The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our August 26, 2018 message, The 7: The Holy Spirit. This message is part of our series, "The 7." See other messages in this series.
Why is there so much confusion (or disharmony) surrounding the Holy Spirit? Who is the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to be filled by the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to be anointed? How can I know if something is of the Holy Spirit? As we continue our series, “The 7,” Todd Wagner answers these five questions surrounding the Holy Spirit.
Watermark’s Belief Statement – The Holy Spirit
We believe God the Holy Spirit is a person who restrains evil in the world and convicts men of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He dwells in all who believe in Jesus. From the moment of belief in the Son, the Spirit baptizes believers into the body, seals them for salvation, regenerates them to new life, bestows spiritual gifts on each one, and is fully present to continually fill (control and guide) His own (John 16:7-11; John 3:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 13; John 14:16-17; Ephesians 4:30, 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Why is there so much confusion (or disharmony) surrounding the Holy Spirit?
- The enemy hates you and will do everything he can to confuse you (“God is not a God of confusion but of peace” 1 Corinthians 14:33).
- If you get more excited to hear from God when someone closes their Bible you are not excited to know more of the Spirit’s will for you, you are setting yourself up for deception.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
- The Holy Spirit is the gift of the presence of God (NOT a gift from God) in your life that makes you a healthy, joyful, equipped, useful, peace-filled and fruitful servant of God.
- God plus one is a majority...it doesn’t matter who or how many are against you.
- The Spirit of God is personable, fully present in the life of a believer, and fully necessary. Apart from Him we can do nothing. He can be lied to, resisted, grieved, and outraged.
What does it mean to be filled by the Holy Spirit?
- You can have victory over sin. Not that you won’t still be tempted, and not that you will never sin again, but that you have the power to overcome and not be a slave of sin as you become more and more like Jesus (sanctification).
- When you are filled with the Spirit it does not mean that you aren’t tempted.
- Jesus modeled for us what it looks like to ask your brothers (and sisters) for prayer when you are tempted.
- You make war with sin.
- The Bible has no program to curb your flesh...it only has a program to crucify your flesh.
- When you are filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-21) three things happen: 1) your communication is transformed (you kindly speak the Word of God), 2) your attitude is transformed (you trust God in all things), and 3) your relationships are transformed (you subject yourselves to each other).
- Be (Imperative—command) (Plural—all of you ) filled (Passive—done to you) (continually) (Perfect Present—an action that happened in the past that always affects you) with the Spirit
What does it mean to be anointed?
- If you believe—by grace through faith that Christ died for your sins and rose from the grave three days later—you are the anointed of God.
- The more anointed a man is, the less he makes you think you need him.
How can I know if something is of the Holy Spirit?
- It is marked by exalting Christ and bringing life to others.
- Love is acting for another’s greatest benefit without regard for self.
Application: Walk in the Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit. Pray at all times in the Spirit.
- Every believer has all of the Spirit. The command is to let the Spirit have all of you.
- Believers don’t sin because of the Spirit’s absence, they sin in spite of the Spirit’s presence.
- If you are a Christian, the question is not how much of the Spirit do you have but how much does the Spirit have of you.
- We don’t look to fill up rooms, we are people who have been filled with the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Which of the five questions that Todd answered helped you better understand the Holy Spirit the most? Share which question and how it helped you with your community group, and talk about how you can apply what you learned later this week.
- Where in your life are you most prone to not let the Spirit have full control? Where are you most prone to sin? Share this with your community group, ask them to pray for you, and with their help, develop a plan to make war with sin and crucify your flesh.
- Who in your life has best modeled the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Reach out to that person this week and specifically thank them for how they encouraged you, and then commit to live out that same fruit yourself the way they did for you (2 Timothy 2:2)
Mentioned or Recommended Resources
Suggested Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 14:29-33; 2 Peter 1:21; John 14:16-21; John 16:5-8, 12-14; Luke 4:1-13; Ephesians 5:18-21; Luke 4:14-19; Acts 2:14-21; John 3:34; John 17:18; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; John 14:16-31; John 16:13-14