Questions About the Holy Spirit: The 60 Most Frequently Asked Questions About the Holy Spirit –
Have Questions, Find Answers on Otakada.org – About The Ministry of Holy Spirit – Daily, people turn to the Internet to find answers to their questions about spiritual matters. Topics related to spirituality are the second-most searched subjects online. Sadly, websites that present false teachings far outnumber those that proclaim the truth of God’s Word. We will provide answers as the Holy Spirit leads us from a biblical perspective. You will also need to pray to secure answers to any question you may have because one of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth – John 16:13. Today, we look at Top Questions about The Ministry of Holy Spirit and questions that relate to this with biblical answers.. Enjoy
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QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
When and how do we receive the Holy Spirit?
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives today?
Will the Holy Spirit ever leave a believer?
How can I recognize the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
What was the role of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament?
What is the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:4; 15:13)?
What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?
What does it mean that the Holy Spirit is our Paraclete ?
How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
What is the seal of the Holy Spirit?
What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Is a believer supposed to be able to “feel” the Holy Spirit?
What is praying in the Spirit?
Question: When and how do we receive the Holy Spirit?
Answer: The apostle Paul clearly taught that we receive the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. First Corinthians 12:13 declares, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” Romans 8:9 tells us that if a person does not possess the Holy Spirit, he or she does not belong to Christ: “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation for all those who believe: “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
These three passages make it clear that the Holy Spirit is received at the moment of salvation. Paul could not say that one Spirit baptized us all and that we were all given one Spirit to drink if not all believers possessed the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 states that, if a person does not have the Spirit, he does not belong to Christ. Therefore, the possession of the Spirit is an identifying factor of the saved. Further, the Holy Spirit could not be the “seal” of salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14) if He is not received at the moment of salvation. Many Scriptures affirm that our salvation is secured the moment we receive Christ as Savior.
This discussion is controversial because the ministries of the Holy Spirit are often confused. The receiving/indwelling of the Spirit occurs at the moment of salvation. The filling of the Spirit is an ongoing process in the Christian life. While we believe that the baptism of the Spirit also occurs at the moment of salvation, some Christians do not hold that view. This sometimes results in the baptism of the Spirit being confused with “receiving the Spirit” as an act subsequent to salvation.
In conclusion, we receive the Holy Spirit simply by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior (John 3:5-16). At that moment, the Holy Spirit becomes a permanent part of our lives.
Question: What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives today?
Answer: Of all the gifts God has given to mankind, there is none greater than the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has many functions, roles, and activities. First, He does a work in the hearts of all people everywhere. Jesus told the disciples that He would send the Spirit into the world to “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). Everyone has a “God consciousness,” whether or not they admit it. The Spirit applies God’s truth to the minds of unsaved men to convict them that they are sinners. Responding to that conviction brings men to salvation.
Once we are saved and belong to God, the Spirit takes up residence in our hearts forever. He assures us and seals us with a pledge that we are His children. Jesus said He would send the Spirit to us to be our Helper, Comforter, and Guide. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever” (John 14:16). The Greek word translated “Counselor” means “one who is called alongside,” with the idea being that He encourages and exhorts. The Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in the hearts of believers at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 12:13). Jesus gave the Spirit as a “compensation” for His absence, to perform the functions toward us that He would have done if He had remained on earth.
One of the ways the Holy Spirit functions is as the revealer of truth. The Spirit’s presence within us enables us to understand and interpret God’s Word. Jesus told His disciples that “when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The Spirit reveals to our minds the whole counsel of God as it relates to worship, doctrine, and Christian living. He is the ultimate guide, going before, leading the way, removing obstructions, opening the understanding, and making all things plain. He leads in the way we should go in all spiritual things. Without such a guide, we would be apt to fall into error. A crucial part of the truth He reveals is that Jesus is who He said He is (John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:3). The Spirit convinces us of Christ’s deity and incarnation, His being the Messiah, His suffering and death, His resurrection and ascension, His exaltation at the right hand of God, and His role as the judge of all. He gives glory to Christ in all things (John 16:14).
Another one of the Holy Spirit’s roles is that of gift-giver. First Corinthians 12 describes the variety of spiritual gifts given to believers in order that we may function as the body of Christ on earth. The Spirit gives all these gifts so that we may be His ambassadors to the world, showing forth God’s grace and glorifying Him.
The Spirit also functions as fruit-producer in our lives. When He indwells us, He begins the work of harvesting His fruit in us—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22- 23). These are not works of our flesh, which is incapable of producing such fruit, but they are products of the Spirit’s presence in our lives.
