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This same miraculous, life changing Spirit given to the disciples after Christ’s resurrection on Pentecost is available to us today. Many passages in the New Testament show how God’s Spirit interacts with human beings.
Just weeks after Jesus’ resurrection His followers were gathered in Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost. Suddenly, the room was filled with the sound of wind. What appeared as tongues of fire came upon them and they began to speak in different languages. In this way, God announced the pouring out of the Holy Spirit as the prophets had foretold. Christ’s disciples were filled with power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Christians today have the same opportunity for spiritual growth. Once we have received the Spirit of God we begin to understand the great truths of the Bible -- like the purpose of our life, the reason there’s so much suffering on earth and many other spiritual principles and insights. This understanding cannot be attained without the Spirit of God guiding our comprehension and providing meaning and direction to our lives: “But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:14)
A vivid illustration of the power of the Holy Spirit is the example of the change in the Apostle Paul after he was struck down on the road to Damascus. ‘Saul’ was blinded for three days, and after Ananias witnessed to him, he was baptized and received the Holy Spirit. Then, through that transforming power, Saul became the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest teachers and writers in biblical history.
In I Corinthians 2:16 we read the Holy Spirit imparts to us the actual mind of Christ and a godly nature begins to replace our carnal, human nature. I Peter 1:4 confirms that if we have God’s Spirit we are “partakers of the divine nature”.
It’s important to understand that while developing the mind of Christ, the Holy Spirit doesn’t possess us and make us obey God, or immediately erase our corrupt human nature, emotional problems, attraction to sin, and the difficulties of everyday life. By submitting to the guidance of God’s Spirit a person experiences a lifelong journey to become Christ-like. Once God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit we are required to practice our Christianity every day, to be led by that Spirit and changed by it.
Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we also become the children of God. Before the Apostle Paul was called by God to do His great work he was a religious Pharisee, worshipping and praising God and trying to live by His laws. But he didn’t really understand God as his loving Father. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit revealed to him the awesome reality of God’s love toward him as a Father loves a child. Paul wrote to the Romans, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear…but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba…Father.’” (Romans 6:14-15)
The most loving, caring, father-child relationship we can ever experience is with God once we are being led by His Spirit. Gradually we learn to obey Him because we love Him. And through His Spirit, God is intimately in touch with our thoughts and emotions. He understands us better than we understand ourselves, and can lead, guide and comfort us throughout our lives.
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