Wiley Graf, PhD
In praise of the Holy Spirit. A recurring theme in this series of blogs paying tribute to the oft-neglected, oft-misunderstood Third Person in the Trinity. Today’s blog is a compilation of Scripture passages on the Holy Spirit. Passages that teach of His glorious, limitless power to enable believers to live holy lives.
PRAISE FOR DELIVERANCE FROM LUSTS OF THE FLESH
For me, it all began with “The Galatians 5:16 Revelation” in the Fall of 2017. I had read the verse many times. But this time it hit me in a way unlike any other. God has promised that all who choose to walk in the Spirit will be empowered to fully overcome the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
What? Eradication of all lusts of the flesh? Is that really possible? I had experienced much spiritual growth in my first 29 years as a born-again follower of Jesus Christ. I had memorized over 700 verses of Scripture, sung in choir, and taught an occasional ABF class. Even wrote a book on Christian apologetics. But lusts of the flesh had still not been completely eradicated. Had I perhaps overlooked something? Had I perhaps overlooked Someone? Review of other familiar passages on the Holy Spirit soon followed.
PRAISE FOR ENABLING BELIEVERS TO MORTIFY DEEDS OF THE FLESH
Romans 8:13 was next. Another familiar passage that had often been read and quickly passed over. Slightly different wording but essentially the same promise of God: All who choose to live by the Spirit will be empowered to put to death the deeds of the flesh.
For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die: But if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live (Romans 8:13, KJV).
PRAISE FOR HIS TRANSFORMING MINISTRY OF MIND RENEWAL
Though not expressly mentioned in this verse, in context, it is clear that the Holy Spirit is again the agent of mind renewal mentioned here in Romans 12:2.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).
PRAISE FOR ENABLING BELIEVERS TO FULFILL THE LAW’S RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son … 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 (Romans 8:2-4).
The righteous requirements of the law. “More like the impossible requirements of the law,” some might say. “I have gotten rid of most all of the sins in my life. But there are a few lingering ones that I will probably never be able to completely rid myself of.”
EXACTLY! There ought to be some sins in my life that are impossible to get rid of on my own. For if I could eradicate all sin on my own, what need would I have of the Holy Spirit? Those seemingly-impossible-to-eradicate sins are the sins that can only be sent packing with the help of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:2-4).
PRAISE FOR HIS INNER-WORKING EXCEEDING ABUNDANT POWER
Yet another passage praising the Holy Spirit that I had often read, and then quickly passed over. I knew Ephesians 2:8-9 backwards and forwards, but not much else memorization-worthy in the first three chapters of Ephesians. Or so I thought.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, To Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Though never explicitly stated in these two verses, it is again clear from context that it is the Holy Spirit that wields this “power that works in us.” Power to break free from those sins that we could never have broken free of on our own.
PRAISE FOR HIS AVAILABILITY TO ALL WHO ASK
God has promised glorious limitless power via the Holy Spirit. Power available to only a select group of “super Christians?” Nope. This power is available to all who have been born of the Spirit. All we need do is ask.
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 11:13)!
GOOD NEWS FOR THE BELIEVER STILL STRUGGLING TO FULLY OVERCOME AN ADDICTION
The Bible repeatedly teaches that it is not so unusual for believers to have a few sins that require the help of the Holy Spirit Helper to eradicate. Good news indeed for the genuinely born-again believer still struggling to fully overcome an addiction. Dear reader, your situation is at times agonizing. But it is not hopeless. You may need to do nothing more than learn how to step up the degree to which you “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16).
A GAME-CHANGING BOOK HAS ARRIVED
In A Way of Escape, readers learn how to step up the degree to which they “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). They learn how to build a library of Spirit-anointed, flesh-diffusing apps. Apps that are uniquely fitted to them, and their unique Spirit-filling triggers (Ephesians 5:18b-19).
The still-struggling now have another option. The still-struggling now have fresh hope for discovering that long-sought-after way of escape from sin and temptation (I Corinthians 10:13). A way that—because it is wholly Spirit-powered—does not require enlisting the aid of an accountability partner or group. Truly, a game-changer!