What Does the Holy Spirit Do?

The Holy Spirit does everything. Yes!

The Holy Spirit is the present-day advocate of Jesus Christ in our hearts. When Jesus was nearing His trial and crucifixion, He promised his apostles that He would ask God to send them His Holy Spirit. Jesus wanted the Holy Spirit also to be sent to anyone else who believes in Him, in Jesus. The Holy Spirit would remain with them all after Jesus died, was resurrected and returned to the Father.

Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would teach them and remind them of everything that Jesus had already taught them (see John 14:15-18.)

Understanding Who the Holy Spirit Is
Understanding who the Holy Spirit is and how He advocates for Jesus within us was, for me, the most difficult of the functions of the Trinity to comprehend when my wife, two of our four children, and I came to Christ from Judaism twelve years ago. During a period of perhaps two years, I believe we were pursued by the Trinity and then delivered, finally, by the Dove, that is, by the agency of the Holy Spirit.

As a Jew, I felt I understood the person and function of God the Father. After all, I had had a father and was myself a father—so I had the tiniest clue. I understood, of course, that the human realm and the divine realm are fundamentally different from one another, but a clue can still be a clue.

As a Jew fascinated by the person and function of Jesus, who at that time I speculated might actually be the Jew’s Messiah, I felt I was beginning, as well, to understand the Person of the Son. After all, I was a son, and I had two sons myself. Another tiniest of clues.

But the Holy Spirit? Who is that? How does He work? Perhaps others among you may wonder the same thing.

Listing the Holy Spirit’s Functions
Try researching The Holy Spirit. You’ll get lists. The Holy Spirit does this; He does that; He does that other thing. You’ll find articles that use a number in their titles, something like Ten Things the Holy Spirit Does…or words to that effect. Review the chapter titles in books about the Holy Spirit. A Holy Spirit book on my shelf—by a favorite theologian, R.T. Kendall—uses twenty pages to detail twenty-one things that the Holy Spirit does for and among us Christians, each of them vital, some of them startling. Give it a read: I recommend it. HolyFire.

In short, the sentence I used to begin this article is fairly stated, although too casual. The Holy Spirit does everything.

Well, no. That’s not so.

Though the Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters at the moment of creation (Genesis 1:2), it was not He who commanded Fiat Lux (“Let there be light”). The Holy Spirit’s blood was not shed at the crucifixion in payment for our salvation as Christians—that was Jesus’ blood. What the Holy Spirit does instead is to bring the power of God and the love of Jesus into us each, individually, so they are manifest in our beings and therefore are directive of our actions—because our souls long to be directed away from destruction.

But our natures are sinful. Despite our inherent freedom, too often we misuse our freedom and engage in behavior that is inconsistent with God’s love and even inconsistent with our desire to live faithfully within our limited understanding of His love. As a consequence, too often we practice immorality, impurity, idolatry, hostility, quarreling, anger, dissension, envy, and other behavior of—fundamentally—not loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Because that is so, daily we need the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Yes, it was not He who created light out of darkness; it was not He who shed His own blood for our salvation. Instead, what He does—what He does daily right now, (not just what He did long ago)—instead, what He does daily right now is “produce this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT).

These are what please and glorify God. These are what certain us. As we scratch our ways through the thorny thickets of fallen existence outside Eden, these are what remind us of the magnificence of Jesus’ own sacrifice, of His own blood, for our salvation. And it’s the Holy Spirit who reminds us of it.

Is The Holy Spirit a Man?
This is one of those questions that make our human brains grapple with something outside our limited experience. We are locked into our own carnality. We can see outside of it, at the most, through a glass darkly (referencing the KJV version of 1 Cor. 13:12). Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as “he” and “him” (see John 14:16 and 16:8, for example), which suggests that He has human form. However, as an element of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is not incarnate, as Jesus was.

That said, though, the Holy Spirit has what we might call a personality. By reading Scripture, we learn that He exhibits characteristics such as we have ourselves. He can be joyful (1 Thess 1:6 ESV). He can be hurt (Eph. 4:30 ESV)—best not to hurt Him! In fact, His fire can be quenched (1 Thess. 5:19 ESV)—don’t do that either!

