Friday, January 17, 2014

Thoughts on the power of the Holy Spirit

Genesis 1:1-2 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters."

In centering itself on the Sovereignty of God, Genesis 1:2 also introduces the reader to the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is the very First Person of the Trinity that is explicitly mentioned in the Bible. All three Persons share the same infinite glory and life, thus meaning there is only One infinite God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  

As Genesis 1:2 briefly introduces the Person of the Holy Spirit, we see His power being briefly mentioned.  What is the power of the Holy Spirit and what exactly does He do when He exercises His power either in scripture or in today's world? Below are some main thoughts and key verses that refer to the Holy Spirit's power:

1. The Holy Spirit's power to bring forth physical life.  Genesis 1:2; 2 Corinthians 3:16-17
Author Andrew M. Davis of the Gospel coalition writes regarding Genesis 1:2 "This needy universe required the ongoing work of God to bring it to full order and beauty. The fact that "the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters" gives a first insight into the life-giving role of the Spirit, a role progressively unpacked throughout the rest of the Bible."

2. The Holy Spirit's power to create spiritual life. Genesis 12:1-7; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 1 Peter 1:23
God the Holy Spirit called forth an otherwise spiritually dead idolater by the name of Abram. Acts 7:2 specifically states that "the God of glory" appeared to Abram and called Him forth. We know from reading other passages such as 1 Samuel 4:3 and 15:29 that the Holy Spirit is given this title of "The glory" or "The God of glory". The Spirit is the One who creates spiritual life where there was formerly no life.

3. The Holy Spirit's power to author scripture. Exodus 24:4; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21
The Holy Spirit is the Primary author, with the 40 human authors being under His superintendence in the writing of scripture without error. 

4. The Holy Spirit's power to begin ministry. Exodus 40:34-38; Acts 2:1-4
It was the Spirit who enables the priests and the tabernacle's ministry to begin and proceed in power and effective service.  Exodus 35 speaks of the Spirit gifting certain people to work with metals and fabrics in the construction of the tabernacle. In Acts, the Spirit's role in empowering His church birthed forth the church age and makes possible the ministry of the local body of Christ. Jesus told His disciples in Acts 1:8 to wait and tarry before going forth in doing the great commission. 

5. The Holy Spirit's power to lead God's people. Exodus 40:34-38; Acts 16:7 & 18:18-28
The Spirit's empowerment includes leading His people. At times the Holy Spirit will open doors, and at other times He will keep doors of access shut.  By His word the Spirit leads the people of God, has them wait and tells them when it is time to go forth once again.

6. The Holy Spirit's power to form identity. Deuteronomy 32:11; Romans 8:14-16
The Holy Spirit is the One who tells the believer "who they are and Whose they are."

7. The Holy Spirit's power to change people's hearts. Jeremiah 31:31-34; Acts 16:14
The Holy Spirit is all about changing people from the inside/out. 

8. The Holy Spirit's power to overcome death. Ezekiel 37:1-14; John 5:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Peter 1:3
The Holy Spirit is the One who will raise up Israel in the day of Christ's appearing.  He is the One who also raised up Christ from the dead and His same resurrection power raises up our spiritually dead hearts to respond in faith believing.  This same Spirit will quicken our mortal bodies unto resurrection glory at Christ's appearing. 

9. The Holy Spirit's power points to Jesus Christ. Isaiah 9:6-7; John 16:13-15
The Holy Spirit is equal in glory and power to the Son and the Father as all three share in the same Divine essence and life as One God. God, in His dealings with the creation, has in the Person of The Holy Spirit chosen to point to the Son, Who in turn points to the Father in Divine dealings with men and the creation.  

10. The Holy Spirit's power to make all things new. John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17
Whatever the Holy Spirit chooses to touch, whether it be the human heart or creation itself, becomes renewed and revived. 

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