The following are notes from a recent Seminar on the Holy Spirit:
There are few things more misunderstood than the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the accompanying gifts.
Many have gone through their church’s sacraments and teachings and think that’s all there is to their religious experience. Because for some, so little evidence of power has accompanied the receiving of the Holy Spirit through the sacraments, they often remain ignorant of the Holy Spirit, or even deny or try to limit His ministry in and through their lives. Some Christians even oppose the belief that there is an actual experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and they especially oppose the validity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for today’s believers.
That type of belief puts them in conflict with the book of Acts and the very teaching of Jesus, and the Church! But those who give a deliberate “yes” to God can experience in their lives the fullness of the Holy Spirit and His power!
- On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He made one of the most astounding statements of His whole ministry.
Read John 16:7
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.”
Jesus said it is more beneficial for us to have the ministry of the Holy Spirit than it was to have Jesus present with us in His physical body!
Most Christians are totally shocked by this. They would give anything to have Jesus present in His physical body. How could anything be better than to physically see, hear, and touch Him?
Jesus knew His disciples would be shocked by His statement, so He prefaced it with the words, “I tell you the truth.” As hard as it may be to understand, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is better than the earthly ministry of Jesus.
This does not diminish the life of Christ, but it amplifies the Holy Spirit’s ministry.
- Wait, didn’t I receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at my baptism and confirmation?
For many, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the active believing and receiving of the Gift that has already been given.
To actively “receive”, you must cooperate with God, through faith.
“the One Who created you without your cooperation, will not save without your cooperation.” – St Augustine
See 2 Timothy 2:13
“if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.”
“The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”
John 1:12, 13
“ But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.”
Ephesians 1:13- 14
“In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.”
When we say Yes to the Love of God and the Holy Spirit, we begin to cooperate with the work of grace in our lives, and put God back in charge. We can DO a lot of good things, but only God can renew us.
We cooperate with God as we repent of our sins, which may have been an obstacle to the fruit of the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. We cooperate with God when we ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit, even a “refilling” of the Holy Spirit.
Throughout the New Testament and the lives of the early Church saints and Apostles, people experienced being “refilled”!
Read Ephesian 5:18
“…but be filled with the Spirit;”
The word “filled” here actually refers to being constantly “refilled”
Read Acts 4:31
“And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.”
This was AFTER the initial baptism at Pentecost, and shows the early believers and Apostles praying for and experiencing a REFILLING.
Reading: CC 683 to 686
Memorization and meditation: John 16:7