Here’s how R.T. Kendall sums Him up—

The Holy Spirit “is a person and has definite ways. Call them peculiar, eccentric, or unique if you like; He has his ways. You may or may not like His ways. But get over it! He is the only Holy Spirit you have! He won’t adjust to you; you must adjust to hm.” (HolyFire, p 14, emphasis in original)

How Do You Know Whether You are Influenced by the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit dwells within you if you are a follower of Jesus Christ. As stated at the beginning of this article, His role is to advocate within you for the ideal of Jesus Christ. But how does that work?

In my view, there are two levels of His activity as an advocate which we might encounter. The first level relates to what are relatively ordinary challenges for us fallen humans. Here are three examples. Have you experienced a time of misery in your life when, struggle as you might, you simply could not fathom how to proceed in some relationship, or how to sustain your goodwill through a health crisis, or how to prevail in a work challenge?

In a moment, we’ll see how the Holy Spirit may assist us in these circumstances. But there’s a second level which is of a different nature. Have you ever been tempted—but feared—to assert with absolute authority a truth which other waverers would cringe to assert out of fear they have no such authority?

Do you personally have absolute authority to state absolute truth? As a fallen human, of course, you must realize that you do not. On the other hand, what does have absolute authority to state absolute truth? Only the Trinity has that. In you, a Christ-believing human being, what element of the Trinity is indwelling? It’s the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God; He is Jesus—they are the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit Assists and Advocates for Us
The first three of the possible miseries I cited above are common human experiences—relationships, health, work—and our troubles with them are endemic. Regarding relationships, left on my own I might quail and fail. Under the advocacy of the Holy Spirit, instead, I say, “I want improvement and will work toward improvement, with Christ’s help, this way.” Regarding my health, left on my own I might succumb to depression. Under the advocacy of the Holy Spirit, instead, I say, “I must improve my health by behaving differently, so I will follow this new plan.” Regarding my work, left on my own I might seethe with anger and resentment. Under the advocacy of the Holy Spirit, instead, I say, “I will change my work and moreover change my attitude toward my work, so my fury will not rise again.”

The Holy Spirit assists us as He advocates for the interest of Jesus Christ in our lives, and, further while we move away from failure, depression, and anger and toward new conviction and empowerment. When we encounter positive results, we thank the Holy Spirit for what He has done for us, and we pray that He will also assist those whom we love—which should be (and is) all our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Absolute Truth, Absolute Authority
But the ability to state absolute truth with absolute authority is made possible by a different and a higher level of the work of the Holy Spirit in us humans, interacting as an element of the Trinity with God Himself. Events of this kind are so powerful in their witness to us humans that, when they occurred years ago, they were written down and incorporated into the Bible, so later in time we could know of them and be blessed. Reconcile with yourself that these events do not happen for all of us—perhaps a suggestive of godly humility.

Scripture is studded with these events of absolute truth presented to us with absolute authority. They leave us shivering in holy dread. In the Old Testament, consider, for example, 1 Kings 18—the whole chapter but particularly verses 20 through 40. Elijah—one single man, buoyed by the Spirit of the Lord (verse 12)—pitted against the 450 prophets of Baal.

Whose was the deity that would show himself, either Baal or would it be the Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel? Although the 450 prophets of Baal cried out to Baal for a response to their offering, no response came, so they raved and cut themselves and were taunted by Elijah. Then Elijah demonstrated what he knew, with absolute truth arising from his absolute authority, as vouchsafed him by the Holy Spirit. Elijah knew that God would rain down his fire and consume the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and would lick up the water that was in the trench, so that the people would fall on their faces and cry out, “The Lord, He is God; The Lord, He is God” (verse 39).

Not all of us can have an experience of speaking absolute truth with absolute authority so that our words are fire. Elijah was gifted that way. So was Peter.

In the New Testament, only weeks after Peter three times denied his love and submission to Jesus Christ when the apostles were wretched with sorrow after the death of their leader—

“suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues of fire appeared to them and rested on them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4 ESV)
But Peter spoke to the huge gathering of people in words they could understand. He spoke his longest sermon as recorded in Scripture. He spoke absolute truth with absolute authority since it was the authority of the Trinity channeled from the Holy Spirit and through Peter’s voice. And on that day 3,000 souls were saved.