The knowledge that the Holy Spirit of God has taken up residence in our lives, that He performs all these miraculous functions, and that He will never leave or forsake us is cause for great joy and comfort. Thank God for this precious gift— the Holy Spirit and His work in us!
Question: Will the Holy Spirit ever leave a believer?
Answer: Simply put, the Holy Spirit will never leave a true believer. This is revealed in many different passages in the New Testament. For example, Romans 8:9 tells us, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” John 14:16 says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever” (emphasis added). These verses clearly state that if someone does not have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, then that person is not saved. Therefore, if the Holy Spirit were to leave a believer, that person would have lost his saving relationship with Christ as well; however, this is contrary to what the Bible teaches about the eternal security of Christians (John 10:28; 1 Peter 1:5).
The fact that the Holy Spirit will never leave a believer is also seen in Ephesians 1:13-14 where believers are said to be “sealed” with the Holy Spirit, “who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” The picture of being sealed with the Spirit indicates ownership and possession. God has promised eternal life to all who believe in Christ, and as a guarantee that He will keep His promise He has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell the believer until the day of redemption. Similar to making a down payment on a car or a house, God has provided all believers with a down payment on their future relationship with Him by sending the Holy Spirit to indwell them. The fact that all believers are sealed with the Spirit is also seen in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 and Ephesians 4:30.
Prior to Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit had a “come and go” relationship with people. The Holy Spirit indwelt King Saul for a time, but then departed from him (1 Samuel 16:14) and came upon David (1 Samuel 16:13). After his adultery with Bathsheba, David feared that the Holy Spirit would be taken from him (Psalm 51:11). The Holy Spirit filled Bezalel to enable him to produce the items needed for the tabernacle (Exodus 31:2-5)—but this is not described as a permanent relationship. All of this changed after Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Beginning on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit began to permanently indwell believers (Acts 2). The permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of God’s promise to always be with us and never forsake us (Matthew 28:20).
While the Holy Spirit will never leave a believer, it is possible for our sin to “quench the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV) or “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30). Sin always has consequences in our relationship with God. While our relationship with God is secure in Christ, unconfessed sin in our lives can hinder our fellowship with God and effectively quench the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives. That is why it is so important to confess our sins, because God is “faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Question: How can I recognize the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His disciples that He would send One who would teach and guide all those who believe in Him (Acts 1:5; John 14:26; 16:7). Jesus’ promise was fulfilled less than two weeks later when the Holy Spirit came in power on the believers at Pentecost (Acts 2). Now, when a person believes in Christ, the Holy Spirit immediately becomes a permanent part of his life (Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
The Holy Spirit has many functions. Not only does He distribute spiritual gifts according to His will (1 Corinthians 12:7-11), but He also comforts us (John 14:16 KJV), teaches us (John 14:26), and remains as a seal of promise upon our hearts until the day of Jesus’ return (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). The Holy Spirit also takes on the role of Guide and Counselor, leading us in the way we should go and revealing God’s truth (Luke 12:12; 1 Corinthians 2:6-10).
But how do we recognize the Spirit’s guidance? How do we discern between our own thoughts and His leading? After all, the Holy Spirit does not speak with audible words. Rather, He guides us through an inner voice (John 16:13), our own consciences (Romans 9:1), and other quiet, subtle ways.
One of the most important ways to recognize the Holy Spirit’s guidance is to be familiar with God’s Word. The Bible is the ultimate source of wisdom about how we should live (2 Timothy 3:16), and believers are to search the Scriptures, meditate on them, and commit them to memory (Ephesians 6:17). The Word is the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17), and the Spirit will use it to speak to us (John 16:12-14) to reveal God’s will for our lives; He will also bring specific Scriptures to mind at times when we need them most (John 14:26).
Knowledge of God’s Word can help us to discern whether or not our desires come from the Holy Spirit. We must test our inner voice against Scripture—the Holy Spirit will never prod us to do anything contrary to God’s Word. If it conflicts with the Bible, then it is not from the Holy Spirit and should be ignored.
It is also necessary for us to be in continual prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This keeps our hearts and minds open to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and it allows the Spirit to speak on our behalf: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will” (Romans 8:26-27).
Another way to tell if we are following the Spirit’s leading is to look for signs of His fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). If we walk in the Spirit, we will continue to see these qualities grow and mature in us, and they will become evident to others as well.
