My desired Outcome for this writing is two-fold. Firstly, it is for you to know that you were expressly created to have a personal relationship with our Creator, God. Secondly, that you will be able to understand fully why your role in creating such a relationship is to make a special effort get to know Him, yield to Him, and please Him – with help from God’s agent, the Holy Spirit. You may be thinking, “Why you need to get to know the Holy Spirit and be in a relationship with Him. I’ve been in church since I was a child?” The answer is simply that it is essential to know Him, for our own spiritual growth and ministry. Such a relationship enables us to successfully walk with God in the Spirit and to live the Christian Lifestyle successfully.
Statement 1: The Bible teaches us that the Godhead is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are in perfect harmony and relationship with each other. So, isn’t it logical, that when we become children of our Father God, that we should in time come into harmony with and relate to Him as our Spiritual Parent? Mankind was created to be in a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice” twice. See John 10:16 & 27
Statement 2: Sadly, something that remains true in the church today, is what Kathryn Kuhlman had to say ofmany folk in the charismatic/pentecostal movement in her day, now many years ago. She said,
“There are literally thousands and thousands in the great charismatic movement who have never become acquainted with the person ofthe Holy Spirit, only with His gifts” (See 1 Corinthians 12:1-12 & Hebrews 2:4)
Therefore, we should be provoked to ask ourselves: “Am I part ofthe many ‘thousands and thousands,’ or, am lone ofthe few people who know and are currently in a real relationship with, and fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit? If, after your deliberations you should feel that you belong to the larger number, then you can be assured that there is a way outlined in the Bible that reveals very clearly how to become acquainted with and fellowship with the Holy Spirit!
The Bible way to live life in the Spirit: The Bible says, in John 4:23-24
“… the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. “
From the foregoing, we see clearly stated that God the Father, is a Spirit! Note that He is expecting two things ofus when we first accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and are truly Born-again, that our goal should be to worship Him in both, “spirit and
truth”. However, there is a problem in the church today, in that many people ‘go . –
the spirit’ with very little truth; or, they can become ‘overzealous for the truth’ and spend very little time in worship, or none at all! What we need to do is to strike a balance between the two. However, in this writing I am addressing ‘worship and fellowship with the Holy Spirit’. (I will address the ‘truth aspect’ in another article.)
By now, you may be asking the question, “What must I do to become a worshipper of God in spirit and truth”? The answer o f course is that you desire to do this you need to become a repentant sinner and a saved follower ofJesus Christ by being Born-again of the Spirit o f God – there is no other way!
The Lord Jesus, during his night-time discussion with Nicodemus – who was a Pharisee and ruler ofthe Jews – explains what one needs to do. Sadly, there are many very religious and devout people in church today who are just like Nicodemus! They have never become the ‘spiritual person’ that is able to relate to the Holy Spirit! Jesus was very definite and he made it very, very clear, when he said to Nicodemus that one could not see, or even enter the Kingdom of God, unless he was Born-again!
You may be reading this and realise that you have never truly been Born-again? For convenience, I quote the following Scripture from John 3:1-7 in which Jesus discusses with Nicodemus what is called ‘the New Birth’:
- There was a man ofthe Pharisees namedNicodemus, a ruler ofthe Jews.
- This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. “
- Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom o f God. “
- Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? “
- Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom ofGod.
- That which is born o f the flesh is flesh, and that which is born o f the Spirit is spirit.
- Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. ‘
I would suggest that you should help yourself first, then help your family and friends. If you don’t already know where they are spiritually, you could lovingly ask them to share with you their ‘testimony’ ofwhen and how they first became a Christian. This can be an excellent opportunity to lead someone to the Lord! In particular, you need to ask when they asked the Lord Jesus into their life to be their Lord and Saviour and what they did to do that? Please remember, you should not tell a person at this stage, that you are wanting to establish if they are genuinely Born-again of the Spirit from Above? You should not be surprised at some of the responses that you may receive? (See below) There is a ‘Test’ in the Bible that one must be able to pass, ifhe is to be accepted as a true Born-again Christian? It says,
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified.1
The importance of being able to answer in the affirmative is that, as every Christian should know, that ‘Jesus Christ lives in us’ – but, not until we ask him to – ifhe does not live in us, then we’ve failed the test! If he is living ‘in’ us, as the Scripture says, then we would have had to invite him in at some point in our lives?