That is the first 3,000 toward what has become during the past 2,000 years billions of souls, upon billions of souls, upon billions of souls…and still counting.

. . . the agency of the Holy Spirit.

God so loved the world. In the mean time let me share news that @sekgobelalebo will be having #AUDITIONS this coming Friday at Joburg Theatre

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16

To know that you are loved affects much in your heart and your mind. A huge factor that influences the attitude of the child is the feeling that their parents love them. The love of God is limitless, and it surpasses all our iniquities. His love is higher than anything in this world, and that kind of love is freely given to us. That is why God can save us from all our sins; His love is greater than all our sins. Therefore we who have experienced this kind of love should reflect it towards those around us. We can share God’s great love with others in many ways. But first, we have to realize and recognize that God loves us so much. At times we don’t realize that is why many people are still in despair, hopeless, bitter, and in distress. But when we come to understand that God loves all of us so much, it will bring us pure joy and hope, and it will change our attitude towards many things in Prayer
Lord thank You for Your love. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and saving me from my sins, showing me that I am valuable despite my iniquities. Help me to share this love with others and show them my life filled with your love. Amen.

Why We Should Set Goals


Philippians 3:7-16

Scripture repeatedly encourages believers to trust God for needs and guidance. But how does dependence on the Lord fit with setting goals for our life? Some Christians interpret these biblical admonitions to mean we should not make plans at all because doing so hinders trust. However, this perspective turns trust into apathy instead of acknowledging it as an important discipline.

Setting goals helps us determine where to focus our energy so we can accomplish the work God has for us to do (Eph. 2:10). When the evangelist and preacher Jonathan Edwards was 19 years old, he made 70 resolutions, which guided his life—and he had an amazingly productive ministry.

The apostle Paul also set some goals for himself: “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil. 3:10). At the end of his life, he was able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).

Wouldn’t you like to be able to say that on your deathbed? So many things in the world distract us. We’re good at setting career, business, financial, or personal goals and may even faithfully follow a to-do list, all of which are good things. However, we must be careful not to let our earthly pursuits keep us from thinking seriously about setting spiritual goals.

Making plans is an essential step toward achieving anything worthwhile. So let’s be intentional about identifying what our hopes are for our spiritual life and set objectives to head in that direction. These goals are unlike any others because they have both temporal and eternal value.

Sustaining Grace

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

God’s grace is amazing. It not only takes care of our sin problem through the cross but also strengthens and sustains us every day of our life. The Lord never wavers in His good purpose for us, nor is He ever thwarted. His sustaining grace is the answer to our …

Difficult circumstances. Being a Christian does not exempt us from painful trials or unpleasant situations. The apostle Paul knew this firsthand. When he presented the good news of the gospel, some believed but many opposed him. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, he wrote that he had been in danger everywhere he went. He experienced rejection, beatings, and arrest but did not give up. God’s grace continually upheld and strengthened him.

Personal suffering. Paul also spoke about the thorn in his flesh, which caused him great torment. Three times he asked God to remove it, but the Lord did not. Why? Because divine grace was sufficient. It would cover Paul’s needs. Grace had already taken the apostle from condemned to forgiven and from outsider to beloved child. Because he experienced the undeserved love of God, this zealous persecutor of the early church became a missionary spreading the good news about Jesus.

The apostle declared that he was content with weaknesses, insults, distresses, and persecutions because he had experienced the Lord’s all-sufficient grace. He knew that God would continue to help him in every situation, and that regardless of his circumstances, living in the favor and love of God was enough. Is that true for you?

#Christianposts #Devotional #Christianblog

Living Without Goals

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Some of us are natural planners who know what we want to accomplish and set out to achieve it, whereas others are more flexible and spontaneous. Both approaches are determined by personality, background, and other factors but come with their own dangers. The organized people may be so focused on controlling their life that they leave God out of the picture, and the easygoing folks may end up never accomplishing what God intended for them.

In today’s passage, we see the Christian life compared to a race. As believers, we are admonished to exercise discipline and self-control in order to obediently follow the heavenly Father’s plan for our life. Otherwise our efforts will be as unproductive as a boxer who throws wild punches and never hits his mark.

