Salvation : Discovering the Depths of Salvation
When Jesus Christ was about to be crucified, He told His disciples He was going to send a Helper, the Holy Spirit. But who is the Holy Spirit? How does He move in your life and fill your life with His presence? In this article by Gloria Copeland, discover how to yield to the Holy Ghost and receive the ministry God has for every area of your life. You don’t have to “just get by” you have a Helper on your side!
God's Will Is the Holy Spirit
by Gloria Copeland
You have been involved with the Holy Spirit since you first heard the good news that Jesus took your place and bore the penalty for your sins. It was the Holy Spirit, through the Word, Who made the truth that Jesus was raised from the dead a reality in your heart.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9). First Corinthians 12:3 states that no man says Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Ghost.
Jesus came to make it possible for man to receive the nature of God - eternal life (John 10:10). Jesus could not get a man born again while He was on the earth. He had the power to forgive sins, but there could be no new creatures until Jesus paid the sin price at Calvary and became the firstborn from the dead.
Jesus told the men who walked by His side for three years that it was more profitable for them if He went away and sent them the Holy Spirit.
It was the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit that made you a new creature. When you made Jesus Lord over your life, the Holy Spirit came upon you and overshadowed you, just as He did Mary when there was conceived in her a "holy thing."
Spiritual death was eradicated from your spirit. You were born again in a new life, a new spirit. You were literally born of God. "Beloved, NOW are we the sons of God" (1 John 3:2). "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God" (1 John 5:1). God became your Father by spiritual birth.
The miracle of the new birth should never become commonplace to you. This new birth is not a theological idea, but an actual fact. The Holy Spirit personally carries out this miracle when you make Jesus Christ your Lord. He takes a sin-ridden, selfish man and re-creates his spirit in God's image. This change in a man's nature is a great, miraculous and supernatural event in the realm of the spirit. That is why all of heaven rejoices (Luke 15:7, 10).
The Spirit Within
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not only to impart the nature of God to the spirit of man, but also to live in the new creature and to reveal to him the exact knowledge of God. The Spirit within enables the new creature to walk in newness of life. One writer said, "The Spirit that gives us life must also sustain that life."
Ezekiel says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
After you make Jesus Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you. Jesus told the disciples: "If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:15-17). The Holy Spirit had been working with the disciples. They had been preaching, healing the sick and casting out devils. He had been with them and working with them, but Jesus said when the Holy Spirit came to abide forever, He would live on the inside of them.
"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (John 20:21-22).
After Jesus had been raised from the dead, He appeared to them and they were born again as Jesus breathed the life of God into them, saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit." (Compare with Genesis 2:7.) Eternal life came into them. They could not have been born again until after Jesus paid the price for sin. As they received the life of God, the Spirit Who gave that life began to dwell in them.
The Spirit Upon
From that moment they were changed. They were no longer troubled, afraid or sad. Luke's account lets us know of the change: "And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen" (Luke 24:51-53).
Where there had been sadness, now there was great joy - a fruit of the Spirit. Where there was fear and confusion, now there was continual praise and blessing of God. And they were obedient. They went to Jerusalem and waited for the enduement of power from on high expecting to receive the promise of the Father.
There was yet another wonderful event to come. Just before Jesus blessed the disciples and was carried into heaven He gave these instructions: "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). Acts' account of this says:
He said they were to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and receive power! They had already received the Holy Spirit within. Now Jesus was instructing them what to do to receive the power of God upon them. Acts 10:38 says Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost and power! The disciples were to receive that same power of the Holy Spirit.
He said in our everyday talk, "Don't leave town without it!" This enduement of power was necessary in order to carry out the work Jesus set before them. (See Mark 16:15-20; Matthew 28:18-20.) Nothing has changed. The Body of Christ today is still under the same mandate.
Jesus taught them about these works in John 14. He talked to them about the Holy Spirit and said, "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:10, 12).
They were to continue to do the same works that Jesus Himself had been doing and it would take the same power and anointing of the Holy Spirit that was upon Jesus Himself. (See Acts 10:38; Matthew 3:16-17; John 14:10; Luke 4:18-21; Acts 5:12-16.)
The same power that was upon Jesus came upon the Church on the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is still assigned to the Church to help us fulfill our commission. Didn't Jesus say He would abide with us forever!
Jesus stated that it was not He but the Father in Him Who did these works. When He said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..." (Acts 1:8), they knew what He meant!
The Greek word dunamis, translated power, means ability and might. When you receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, you receive the ability of God to do His work in the earth. The Spirit within is for fruit bearing - for your own personal life (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus talked about this in John 4:14. He called it: "...a well of water springing up into everlasting life." But the Spirit upon is for service. Jesus talked about this in John 7:38-39. He described it as rivers of living water. The well is for your own life and the rivers flowing out of you are for others.
The dictionary says a witness is evidence or confirmation. This power of the Holy Spirit living in you can transform your life into evidence for the world that Jesus has been raised from the dead and is alive today. Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me..." (Acts 1:8).
