Spirit Of Judgment/Spirit Of Burning

When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.   Isaiah 4:4
 
This verse from the prophet Isaiah emphasizes the Holy Spirit’s work as Judge. His twin titles-Spirit of Judgment and Spirit of Burning-show that He is active with God the Father and Jesus the Son in exercising divine judgment against sin and rebellion.
 
Isaiah speaks in this verse about the Spirit’s judgment against the sinful nation of Judah, but the three Persons of the Trinity have the authority to exercise judgment against sin wherever it is found.
 
The name Spirit of Burning depicts divine judgment as a fire. Most of us think of fire in negative terms because of the destruction it can cause. But fire can also purify, as it does when ore is heated to separate useless dross from a precious metal such as silver. We as Christians should pray for the Spirit of Burning to convict us of our sin, refine our lives, and shape us into instruments of usefulness in God’s service. 
 
These names of God the Holy Spirit are similar to names by which God the Father and God the Son are known. God is called a Consuming Fire (Hebrews 12:29), and Jesus is described as a Refiner’s Fire (Malachi 3:2).


Spirit Of Grace And Supplications

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son.  Zechariah 12:10
 
The prophet Zechariah in this verse looks into the future to the coming of the Messiah, the one “whom they pierced”- a clear reference to the crucifixion of Jesus. Along with the Messiah, God the Father would also send the Holy Spirit, whom Zechariah describes as the Spirit of Grace and Supplications. 
 
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Grace because He convicts people of their sin and leads them to place their faith in Jesus Christ. No one can earn God’s grace or purchase His indwelling Spirit. He gives His grace and His Spirit generously to those who confess His Son Jesus as Savior and Lord.
 
Supplication is a distinct form of prayer in which a person is keenly aware of his sin and he cries out to God for forgiveness. Jesus commended the unrighteous publican or tax collector because he prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Supplications because He leads us to drop our self-righteous pride and throw ourselves on the mercy and grace of God for forgiveness and restoration. 


Spirit Of God

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17
 
These verses describe Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist at the beginning of His public ministry-an event reported by all three Synoptic Gospels.
 
But Matthew’s Gospel is the only one of the three that calls the Holy Spirit who descended upon Jesus the Spirit of God. This is a common name for the Spirit in the Old Testament, but it appears only a few times in the New Testament.
 
Perhaps Matthew used this name for the Holy Spirit because he wanted to emphasize that Jesus was empowered directly by God Himself when God sent His Spirit upon His Son. Matthew’s Gospel is also known for its portrayal of Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. And the coming of the Spirit upon Jesus at His baptism fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah that “the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him”.
 
One of the most interesting things about this passage is Matthew’s description of God’s Holy Spirit “descending like a dove” and alighting on Jesus. As a spirit being, the Holy Spirit is invisible. The only other time in the Bible when the Spirit appeared in visible form was on the Day of Pentecost, when He appeared to the apostles as “cloven tongues like as of fire” and settled on “each of them”.
 
Was the visible appearance of the Holy Spirit on this occasion God’s way of assuring Jesus of His power and presence? Possibly. But Jesus had been conscious of His unique mission from an early age.
 
Did the Holy Spirit actually look like a dove, or was Matthew using symbolic language? Matthew says the Spirit descended “like a dove,” but Luke’s account says the Spirit came down “in a bodily shape like a dove upon him”.
 
Maybe we’re trying a little too hard to make sense of the details in this passage and missing the real message that Matthew was trying to get across. Here’s the double-edge bottom line: (1) God was pleased to send His Son into the world as His personal representative on a mission of redemption. (2) This mission was so important that God empowered Jesus with His own Spirit for the task.  


Spirit Of Glory

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 1 Peter 4:14
 
The apostle Peter may have been thinking back to the time when Jesus told His disciples what to do when they were persecuted for following Him. They were to “take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Matthew 10:19-20).
 
In effect, Jesus told them not to retaliate against or resist their persecutors, but to trust the Holy Spirit-the Spirit of Glory-to take care of them and give them the words to say in rebuttal. The same Spirit that guided Jesus throughout His ministry would also abide with the disciples, strengthening them to serve as Jesus’ bold witnesses.
 
The Spirit of Glory does not desert us during our times of persecution. He honors us for our sacrificial suffering in God’s service, just as He gloried Jesus by raising Him from the dead.


Spirit Of Faith

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.  2 Corinthians 4:13
 
This is the only place in the New Testament where the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Faith. Is is no accident that it appears in the writings of the apostle Paul, who has more to say about faith than any other New Testament writer. 
 
To understand this verse from 2 Corinthians, we need to consider Paul’s famous statement in the book of Ephesians about the centrality of faith: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
 
Notice that Paul does not say that we are saved by faith, but through faith. It is Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that saves us; we claim this sacrifice for ourselves by placing our faith in Him as our Savior and Lord. Faith is our human response to His sacrifice, which we must exercise before we can experience forgiveness for our sins and find new life in Jesus Christ.  
 
If humans faith is an essential element of the salvation process, how do we have such faith? Paul’s answers is that saving faith is a work of the Holy Spirit-the Spirit of Faith. He alone can convict us of sin and lead us to declare our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Without the movement of the Holy Spirit to kindle faith in our hearts and minds, we would remain hopelessly lost in our sin. 


Spirit Of Counsel And Might

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.  Isaiah 11:2
 
The prophet Isaiah in this passage looks more than six hundred years into the future and predicts the coming of the Messiah. This great leader among God’s people would be filled with God’s Spirit, to whom the prophet refers as the Spirit of Counsel and Might.
 
All of us have known people who love to give us their advice and counsel-at no charge! And we know others who are people of action. But how many people do you know who can tell you what to do and then fill you with the strength to accomplish their advice? People like this are a rarity, but Isaiah declares that work like this is just a routine “day at the office” for the Holy Spirit.
 
The Holy Spirit knows what we should do to bring our lives into line with God’s will. He warns us about the dangers of temptation. But He also gives us the strength to resist temptation. When we do stumble and fall, He assures us of our restored relationship with God, when we confess our sins before God the Father and Jesus the Son.
 
Counsel and might. This unusual combination of skills is just one more proof of God’s love for His people.


Spirit Of Christ

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  Romans 8:9
 
This is one of those verses in the King James Version that is made even more impressive by a modern translation. The New International Version renders it like this: “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
 
The first dramatic truth emphasized by this verse is that the Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. This is a bold affirmation that Jesus was one with the Father, yet distinct from Him at the same time. Our minds have a hard time taking in this concept, but this is the clear teaching of the Bible.
 
The apostle Paul also declares in this verse that the Holy Spirit is a gift of God’s grace that transforms us when we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Paul even goes so far as to say that the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is proof of our salvation, showing that we “belong to Christ.”
 
This name for the Holy Spirit-Spirit of Christ-also shows that He was closely connected with Jesus’ earthly ministry and that He continues to empower the church to continue Jesus’ work in our time. The Holy Spirit enabled the prophets to foresee the coming of Jesus into the world (see 1 Peter 1:10-11). The Spirit unites the church, Jesus’ body, to Him as the head of the church (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-13). The Holy Spirit causes us as Christians to grow more and more like the Lord whom we serve (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).
 
Two similar names that Paul uses for the Holy Spirit are Spirit of God’s Son (Galatians 4:6) and Spirit of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:19).


Spirit of Adoption

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  Romains 8:15
 
In this verse, the apostle Paul compares our situation before we become believers to the new status we enjoy after our conversion. The old life is comparable to that of a slave in bondage, with no rights or privileges. But after coming to new life in Christ, we have all the advantages of sonship as children of God the Father.
 
Paul uses the concept of adoption to emphasize our new status with God. We were once children of sin, but God delivered us from our bondage and adopted us as His own. So close is our relationship to God as our adoptive Father that we can call Him “Abba,” an Aramaic word equivalent to our modern “Daddy” or “Papa.”
 
The Holy Spirit has a vital role in this adoption process. His presence in our lives assures us that we belong to God. The Spirit will never let us forget that we enjoy a position of dignity and honor with Him in the family of God the Father and Jesus the Son.


Seven Spirits

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness.  Revelation 1:4-5
 
This reference to the Holy Spirit as Seven Spirits is puzzling to many Bible students. We know from the apostle Paul’s writings that the Holy Spirit is one. He declared to the believers at Corinth, “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). So how could the apostle John in these verses from Revelation claim that the Holy Spirit is seven in number?
 
The best explanation is that John used the number seven to emphasize the fullness and completeness of the Holy Spirit. Seven was considered the perfect number in Bible times, and it appears often throughout the Bible to symbolize wholeness and perfection. John uses the number in this sense many times throughout Revelation: seven candlesticks (1:12), seven stars (1:16), seven seals (5:1), seven horns (5:6), and seven eyes (5:6).


Power Of The Highest

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  Luke 1:35
 
These words of assurance were spoken to Mary, the mother of Jesus, by the angel Gabriel. Although Mary was a virgin, she would give birth to the Son of God. His conception would occur through the action of the Holy Spirit, whom Gabriel described as the Power of the Highest. 
 
No other word describes the work of God’s Spirit as well as power. Throughout the Bible, this is the dominant feature of His miraculous work. 
 
For example, Saul, as the first king of Israel, learned firsthand about the overwhelming power of the Holy Spirit. Insanely jealous of David, he sent several assassins to kill him. But the Spirit of God came upon them, causing them to utter prophecies instead of carrying out the king’s orders.
 
Finally, Saul himself went to murder David, but the same thing happened to him. he fell into a prophetic trance, and the people asked, “Is Saul also among the prophet?” King Saul was the most powerful man in Israel, but he was no match for the Holy Spirit and His power. God’s Spirit protected David, who had been selected by the Lord to succeed Saul as king.
 
In the New Testament, when Jesus prepared to ascend to His Father, He told His disciples, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” 
 
As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit empowered His disciples and other early Christians to carry out the Great Commission. The initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred on the Day of Pentecost, transforming the followers of Jesus into bold witnesses for Him. Their zeal in preaching the gospel is described throughout the book of Acts. From the Jews to the Samaritans to the Gentiles, the good news about Jesus spread like a roaring forest fire until it reached the very center of the Roman Empire, the capital city of Rome.
 
But the Holy Spirit has not restricted His work to that long-ago time. He is still at work in our day and age through those who follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. God the Father will do His work through us as Christians: “Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”



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