for example:

    Exo 31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    Exo 31:2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
    Exo 31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
    Exo 31:4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
    Exo 31:5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
    Exo 31:6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;


    In these latter days, however, the Holy Spirit indwells every disciple of Jesus. What are some of the ways in which He interacts with individual Christians? We can find a number of them in this passage of Romans 8:
    Rom_8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    Rom_8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
    Rom_8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    Rom_8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    Rom_8:9 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.
    Rom_8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    Rom_8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
    Rom_8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
    Rom_8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    Rom_8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    Rom_8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:


    The Holy Spirit has “quickened” us, has given new life to us, by the renewal of our spirits and by His indwelling Presence (v. 11). Indeed, our mortal bodies are now temples of the Holy Spirit, as 1 Cor. 3:16 affirms: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

    The Holy Spirit confirms to us (“beareth witness with our spirit”) that we are spiritually-reborn, children of God (v. 16).

    He leads the believer (v.14) “in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Ps. 23). Conversely, we are told in v. 9 that “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ” and is therefore not being led by the Spirit, that man “is none of his.”

    According to verse 13, the Holy Spirit helps us to “mortify” (put to death) “the deeds of the body.” Anyone who tries to live a ‘good’ life without the indwelling Holy Spirit is incredibly handicapped in comparison with the Christian who strives to hear and follow the Holy Spirit’s good counsel. As verse 5 points out, “they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16 tells us, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

    The Holy Spirit assists us to live according to the following godly attributes:
    Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
    Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
    Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit
    .

    A person might be passably able to exhibit the above traits (v. 22-23) without being led by the indwelling Holy Spirit, but the yielded Christian is enabled by the Lord to do the same and can walk in them so much more readily. Besides, the non-Christian who manages to be loving, joyful, gentle, and so on will neither please God nor earn justification by so doing; his efforts are not only difficult, they are ultimately futile.
     
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Moving on to other scriptures, we learn that the Holy Spirit reveals mysteries about Himself to the believer.

    1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
    1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
    1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
    1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
    1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
    1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
    1Co 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.
    1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
    1Co 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.
    1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned
    .

    Here we see once again (v. 4) that the Holy Spirit helps the Christian know what to say to others; He gives wise words of advice, and He even provides demonstrations of His power. These demonstrations and words help others to have faith in God.

    Verse 9 quotes an O.T. scripture which said that many things were hidden from mankind before Christ’s advent. But verse 10 tells us that the indwelling Holy Spirit now reveals many of those mysteries and “deep things of God.”

    Verse 12 shows us that God wants us to “know the things that are freely given to us” by Him, and according to verse 14 the Holy Spirit is the One who teaches us these spiritual matters.

    Verse 12 says that the “natural man” (one who is not yet spiritually renewed in God’s image) cannot receive these things, because it all seems like “foolishness” to him; he lacks the spiritual discernment to hear the Holy Spirit’s inner witness and counsel.

    Ephesians 1:17 says, the Holy Spirit gives the Christian wisdom and revelation because we know Him.

    Eph. 2:18 says that the indwelling Holy Spirit is the One who gives us access to the Father. The fact that He lives within us gives us a ‘direct line’ in prayer.

    According to Eph. 2:22, the Holy Spirit is the One who builds us (disciples) together as the Body of Christ on earth, the “habitation of God” on this planet.

    In Eph. 3:16 we learn that the Holy Spirit strengthens us “with might...in the inner man” in accordance with “the riches of His glory.” Whereas the spirit of an unbeliever is weak and easily swayed by the sinful desires of the mind and flesh, the spirit of the yielded disciple of Christ is strengthened and enabled to oppose temptations.

    1 Thess. 2:13 says that the Holy Spirit sanctifies us.
     
  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    The Holy Spirit also interacts with others through us, by means of spiritual gifts.

    1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
    1Co 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
    1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
    1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
    1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
    1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
    1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
    1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
    1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
    1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
    1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.


    Some people (often called cessationists) believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased to be given after the last original apostle died. Yet the Holy Spirit is unchanging, and His love for people and desire that they might be saved has not changed. Irenaeus wrote in the late 2nd Century that these Spiritual gifts were in evidence during His days. If these gifts ceased to be evident at sometime afterward, which of the following is more likely: that men ceased to understand and accept the Spiritual gifts, or that God changed His mind about them? Jesus worked many signs, wonders, and miracles to show people that He is the Messiah. Then He breathed on the disciples and sent them out, whereupon they did the same (albeit in lesser measure, as the Spirit gifted them). We, His disciples, should remain open to the possibility that the Holy Spirit might at times give us a gift to fulfill a special task, to the glory of His name, and (as with everything else from Him) we should remain expectant, be willing to yield, and be quick to obey His leading whenever we sense it.

