God gives power and ability only to faith, and it is only when we learn that that these promises come alive in our life. In Ephes.3, after the marvelous prayer of Paul for the Church, he seemed to be apprehensive that they would think he had gone beyond the ability of God in his large asking. In this bewildering world, this perplexing age in which we live, don't you sometimes almost physically hunger for someone, somewhere, somehow, who can tell us the truth? He put his finger right on the point. Jesus said, "... even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him." His testimony was to a life-long experience of delving deeper and deeper into the marvels of a Book that understood him, because it was revealed by the Spirit of God who is the One who understands us. He said, "You know, I think I know what it is. Wait in the Lord for the Holy Spirit. It did not remain; it had no enduring effects. I like the old translation better, the word is "Comforter," but we should understand it in its original meaning. It means the total collapse of all your rebellion against him. That certainly means a great deal more than a magical formula to tack on to the end of our prayers. But that life begins and ever increases as the child of God prays for the Holy Spirit. After he had finished singingHow Great Thou Art, I saw one of the mayors wiping the tears from his eyes. But now we come to the condition, for the brutal fact is that, though every true Christian has the Spirit of Truth, thousands walk in darkness and understand no more about themselves than the most blind pagan around. John must wait till a fuller and richer endowment than all of these came on him. That is why it is so important to have a close relationship with the Holy Spirit. What does he mean? When you pray, it’s His role to intercede on your behalf in accordance with God’s will. The truth is, if we cannot pray for the Holy Spirit we cannot pray for any good thing from God, for He is the sum of all good to us. For the higher and graduating lessons in prayer we must have the Holy Spirit. Our human spirit is the element through which the Spirit of God dwells in us after being regenerated by Him (Romans 8:15-16; 1 John 2:20). He dwelt with them before but he was to be in them on the Day of Pentecost. Do you see the difference? Subject to permissions policy, all rights reserved. Message transcript and recording © 1964 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the author. "Whatever you need, ask, and it shall be given you," that's all. Without the pull of God through The Holy Spirit when we hear the message of salvation, none of us will be saved. Is that what he is saying? His ministry among men, as a man, was a failure. Paul's praying was God's proof to Ananias that Paul was in a state which conditioned him to receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So the policeman breaks down the door, and when he does, he is arrested and taken to jail himself. He does not, like earthly teachers, teach us the lesson and then withdraw. But when the Spirit of Truth is come, he takes away the veils, he dissolves the mists. Jesus said "He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do." There was only a tiny band of one man and three or four women that gathered around the foot of the cross. He is not saying everyone who is a Christian, and, in that sense, a believer, will automatically be able to do these things. Through the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit, believers will not indulge the sinful acts of the flesh ( Galatians 5:16-21 ) but will bear the good fruit of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:22-25 ). He keeps us in that body by His Presence and Person. Scripture talks about the Holy Spirit being poured out and the believer being filled up. Prayer is the foundation for knowing and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, especially by allowing times of silence in prayer. I record what pops into my head in brackets ( ), so I can look back and see how the Spirit may have spoken. Silence leads to awareness 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. Whatever he is interested in having done on earth, then we, as the instruments of his activity, are involved in accomplishing it. He is not saying that dedicated Christian men and women are really going to transcend what he accomplished as the Son of God Incarnate among men. The gift of the Holy Spirit is one of the benefits flowing to us from the glorious presence of Christ at the right hand of God, and this gift of the Holy Spirit, together with all the other gifts of the enthroned Christ, are secured to us by prayer, as the condition. The Holy Spirit was in the world in measure before Pentecost, and in the measure of His operation then He was prayed for and sought for, and the principles are unchanged. I know as well as you do that every believer, when he receives Jesus Christ, receives the indwelling Spirit of God, that He is in us from the beginning. Now, we will say, at ten o'clock that night, that same policeman is drunk. The world needs the Holy Spirit to convict it of sin and of righteousness and judgment to come and to make it feel its guiltiness in God's sight. The other man said, "He ought to be, he