For previous essays that will help you with this subject, please also read THE MOST BLESSED TRINITY and DEFENDING THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST.
Today we celebrate the Day of Pentecost and we reflect upon the Holy Spirit, who is God and the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. Today we will also reflect upon what the Day of Pentecost itself signifies for the Church as a whole and for us as individuals. Moreover, we will see that after we come to believe in Christ as our Savior, as our Lord, and as our God that the Holy Spirit empowers us through the Sacrament of Confirmation to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to all people if we are obedient to Him.
The feast of Pentecost is the third most important holy day celebrated within the Church, with the first most important being Easter and the second being Christmas. It is considered to be the birthday of the Church because it was on this day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Church and empowered the Apostles and the other disciples of Jesus to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world. In essence, Pentecost is ultimately the celebration of the Holy Spirit Himself because of who He is, what He does for us as individuals, and what He does for the Church as a whole.
This essay will provide you with enough information to help you meditate upon why Pentecost is so important to the Church. It will not be exhaustive, for a lot more can be written about this subject, but there is a lot of information provided here that will help you come to understand and appreciate this very special holy day.
WHO AND WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The Holy Spirit (also called the Holy Ghost) is the third Person of God in the Blessed Trinity; for God is ONE in Essence/Substance and He is also THREE Persons. He was active in the Creation (Gen. 1:2, 26), was an active force throughout the Old Testament, and He continues to be of central importance in the New Covenant. He is the manifestation of the love of the Father and of the Son that they have for one another, which is why the Catholic form of the Nicene Creed says that He proceeds from the Father and from the Son. (In reference to the Holy Spirit coming from both the Father and the Son and not just from the Father, refer to Acts 15:5-7, Galatians 4:6, 1 Peter 1:11, among other examples.)
In essence, the Trinity is this: God is perfect Love (1 John 4:8) and perfect Good (1 John 1:5; Matthew 19:16 – 17; Psalm 107:1, 119:68; and elsewhere)). As Love and Goodness personified, God the Father, the First Person of the Trinity, knows and loves Himself perfectly and He can think of a perfect image of Himself. This love and Thought/Word [Logos] (John 1:1) is manifested/begotten but not made (John 3:16) as the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son who is Jesus Christ. The Father and the Son love each other so perfectly that their love for each other manifests into the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. It thus is the Love and Goodness that God is, the love that He has for Himself, along with the fact that He is Existence Itself (Exodus 3:14) that unites the Three Persons of the Trinity as ONE God. For this reason Jesus had said to the Apostles in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Although this explanation does not truly explain the Trinity in an adequate manner, for it is a great mystery that we will always meditate upon, it does provide us with some level of understanding to meditate upon this concept that we will never fully understand.
The Holy Spirt is thus a real Person and not just a force of God, as some heretical Christians do attribute Him to be. Although God does not have a gender because He is an eternal Spirit (save for Jesus who is God Incarnate and does have a body), we refer to Him in the masculine form and not as “It” or “She”. This is clearly seen about God the Father throughout the Bible, it is seen about Jesus, and it is also true about the Holy Spirit. This can be demonstrated in John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26-27; 16:7-8, 12-15; 20:21-23. In addition, paragraphs 683 and 685 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (among others) and the Church Fathers refer to the Holy Spirit as "He" as well.
JESUS’ PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
On Holy Thursday, the day before His Crucifixion, Jesus, during the Last Supper in the upper room, promised His disciples that the Holy Spirit would come to them:
And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, 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.
Note: The original term that Jesus used to describe the Holy Spirit was Paraclete. From this word we see four different translations and meanings that are all true: Counselor, Advocate, Helper, and Comforter.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Note: This promise was specifically given to the Apostles and not to all believers so that they could accurately remember and teach the message that Jesus taught them.
But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.
I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…
I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Then on Easter Sunday, after His Resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared to the Disciples (minus Thomas) in the upper room and reinforced these points:
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
Note: This was to prepare them for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that was to soon come in full later.
Finally, forty days later, before Jesus ascended into Heaven, Acts 1:4-8:
To them he [Jesus] presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."