    Nevertheless, the gifts of the Spirit are not something we can 'force' to happen. And they should never, ever be faked.
     
  5. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Love, Joy, Peace,
    Patience, Kindness, Goodness,
    Gentleness, Self-Control, Faithfulness.
     
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  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Galatians 3 teaches us that the faith by which we receive God's grace is the same faith by which we receive the Holy Spirit. Abraham believed God and his faith "was accounted to him for righteousness." When we believe in God the Son, our faith is accounted to us for righteousness; what is more, through our faith the Holy Spirit "moves in" to live alongside our human spirit.

    Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
    Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
    Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
    Gal 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
    Gal 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
    Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
    Gal 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
    Gal 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
    Gal 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
    Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
    Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
    Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
    Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
    Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith
    .

    Although a disciple of Christ receives the Holy Spirit at the moment when he comes to faith in Christ, that is not the end of the matter. Throughout his lifetime the Christian is continually in need the Holy Spirit's assistance, and this calls for a continuing 'walk' of communication with the Holy Spirit and a lifetime of honing one's sensitivity to the quiet, gentle 'voice' of the indwelling Spirit. For God rarely shouts at us. He encourages us to draw very near to Him and be in close communion with Him. But man is easily distracted. We tend to forget about the Holy Spirit as we go about our daily lives, and we tend to be drawn ever more distant from Him by the cares of this world.

    How do we keep ourselves centered on Him? Here is part of the answer:

    Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
    Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
    Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
    Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
    ;

    Whenever we notice that we've drifted away from the Holy Spirit and let our attention wander from Him, we can draw nearer to Him once again by reading, reciting, or meditating upon psalms or other scriptures, by singing hymns that glorify God, or by praising and thanking Him. When we re-focus our minds on God, we are communicating and communing with Him and we become more able to perceive whatever He might want to say to us. Note where it says "be filled with the Spirit" in verse 18; the Greek is in the present imperative tense, indicating continuous or repeated action. As a drunkard might continue to fill himself with wine (by swallow after swallow after swallow), in somewhat similar manner the Christian is advised to continue filling his mind with thoughts of God: God's word, God's will, God's goodness, God's grace, God's mercy, God's love.

    Isaiah 26:3 says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. A Christian whose thoughts are far from God is like a mis-tuned radio; station 'drift' can lead to receiving only static. But a Christian who keeps his thoughts on God is attuned and receptive to frequent hearing of the Holy Spirit's messages.
     
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    A Christian can expect to be led by the Holy Spirit. A Christian should expect to sense and discern the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    Rom_8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    The Bible likens people to sheep and goats; the sheep follow the shepherd, but the goats do not. The sheep recognize the 'good shepherd,' but the goats do not. The sheep are sons of God; the goats are not.

    Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left
    .

    Jesus loves everyone, and during His earthly ministry He tried to teach and guide everyone.

    Mar 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

    But we know that not all would listen to Him. Those who would not recognize Him were the 'goats.'

    Today, Jesus is not physically walking the earth. But the Holy Spirit is here, living within each true Christian, and each of Christ's 'sheep' hear and recognize His voice (the voice of God).

    Joh 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
    Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you
    .

    The voice of the Holy Spirit is the same voice of the good shepherd, Jesus. Whatever the Holy Spirit hears from the Father and the Son, He will speak, and He will declare to us concerning the path God wants us to walk and helping us to navigate events to come in our lives: He will declare to you the things that are to come. This is how our good shepherd leads us, His sheep, in our daily lives.

    Joh 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
    Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
    Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
    Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

    Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
    Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
    Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd
    .

    God wants us to hear His voice and to follow Him. The Christian should expect to be led by the Holy Spirit. The Christian 'sheep' should be able to recognize the leading of his 'good shepherd.'

    If a person considers himself a Christian but does not hear or acknowledge the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit, perhaps that person has strayed too far from the flock? Or, perhaps he is a goat? For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
     
  8. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    A person who believed that something other than the Sacraments was meant to give assurance of such things might come to such a conclusion. But then, such a view would be well outside historic Anglican norms, and more akin to an alien Revivalist tradition.
     
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  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
    Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
    Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
    ,

    Rom 9:1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit

    What does it mean: "our spirit"? Human beings are created in the image of God and are tripartite just as God is Trinity. Man has a spirit (his essential being which continues after the body dies), he has a soul (the seat of intellect and rationality centered in brain activity), and he has a physical body.

    1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son... (Romans 1:9)

    1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
    1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
    1Co 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.
    1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God
    .

    These and other scriptures teach us that man has a spirit, that a Christian serves God with his spirit, and that the Holy Spirit freely gives to us the knowledge that God wants us to have.