Let’s go back to Verse 6 in John 3. From this Scripture we gain insight into how a person becomes a ‘spiritual’ person’ in the true sense. The Holy Spirit is ‘the Father’s Agent’ who ‘Regenerates’ a repentant person’s spirit and it comes alive unto God. Once a person is Born-again, he then must seek to grow spiritually and move on to develop a meaningful relationship with Godthe Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, aided by the Holy Spirit:
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “2
It’s so important to know how and what has to take place for one to be truly Bom again! Importantly, we found the ‘key’ for an Unsaved, or Nominal Christian to enter into the deeper things of God. The verse says,”…that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
To receive this ‘new birth’ experience can be likened to a birth where one’s spirit comes ‘alive’ spiritually and opens up to the Spirit realm ofGod – which has to happen because by his very nature he is a Spirit Being. For example, to be Born-again gives one the ability to live life walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:25); to walk in the Spirit (Ibid); is to understand the truth of God’s Word (1 Thess 1:5); to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4 & 8:14-17); we are enabled to show the Fruit ofthe Holy Spirit in our lives (Gal 5:22-23); we are empowered to use the Gifts ofthe Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:4-11) and it helps us to be there for and to minister spiritually to others.
When one becomes Born-again, through the agency ofthe Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity is available to lead us into becoming mature Christians. It’s only after we are alive in our spirit that we can say we are ‘regenerated spiritually from above,’ by the Holy Spirit and that we’ve become a child ofFather God, having been born and translated into the His Heavenly Family! We can now be as one with our Father because we are both now on the same spiritual plane.
Therefore, just as in a normal family, children tend to take on a likeness to their parents, so too should we, as we grow in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is why we should become more like our older brother, Jesus Christ! We really were created to have a relationship with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit!
To illustrate: How many times have you heard others say about you, when they notice your response, idea, comment, action, or reaction to something. They say, “You’re just like your father!” or, “Your just like your mother!” That’s why in our journey with the Holy Spirit people should able to see changes in our outward behaviour. Even our attitude, habits, language and ethics change for the better when we grow in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Please note the expression of praise to God, known as a ‘doxology’ from 2 Cor 13-14 which says,
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.”
Therefore, are to be in fellowship with the Holy Spirit – the Lord really expects it from us! You may be thinking, “How can I pursue and ‘fellowship’ with the Holy Spirit?” Jesus himselfpromised that after he had gone to be with the Father, he would ask Him to send another in His place, which is recorded in John 14:16-17,
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. “
The Promise made to us is that Jesus would ask the Father to give us another ‘Helper’ [Gk: “another like myself’], many translations use the word, “Counsellor”. He was of course referring to the Holy Spirit. Jesus walked in a relationship with his disciples for three years and He wanted this one who was to come, to be there for them too! So, if the ‘Helper’ being promised, was to be like Him and he was to function as their Counsellor, just as Jesus himself had been there for them, then what would be His role?
If the role of the Holy Spirit in our life is to become our adviser; consultant; guide; mentor; confidante; coach; tutor; healer and teaching and leading us into all truth these can only be accomplished in relationship! He graciously, as we build our relationship with him, he equips us to use His Gifts with which we are to minister to others. It obviously would be very wise to seek to know and desire to be in a relationship/fellowship with Him in order, when we have run this race, stand before Him and hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant… “3
Let us go back to the Beginning: Mankind was created to be a naturally gregarious being. He was meant to enjoy being in the company o f and in relationships with others. Creator God wanted to be in a relationship with mankind. From Genesis 3:8 we have a record of the LORD God coming in the cool of the day to Eden and walking and talking with Adam! I think many would agree that for a person to live alone and in isolation from others, living like a hermit, is not a very healthy or natural lifestyle.
Sometime after Adam was created, the Bible book of Genesis records that God saw there was a need for someone similar to Adam to share his life with him. That someone I believe, in God’s mind, would have to complement, or improve and emphasise Adam’s existing qualities! They would have to be comparable to Adam; to be a helpmate for him, complement him and lovingly live in relationship with him. This is why God said,
“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”4
The outcome, ofcourse, was the creation ofthe first woman, Eve! She was ofthe same quality as Adam and most worthy of such comparison.
Similarly, the Lord Jesus felt the same way about his disciples and followers that were to come. He knew he was leaving them and that they too would need ‘someone’ to share life with them. Jesus obviously, like the Father, wanted that ‘someone to complement, improve and emphasise their good qualities! That someone would have to be comparable to Himself; a helper for them and one they could have a living and meaningful relationship with – just like they had with Himself! Jesus did as he said he would. When he arrived in Heaven, he asked the Father to send mankind a Helper, and He did, the Holy Spirit! One needs to make a quality decision, after being Born again, to diligently seek the Baptism in the Holy Spirit!
(Note to Leaders: Ask your listeners, to relate their own experiences of when they believe have heard the Holy Spirit speak to them, or what their relationship with Him is like – this will encourage your audience to understand this teaching.)
Testimony 1: My personal experience is typical of many in the Church today. The first time I raised my hand in a meeting to give my life to Christ, the preacher stayed in the pulpit and prayed and that was it! However, I received Jesus as my Saviour and was truly Born-again when I was 17 years-of-age. Sadly, again there was no one was there to disciple me! I was given 5-6 basic Scripture cards and told to read the Book of John! I lived, for many years, in a ‘spiritual wasteland’ and stumbled through life doing things I felt shame for and made many mistakes, as many others have done! I was even deceived by a ‘christian cult’ for several years because they told me what I wanted to hear. To me the Bible was just another book and prayer was practically non-existent it only occurred in a crisis! When I was eventually truly discipled by one ofmy own brothers, who prayed with me to be reconciled and restored to the Lord, the joy ofthe Lord flooded again into my soul, just like before it did when I was 17! Scriptures that I had known for years came alive to me and I could see their true meaning; my prayer life began and I soon noticed that my prayers were being answered! My brother also encouraged me to seek out fellowship with true believers and he sowed the seed by encouraging me to seek the Lord for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t all that long before I went on to fulltime ministry – what a blessing!
Testimony 2: Knowing the Voice of the Lord. Being in a relationship with the Holy Spirit can even save your life! A police officer in the US would probably be now dead if he did not know the voice of the Holy Spirit! He was shot in the line of duty. “It was a hot St. Louis July night,” the efficer recalls. After a long shift the heat was taking its toll on him and the officer took off his hot bullet proof vest. He had been checking doors and gates in the upmarket area when he noticed several individuals on the street around 4:30 a.m. “They were just walking”, he said. “There was nothing particular about them but the hairs on my neck stood up,” he recalls. “And at that point there was a voice that told me to grab my vest. I know it was God!” He put the vest back on and says that the decision saved his life. He was sitting in his car, in uniform, when he noticed three of the suspects, as well as another, pull up directly in front of his vehicle. A man exited the passenger side of the vehicle and opened fire on him striking him in the chest. The sergeant returned fire as the shooter fled on foot and the vehicle drove away” The reality is that If he hadn’t recognised the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to him to put his vest back on he would now be dead!
“We were created for relationship with the Holy Spirit”
© Fred Grigg, BR.Ed, D.D. 13 Aug 2015
1. Corinthians 13:5
2. John 3:6
3. Matthew 25:23
4. Gemesis 2:18