It is important to note that we have the choice whether or not to accept the Holy Spirit’s guidance. When we know the will of God but do not follow it, we are resisting the Spirit’s work in our lives (Acts 7:51; 1 Thessalonians 5:19), and a desire to follow our own way grieves Him (Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit will never lead us into sin. Habitual sin can cause us to miss what the Holy Spirit wants to say to us. Being in tune with God’s will, turning from and confessing sin, and making a habit of prayer and the study of God’s Word will allow us to recognize—and follow—the Spirit’s leading.
Question: What was the role of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament?
Answer: The role of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is much like His role in the New Testament. We can discern four general areas in which the Holy Spirit works: 1) regeneration, 2) indwelling (or filling), 3) restraint, and 4) empowerment for service. Evidence of these areas of the Holy Spirit’s work is just as present in the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament.
One area of the Spirit’s work is the process of regeneration. Another word for “regeneration” is “rebirth,” which is related to the concept of being “born again.” The classic text for regeneration can be found in John’s Gospel: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3).
This is not an exclusively New Testament concept. Later in His dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus says, “You are Israel’s teacher … and do you not understand these things?” (John 3:10). Jesus’ point is that Nicodemus should have known that the Holy Spirit is the source of new life because that truth is revealed in the Old Testament. For instance, Moses told the Israelites prior to entering the Promised Land that “the LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live” (Deuteronomy 30:6). This circumcision of the heart is the work of God’s Spirit and can be accomplished only by Him. We also see the theme of regeneration in Ezekiel 11:19-20 and Ezekiel 36:26-29.
The fruit of the Spirit’s regenerating work is faith (Ephesians 2:8). We know that there were people of faith in the Old Testament—Hebrews 11 names many of them. Since faith is produced by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, then the Old Testament saints who looked ahead to the cross, believing God’s promise in regard to their redemption, were “born again” by the Spirit. They saw the promises and “welcomed them from a distance” (Hebrews 11:13); they knew that what God had promised He would bring to pass.
Another aspect of the Spirit’s work in the Old Testament was indwelling, or filling. Here is a major difference between the Spirit’s roles in the Old and New Testaments. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit permanently indwells believers (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20). When we place our faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. The apostle Paul calls this permanent indwelling the “guarantee of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13-14). In contrast to this work in the New Testament, the indwelling in the Old Testament was selective and temporary. The Spirit “came upon” such men as Joshua (Numbers 27:18), David (1 Samuel 16:13), and even Saul (1 Samuel 10:9-10). In the book of Judges, we see the Spirit “coming upon” the various judges whom God raised up to deliver Israel from their oppressors. The Holy Spirit empowered these individuals for specific tasks. The indwelling was a sign of God’s favor upon that individual (as in the case of David), and if God’s favor left an individual, the Spirit would depart (as in Saul’s case in 1 Samuel 16:14). Finally, the Spirit “coming upon” an individual didn’t always indicate that person’s spiritual condition (e.g., Saul, Samson, and many of the judges). So, in the New Testament the Spirit only indwells believers, and that indwelling is permanent; in the Old Testament the Spirit came upon certain individuals for a specific task, irrespective of their spiritual condition. Once the task was completed, the Spirit presumably departed from that person.
A third aspect of the Spirit’s work in the Old Testament was His restraint of sin. Genesis 6:3 would seem to indicate that the Holy Spirit restrains man’s sinfulness, and that restraint can be removed when God’s patience regarding sin reaches a “boiling point.” This thought is echoed in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8, when a growing apostasy in the end times will signal the coming of God’s judgment. Until the preordained time when the “man of lawlessness” (verse 3) will be revealed, the Holy Spirit restrains the power of Satan and will release it only when it suits His purposes to do so.
A fourth aspect of the Spirit’s work in the Old Testament was the granting of ability for service. The Spirit would gift certain individuals for service in the Old Testament, much like the way He bestows spiritual gifts on the church today. Consider the example of Bezalel in Exodus 31:2-5, who was gifted to do much of the artwork relating to the tabernacle. Also, some kings were given the ability to rule over the people of Israel (e.g., Saul and David).
We could also mention the Spirit’s role in creation. Genesis 1:2 speaks of the Spirit “hovering over the waters” and superintending the work of creation. In a similar fashion, the Spirit is responsible for the work of the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) as He is bringing people into the kingdom of God through regeneration.
All in all, the Spirit performed much of the same functions in Old Testament times as He does in this current age. The major difference is the permanent indwelling of the Spirit in believers now. As Jesus said regarding this change in the Spirit’s ministry, “But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17).
Question: What is the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:4; 15:13)?
Answer: The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, appears throughout Scripture as a Being through and by whom great works of power are made manifest. His power was first seen in the act of creation (Genesis 1:1-2; Job 26:13). The Holy Spirit also showed His power in the Old Testament by working through others to bring about God’s will: “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power” (1 Samuel 16:13; see also Exodus 31:2-5; Numbers 27:18). Although the Spirit did not permanently indwell God’s people in the Old Testament, He worked through them and gave them the power to achieve things they would not have been able to accomplish on their own.
After His resurrection and before His ascension to heaven, Jesus promised the Spirit as a permanent guide, teacher, seal of salvation, and comforter for believers. He also promised that the Holy Spirit’s power would help them to spread the message of the gospel around the world: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
When the Holy Spirit descended upon believers at Pentecost in Acts 2, it was not a quiet event, but a powerful one. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1-4). Immediately afterward, the disciples spoke to the crowds gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. These people hailed from a variety of nations and therefore spoke many different languages. Imagine their surprise and wonder when the disciples spoke to them in their own tongues (verses 5-12)! Clearly, this was not a feat the disciples could have accomplished on their own without many months—or even years— of study. The Holy Spirit’s power was made manifest to a great number of
people that day, resulting in the conversion of about 3,000 (verse 41).
During His ministry, Jesus Himself was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:15), led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1, 14), and performed miracles through the power of the Spirit (Matthew 12:28). After Jesus ascended to heaven, the Spirit also equipped the apostles to perform miracles (2 Corinthians 2:12; Acts 2:43; 3:1-7; 9:39-41). The power of the Holy Spirit was established in the early church through the dispensing of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues,
prophesying, teaching, posessing wisdom, and more.
After Pentecost and through today, those who put their faith in Jesus Christ
and His ultimate sacrifice on the cross are immediately and permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And although many believe some of the spiritual gifts have passed away (e.g., speaking in tongues and prophesying), the Holy Spirit still works in and through believers to accomplish His will. His power leads us, convicts us, teaches us, and equips us to do His work and spread the gospel. The Holy Spirit’s powerful indwelling is an amazing gift.
Question: What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?
Answer: Believers have the Spirit of Christ, “the hope of glory,” within them (Colossians 1:27). To “walk” in the Spirit is to live in Him, to yield to Him every step of the way. Those who walk in the Spirit will be characterized by holiness. This is brought about by consciously choosing to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide in thought, word, and deed (Romans 6:11-14). Failure to rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance will result in a believer not living up to the calling and standing that salvation provides (Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 1:27). We can know that we are walking in the Spirit if our lives are showing the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Being filled (walking) with the Spirit is the same as allowing the word of Christ (the Bible) to richly dwell in us (Colossians 3:16).
The result of walking in the Spirit is thankfulness, singing, and joy (Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:16). The Spirit of God leads His children (Romans 8:14). When Christians choose not to walk in the Spirit, thereby sinning and grieving Him, provision has been made for restoration through confession of the wrongdoing (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 1:9). To walk in the Spirit is essentially to “walk with” the Spirit, allowing Him to guide your steps and transform your mind. Just as we have received Christ by faith, by faith He asks us to walk in Him, until we are taken to heaven and will hear from the Master, “Well done!”
Question: What does it mean that the Holy Spirit is our Paraclete?
Answer: After Jesus announced to His disciples that He would be leaving them soon, He gave them a statement of great encouragement: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17).
The Greek word translated “Comforter” or “Counselor” (as found in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; and 16:7) is parakletos. This form of the word is unquestionably passive and properly means “one called to the side of another,” with the secondary notion of counseling or supporting him. This Counselor, or “Paraclete,” is God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. He is a personal Being who indwells every believer.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus had guided, guarded, and taught His disciples; but now He was going to leave them. The Spirit of God would come to the disciples and dwell in them, taking the place of their Master’s literal presence. Jesus called the Spirit “another Comforter”—another of the same kind. The Spirit of God is not different from the Son of God in essence, for both are God.
During the Old Testament age, the Spirit of God would come on people and then leave them. God’s Spirit departed from King Saul (1 Samuel 16:14; 18:12). David, when confessing his sin, asked that the Spirit not be taken from him (Psalm 51:11). But when the Spirit was given at Pentecost, He came to God’s people to remain with them forever. We may grieve the Holy Spirit, but He will not leave us. As Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” How is He with us when He is in heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father? He is with us by His Spirit (the Helper—the Parakletos).