Going through life without any objectives leads to wasted time and energy, mindless drifting, and mediocrity. After all, you can’t aim for nothing and expect to hit a bull’s eye. This is true in relationships, work, finances, and personal goals, but it’s also true of our spiritual life. Paul’s desire to fulfill the ministry God gave him was so strong that he was willing to give up his rights in order to reach the lost with the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Therefore, the apostle made his body his slave in order to finish the Christian life well.

One day we will all stand before Christ to give an account of our life and have our works evaluated by Him in the judgment (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Therefore, today we must live with the goal of honoring God and bearing fruit as we seek His will.

As I run Wonder park Akasia race let me post :A Healthy Body

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Many people today are obsessed with health and fitness. They watch what they eat and exercise religiously, but is that really the most important thing in life? Not according to Scripture. Paul told Timothy, “Bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things” (1 Tim. 4:8). Yet this doesn’t mean we should ignore our physical bodies and indulge in unhealthy practices. These are the only bodies we have at present—the only ones with which to serve the Lord and accomplish whatever He’s planned for us. Therefore, we should do our best to take care of them.

So what does Scripture say about our bodies? Paul teaches that if we are believers, they belong to God, are members of Christ, and are temples of the Holy Spirit. What an amazing thought—that our bodies belong to the divine Trinity. Therefore we must care for them and not ignore or abuse them with sinful or self-indulgent practices.

Because Christians respect church as a place where God is worshipped, none of us would walk into a sanctuary and deliberately vandalize it by smearing paint all over the walls. Yet our bodies are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are worthy of more honor than any house of worship.

Nevertheless, some believers assume that neglecting or mistreating their bodies is their prerogative. However, as we read in Scripture, our bodies belong not to us but to the Lord, who purchased us with His own blood. The goal isn’t to make physical health an idol, but to be responsible to God for how we treat this marvelous gift from Him.

Overcoming Life’s Ups and Downs

Philippians 4:10-13

Have you ever heard a testimony from someone who has been through a horrible tragedy and seen firsthand the faithfulness of God in that situation? We pay close attention to these accounts because they inspire us to trust the Lord. And of all the witnesses to God’s grace in times of trouble, none is more compelling than the apostle Paul.

Paul was no stranger to hardship. Throughout his ministry, he was dragged, beaten, stoned, arrested, shipwrecked, and accused of heresy by both the Jewish leaders and the Roman government (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). This was certainly a contrast to his early life, when he enjoyed opportunities that his Roman citizenship and Jewish education provided.

In the midst of these amazing ups and downs in his life, Paul discovered a valuable lesson. In Philippians 4:11, he writes, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” His attitude didn’t change with his circumstances—it remained constant whether he had plenty or was in need (Phil. 4:12).

Paul referred to this contentment as a “secret” but then revealed the source of this attitude in the very next verse: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). He is speaking, of course, about Jesus.

In ourselves, there is no way we can muster contentment in every situation. But once we understand that God works through our trials to make us more like His Son and that our union with Christ strengthens us to endure and even rejoice, we have a strong foundation for contentment no matter what is going on around us.

A Balanced Schedule

Ephesians 5:15-17

We don’t think of seconds as very important. But they tick away into minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Look at it this way: A 70-year-old has lived the equivalent of about two billion, two hundred seven million, five hundred and twenty thousand seconds! While you were reading that last sentence, about five seconds of your life elapsed, and you can never go back and decide to use them differently.

Small as they are, seconds are precious because they are a creation and a gift of God. How we use even these small time increments is important because our heavenly Father has a plan for each and every life. Since we are to live it for His purpose and will, we must consider how He would have us spend not just years, months, and days, but even minutes and seconds. And the time to evaluate how we should use them is now, before any more of our life passes by.

Understanding the value of each moment, the apostle Paul urges us, “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). In essence, he is instructing us to take advantage of every opportunity the Lord gives us.

The heavenly Father is the one who opens doors for us to serve Him in a variety of ways, but if we neglect these opportunities, there is no guarantee that we will have a second chance. That’s why we must become aware of how we are using our time. Are we wasting it or redeeming it according to God’s will?