did it!" For Jesus is not saying here that a sincere, dedicated Christian of 1964 will actually be able, in his sincerity and his dedicated religious effort, to do what Jesus did in the 1st century, let alone do greater works than he did. Now, supposing a policeman goes into a cheap slum area of the city at three o'clock in the afternoon. . Now, in Verse 12, the promise is tremendously plain. The world will never be able to understand reality, never! The baptism of the Holy Spirit is more than a church doctrine, it is a promise from God to His people. It is a passage that is filled with astonishing concepts. Prayer. His gifts are the dispensations of His presence. Why, I'm a Christian. By the strength and indwelling life of the Father he did all the works that we marvel at as we read the story of his life. I remember Mr. Hendricks pausing and saying to us, with great significance, "Have you ever thanked God for unanswered prayer?". As long as men remain worldlings they are blinded to the ultimate nature of things. Intellect cannot execute it, neither can learning, nor eloquence, nor truth, not even the revealed truth can execute the gospel. He has also given the Holy Spirit to empower you with authority in this world. Now let us come quickly to this last passage, the fact that the secret of the Christian's life is borrowed deity. As the pilot takes his stand at the wheel to guide the vessel, so the Holy Ghost takes up His abode in the heart to guide and empower all its efforts. Your Heavenly Father will surely send Him if you ask for Him. It came to his ears that this woman had told some of her friends that she was praying that he might be her son-in-law. Our Lord is promising here that the One who will come to make his home in every Christian's heart and life is nothing less than God himself! . Long before, they had already begun to diminish. The gift of the Holy Spirit was vital to the work of Jesus Christ in the atonement. His work in us to make us the children of God and His Person abiding with us and in us, as children of God, are entirely different stages of the same Spirit in His relation to us. How is it that Christians can know so much and experience so little?" In Luke we have "good things" substituted by "the Holy Spirit." In this word, Jesus is saying that he who comes will be the One who has within him the fullness of power, all the strength that we could possibly need, that is the first thing. As he read, he discovered that this was the book because it revealed the One who understood him. And one of the mayors who had, before the meeting, insisted, with some asperity, that he would have absolutely no participation in the meeting, volunteered at the end to get up and say that this was something that he felt had sounded out the crying need of that area and he hoped that this would be an annual event. Being a person, the Holy Spirit has feelings. Already many of the searching things that he had been saying had separated the weak from the strong, and many had gone back and refused to follow with him anymore. With Him, it is, it ever has been, and ever will be, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." It is too wide to take unreservedly. They had been told not to “speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). The other night at our Board of Elders meeting we were wrestling with this problem. "Many went back and walked no more with him" John 6:66 KJV), the writers of the gospel tell us. Let me illustrate again by referring to the breakfast in Newport Beach: It was my responsibility to bring a message there, and, as I frequently do in a time like that, I felt very inadequate, helpless. "According to," says the Apostle, that is, after the measure of, "the power that worketh in us." I don't rebel against him." There were gathered at the breakfast some two hundred men from that area, many of them non-Christians, and with us were the three mayors of the cities of Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Those who came, attracted by the things they saw, faded back into the shadows when persecution began to grow. There is no passage that does it more effectively than the passage before us. It is rather startling to realize that the work of the Incarnate Christ, that is, Jesus Christ of Nazareth working and walking among men, was, at its end, apparently a total and complete failure. Man reasons continually in a vicious circle of unbelief that prevents him from discovering ultimate reality. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. Ask, seek, knock, till He comes. He is out in a residential area and for some reason on his own, in his drunken stupor, he stumbles up the steps of a house, and knocks on the door, and says, "Open inna name of the law." He stays to help us practise the lesson He has taught. This is the actuality of an exchanged life. (John 14:12 RSV). And this spirit of conviction on sinners comes in answer to the prayers of God's people. Frequently as we read these great passages of the Scripture, we are either so dazzled by the promise that we fail to heed the condition, or we are so frightened by the condition that we pay little heed to the promise. Invest your life into the salvation of souls. A significant amount of the teaching on the School of Intimacy and Prayer is devoted to developing your relationship with the Holy Spirit. Then the Holy Spirit must work in us efficiently and mightily. St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit. Don't you hunger after truth sometimes? What is it? The role of the Holy Spirit: to give us strength and help in our fight against sin. It was a great temptation to be there. The mightiest operation of God in us brings the mightiest praying. The names that he uses here suggest the richness of this promise. Well, that is who this One is, the Spirit of Truth, the One who unfolds reality, who exposes error, who tears away the veils, who dissolves the mists that confuse us and blind us, who removes the doubts and brings us face to face with things as they really are in life. I read a wonderful testimony by Dr. Emile Caillet concerning his discovery of the Bible as an agnostic young man. The Bible by express statement, as well as by its general principles and clear and constant intimations, teaches us that the gift of the Holy Spirit is connected with and conditioned in prayer. Norman Nelson was there and sang beautifully. I strengthen my relationship with the Holy Spirit by consciously choosing to include Him in every conversation, every interaction, as often as possible. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. He has given the Holy Spirit to you to draw you closer to Him for a more intimate relationship. But it is necessary that we take very seriously both aspects of what our Lord has said. Why is this? And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you." That was the beginning. Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Here we have the initial lesson in prayer for the Holy Spirit which was to enlarge to its full fruitage in Pentecost. The prophet Joel writes, Peter and John had been chastised by the chief priests and elders. There is no elect company here, only the election of undismayed, importunate, never-fainting effort in prayer: "For to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." All rights reserved. Even within a marriage, if our relationship is based only on mutual feelings or common values and not on the Spirit, it runs the risk of being swallowed up by the erotic and emotional. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. It is his work in us. But I do know that the Holy Spirit plays a critical part in our prayer life; He empowers our prayers! Why not? What you do in the power of the Spirit will not fade away. All good is comprehended in the Holy Spirit and He is the sum and climax of all good things. The believer receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, also called the promise of the Father. We need Him, and we need to stir ourselves up to seek Him. Praying in the Spirit is prayer with divine help. He is there right from the start. The coming of the Holy Spirit is dependent upon prayer, for prayer only can compass with its authority and demands, the realm where this Person of the Godhead has His abode. The Holy Spirit is not only the bright lamp of the Christian Dispensation, its Teacher and Guide, but is the Divine Helper. What is the explanation of that? The gospel cannot be executed but by the Holy Ghost. Perhaps in this place, more fully than anywhere else, our Lord unfolds to us the unique secret of Christianity, that aspect of life that has been called "the exchanged life." It is theoretically acceptable, but it is practically unbelievable. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And note, this privilege is exclusively Christian. Those miracles he did, astonishing things, raising men from the dead, healing the sick, opening the eyes or the blind, delivering men, women and little children from the oppression or demons, touching with his hand the withered arm of a man and immediately it springs into full growth and life again. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. You say, I am a believer. One was truly done in the name of the law, the other was done outside the law, even though the same words were used. 5. One can desire a more intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit for the wrong reasons. Because Jesus says "... he dwells with you, and he will be in you," and there is a vital distinction there. When I simply give up arguing back, and start obeying the Lord, I discover all these things begin to work. Lord God, what hypocrites! What is the difference? In the Christian life, faith is always the operative word. 2. Now do you see what he means when he says "greater works than these will you do, because I go to the Father?" Would we pray efficiently and mightily? The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. The measure we receive of Him will be gauged by the fervour of faith and prayer with which we seek Him. In the time of his need they left him. No one opens the door, so after he knocks again and requests that it be opened in the name of the law and there still is no answer, he breaks it down and goes in and makes his arrest. 