To have the Holy Spirit as our Paraclete is to have God Himself indwelling us as believers. The Spirit teaches us the Word and guides us into truth. He reminds us of what He has taught so that we can depend on His Word in the difficult times of life. The Spirit works in us to give us His peace (John 14:27), His love (John 15:9-10), and His joy (John 15:11). He comforts our hearts and minds in a troubled world. The power of the indwelling Paraclete gives us the ability to live by the Spirit and “not gratify the desires of the sinful flesh” (Galatians 5:16). The Spirit can then produce His fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23) to the glory of God the Father. What a blessing to have the Holy Spirit in our lives as our Paraclete—our Comforter, our Encourager, our Counselor, and our Advocate!
Question: How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Answer: An important verse in understanding the filling of the Holy Spirit is John 14:16: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” Here Jesus promised the Spirit would indwell believers and that the indwelling would be permanent. But it is important to distinguish the indwelling from the filling of the Spirit.
The permanent indwelling of the Spirit is not for a select few believers, but for all believers. There are a number of references in Scripture that support this conclusion. First, the Holy Spirit is a gift given to all believers in Jesus without exception, and no conditions are placed upon this gift except faith in Christ (John 7:37-39). Second, the Holy Spirit is given at the moment of salvation (Ephesians 1:13). Third, the Holy Spirit indwells believers permanently. He is given to believers as a verification of their future glorification in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30).
This is in contrast to the filling of the Spirit, which is referred to in Ephesians 5:18. Although the Holy Spirit already lives within us, we are to be so completely yielded to the Holy Spirit that He can possess us fully and, in that sense, fill us. Romans 8:9 and Ephesians 1:13-14 state that He dwells within every believer; however, He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), and His activity within us can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19). When we allow this to happen, we do not experience the fullness of the Spirit’s working and His power in and through us. To be filled with the Spirit implies freedom for Him to occupy every part of our lives, guiding and controlling us. Then, His power can be exerted through us so that what we do is fruitful to God. The filling of the Spirit does not apply to outward acts alone; it also applies to the innermost thoughts and motives of our actions. Psalm 19:14 says, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Ephesians 5:18 commands that we be filled with the Spirit; however, it is not praying for the filling of the Holy Spirit that accomplishes the filling. Only our obedience to God’s commands allows the Spirit freedom to work within us. Because we are still infected with sin, it is impossible to be filled with the Spirit all of the time. When we sin, we should immediately confess it to God and renew our commitment to being Spirit-filled and Spirit-led.
Question: What is the seal of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: The Holy Spirit is referred to as the “deposit,” “seal,” and “earnest” in the hearts of Christians (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30). The Holy Spirit is God’s seal on His people, His claim on us as His very own. The Greek word translated “earnest” is arrhabon, which means “a pledge,” that is, part of the purchase money or property given in advance as security for the rest. The gift of the Spirit to believers is a down payment on our heavenly inheritance, which Christ has promised us and secured for us at the cross. It is because the Spirit has sealed us that we are assured of our salvation. No one can break the seal of God.
The Holy Spirit is given to believers as a “first installment” to assure us that our full inheritance as children of God will be delivered. The Holy Spirit is given to us to confirm that we belong to God (Romans 8:16). Through the Spirit, God renews and sanctifies us. He produces in our hearts those feelings, hopes, and desires which are evidence that we are accepted by God, that we are regarded as His adopted children, that our hope is genuine, and that our redemption and salvation are sure. Just as an official seal authenticates a will, contract, or agreement, the Holy Spirit is the certain pledge that we are His forever and shall
be saved in the last day. The proof of the Spirit’s presence is His operations on the heart, which produce repentance; the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); conformity to God’s will; a passion for prayer and praise; and love for His people (1 John 3:14). These things are the evidences that the Holy Spirit has renewed the heart and that the Christian is sealed for the day of redemption.
So it is through the Holy Spirit and His guiding power that we are sealed and confirmed until the day of redemption, complete and free from the corruption of sin and the grave. Because we have the seal of the Spirit in our hearts, we can live joyfully, confident of our place in a future that holds unimaginable glories.
