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In Matthew Matthew But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. Yet Jesus Christ continually prayed to and addressed the Father, not the Holy Spirit, as His father Matthew Matthew 32 Whoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Read all about it in our free Bible study aid Is God a Trinity? Skip to main content. You might also be interested in United Church of God. Have you ever sat by a fire and watched it die down to glowing embers? In time those embers will fade. To rekindle the fire, you have to stir up the coals so oxygen can breathe life back into the fire. The power of the Holy Spirit works in much the same way.
What is the Holy Spirit & What Does He Do for Believers?
Notice these elements of the Holy Spirit— power, love, a sound mind. Fear is what President Roosevelt was trying to combat when he encouraged the nation that there was nothing to fear but fear itself.
He offers a better way of life. Think about what God offers. First, He offers power. To understand, we have to understand power differently than what people might think. This power that Paul speaks of in the Bible gives a person confidence about life. Knowing why you were born is really the starting point for power and mastery over yourself. We then need inner strength to maintain focus and act accordingly.
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Changing your life in this sort of profound way is challenging to say the least. When God tells us we can have a Spirit of power, this is what He means—power to actually change our lives. The apostle Paul next describes the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of love. Love is a concept much misunderstood today. Love is too often understood only in a romantic context.
On one occasion, the Pharisees gathered around Jesus. And the second is like it. It means viewing Him as He really is and ourselves as we really are. Paul challenged Christians of his time to tear down any contrary thought about God and His sovereignty over all life and bring every thought into captivity to Christ. Paul was baptized, and he received the gift of the Holy Spirit. From that moment forward, his life had a true, godly focus.
He later wrote about the process of transformation he had gone through himself.
Free-will somebody believes in. Free-will many dream of. Wherever is that to be found? Once there was Free-will in Paradise, and a terrible mess Free-will made there; for it spoiled all Paradise and turned Adam out of the garden. Free-will was once in heaven; but it turned the glorious archangel out, and a third part of the stars of heaven fell into the abyss.
I want nothing to do with Free-will, but I will try to see whether I have got a Free-will within. And I find I have. Very free will to evil but very poor will to that which is good. Free-will enough when I sin, but when I would do good, evil is present with me, and how to do that which I would I find not. Yet some boast of Free-will. I wonder whether those who believe in it have any more power over persons' wills than I have? I know I have not any. I find the old proverb very true, "One man can bring a horse to the water but a hundred cannot make him drink. I have read old Rowland Hill, and Whitefield, and several others, to see what they did; but I cannot discover a plan of turning your will.
I cannot coax you, and you will not yield by any manner of means. I do not think any man has power over his fellow-creature's will, but the Spirit of God has. He who laughed at Jesus now hangs on his mercy; and he who would not believe is now made by the Holy Spirit to do it, not only willingly, but eagerly; he is happy, is glad to do it, rejoices in the sound of Jesus' name, and delights to run in the way of God's commandments.
The Holy Spirit has power over the will. And yet there is one thing more which I think is rather worse than the will. You will guess what I mean.
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The will is somewhat worse than the heart to bend, but there is one thing that excels the will in its naughtiness, and that is the imagination. I hope that my will is managed by Divine Grace. But I am afraid my imagination is not at times. Those who have a fair share of imagination know what a difficult thing it is to control. You cannot restrain it. It will break the reins. You will never be able to manage it. The imagination will sometimes fly up to God with such a power that eagles' wings cannot match it. It sometimes has such might that it can almost see the King in his beauty, and the land which is very far off.
With regard to myself, my imagination will sometimes take me over the gates of iron, across the infinite unknown, to the very gates of pearl, and discover the blessed glorified. But, if it is potent one way, it is another: for my imagination has taken me down to the vilest kennels and sewers of earth.
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It has given me thoughts so dreadful, that, while I could not avoid them, yet I was thoroughly horrified at them. These thoughts will come; and when I feel in the holiest frame, the most devoted to God, and the most earnest in prayer, it often happens that that is the very time when the plague breaks out the worst. But I rejoice and think of one thing, that I can cry out when this imagination comes upon me.
I know it is said in the Book of Leviticus, when an act of evil was committed, if the maiden cried out against it, then her life was to be spared. So it is with the Christian. If he cries out, there is hope. Can you chain your imagination? No; but the power of the Holy Ghost can. Ah, it shall do it! And it does do it at last, it does it even on earth.
He has more to do yet: and until the consummation of all things, when the Son himself becomes subject to the Father, it shall not be said by the Holy Spirit, "It is finished. First, he has to perfect us in holiness. There are two kinds of perfection which a Christian needs: one is the perfection of justification in the person of Jesus; and the other is, the perfection of sanctification worked in him by the Holy Spirit.
At present corruption still rests even in the breasts of the regenerate. At present the heart is partially impure. At present there are still lusts and evil imaginations. But, oh! My soul rejoices to know that the day is coming when God shall finish the work which he has begun; and he shall present my soul, not only perfect in Christ, but perfect in the Spirit, without spot or blemish, or any such thing.
