Ever since my childhood, shortly after I was saved and baptized, I have been consumed and fascinated by the Holy Spirit. His attitude of Him of not being praised continuously throughout the ages astounds me, whereas Jesus Christ gets praise for what He has deservedly done. I am not trying to elevate One entity over the other in the God-head, for I believe in God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit, all three in One and all equal. Although, each One has His identity to fulfill, and They fulfill it flawlessly. The closest I can come to comparison is human marriage that we can all understand. For in the proper marriage, it takes God (all three in One), husband, and wife (each one with their role to fulfill). Early on, however, since the human population was marred by sin, only God can fulfill the role in marriage absolutely to perfection. Yet this is not the topic of this particular blog. So let me tell you of my journey to where I became fully fascinated with the Holy Spirit.
Back when I was in my early childhood, I went to a church that I was saved and baptized in. It was in a fundamental baptist church, and the church didn’t believe in the active role of the Holy Spirit after the first century. Well, that was my perception way back then and still distorts my view of fundamental baptist’s doctrine. Know I realize that if you back one of these fundamental baptists into a corner, they would affirm that they believe in the active role of the Holy Spirit present today, but if you ever go into one of their services, you would be hard-pressed to find Him because they squash the Holy Spirit down to a place where they are unwilling to try new things. But that is not how Jesus operates, however, because “they” go by the rules not allowing God to break in and shake-up the laws that they put in place by themselves. Read, study, or listen to the Gospels, and you will find out Jesus didn’t abide by humans’ rules to get to God. In John 15:18-27, Jesus was preparing His followers that His time on earth was limited, but He promised to send the Helper (also known as the Holy Spirit).
Being unhappy with the fundamental baptist ways of the church at a young age, I was invited to check out one of my friend’s churches. It was called the Trinity Assembly of God church. During my first visit, I sensed Jesus Christ there through the mighty work of the Holy Spirit; this was far different than what I was used too. What I was used to is no recognition of the Holy Spirit living inside of you to change you to become more like Christ at the fundamental baptist church I was attending. I was reading my Bible and things didn’t seem to be adding up. The Holy Spirit is alive and active, but the fundamentalist baptist members seemed to be pounding nails in the coffin that housed the Holy Spirit. That was not “kosher” in my book, so I was delighted to find a church that believed more of what the Bible teaches: the Trinity (God the Father; Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and the Holy Spirit) alive and active just as He is in the Bible.
For I struggle to remember the fine details about when I officially changed churches or denominations, but this one thing I knew: “I was dead, but now I’m alive!” as the old saying goes, and that’s how I felt inside. Yet, I was too young to know that culture has a big part of denominations as well. Where I come from, there is is a phrase that describes most of the people; it is the “frozen chosen,” which would be made more evident when I decided to select and went to Southeastern University (a.k.a. Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God) in Lakeland, Florida.
Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God was southern to the core for it was in Lakeland, Florida; rather, I was from the northeast region of the United States of America. Southern people would be superficially friendly twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; however, I grew up where they gave us a name, “Frozen Chosen,” and most of the time we acted on that assumption. However, this is my college that I received my Bachelor of Art’s degree in Psychology from, for it increased my vocabulary with words like “emotionalism.” Now, emotionalism is defined as “strong or excessive appeal to the emotions” as defined by Dictionary.com. If you look the word up, it says that emotionalism is defined as a strong or excessive appeal to the emotions, and this is exactly how my denomination responded to the Holy Spirit. During my stay there at the college (now a university), this was how most of the students and faculty, various churches, and church events responded when they were asked what was going on. They would flail there arms, legs, sometimes they would even fall on the floor, mumbling in a crazy speech claiming that it was the “Holy Spirit.” Now I don’t want to put limits on the Holy Spirit, but for this to happen weak after weak, day after day with evidently no change caused me to wonder. I realize this was the Holy Spirit working in my soul.
A few weeks ago I studied this passage of Scripture again over my years of being a True Life Christian, and the Holy Spirit caused me to really define what the Holy Spirit is meant for as put by Jesus Christ:
“If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on the account of My name, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spririt of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about Me. And you will also bear witness, because you were with Me from the beginning.” (John 15:18-27 ESV)
There are many different aspects that can be taken from this passage like Jesus Christ said that because He is persecuted, that followers’ of His expect to be persecuted. Yet, the topic of this particular blog is The True Life Role Of The Holy Spirit. Well, Jesus said the Helper, who is the Spirit of Truth, will also bear witness about what Jesus Christ has done through the indwelling of believers’ souls. That is His main purpose, not the spiritual gift of tongues. Tongues is a spiritual gift to be used by the Holy Spirit as He indwells the believer’s soul, and at is used at the Spirit’s discretion to get more people into God’s kingdom because the Spirit knows because He is part of the God-head. The gift of the Holy Spirit is not only to offer speaking in other tongues as so many Christians would like us other Christians to believe; but to offer the way of salvation by dwelling in a believer’s soul to change that person to be more like Christ. Remember the words of Jesus in John 15:26-27.
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about Me. And you will also bear witness about Me (through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) because you have been with Me from the beginning” (ESV).
If you casually read Acts 2:1-13 and not take the words of Jesus Christ to their fullest extent as in John 15:26 where He defines what the Holy Spirit is supposed to do, then you come up with a version of Scripture that is not accurate. True Life Christians do not want any part of the untruth. The Apostle Paul wrote the church in Corinth regarding the issue of the Holy Spirit as some magical force within your body; for in the last half of his letter to the church in Corinth, he gives instructions on the use of the Holy Spirit as stated in 1 Corinthians 14:1-5. This isn’t easy for me trying to keep my body in check with what the Holy Spirit wants as I battle to keep myself on the straight and narrow through prayers to Jesus Christ initiated by the Holy Spirit. I would caution you to do the same as we constantly remember The True Life Role of the Holy Spirit.
~Darren L. Beattie, BA, MSHS
(Only Author to True Life Christianiaty’s Blog)