    The primary way that God speaks to us directly is by the inward witness. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit... The Holy Spirit talks to a Christian by telling the person's spirit. He tells the Christian that he is a child of God. but the Holy Spirit will tell the Christian much more than this bare fact. He tells us when we are about to make a serious mistake (what we call "the conscience"); He convicts us of sin; He leads us along the path of righteousness. When we feel a strong urge to pray for someone, that urge is coming from the Holy Spirit. When we think about pursuing a course of action which (in the natural course of things) looks okay but we have a lingering discomfort about it that we can't explain, most likely that discomfort is coming from the Holy Spirit. Our God is a God of peace, and when we are acting or contemplating action that is in the Father's will, we will feel inner peace; conversely, when we think of doing something that is out of the will of God, the spiritual Christian will feel a discomfort (what some people call "a check in the spirit) about it. For example, a Christian man had booked a plane flight somewhere but he felt restless and uncomfortable about it, so he changed the ticket to another day; that flight crashed, killing all aboard, and the man later said he shuddered to think how close he had come to ignoring the Holy Spirit's urging to not go on that flight.

    1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself...

    But sometimes our Lord knows that the "inner witness" is not enough: sometimes we need to hear from Him in an unmistakably clear way, usually for some special circumstance. We see examples of this in scripture, such as in Acts 10.
    Act 10:9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
    Act 10:10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
    Act 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
    Act 10:12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
    Act 10:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
    Act 10:14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
    Act 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
    Act 10:16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
    Act 10:17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
    Act 10:18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
    Act 10:19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
    Act 10:20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them
    .

    God knew how obstinate Peter could be on occasion. Peter had a strong preconception regarding Gentiles, and this attitude would get in the way of what God wanted to do for the Gentiles. So He gave Peter a vision, and then He followed up by speaking more clearly than usual by the Spirit to Peter. It's possible that this counsel from the Holy Spirit, Behold, three men seek thee...go with them, was communicated directly to the brain (the intellect) of Peter rather than to Peter's spirit so there could be no missing or mistaking what God wanted him to do.

    Why do Christians tend to 'miss' the things that the Holy Spirit is telling them? It is because the human mind, the intellect of man, wants to rationalize and reason out everything, but there is nothing rational about hearing with the spirit. The Holy Spirit tells things to a man's spirit, and the brain tries to interpret what the spirit has heard. If a person is unaware of how to be led by the Holy Spirit, or perhaps is even unaware that the Holy Spirit is trying to lead him, that person will very likely ignore or 'reason away' the impressions he is receiving.

    Proverbs 20:27 says, The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all his innermost parts. As Christians, we do well to set aside some of our prayer time for listening to God. Prayer is not merely talking to God; prayer is communication, and good communication with our loving Lord involves hearing Him, too. He cares for us and about us (1 Peter 5:7). What loving Father would not want to commune (have close fellowship) and communicate with the children whom He loves? After all, He loves us so much, He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. Why would we assume that He now prefers to be distant and standoffish, with nothing to say to us?

    Jesus assured us that His sheep would hear His voice (John 10). Are we listening for Him?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
  10. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Given I take the premise that human beings are both moral and physical beings, unlike the beasts of the field who are simply physical beings, unlike the angels who are simply not physical beings, we are left in a physical world in which we are called to make moral choices. Intellect, rationality and reason are all God given tools to help us make those moral choices.

    I think to dismiss reason and rationality out of hand as essentially contrary to the leading of the Spirit is not implicitly or explicitly correct, and whilst that may not help your argument.
     
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  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Please don't think that I wish to dismiss reason and rationality. I only say that they can get in the way sometimes. Since the Holy Spirit's assistance is supernatural, and our reasoning is heavily biased toward the natural, it's "natural" to struggle with the fact that the things we perceive spiritually can seem to lack "natural" causation.

    Even so, we must always consider, in light of (1) scripture and (2) the rational world, what we think we may have "heard" from the Lord. The Holy Spirit will never advise us to do something that is contrary to the written word of God, nor will He tell us to do things that make absolutely no sense. For example, He will not tell me to quit my job and take a flight next week to South America to begin preaching the Gospel in Brazil, where I know no one and cannot speak the language! Reason definitely has its place.
     
  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Jesus called the Holy Spirit, the Helper (John 15:26). As Christians, we believe that every truly good thing we accomplish is made possible by the enablement of God the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit strengthens us so we can resist indulging in wrongful physical desires. ...Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).

    He also strengthens us against the soulish sins, such as envy, pride, and the desire to provoke others. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
    Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another
    (Gal 5:25-26).

    He enables us to communicate the Gospel message with boldness. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ (Rom 15:18-19). And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (1Co 2:4).

    The Holy Spirit who enabled Paul to preach the Gospel is the same Holy Spirit who today enables Christians to help fulfill the Great Commission, just as He has done for nearly 2 millenia. Truly, He is our Helper. He is indispensable to us.

    Remember to thank Him today for His generous assistance. And while you're at it, ask Him to let you know what He would like you to do for His glory! :)