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Devotionals

The Apostles’ Creed (Part 22)

When you are happy you can sing for joy! I recall as a boy heading towards becoming a teenager I loved to sing in the bath. My favorite song was from a radio advert about Lifebouy Soap. The lyrics were: “Singing in the bath tub, singing for joy, singing the life of Lifebouy!” When we came to faith in Jesus one of the great hymns that were sung in those days was: “What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, Since Jesus came into my heart; I have light in my soul for which long I have sought, Since Jesus came into my heart. (You can Google the full song). Jesus certainly makes the difference because as we saw yesterday, The Holy Spirit brings regeneration. You are spiritually alive and want the world to know the different in you … since Jesus came into your heart. Yet there is far more to know about the change that has happened because, like in just about everything, you can cool off.

2) The Holy Spirit brings fruits. I was at the store today buying fruit. In bringing the fruit home means nothing. Decorating the fruit in the bowl means nothing. Leaving the fruit there to be admired means nothing. You need to use the fruit or they turn rotten, attract flies and smell and need to be thrown out. The fruit the Holy Spirit brings needs to be used as well.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

The word “fruit” means something that originates from something which has an effect and result. The presence of the Holy Spirit, is Him as originator of the fruits. Once He has delivered you initially (it’s your responsibility to continue) from the acts of the sinful nature, He holds these fruits which are part of God’s character before you. The new life in you wants to dress yourself with these fruits because

Gal 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. See that as the “effect”? Now 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

There is the “result”. Although the transition from before to after salvation might be hard at times, the goal must be Christlikeness.

3) The Holy Spirit gives grace enabling faith. Although it is not specifically stated, the Bible implies the Holy Spirit is the giver of grace which is a gift from God. Grace enables faith.

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The outworking of this grace is the good works God prepared for you to do once saved.

4) The Holy Spirit is the indweller. Jesus said the Counselor will be with us forever … so whatever we do and wherever we go, He is with us.

1Co 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

1Co 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

5) The Holy Spirit informs us that we are a new creation.

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

This may be said because:

2 Cor 5:5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

6) The Holy Spirit is the guarantor that we shall be eternally saved.

Eph 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Although verse 14 is similar to 2 Corinthians 5:5, verse 14 explains verse 13 which is the Holy Spirit guaranteeing the eternal salvation of the believer.

7) The Holy Spirit gifts you for service. This is known as spiritual gifting which is given to every believer, although the shape of the gifting differs.

Rom 12:4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Each one has been given a spiritual gift mix that is not exactly the same as anyone else.

The purpose of this is that each “branch” of the Kingdom (local Church) needs to function as a well-oiled machine. It’s not just that the machine is oiled, each part is doing its duty to make the machine work. That is the local Church … many parts, each one functional … and each believer in the Church can be functional because each believer has been gifted with a spiritual gift mix to fulfil a part to make the Church function as that well-oiled machine. Very often a few people in a church do the bulk of the work. This ought not to be as every believer is equipped and empowered to serve in his or her special slot.

8) The Holy Spirit restraints the forces of evil.

2 Th 2:6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

There is much speculation as to whom the “one who now holds it back” is. The only one who could perform this function is the Holy Spirit. Until Jesus returns, the Holy Spirit restrains evil. This means that satan cannot push more and create more havoc than he does because God the Holy Spirit prevents him from doing so.

Praise the Lord. Did you notice that the Spirit’s operations in the Old are the same as in the New? It is beautiful how the same vibrant thread runs through the Bible. One God with One Message in One Book.

Father, thank You for the Ministry of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for the comfort we as the people of God have knowing the Holy Spirit is our assurance of grace. Amen.

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