The traditions and doctrines of men have robbed many believers of this power to be a witness with evidence that Jesus has been raised from the dead. The world is not only supposed to hear words but see proof that Jesus is alive today. As new converts, we should be taught to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit - the enduement of power to reveal Jesus to lost humanity.
Many believe that He is automatically received at the time of salvation, and that's all there is. It is certainly true that if you are born again, the Holy Spirit has come to live in you and endeavors to work in your life. I had been born again and the Holy Spirit lived inside me, but the power Jesus spoke of was not evident in my life until after I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I wanted to do right and follow God and be a strong Christian, but outwardly I didn't change much until after I received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and began to speak in other tongues. The combination of the power of God upon me and the Word of God in my heart began to change weakness to victory.
As I learned truth from God's Word and acted on it, the Spirit of God upon me enabled me to overcome in my own life and to help others overcome.
Learn to continually pray this prayer for yourself:
According to the power that worketh in us! His unlimited ability to work in your life is according to the power working within you. God designed that He abide continually inside your spirit and come upon you in power to carry out His work.
In the early Church, much of the time people were born again and received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit at the same time. In Acts 8, however, these two experiences were separated and we can see that there are two different experiences. It tells us that Philip in Samaria preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus. Verse 12 says they believed, and both men and women were baptized. These people were believers.
Later, Peter and John came to pray for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. "(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8:16-17).
The term "receiving the Holy Ghost" is also correct in speaking about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Later, Paul asked the men at Ephesus, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost" (Acts 19:2).
These men had been baptized into John's baptism. Paul told them that John said to believe on Jesus. "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied" (Acts 19:5-6). In this instance they were baptized in water and then Paul laid hands on them to receive the Holy Ghost.
From these instances we can see that the apostles laid their hands on men who were already believers to receive the Holy Spirit. These scriptures reveal that this enduement of power called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not the same experience as the new birth. In these two examples, this enduement of power came as hands were laid on them.
On the Day of Pentecost however, and at the house of Cornelius, the Spirit of God fell upon them and they began to speak in other tongues. They received the new birth and the enduement of power simultaneously.
You receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit by faith just as you receive Jesus as Lord (Galatians 3:14). Christians should be taught to believe for and to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The disciples in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost had been taught about receiving the Holy Spirit by the Master. (John 14, 15, 16; Luke 24:19; Acts 1)
The entrance of God's Word gives light or understanding (Psalm 119:130). They knew that they were waiting on the Holy Spirit to baptize them with His power and they were expecting it just as Jesus told them.
We receive blessing from God by believing what we hear from Him. That is faith. For example, healing belonged to you the moment you were born into God's family, but if you never get into the Word and see that divine health is yours, you will continue to be sick.
To walk the faith walk and be pleasing to God, His Word must be the authority in your life and not what men or traditions say!
Learn to Depend on the Holy Spirit...
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
Who can know what is on the inside of man except the man's own spirit, and who can know what is on the inside of God except the Spirit of God (verse 11)? The Spirit of God living within your spirit can reveal to you the inside of God - the heart of the Father. It is difficult to grasp that the Holy Spirit, Who knows all the deep things of God, desires to come live in you in order to teach you the profound and unsearchable wisdom of God. Yet, it is true.
No man knows the things of God because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:10). These deep things of God can enter into the heart of man only by the Spirit of God.
His Word must be revealed to you by His Spirit before you can walk in it. Your spirit alone cannot comprehend or see into these deep things, but Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would teach you all things (John 14:26). He told the disciples, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come" (John 16:12-13).
Remember, Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit was with them, but would be in them. Jesus told them He had many things to say to them, and they could not bear or grasp them now, but when the Spirit of truth came, He would open all things to their understanding. Without the Holy Spirit living in their spirits to reveal the truth to the disciples, even Jesus could teach them no more.
They were limited in their ability to understand spiritual things.
He was telling them that there would be no limit to spiritual knowledge when the Holy Spirit came. He said the Holy Spirit would show them all things that the Father has - even things to come.
Now can you see the limitless knowledge and understanding that is available to Spirit-filled believers? The Holy Spirit has been given to teach you how to be a success in this life. In the light of these truths from the Word of God, it is unthinkable for a man to refuse God's offer of His Spirit.
I Will Send Him Unto You
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (John 16:7). Jesus said, "I will send Him unto you." Jesus has personally sent the Holy Spirit to you. He arrived in the fullness of His ministry on the Day of Pentecost and is still here.
"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). Jesus told His disciples to wait until they were furnished with power. When you made Jesus Lord, you became His disciple, and you should not do another thing until you are endued with the same power that was in and upon Him.
Jesus said, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever" (John 14:16).
On the Day of Pentecost, Peter told the people, "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear....For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:32-33, 39).
This promise of receiving the Holy Spirit is to all - even as many as the Lord shall call. It is to you and your children. God has already given the Body of Christ the Holy Spirit. You, as a member of the Body, must individually receive that which He has already given. He has been sent to you to endue you with power. You don't have to be a weak Christian. Provision of power has been made for you.
If there has ever been a day that believers need the power of God manifested in their lives, it is today. Don't try to get by on your own strength any longer. Set your faith to receive this enduement of power without delay.
