The Holy Spirit. Something many non-church people shy away from. A term often associated with the fanatic Christians and those born-again weirdos. Often shoved in the proverbial closet of many churches – rarely mentioned and when done so, lightly touched on to the point of really having no point at all.
So what is the Holy Spirit and what’s the big deal? Is the Holy Spirit imperative for being a Christian? Isn’t Jesus enough? I mean, Jesus is the reason for the season, right? Jesus is the one who hung on the cross. What’s the Holy Spirit got to do with anything? Do we need the Holy Spirit? The answer is…yes.
Yes we do. There really isn’t much of a Christian life without the Holy Spirit in all honesty. If you don’t have the Spirit of God in your life, you just might not be a Christian at all. Oh you may attend church every week (even twice a week) and partake in various activities within your congregation but that doesn’t a Christian make (to quote the legendary Yoda). We need the Holy Spirit and Jesus talked about Him a lot! That’s right, I said ‘Him’ and not ‘It’. The Holy Spirit is the third person of what we call the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. The three work in harmony together, distinctly separate yet all in one the same (Not going into depth on the trinity in this article). Jesus spoke to the disciples extensively about Him and the need for Him. He told His disciples He was leaving this Earth and that in fact, that was a good thing for them. I can imagine what they thought on hearing this stellar news! “Jesus is going away! Yes!!!” …um, no. I’m pretty sure that was a shock to them but Jesus said it was better for them if He left because He knew the Holy Spirit would be sent in His place.
In John’s Gospel, chapters 14 through 16, Jesus mentions the Holy spirit multiple times. He calls Him their comforter, their advocate, their helper! Jesus was leaving this Earth and sending back the Holy Spirit, not just to be with the Disciples but to live inside of them! Now that’s news!
“But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans…” John 14:17-18a
As great as the Son of God was, Jesus could only be in one place at a time and could never inhabit someone. You had to go to Jesus for an answer or a healing or whatever you needed. With the promise of the Holy Spirit to live inside of us, you now had that same access to Jesus, literally everywhere you went and where ever you were, 24/7, 365 days a year! That’s the equivalent of 40-50 years ago stores only being open until 6pm and not on Sundays but now, you have a Super Walmart moving in next door where it’s always open! Full-time access to Jesus. Constant advice. Constant access to healing and provision. Constant availability of the supernatural! That’s good news my friends!
This Holy Spirit was promised by Jesus to the disciples and to everyone who called on His name – both near and far (Acts 2:38-39). Jesus told His disciples not to do anything…anything, until they received the Holy Spirit! Do you see that? Basically don’t do ministry. Don’t evangelize. Don’t do anything. Put it all on hold until you receive the Holy Spirit I’m sending you. Do you see this? Do you see how this contradicts so many churches today who stuff the Holy Spirit into the back closet? How is Christianity even possible when Jesus said don’t do anything without Him!
Listen…we’ve already seen that we aren’t supposed to do this whole ‘Christian’ thing without the Holy Spirit. But what Him being weird? You know..the Pentecostal holy rollers? All that speaking in tongues stuff. To so many, it seems weird. Now I’ve heard some try to explain away any weirdness with sayings like “The Holy Spirit isn’t weird, people are weird.” And while there is probably some truth to that, here’s the deal:
The Holy Spirit can seem weird to people. People with the Holy Spirit can seem weird to people. Yes I said it. Why is that? Because the Holy Spirit…this whole God and Jesus thing…is SUPERNATURAL! That’s right. The natural things will always think the supernatural seems weird. That’s because it’s foreign to our 5 senses. It’s beyond our science and logical mind. In fact, being born again is supernatural and that also seems weird to folks. God gave us the Holy Spirit to live with us – in us- and to empower us to tell others about Jesus. He is given to live inside us to guide us, to help us make right decisions, to lead us where we need to go and to keep us from where we don’t need to go. There are gifts of the Spirit: things like speaking in tongues, prophecy, healings and miracles. Are they weird? To the natural mind, yeah probably. Are they pretty cool? You bet they are. But those things aren’t weird just to be weird. They only seem weird to those who haven’t been born again and who don’t belong to God. And if you have been born again, then dive into the scriptures and check out what God has to say about these gifts (1 Corinthians chapters 12 & 14, along with Acts 2, 10 & 19).
I encourage you, if you’ve never received the baptism of the Holy Spirit (those are Jesus’s words not mine and simply means immersion) you can receive it today. If you are born again, it’s for you my friend. The Holy Spirit will empower you to live this Christian life on a whole other level. And if you haven’t even been born again but think you are a Christian, well I hate to tell you this but you need to be. Christianity without being born again is just you doing religion on your own. Jesus said you need to be born again to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Check it out in John chapter 3:3-8. Let’s put aside the hesitancy regarding the Holy Spirit and begin to embrace all that Jesus did for us on the cross!
“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3
“He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Matthew 3:11