During the three years of His Ministry, Jesus was teaching and preparing His Disciples (the 12 and the others who followed and learned from Him) to become Apostles (those who are sent out) to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation not just to the Jews and the people of Israel, but also to the entire world. Jesus was (and is) often called Master, not just because He was a great and wise Rabbi (teacher) and not just because He is God incarnate (John1:1-3, 14), but because was truly training His followers to perform a great work and vocation. For this reason, discipleship of Jesus really means a Master and Apprentice relationship, which reflects how people learned a trade skill back then and even now with modern our vocational training.
The fictional Star Wars universe reflects this concept with the religious practices of both the Jedi and the Sith in how they trained their Padawans (Jedi) and Apprentices (Sith) in the ways of the Force. The Jedi, who were good and served the light side of the Force, would train Padawans personally in the ways of the Force so that they could become Jedi Knights in service to the Force and the Jedi Order. Once these Knights were ready to train Padawans of their own, they became Jedi Masters and they would teach their Padawans for years, much like Jesus did with His Disciples, until they were ready to become Knights. Over time, if these Masters proved themselves worthy and wise, they could become one of the twelve Masters who would serve in the Jedi Council to lead the Order.
The Sith, who were evil enemies of the Jedi and served the dark side of the Force, had a similar practice in their history until Darth Bane came, destroyed the Sith Order as it was, and founded a new Sith Order based upon the Rule of Two, in which there would only be two Sith Lords, a Master and Apprentice; no more, no less. Even though he destroyed the old Sith Order because of the weaknesses that he saw in it, Darth Bane also wanted to destroy the Jedi. However, he knew that it would take a long time to accomplish this and he wanted his Sith Order to hide in the shadows to gain strength and power so that when the Sith later revealed themselves to the Jedi it would be too late. Darth Bane thus chose an Apprentice whom would not only share this same vision but would also powerful and wise to continue on his legacy so that the Jedi Order would be destroyed. He chose Darth Zannah, who did continue on Darth Bane’s plan and legacy, but only after many years of training. Darth Zannah later chose an Apprentice of her own, killed her Master, and trained her Apprentice for many years. The cycle continued on for a thousand years until Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine) made Darth Bane’s vision a reality, destroyed the Jedi Order, and established the Sith/Galactic Empire over most of the known galaxy.
It might seem that I have gone on a tangent here by going into the details of a fictional science fantasy story, but I did so with great purpose. The Master and Apprentice relationship seen with the Jedi and Sith reflects what true discipleship to Christ means: Christ is the ultimate Master who trained His followers to be true Knights in service to the Kingdom of God. And if the Sith Lord and Master Darth Bane was patient and expected his plan to take years to accomplish and carefully chose and trained his Apprentice to carry on his legacy, how much more do you think that the Lord of Lords and ultimate Master, Jesus Christ, would train the Twelve Disciples, as well as the other disciples, to perform His work? Darth Bane sought to bring forth a Sith empire; Jesus prepared the coming of the great Kingdom of God with Himself as King forever. Jesus thus chose and trained His Disciples to be true Apprentices to spread the Gospel, to found the Church, to lead it, and to pass it on to their successors. We see this Master and Apprentice relationship carried on by the Apostles themselves (St. Peter and St. Mark; St. Paul and St. Luke, St. Timothy, etc.). And we see throughout the Church’s history that discipleship of Christ continued on with this Master and Apprentice relationship. This is a theme emphasized by Dr. Edward L. Smither throughout his book Augustine as Mentor: A Model for Preparing Spiritual Leaders.
However, as the true Master training His Apprentices to not just be disciples but also apostles, Jesus not only taught them what to do, but He also prepared them to do it. In the context of the same passages quoted before, Jesus told the Disciples in John 14:12:
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.
Jesus told them these words and then proceeded to explain to them the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit and that it was advantageous for them that He would leave them so that the Holy Spirt could come and empower them to continue on with the next phase of bringing forth the Kingdom of God to people of every nation and culture of the Earth. And that is why in Acts 1 we see that Jesus commanded them to wait in the city of Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit would come to empower them. Jesus then ascended into Heaven, and the Disciples, the Virgin Mary, and others totaling a hundred and twenty people waited in Jerusalem in prayer to prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the end, Jesus’ words were proven true because in terms of teaching and geographical location, Jesus only spent three years in ministry limited to the territory of what was ancient Israel, whereas the Apostles later spent decades in ministry and spread the Gospel throughout the known world and their successors spread their work even further in the centuries to come.
THE DAY OF PENTECOST
Ten days after the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven (fifty days after the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead), the 120 were in the same upper room of the Last Supper waiting in prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This was the Jewish feast of Pentecost (also called Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks). This Jewish feast commemorated the decent of the Holy Spirit on Mount Sinai after the Hebrew exodus from Egypt and the institution of the Covenant that God instituted there with them through Moses (Exodus 19). When the Holy Spirit descended upon Sinai, He did so in the form of a cloud of smoke, thunder, lightning, and fire. And on this Day of Pentecost, we see the Holy Spirit descending upon those in the upper room in a similar fashion; according to Acts 2:1-4:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The Day of Pentecost is often referred to as the birthday of the Church since this was when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Church to empower the Disciples and the others who were present to truly become Apostles. For this reason, the Catholic Church and many other Christians continue to celebrate Pentecost every year on Pentecost Sunday, seven weeks after Easter Sunday, which along with Easter Sunday brings about the Easter Season to last a total of fifty days.
We see an immediate change in the Apostles at this point. On the night of Holy Thursday when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, all fled in fear and abandoned Him. Peter later had the courage to follow Him from a distance, but he betrayed Jesus by denying Him three times and then he hid himself in shame and fear. None of the other Disciples came to Calvary when Jesus was crucified except for St. John, but he only did so in the company of the Virgin Mary and the women who had the courage to go, which the men did not have. And after the Death of Jesus, all of the Disciples (save for Judas, who killed himself after betraying Jesus) continued to hide in fear because they expected the Jewish leaders to round them up and execute them in a manner similar to how Jesus had died.
However, from the Day of Pentecost on, they were no longer afraid. We see St. Peter and the others filled with the Holy Spirit openly preaching about Jesus to all of the Jews and throughout the known world without fear and rejoicing when they had the chance to die for Christ. In fact, all of them and all of the writers of the New Testament except for St. John died as martyrs for Christ. St. Peter was crucified upside down in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero Caesar, St. Paul (who went from persecutor of Christians to a leader of the Church) was beheaded in Rome, St. Andrew was crucified in Greece, St. James was killed by King Herod in Jerusalem, St. Thomas was martyred in India, and the others met similar fates. Although St. John lived a long life until the end of the 1st Century and died of natural causes, he still faced martyrdom too and was put into a cauldron of boiling oil, but was miraculously saved.
These men, the women in their company, and their disciples and successors faced imprisonment, being beaten, being tortured, and being killed for the Faith. The first centuries of the Church had numerous persecutions of Christians who suffered and died for Christ and the Christian Faith. Even afterwards the persecutions continued and do so to this day throughout various parts of the world. The Catholic Church now honors thousands of martyrs as Saints because they died for Christ and for the Faith without compromise and they did so, and continue to do so, because they were empowered by the Holy Spirit to not be afraid to die for Christ.
