If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
The huge difference that God makes in our lives is through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. What does the Holy Spirit do? The Spirit works the power of God both into our lives and into the circumstances around us. He transforms our character so that His fruit is born out through our lives. He gives us gifts so that together we can work together for good. His work is not limited to believers for He works to reveal God to the world at large.
This overview points to the main teaching on the subject in the Bible. To understand more, there is a web page on each subject.
The Spirit of God is a person is in His own right (Trinity). He has a personality and a role in the Lord’s work among us. When we work with someone it is good to understand them. When we do, we can work with them not against them. The texts on this page aim to explore some of the Characteristics of the Spirit so we can be sensitive to Him.
Ephesians 4:29-30 29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,* guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
Jesus introduces the Holy Spirit, and sets out His work on earth. He takes us to a new level of life, the presence of God in us and the dynamic of a relationship with the living God. This dynamic from God, is by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has a number of titles - Comforter, Advocate, Helper ....
The presence of the Spirit of God takes us away from ‘Religion’, trying to reach God through rituals and living to a set of rules. The Spirit lives in us to empower a new life.
John 14 v 16-18 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.*18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.
The Spirit of God within us has power to change us - He recreates our character to love. He does this when we live by the Spirit. Is there something that you do that you hate yourself for? God is able by His grace to change us.
We can find ourselves trying to live by the Bible’s rules. This misses what God is seeking to work in us, and is called living under the law. Just as those who love will seek the good of the one they love, so those who live by the Spirit will seek the good of their Father in heaven. Those who try to impose a law on themselves become fixated on whether or not they have broken the law. Those who focus on God, delight to do His will and are given power to do so.
Romans 8:1-4 1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.2 And because you belong to him, the power* of the life-giving Spirit has freed you* from the power of sin that leads to death.3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.* So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
As we walk with God, so the Spirit of God works in us our lives demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. Since God is love, our character becomes transformed to express His love.
When looking to see if God is at work many are distracted by the spectacular and miraculous. These extraordinary things are often seen in the gifts of the Spirit. These are good, but God is far more interested in the more subtle expression of His work; the transforming of a person’s Character to become like Christ. This is seen in the fruit.
Galatians 5:22-26 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
God gives each of us different gifts so we have something to contribute to the whole. They show God’s value of us and His generosity. Much of the teaching on gifts is focused on serving others, and how to view the gifts. We are not all the same. Sadly in enthusiasm over what God has given many question why others do not have their gifts. There are a wide variety of gifts, no list is of gifts is complete.
Ephesians 4:11-13 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
THE HOLY SPIRIT