Question: What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: The baptism of the Holy Spirit may be defined as the work whereby the Spirit of God places the new believer into union with Christ and other believers at the moment of salvation. First Corinthians 12:13 is the central passage in the Bible regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit: “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free— and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13). While Romans 6:1-4 does not mention the Spirit of God specifically, it does describe the believer’s position before God in language similar to the 1 Corinthians passage: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
The following facts are necessary to help solidify our understanding of Spirit baptism: First, 1 Corinthians 12:13 clearly states that all believers have been baptized, just as all are given the Spirit to drink (the indwelling of the Spirit). Second, nowhere does Scripture tell believers that they are to be baptized with, in, or by the Spirit, or in any sense to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This indicates that all believers have had this experience. Third, Ephesians 4:5 seems to refer to Spirit baptism. If this is the case, Spirit baptism is the reality for every believer, just as “one faith” and “one Father” are.
In conclusion, the baptism of the Holy Spirit does two things: 1) it joins us to the body of Christ, and 2) it actualizes our co-crucifixion with Christ. Being in His body means we are raised with Him to newness of life (Romans 6:4). We should then exercise our spiritual gifts to keep that body functioning properly as stated in the context of 1 Corinthians 12:13. Experiencing the one Spirit baptism serves as the basis for keeping the unity of the church, as in the context of Ephesians 4:5. Being associated with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection through Spirit baptism establishes the basis for our separation from the power of indwelling sin and for our walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-10; Colossians 2:12).
Question: Is a believer supposed to be able to “feel” the Holy Spirit?
Answer: While certain ministries of the Holy Spirit may involve a feeling, such as conviction of sin, comfort, or empowerment, Scripture does not instruct us to base our relationship with the Holy Spirit on how or what we feel. Every born- again believer has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus told His disciples of the coming Comforter, He said that the Spirit will be with us and in us. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). In other words, Jesus sent one like Himself to be with us and in us.
We know the Holy Spirit is with us because God’s Word tells us that it is so. The Holy Spirit indwells every born-again believer, but not every believer allows the Holy Spirit control of his life. Although the Holy Spirit always indwells believers, we are not under His control when we step out in our flesh.
We are commanded to “be filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians 5:18. The verb tense indicates a continual process of “being filled” by the Holy Spirit. Since it is an exhortation, it follows that it is also possible to not be filled or controlled by the Spirit. The next few verses give us the characteristics of a Spirit-filled believer: “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-21).
We are not filled with the Spirit because we feel we are, but because it is the privilege of and promise for believers. Being filled or controlled by the Spirit is the result of walking in obedience to the Lord. This is a gift of grace and not an emotional feeling. Emotions can and will deceive us, and we can work ourselves up into an emotional frenzy that is purely from the flesh and not of the Holy Spirit. “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature … since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit”
(Galatians 5:16, 25).
We cannot deny that there are times when we can be emotionally overwhelmed by the presence and the power of the Spirit. When that happens, it is a joy like no other. We experience joy by the Spirit when we understand that, as children of God, we are blessed by His grace. So the ministries of the Holy Spirit can involve our feelings and emotions. But we are not to base the assurance of our possession of the Holy Spirit on how we feel.
Question: What is praying in the Spirit?
Answer: Praying in the Spirit is mentioned twice in Scripture. Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Jude 20 says, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” So, what exactly does it mean to pray “in the Spirit”?
The Greek word translated “pray in” can have several different meanings. It can mean “by means of,” “with the help of,” “in the sphere of,” and “in connection to.” Praying in the Spirit does not refer to the words we are saying. Rather, it refers to how we are praying. Praying in the Spirit is praying according to the Spirit’s leading. It is praying for things the Spirit leads us to pray for, with the Spirit’s help. Romans 8:26 tells us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
Some people use 1 Corinthians 14:15 to equate praying in the Spirit with praying in tongues. However, Paul says, “Pray with my spirit” (emphasis added); he is not referring to praying in the Holy Spirit. First Corinthians 14:14 states that when a person prays in tongues, he does not know what he is saying, since it is spoken in a foreign language. Further, no one else in the church can understand what is being said, unless there is an interpreter present (1 Corinthians 14:27-28). Paul’s instruction is that, in the church service, we should pray, sing, and give thanks in an intelligible language so that the whole church is edified (verses 12 and 19).
Praying in the Spirit should be understood as praying in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit, and according to His will; it is different from praying in tongues.
Top links with question and answers on the Holy Spirit as follows:
Top Questions about Who The Holy Spirit is With Biblical Answers
Top Questions about Ministry of the Holy Spirit With Biblical Answers
Top Questions About The Fruit of Holy Spirit Is With Biblical Answers
Top Miscellaneous Questions about the Holy Spirit With Biblical Answers
Top Questions about Gifts of the Holy Spirit With Biblical Answers