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church have two Sacraments through which the Holy Spirit descended upon us: Baptism and Confirmation. (For a greater explanation of Baptism, refer to my essay THE CATHOLIC TEACHING ON BAPTISM.) The two are separate because they have separate functions. In the Sacrament of Baptism, the Grace of God comes upon us through the Holy Spirit who descends upon us, cleanses us from sin, and makes us Children of God. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are later empowered by the Holy Spirit to not just become children, but soldiers of God; true Knights of the Kingdom of God. As Saint Thomas Aquinas said:
…in this sacrament man receives the Holy Ghost for strength in the spiritual combat, that he may bravely confess the Faith of Christ even in face of the enemies of that Faith. Wherefore he is fittingly signed with the sign of the cross on the forehead… because he is signed with the sign of the cross, as a soldier with the sign of his leader… (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Third Part, Question 72, Article 9)
But why is it that Baptism and Confirmation are two separate Sacraments if the descent of the Holy Spirit is involved in both? It is because the Bible itself demonstrates that they are two separate rites and Confirmation completes what is begun in Baptism. As already noted, in Acts 2 the Apostles and the others in their company of 120 received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost even though they were already believers and had been baptized previously. Moreover, for every believer in Christ who was not present on the Day of Pentecost, this Sacrament makes Pentecost present to us and is a perpetuation of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for generations to come. We see this evident in Acts 8:4-17 when Philip, who is a different Phillip than the Apostle Phillip, went to the city of Samaria, preached the Gospel there, and baptized the new believers. However, when these new believers were baptized, they did not receive the power of the Holy Spirit so the Church sent St. Peter and St. John up to Samaria from Jerusalem to lay their hands upon them so that they could receive the Holy Spirit. Saint Paul reinforces this point to Saint Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:1-14 that it was through the laying on of hands that Timothy received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation is thus a seal of the Holy Spirit that grants us the power of the Holy Spirit, it is an imprint upon our character that helps change us, and it is a seal of God upon our souls. The Sacrament is usually given by the Bishop to those who have been raised in the Faith around the time of Pentecost each year. However, in the case of converts to the Faith, it is usually given by the priest during the Easter Vigil after the initiates have already visited the Bishop for the Rite of Election. In both cases, those who receive this Sacrament are anointed with oil on their foreheads to symbolize the sealing of the Holy Spirit upon our minds and our souls. In Revelation 7 we see a reference to this sealing (this mark that you belong to God) on the foreheads of the believers of Christ. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:
1288 "From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ's will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism. For this reason in the Letter to the Hebrews [6:2] the doctrine concerning Baptism and the laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian instruction. The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church."
1295 By this anointing the confirmand receives the "mark," the seal of the Holy Spirit. A seal is a symbol of a person, a sign of personal authority, or ownership of an object. Hence soldiers were marked with their leader's seal and slaves with their master's. A seal authenticates a juridical act or document and occasionally makes it secret.
Note: The SPQR symbol (Senatus Populusque Romanus "The Senate and People of Rome") was found on nearly every Roman military banner and was also tattooed onto the Roman soldier on his arm, as seen with Maximus from the movie Gladiator.
1296 Christ himself declared that he was marked with his Father's seal. Christians are also marked with a seal: "It is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has commissioned us; he has put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." This seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in his service for ever, as well as the promise of divine protection in the great eschatological trial.
Note: Refer to Revelation 7.
1302 It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.
1303 From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
- it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, "Abba! Father!";
- it unites us more firmly to Christ;
- it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
- it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
- it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross:
Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God's presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.
1304 Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the "character," which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness.
Like the water of Baptism, which is a visual sign used by God to demonstrate the cleansing of sin, the oil of Confirmation is a visual sign of this sealing by the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Old and New Testament we see the power of the anointing with oil used by God for healing, for a seal that one is to be king, and for a seal that one is to be consecrated as a priest or prophet. In 1 Samuel 10 we see this triple sealing with oil on King Saul and in this passage we read that the Holy Spirit had descended upon him and gave him the ability to prophesy along with the prophets. Of course, Saul later turned against God and the Holy Spirit left him, so let this be an example to all believers to not turn away from God after He has anointed us with our mission of service to Him.
THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES
The power of the Holy Spirit is not ours to wield as the Force is for the Jedi and the Sith in the Star Wars universe. Moreover, it is not a superpower that we gain or an “empowerment” that those who practice magic attempt to acquire for personal gain. Rather, we become conduits of Grace; the Holy Spirit works through us to better our personal lives, to proclaim and live the Gospel of Christ, and to help and inspire others with our teaching and example. In essence, we as believers become as the waters of Baptism and as the oil of Confirmation through which the Holy Spirit ministers and bestows Grace to others.
Nevertheless, although it is not our own power to wield and use as we please, it is real power that changes our lives. As previously demonstrated in Acts 2 and 1 Samuel 10, the power of the Holy Spirit can empower us to not have fear to profess the Gospel of Christ and as a result we can become prophets through which God speaks through us to others. To certain believers, God gives certain gifts of the Holy Spirit; some believers may have many of them although some might only have some of them. The purpose of these gifts is not merely for the edification of the individual who has been given them, but for the edification of the Church as a whole when that person uses them.
