The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit (Part 3)

fellowshipYou need the Holy Spirit! In fact it is impossible to have any kind of spiritual life, especially a quality one, apart from Him. In much of modern Evangelicalism we tend to be either obsessed with the Holy Spirit or entirely ignorant of the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit is a part of the Godhead and a vital part of our own spiritual growth and development. Communion with the Holy Spirit means many things for us. Namely, it means that He intercedes for us, empowers us, and comforts us.

We’ve already discussed three other elements of communion with the Holy Spirit, and, of course, there’s much more that we could say. These three features for our relationship with Him, however, are important to keep before us. They remind us that we are not alone in our Christian walk. They remind us that God is intimately involved in our growth and development, and our battles with sin and evil. They also remind us how deeply the Holy Spirit cares for us.

The Spirit of God intercedes for the children of God. Paul writes to the Romans:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)

I have had this experience only once in my life. I was so overwhelmed in prayer and unable to say anything I just sat, and before long the sounds of groaning came out of my mouth as I listened to my brothers pray around me. The longer we prayed the more deep my communion with God became, and when I did not know what to pray the Spirit interceded on my behalf just like Paul says here.

Of particular interest here is the fact that the Spirit speaks to God on our behalf according to “God’s will.” He does not speak what I want, but what God wants. He prays for what I need without my always recognizing what I need. He knows what I need and cries out to God for my sake. The Holy Spirit is like a good parent who knows what his child needs and goes after it, even when the child thinks that they need something else, or even when the child is not sure what they need. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us like a good parent.

In light of the fact that this verse reveals our weaknesses it is nice to know also that the Spirit empowers us. Jesus as our role model in the Christian life was empowered by the Holy Spirit. He was empowered to start his ministry (Acts 10:38), empowered to fight temptation (Luke 4:1-2), and empowered to teach (Luke 4:14), among other things. As His followers we too should seek the power of the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life.

So, how do we fight sin? By the power of the Holy Spirit. So Paul tells the Romans that they are to put sin to death by means of the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:13), and if we follow the direction of the Holy Spirit we will walk in obedience and faith, not in sin (Gal. 5:16, 25). Paul even says praying “in the Spirit” is part of our spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:18). The Spirit empowers us for solid Christian living, not to mention the ways in which the Spirit imparts gifts to us for the ministry of the church (1 Cor. 12). Rejoice, friends, that God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us for life and ministry.

Finally, we may say that the Holy Spirit comforts us. In fact that is one of His many names, “Comforter” (John 14:26). Paul tells the Romans that the Spirit causes us to “abound in hope” (Rom. 15:13). The Holy Spirit offers comfort and encouragement to the children of God. In many ways all the various aspects of His ministry are a means by which He gives us comfort. He pours God’s love on us, He assures us of our salvation, He intercedes for us, He helps us to fight sin. In each case the Spirit is offering us encouragement, hope we need to keep pressing forward. The fellowship of the Holy Spirit in total may be said to be our encouragement.

There’s so much more that we could say about the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, but this will suffice to prove it’s worth. We need the Holy Spirit and much of the church today needs to recovery a greater sense of this wonderful doctrine. You need to pursue, friends, deeper communion with the Holy Spirit. I trust, by the promises of God, that you will not be disappointed when you do.

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