The Gift of the Spirit

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” —John 7:38-39

The essence of full salvation is founded in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit brings life and vitality to those who have been filled with the sweetness of His presence. What a wonderful experience to have the Spirit make His abode in this earthly temple.

This quarter in The Gospel Truth, I address the subject of ‘The Infilling of the Holy Spirit.’ It was difficult to write on the subject in such a small amount of space as the subject is large. The infilling of the Holy Spirit is one of the most needed experiences among Christians. There is too much carnality and worldliness among many people professing to be saints. The Holy Spirit would resolve many of the problems that exist not only in people’s personal lives, but in marriages and congregations.

This gift of God is referred to in many ways: second work of grace, Holy Spirit infilling, Holy Spirit baptism, sanctification, perfection, etc. Sadly, there has been much confusion surrounding its teaching. There have been many divisions and rifts caused in the body of Christ over this subject. We must not let illustrations or romanticized ideals of man dictate the parameters of truth, but rather let the Word of God be our guide in understanding. While it is vital that we understand the pure, simple teaching of the scripture on this subject, it is even more important that we practically experience the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

This subject is not as difficult or as complicated as the enemy has tried to make it seem. Jesus spoke simply about the Holy Spirit bringing power to a life. The focus of the scripture on this subject is about God giving believers a gift to empower, comfort, and direct them. The Word of God bears out so clearly that the infilling of the Spirit is subsequent to the work of justification. There is danger in joining these two as one, but there is also danger in trying to put so much distance between these two experiences that people lose the value and importance of receiving the Holy Spirit soon after justification.  Both works were brought through the sacrifice and plan of Jesus Christ.

Many today are lacking the power and the fire in their experience. I can personally testify to the amazing power of the Spirit that sanctifies, energizes, enables, and stabilizes. If you have not received the Holy Spirit, now would be a wonderful time to pray with someone that you too might experience the fullness of living for God through the Spirit.

 

Michael W. Smith

April 2014