According to Isaiah 11:2, the Seven [main] Gifts of the Holy Spirit are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Fear of the Lord, and Piety. (Piety is not listed in Isaiah 11:2 as one of the gifts but was added by the Church.)
Romans 12:6-8 tells us that other gifts include Prophecy, Faith, Ministry, Teaching, Exhortation (Encouragement), Giving, Leadership, Mercy.
1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; 13:1-3 adds Healing, Miracles, Discernment of Spirits, Tongues, Interpreting Tongues, Apostles, Helpers, Administrators, Redemptive Suffering (Martyrdom).
Ephesians 4:11 tells us that some of us are given the gifts to become Evangelists (Preachers) and Pastor-Teachers (Shepherds).
Finally, there are special things that the Holy Spirit continues to do for the Church as a whole: the Holy Spirit works to keep Jesus’ promise that not only will the Church not be destroyed but also that she will never teach any false doctrine (Matthew 16:18); the Holy Spirit is the author of Sacred Scripture (1 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21), He guided the Church to close the Canon of the Bible, and He continues to guide the Church in how to properly interpret it; and the Holy Spirit helps us pray (Romans 8:26).
In addition, for those of us who believe and strive to live the Gospel in our lives, our walk with God is evidenced by the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, which according to Galatians 5:22-23 are Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control. However, Galatians 5:19-21 tells us that in order to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit we cannot be attached to sin, which are the works of the flesh:
Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:16 that we will be recognized by the fruits that we bear. In order to bear the Fruits of the Holy Spirit and to allow the Holy Spirit to change us, we must first be willing to change. This is not an easy process, but it is a necessary one for if we remain attached to sin it can damn us to Hell, our sins impact others, other people can be drawn into sin by our example if we are teaching the Faith but are not following it, and we can push people away from accepting the Faith if we ourselves are not bearing the Fruits of the Holy Spirit and are instead walking hypocrites. (Refer to my previous essay REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION OF SIN.) To paraphrase what G.K. Chesterton once said, the number one argument against Christianity is Christians themselves.
Nevertheless, when we are willing to change and strive to become free from our attachments to sin, the Holy Spirit gives us Actual Grace to become motivated to strive for this change and Sanctifying Grace to cleanse us from sin. In the end, the Holy Spirit can do wonders for us and through us, but we need to become willing to make that happen. Our goal should be for ourselves to change for the better, which is one of the main themes of Christianity, and to change the world as a whole. We can change the world by being obedient to Christ and by not being afraid to preach the Gospel; the Holy Spirit is the one who ultimately works through us to make this happen.
God Himself is Love, embodied and manifested, exemplified by the Trinity Himself. He loves us so much that He as the Second Person of the Trinity (Jesus Christ) became one of us to die for us and redeem us from the power of sin. Moreover, He loves us so much that the Third Person of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit) comes upon us, dwells within us so that we become His living temples (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), changes us, sanctifies us, and empowers to profess and teach the Gospel of Christ to all people without fear. The Holy Spirit also makes us Children of God and Knights in the Kingdom of God.
When we make the choice to give our lives to Christ and to become His servants, the Holy Spirit empowers us so that He can do great things for us and through us for others. However, this itself is also a choice and requires us to want the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. The choices that we make not only affect the salvation of our own souls, but they can also impact the salvation of others. Are you willing to make these right choices? You will still fail along the way; you will stumble and sin over and over again, for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38). Nevertheless, God is merciful and is not only willing to forgive your sins but He also wants to help you overcome them, but you have to want His mercy and you have to want to change. The power of the Holy Spirit gives us the Grace and strength we need to do that.
In closing, meditate upon this prayer and make its words your own:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14).
To download a FREE lecture that I have done previously on this subject, as well as some of my other lectures, click HERE.
SCRIPTURES TO CONSULT:
JOHN 14:12,16-17,26; 15:26-27; 16:7-8,12-15
EXODUS 19; ACTS 1:1-14; 2
ACTS 8:4-17; 2 TIMOTHY 1:1-14
1 SAMUEL 10; REVELATION 7
ISAIAH 11:2; ROMANS 12:6-8; 1 CORINTHIANS 12:8-10, 28-30; 13:1-3 ; EPHESIANS 4:11