And is it true that this poor depraved heart is to become as holy as that of God? And is it true that this poor spirit, which often cries, "O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this sin an death! I shall have no evil things to vex my ears, and no unholy thoughts to disturb my peace. Oh happy hour! May it be hastened! Just before I die sanctification will be finished; but not till that moment shall I ever claim perfection in myself. But at that moment when I depart, my spirit shall have its last baptism in the Holy Spirit's fire. It shall be put in the crucible for its last trying in the furnace; and then, free from all dross, and fine, like a wedge of pure gold, it shall be presented at the feet of God without the least degree of dross or mixture.
O glorious hour! O blessed moment! Methinks I long to die if there were no heaven, if I might but have that last purification come up from Jordan's stream most white from the washing. To be washed white, clean, pure, perfect! Not an angel more pure than I shall be-yea, not God himself more holy! Another great work of the Holy Spirit, which is not accomplished, is the bringing on of the latter-day glory. In a few more years-I know not when, I know not how-the Holy Spirit will be poured out in a far different style from the present.
There are diversities of operations; and during the last few years it has been the case that the diversified operations have consisted in very little pouring out of the Spirit. Ministers have gone on in dull routine, continually preaching-preaching-preaching, and little good has been done. I do hope that perhaps a fresh era has dawned upon us, and that there is a better pouring out of the Spirit even now.
For the hour is coming, and it may be even now is, when the Holy Ghost shall be poured out again in such a wonderful manner, that many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased-the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the surface of the great deep; when his kingdom shall come, and his will shall be done on earth even as it is in heaven. We are not going to be dragging on forever like Pharoah, with the wheels off his chariot.
My heart exults, and my eyes flash with the thought that very likely I shall live to see the outpouring of the Spirit; when "the sons and the daughters of God again shall prophesy, and the young men shall see visions and the old men shall dream dreams. For that let us pray; let us continually labor for it, and seek it of God. One more work of the Spirit, which will especially manifest his power- the general resurrection. We have reason to believe from Scripture, that the resurrection of the dead, whilst it will be effected by the voice of God and of his Word the Son , shall also be brought about by the Spirit.
The same power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies. The power of the resurrection is, perhaps, one of the finest proofs of the works of the Spirit. My friends, if this earth could but have its mantle torn away for a little while, if the green sod could be cut from it, and we could look about six feet deep into its bowels, what a world it would seem!
What should we see? Bones, carcasses, rottenness, worms, corruption. And you would say, Can these dry bones live? Can they start up? In the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, the dead shall be raised.
The Power of the Holy Spirit
See them scattered! Bone comes to his bone! See them naked; flesh comes upon them! See them still lifeless; "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain! I have thus attempted to speak of the power of the Spirit, and I trust I have shown it to you. We must now have a moment or two for practical inference. The Spirit is very powerful, Christian! What do you infer from that fact? Why, that you never need distrust the power of God to carry you to heaven. O how that sweet verse was laid to my soul yesterday! Or what can pluck you thence? The power of the Holy Spirit is your bulwark, and all his omnipotence defends you.
Can your enemies overcome omnipotence? Then they can conquer you. Can they wrestle with Deity, and hurl him to the ground? Then they might conquer you. For the power of the Spirit is our power; the power of the Spirit is our might. Once again, Christians, if this is the power of the Spirit, why should you doubt anything? There is your son. There is that wife of yours, for whom you have supplicated so frequently; do not doubt the Spirit's power. And thou hast wrestled for his soul. And though he is ever so hardened and desperate a wretch, and treats thee ill, there is power in the Spirit.
And, O ye who have come from barren churches, with scarcely a leaf upon the tree, do not doubt the power of the Spirit to raise you up. For it shall be a "pasture for flocks, a den of wild asses," open but deserted, until the Spirit is poured out from on high. And then the parched ground shall be made a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; and in the habitations of dragons, where each lay shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
And, O ye members of Park Street! Ye who remember what your God has done for you especially, never distrust the power of the Spirit. Ye have seen the wilderness blossom like Carmel, ye have seen the desert blossom like the rose, trust him for the future. Then go out and labor with this conviction, that the power of the Holy Ghost is able to do anything.
Go to your missionary enterprise; go to your preaching in your rooms, with the conviction that the power of the Spirit is our great help. And now, lastly, to you sinners:-What is there to be said to you about this power of the Spirit? Why, to me, there is some hope for some of you. I cannot save you; I cannot get at you. I make you cry sometimes-you wipe your eyes, and it is all over. But I know my Master can. That is my consolation. Chief of sinners, there is hope for thee! This power can save you as well as anybody else.
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It is able to break your heart, though it is an iron one; to make your eyes run with tears, though they have been like rocks before. His power is able this morning, if he will, to change your heart, to turn the current of all your ideas; to make you at once a child of God, to justify you in Christ. There is power enough in the Holy Spirit. Ye are not straightened in him, but in your own bowels. He is able to bring sinners to Jesus; he is able to make you willing in the day of his power.
Are you willing this morning?