The Gift of the Holy Spirit

by: Bill Bratt


The Apostle Peter in his first sermon on the Feast of Pentecost told his listeners to "Repent" and "be Baptized!" "and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!"

Letís look at this account beginning in Acts 2:22: "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know; {23} "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; {24} "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it" (Acts 2:22-24 NKJV).

We all are responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. We have to look at this from a personal point of view: Jesus was crucified and He died for me! Letís continue with Peterís sermon: "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. {32} "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. {33} "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear" (Acts 2:31-33 NKJV).

Letís skip ahead to verse 36: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." {37} Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" {38} Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. {39} "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:36-39 NKJV).

The men of Peterís day asked the question: What shall we do? Peterís answer was to ""Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Notice that before we can receive the "gift of the Holy Spirit", we must repent and be baptized.

(Request our free articles: "REPENT!" and "Repent and be Baptized!" to explain more about repentance and baptism.)

The Apostle Paul Talks about the Holy Spirit!

In Romans 8 the Apostle Paul contrasts the physical carnal self with the spiritual: "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. {2} For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, {4} that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. {5} For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. {6} For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. {7} Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. {8} So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. {9} But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. {10} And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. {11} But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. {12} Therefore, brethren, we are debtors; not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. {13} For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. {14} For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. {15} For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." {16} The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Rom 8:1-16 NKJV).

Notice in verse 9, that if you donít have Godís Holy Spirit then you are not His, you are not a son of God. Now notice in verses 14 and 16, that if we do have His Holy Spirit, then we are the sons and the children of God.

Characteristics of God!

Letís notice a few things about God. First, letís notice that God is spirit: "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24 NKJV). God is spirit and He has shape. "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."" (Gen 1:26 NKJV).

What is Godís shape? If He made man in His image, then it stands to reason that He is in the image of man, in other words, He would look like man.

In the book of Revelation the Apostle John in a vision sees Jesus, the Son of Man. Jesus is pictured here in His glorified state shining as the sun in its full strength. Letís notice that Jesus in His spiritual glorified body has body parts: "Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, {13} and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. {14} His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; {15} His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; {16} He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength." (Rev 1:13-16 NKJV). We can see from this passage that Jesus, the Son of God, in His glorified state has feet, chest, head, hair, eyes, voice, a right hand and a mouth. These are the same body parts that you and I have.

Now letís notice something special about God: "Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the LORD our God is holy" (Psalms 99:9 NKJV). God is holy. Godís very nature is holy, without sin, perfect in every way. Letís contrast that with manís nature: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. {8} So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom 8:7-8 NKJV). "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23 NKJV).

Godís Spirit is Everywhere!

David wrote many of the Psalms and recorded the following: "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? {8} If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there" (Psalms 139:7-8 NKJV).

Jeremiah wrote: "Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?" says the LORD; "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" says the LORD" (Jer 23:24 NKJV) .

Godís spirit is everywhere. God knows if we are in trouble, praying to Him or if our thoughts are about to get us into trouble. We could overcome more if we could develop the awareness that God is in the room with us at all times.

What is the Holy Spirit?

Godís Holy Spirit is the Power of God! God creates through His Spirit. "You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth" (Psalms 104:30 NKJV). Jeremiah relates: "'Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You" (Jer 32:17 NKJV).

We are all familiar with the beginning verses of the Bible: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. {2} The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. {3} Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. {4} And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness" (Gen 1:1-4 NKJV).

God has much power. All He has to do is speak. The writer of Hebrews said: "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible" (Heb 11:3 NKJV).

When God speaks - things happen! 

God commanded and His Spirit of power brought His physical creation into being! Psalms 148:1-5 says: "Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! {2} Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! {3} Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! {4} Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! {5} Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created."
Letís look at an example that we might relate to. We are all familiar with electricity. We flip a light switch and the incandescent light bulb floods the room with light. We could flip a switch on an "electric power saw" and the motor would begin to turn and we would feel the vibrations in our hand and the power at our finger tips. With that "electric power saw" we could begin to cut wood studs, floor joists, rafters and plywood flooring and as a result we could build a house.

Man can do much with the little bit of power that he has under his control. Man can move mountains with his bulldozers and earth moving equipment but God with His ultimate power is the Creator who created the mountains and the universe by merely speaking it.

God's Spirit raised Christ from the grave and will also resurrect us!

Rom 8:11 (NKJV) says: " But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."
This is a fantastic promise that God has given us, that if we have His spirit, then He will resurrect us at the first resurrection when Jesus returns as "King of kings and Lord of lords" to set up Godís kingdom on earth and rule for a 1,000 years.

Notice that it is Godís good pleasure to give us His kingdom: "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32 NKJV).
On the night of the last Passover that Jesus observed with His disciples, Jesus related to His disciples: ""All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. {38} "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. {39} "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. {40} "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day"" (John 6:37-40 NKJV).

In Jesusí last instructions to His disciples before He was crucified, He was trying to encourage them by telling them that they would make it into kingdom and be granted eternal life.

It is not Godís will that any should perish: ""Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish" (Mat 18:14 NKJV).

God gives us His Holy Spirit as a promise and a guarantee to our inheritance and our salvation: "that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. {13} In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, {14} who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory" (Eph 1:12-14 NKJV).

Godís Spirit is Poured Out!

Godís spirit emanates from Him and is said to be "poured out" on us: "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, {6} whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:5-6 NKJV). Even in the Old Testament, there is a prophecy in Joel that says: "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions" (Joel 2:28 NKJV).

Stir Up the Spirit!

There is an old expression: "Use it or Lose it". We must use the holy spirit so we donít lose it. To be effective we must stir up Godís gift of His holy spirit: "Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. {7} For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Tim 1:6-7 NKJV).

If we donít stir up the spirit, then His spirit could be quenched within us. The Apostle Paul admonishes us not to quench the Spirit: (1 Th 5:19 NKJV) "Do not quench the Spirit."

We need to ask God for His spirit daily to renew us: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day" (2 Cor 4:16 NKJV).

We should ask God Daily to give us His Holy Spirit!

Letís notice that God wants to give us His spirit: "If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? {12} "Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? {13} "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:11-13 NKJV).

When we ask God daily for more of His Holy Spirit, also ask Him to open up your mind to His truth and guide you into all truth. The Apostle John recorded: "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come" (John 16:13 NKJV).

The Holy Spirit is a Comforter!

The King James version of the Bible calls the Holy Spirit a comforter: "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever" (John 14:16). Other translations compare the Holy Spirit to: helper, counselor, and advocate.

The Ryrie Study Bible (NAS) says: "Vs. 14:16 another Helper. The Holy Spirit is called the Helper (Gk.: paraclete, as also in 14:26; 15:26; 16:7). In the root of this word are the ideas of advising, exhorting, comforting, strengthening, interceding, and encouraging. The only other occurrence of the word outside this discourse in the NT is in 1 John 2:1; it is applied to Christ and translated "Advocate." Here and in the other passages in John cited above, Christ teaches that the Holy Spirit (1) will indwell Christians (vv. 16-17); (2) will help the disciples recall the events of His life (v. 26); (3) will convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (16:7-11); (4) will teach believers the truth (15:26; 16:13-15)."

Godís Holy Spirit is very important and God uses it to fulfill many roles, functions and to do His will.

The Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God!

"And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him" (Acts 5:32 NKJV).

How does the Holy Spirit work in a Christian's life?

Matthew says: "Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Mat 7:20 NKJV). We are to bear fruit!
Jesus said: ""I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
{2} "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
{3} "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
{4} "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
{5} "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
{6} "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
{7} "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
{8} "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples" (John 15:1-8 NKJV).

Notice in verse 5 that Jesus said "for without Me you can do nothing." Jesus made a similar statement in John 8:28 (NKJV): "I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things." This is interesting. We need Jesus and He needs God.

We are to bear fruit! What is fruit? Webster's Dictionary defines "fruit" as:
"a product of plant growth (as grain, vegetables, or cotton) the fruits of the field, the usually edible reproductive body of a seed plant; especially: one having a sweet pulp associated with the seed the fruit of the tree."
Letís ponder this for a moment. Fruit has an aroma. Think of a fresh baked apple pie and how good it smells. God compares our prayers as a sweet smelling incense: "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev 5:8 NKJV).

What would our fruits (good works) smell like to God? God is very pleased when we bear forth good fruit!

So, Christ is the vine and we are the branches. The good that we do comes from Christ and flows through us to other people.

One of the most important things that you can do is to set a right example. Be the "best you" that you can be.

The Fruits of the Spirit!

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, {23} Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal 5:22-23 KJV).
Love - We all know that God is love (1 John 4:8), but letís notice how Godís love is passed on to us: "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Rom 5:5 NKJV).

Godís love is poured out in our hearts by His Holy Spirit. How do we extend Godís love to other people? By keeping His commandments! (Rom 13:10 NKJV) "Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Jesus said: "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15 NKJV).

We are to love God and our neighbors.

Joy - Rejoice in God who is your strength (Neh. 8:10). We can also rejoice in His Commandments and His blessings. Proverbs 29:18 (NKJV) says: "But happy is he who keeps the law."

Peace - We must be a Peace Maker. We must try to get along with people. If we can be at peace with our neighbors then we should be at peace with ourselves. This would help us to overcome anxiety, conflict and stress.

Longsuffering - We must patiently endure wrongs or difficulties. A good definition of patience is found in the Revelation 14:12 (NKJV) "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."

Gentleness - To be gentle we must have mildness of manners and a kind disposition. One important way to be gentle is to watch your tongue. Words can hurt. We must try to have a kind word to say.

Goodness - Be good to other people. Do a good deed everyday. Lend a helping hand. Smile and try to cheer somebody up.

Faith - Be faithful to God and your neighbors. Keep your word and your commitments. If you make a promise then keep your promise. Respect your friendships. Learn to forgive and forget.

Meekness - Be humble and gentle. Exalt God and abase yourself. Have a humble foot washing attitude. Moses was known as the meekest man whoever lived (Num 12:3), but he was not weak. He was in control of the twelve tribes of Israel, which was around 2 million people.

Temperance means having self-control. You must control your tongue, passions, desires, appetite, diet, and your lust of money.

In Conclusion: The Holy Spirit is the power of God and it is a gift that God gives you after you repent and are baptized. This gift is an absolute promise from God, but there are conditions. We must submit and obey God, stir up the spirit and not quench it, pray for more of His Holy Spirit every day and bear forth fruit. The Holy Spirit will not force you to do anything. 

Use It so you donít Lose It!