7 Things Scripture Tells Us the Holy Spirit Does. Nothing can be stronger than this declaration assuring us of the answer unless it be the promise upon which it is based, "And I say unto you, ask and it shall be given you. Before He returned to heaven, Jesus said, “… you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit … But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:5-8. Christ lays down the doctrine that the reception of the Holy Spirit is conditioned on prayer, and He Himself illustrated this universal law, for when the Holy Spirit came upon Him at His baptism, He was praying. There is a condition here. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children, – Romans 8:16. [Thought questions for Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Prayer May 12, 2015]. Immediately after the meeting two Chiefs of Police who were present from the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa came right up to me, visibly moved, and shook my hand and said, "We know what you are talking about. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will come upon us and we will receive power, tongues were not mentioned in Acts 1:8. The projecting power of praying is the measure of the Holy Spirit in us. Though we have the potential he does not have, we are not getting into it. Men left their work and their cities and their ordinary activities of life and went out to hear what he had to say, following him hours upon end. But when you come to the end, where are the crowds? The secret of feeble praying everywhere is the lack of God's Spirit in His mightiness. In the direction in the Sermon on the Mount, we have the very plain and definite promise, "If ye, being evil,[]know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to them that ask him?" He sabotages the work of the Holy Spirit. There must be, we say, for is Jesus really saying that Christians living today, in this 20th century, do not only the works which he did but greater works than these? We marvel as we read the story or the beginning of his ministry. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit Relationship with the Holy Spirit How to know the Holy Spirit. This incident destroys every theory which denies prayer as the condition of the coming and recoming of the Holy Spirit after Pentecost, and confirms the view that Pentecost as the result of a long struggle of prayer is illustrative and confirmatory that God's great and most precious gifts and conditioned on asking, seeking, knocking, prayer, ardent, importunate prayer. The promise is so staggering that we attempt immediately to soften it. It is the same action, and exactly the same man. So the statement of James in the fifth chapter of his Epistle is to this effect: "The fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much." 1:4; 22:17). (A traditional Catholic prayer) Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. For in it Jesus plainly says, "He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do.". And they were all filled with the Holy … It is significant to note that, though Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach, he did teach them how to pray. ". “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us … That means, so many months or years ago I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and now I am a believer. We must seek the Holy Spirit by prayer. Prayer can be audible or silent, private or public, formal or informal. And even these, in the hour of his capture and appearance before Pilate, forsook him and fled. This is what we desperately need down in this area.". That the Holy Spirit is in the world as Christ is in the world is also true. He is the enabling agent in God's new dispensation of doing. The prayer inwrought in the heart by the almighty energy of the Holy Spirit works mightily in its results just as Elijah's prayer did. The Apostolic Church in action illustrates the same great truth. The meeting would be held in lavish surrounds, I knew, and in such a resort area, oftentimes great religious indifference abounds. "In you" means that you are under the control of the Holy Spirit, and yielding obedience to his totalitarian sovereignty. He brings to us the Spirit of the Father. 1. As we talked about this, one of the young men who was with us said a very helpful and insightful thing. He uses here a verb in the present tense which means "he who is continually believing in me." There is nothing quite as pagan, or silly, as this meaningless phrase, "this we ask in Jesus' name," added to our prayers without any understanding or regard as whether or not the prayer is actually being asked in Jesus' name. That was all the Incarnate Christ had to show for the marvelous ministry in the power of the Spirit which he had manifested among men. RayStedman.org/permissions. Why did Jesus, the Creator of the World, and our Savior, need to rely on the Holy Spirit in His ministry on earth?Or did He? Bright lamp of the Holy Spirit in your own Spirit. talked about this, one the. Acts 8:17 ( NASB ) then they began laying their hands on them pray Father... Humbled in the afternoon his own life, he is using it here ask you ``. Will pray the Father and to fellowship with God and to fellowship with God ’ s life is deity!. `` he read, he is called the promise is so little? challenge my. Relying on God to hear, understand, and when we hear the thick voice and recognize that it a. 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