You may have hands laid on you by a believer or by someone in the ministry, or you may receive in your own place of prayer alone with God.
Study the following scriptures about receiving the Holy Spirit so that you will believe and act in line with God's Word.
Be Filled With the Spirit
The Bible simply says, "...be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). You know that the Bible is God speaking to you. The Word of God is the will of God. It is God's will for you to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit!
First, we see that you as a son are to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit. Even though He has already been given to the Church, you are asking and inviting the Holy Spirit to come upon you and endue you with power. Ask for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
We are told that if we ask, we shall receive. The Word assures you that you will receive the good gift - the Holy Spirit - and not a counterfeit. Therefore, you may ask expectantly and without fear, knowing that your Father gives only good gifts to His children. Jesus said ask and you would receive the Holy Spirit.
"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).
"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God..." (Acts 10:44-46).
"And When Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied" (Acts 19:6).
In the accounts of believers receiving the Holy Spirit, they began to speak with other tongues. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say the Holy Spirit does the speaking. The believer speaks as the Holy Spirit gives him utterance.
You must supply the sound as the Holy Spirit supplies the words. These words will be unknown to you. The Scripture teaches us that in the spirit we speak mysteries unto God. "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries....He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church" (1 Corinthians 14:2, 4). You are not speaking to man but to God.
One translation says we speak divine secrets. You can pray beyond your natural knowledge when you pray in other tongues.
The Holy Spirit comes to our aid to help us in prayer when we don't know how to pray as we ought and gives us utterance in other tongues, praying the perfect will of God. We need this help. So much of the time we know so little. We may only see a symptom of a much deeper problem. But the Holy Spirit goes right to the root of the problem and prays the perfect will of God for us.
Look at Jude 20, The Amplified Bible: "But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith - make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher - praying in the Holy Spirit." Praying in tongues edifies you. This means to build up or charge as we charge a battery.
I am so grateful to be able to pray in the spirit by the Holy Spirit. In the Scripture when believers received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, they spoke with other tongues. This will be a great blessing to you. After you receive your prayer language, pray in the spirit every day. This helps your spirit to be strong and keep rule over your life.
First Corinthians 14:14 says, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." The Amplified Bible says, "...my spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays...." The Holy Spirit is giving your spirit the prayer or praise. Your voice is giving sound to this spiritual language.
The Amplified Bible says that Cornelius and his household talked in unknown languages and extolled and magnified God. The definition of extol is to praise enthusiastically.
When you receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, your spirit will immediately have a desire to express itself in praise to God. How could you help but pour forth praise after having the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds directly from the Father God, come upon you in power? Your well begins to overflow and rivers are the result! (John 4:14; John 7:37-39)
There may be no unusual feeling physically. Spiritual blessings are received by faith - not by sight or by feeling. Your lips may flutter and your tongue feel thick, or you may hear the supernatural words forming down inside your being. Or none of the above may be evident.
The lips and tongue are the organs we use to form words. Your physical instruments of speech - lips, tongues, vocal cords - must cooperate with your spirit in order to give sound to prayer or praise that the Holy Spirit has given. Immediately upon receiving, spiritual language is ready for you to speak.
Remember, you have nothing to fear. God has already said that you would receive the real thing. Isaiah 57:19 tells us that God created the fruit of the lips. Do not be concerned with what it sounds like to you. God will perfect your praise. "...Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise" (Matthew 21:16).
"And these signs shall follow them that believe...they shall speak with new tongues" (Mark 16:17). Jesus said that the believer would speak with new tongues. You are a believer.
When you pray in tongues, you are praying in the spirit. Just as your native language, such as English, is the voice of your mind, praying in tongues is the voice of your spirit. Therefore, after you ask, speak no more of your native language. You cannot speak two languages at once.
Expect the Holy Spirit to come upon you just as He came upon the believers on the Day of Pentecost, at Samaria, at Cornelius' home and at Ephesus, and you will begin to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gives you the words.
Ask and Receive!
Rely on Your Comforter
Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Comforter (John 14:16). The word used for Comforter means Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby. Learn to rely on the Holy Spirit in all these areas of His ministry. He is the great Enabler!
Jesus said the Holy Spirit is given to teach you, not just some things, but ALL the truth.
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). Meditate this verse and confess it with your lips until your spirit sings with the reality that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
There is One on the inside to guide you Who knows everything from the beginning to the end.
Rely on His guidance and direction in every decision. Expect His power to aid you in every crisis as well as in everyday life. He is more powerful than the enemy. Satan is no match for Him.
This Great One has been instructed to lead you into all the truth. He will lead. You be quick to follow. He will not only tell you what to do, but will also help you to do it. He will empower you.
The Spirit that created the universe now dwells in you. Allow your mind to grasp what your spirit is telling you. This Great One lives in you!
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..." (Acts 1:8). Something wonderful has happened to you today. Power! Power! Power! You have been endued with God's power and God's ability! "And ye shall be witnesses unto me...." Dare to believe for this truth and power to be displayed in your life and you will be a witness to men that JESUS IS ALIVE!