In my last post, I examined some of the important works of the Holy Spirit. There are numerous works that we could discuss, but I would like to highlight a few more that I believe are of utmost importance to the believer. This works that I will discuss today are particularly important to the process of Sanctification whereby we are being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
1. The Filling of the Holy Spirit
There has been much made of the filling of the Holy Spirit. Many have made this out to be some spectacular event which is evidenced by various outward signs. While that is one way to look at this work, I tend to believe it is an inward thing that happens within a person and focuses not on what they say but on what they do.
To be filled with the Spirit means that we are controlled by the Holy Spirit. It points to obedience in the life of a believer as he is walking under the influence of God's sway. Being filled with obedience creates within us a sense of renewal and boldness regarding the things of God.
In Ephesians 5:18, Paul instructs us to "be filled with the Holy Spirit". That verb "be filled" is in the present tense which reminds us that we must constantly be filled and re-filled (like a tank of gas) as we live out our Christian experience.
2. The Annointing of the Holy Spirit
This work of the Spirit is one that I have often been at odds with my Baptist brethren over. Many don't see the importance or even the presence of the anointing in the New Testament, but I believe we miss this at our own expense.
When God anoints us for a work, it means He has set us apart, He has equipped us, and He has given us authority. When I was younger, I often heard people say of preachers "he speaks with authority." I believe that they were often identifying that the man of God was anointed in his preaching. I don't know about you, but I have the difference between a preacher who is anointed and one who is not. I've seen men with no education preach with great anointing and i've seen men with many degrees not be able to get a sermon off the ground. Our help comes from the Lord when we go to do a work for Him.
1 John 2:20 teaches us that the anointing protects from falsehood when John writes, "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things." 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 teaches us that we can stand firm in Christ because we have been anointed. Paul tells the church at Corinth, "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." We need the anointing of God on us as we work for Him.
3. The Sealing of the Holy Spirit
In ancient days, every king had a wax seal. When he wrote a letter, he would drop some wax on the outside and press his seal into the wax. That would do two things: 1) it would keep the contents within safe, and 2) it would let the recipient of the letter know where it came from. In the Bible, the believer is described as being sealed by the Holy Spirit.
In much the same way, God has sealed us with His Holy Spirit so that the whole world might know that we belong to Him. He wants us to be an expression of His goodness to a world that is so bad. When we leave our lives, we ought to show of the seal of God's Spirit that indicates that we are His.
Not only does God seal us to show that we are His, but He also seals us so that we are protected from the world and from the evil one. His seal keeps that which we have committed to Him safe within His care. It is because we are sealed that we have full confidence that our salvation is eternally secure.
Paul sums it up perfectly in Ephesians 1:13-14 when he says, "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory."