8- The King in the Kingdom of God - Part 4 - The Holy Spirit
Of the three persons in the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is probably most misunderstood. Yet for citizens in the Kingdom of God He is as important as the Father and Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the key to our life getting back to the way God originally intended. And what is that?
God's original intent was that His Spirit would indwell our human spirit so that we would live our life in a partnership with Him --- ruling and developing His universe.
Jesus was the first man back on earth full of the Holy Spirit and a prototype for the rest of us (Luke 4:14).
Through Christ's work he reestablished our relationship with the Father by:
A. Shedding his blood for the forgiveness of our sins (Hebrews 9:22) and....
B. Crucifying our old carnal nature in Himself (Romans 6:6) so that we now had a fit dwelling place for the Holy Spirit to live.
Jesus needed to leave the earth before He could pour out His Spirit to be our advocate (John 16:7). He rose from the dead and poured out His Spirit so any or all of us could start over.
In any colony of a kingdom (which earth is) the king would appoint a governor. The governor always came from the home country and would live in the colony with the intent of changing the people to become like those in the home country -- following the culture and values of the king. If you were to travel to India today you would notice many things that are British since India was once a colony of Great Britain.
So it is that the Holy Spirit is God's governor appointed to indwell his citizens with the express intent of making us like Jesus. He changes us from the inside out. The more we come to know him and yield to His guidance, the faster will be our progress and transformation.
All throughout the Bible this third person of the trinity family has different names which tell us about him. Names in the Bible are indicative of a person's character. Let's look at a few of these names.
NAMES FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT DESCRIBING HIS CHARACTER
1. The same Spirit that indwells the Father, also indwells the Son.
Jesus is telling his disciples that if and when they are arrested and brought before magistrates, they should not worry about what they say. Who will be speaking through them and giving them the words?
When we become sons of God through our faith in Jesus (Galatians 3:26), who does God send us?
As sons of God, our sinful nature no longer controls us. Why?
Notice in Romans 8:9 that "the Spirit of God" and "the Spirit of Christ" are both used showing that Jesus had the same Spirit as the Father and we are to have the same Spirit of Jesus. Don't miss the fact that if Jesus's Spirit doesn't indwell our life then we don't really belong to Him. Just having our sins forgiven is not enough. We'll never be what we were created for without the Holy Spirit.
You may have heard someone ask, "Have you accepted Jesus?" or "Have you asked Jesus into your heart?" or "Have you made a decision to follow Jesus?"
However it might be phrased, Jesus first calls us to "come" to Him, then to follow Him and finally to abide (or live) in Him.
Once we have set our wills to follow Jesus, then he gives us His Spirit to indwell our own human spirit. The more we yield to the Holy Spirit the more we grow to be like Christ and that is how we abide in Christ and "belong to Him."
2. The Holy Spirit is Eternal.
How did Jesus offer himself to God as a sacrifice for us?
This is the only time "eternal spirit" is used in the Bible and clearly places the Holy Spirit as a divine being. He was one with the Father and Son in eternity. He indwelled Jesus giving him the determination and strength to offer his life as a sacrifice to atone for sins.
3. The Holy Spirit is good.
Nehemiah is looking back at history and remembering that God didn't abandon his children - the Israelites- in the wilderness. Who did God give them to instruct them?
Nehemiah 9:19-20 (especially verse 20)
And so for us too the Holy Spirit teaches us all that is good - i.e. all that is of God. As you'll remember the Father is good and Jesus is good. Can the Holy Spirit be any less?
4. The Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of adoption" or "the Spirit of sonship."
Our old life is like a slave in bondage without rights or privileges. But when we choose to follow Jesus He gives us His Spirit and we become God's child because of Him indwelling our life. His presence in our life assures us that we are adopted into God's family.
5. The Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth".
As the Spirit of truth the Holy Spirit brings to our minds the life and teachings of Jesus (who is truth) so that we can live by Him and then pass his life onto others. The Spirit of truth is the way that we can know Jesus.
John 14:17 / John 15:26 / John 16:13 / 2 John 2
6. The Holy Spirit is our "parakletos".
The Greek word parakletos means "one called alongside". In English it gets translated as comforter, advocate or counselor. When we think of a counselor or advocate we might think of a lawyer that comes alongside us to our defense. The Holy Spirit is like this in our time of need. If I am lost or uncertain He is there to guide me. If I sin, He is there to be my advocate with the Father. If I am confused he will be my wisdom. And when we have someone alongside us through the unknowns of life then that is a great comfort.
7. The Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of life".
When we receive the Holy Spirit by our commitment to Jesus, then it's like we have a new "operating system" by which to live our life. Life with the Holy Spirit gives us the power to live free from the power of sin and death. We no longer need to live under the bondage of sin. But it's more than this. Just as Jesus defeated death by rising from the dead, so too I have been raised with Him to eternal life by His Spirit of life within me.
8. The Holy Spirit is the "seven-fold Spirit"
John uses the number seven to express the fullness and completeness of the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Bible the number seven symbolizes wholeness and perfection. And that is exactly what the Holy Spirit brings to our lives. He brings God's wholeness to us so that we can be whole and complete.
THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
9. Jesus sums up three definite roles that the Holy Spirit plays in these verses:
Let's look at them one by one.
FIRST, the Holy Spirit will prove to us or convict us of our sin. He will convince us by applying God's own truths to our minds that we are sinners and he'll cause us to feel that. Sin is you and I walking independent from God and ignoring or rejecting Jesus who gave his life for us. Throughout the New Testament the rejection of Jesus was the sin most offensive to God. This conviction of sin is the necessary first step to our freedom and restoration. The Holy Spirit is like a doctor putting his finger on the cancer in our life. He knows it will kill us unless it's dealt with. Until we believe and feel our sin before a holy God we will never seek the remedy offered through Jesus.
SECOND, the Holy Spirit will convince us of God's righteousness, especially concerning Jesus. Though he was arraigned with heavy charges and condemned, the Holy Spirit will convince us that He was the innocent Lamb of God and all of us have had a part in putting him to death. God would not have raised Jesus from the dead if he had been guilty of sin himself. When we become convicted of our sin one of the first things we feel is our own filthiness and unworthiness before the Son of God and this can overwhelm our soul.
THIRD, the Holy Spirit convinces us that God will indeed execute judgment. And then he tells us in John 16:11 that the judgment has already started with Satan's condemnation at the cross. If God has vanquished his greatest enemy already, then all other enemies of God will be dealt with in due time. Someone that the Holy Spirit has convicted of sin instinctively knows that he is guilty, that God is just and that he will be condemned in due time. This causes great alarm and anxiety in the sinner which is what the Holy Spirit wants. For he wants all of us to run (not walk) to Jesus who alone can save us.
So as we complete this section of WHO the king is in the Kingdom of God let me summarize it.
- The King Father is full of love and goodness in wanting to have you and I as part of his big family.
- The King Son is full of love and goodness in being willing to give his own life on earth so that we could recover from the sin of our first parents and restore us to the way God originally made us.
-The King Spirit then fills us with the life of God so that we can fulfill our purpose as kings over the earth in partnership with himself.
We do not need to fear that the King in the Kingdom of God will be anything like the kings on earth, some of whom have acted as dictators. He has nothing but love and the best interests for us.