But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. – John 14:26
Many Christians talk about the holy spirit, but few have a clear idea of exactly what it is or how it works in his life, The Bible ascribes many functions to it, including anointing, sealing, the witness of the spirit, begettal of the spirit along with being born again of the spirit. Many of these issues are treated in this issue of the Herald.
There are many illustrations used in the scriptures to describe the various functions of the spirit, such as a dove, light, wind, oil, and flames of fire. These pictures are discussed in the opening article, Symbols of the Holy Spirit.
The work of the holy spirit is not confined to the New Testament, but is also frequently referred to in the Old Testament. The difference of its functions in the time before Jesus and after are the subject of The Power and the Perception.
In the New Testament the holy spirit plays a far more personal role than in the Old as it begins its activities within the Christian as depicted in the article The New Creation.
Various chapter of the Bible deal specifically with the necessity of this work within, such as Acts 2, Romans 12, John 14-16, and 1 Corinthians 2. It is this last chapter that is analyzed in our verse-by-verse study feature. It is entitled Spiritual Discernment.
There has been much debate over the quotation of Joel 2:28 in the second chapter of Acts. The treatise on Pouring Out the Spirit seeks to shed light on this impelling query. This article is followed by a different solution to this discussion. The On the Other Hand furnishes another solution to the question by one of our editors.
The Witness of the Spirit is the next theme to be probed. It answers the question that looms in many Christian minds as to whether or not they have a personal relationship to God and possess the spirit within them.
Although much can be said on the various aspects of the spirit’s workings in our lives, perhaps none are of more practical importance than the development of The Fruits of the Spirit, which forms the theme of the next article.
The final treatise, The Power of the Highest, deals with certain scriptures about the holy spirit which have provoked numerous discussions over the years. Here the author attempts to shed light on these difficult texts.
The importance of the work of the holy spirit in the Christian life can never be over-emphasized. We need to pray for it, seek it earnestly, and endeavor never to quench its influence in our lives. It serves as our telephone line to God and to his Son, Jesus Christ. It is our teacher and our guide. May we ever keep it with us and continually pray for its influence in each of our individual lives.