Experiencing the Power of God Part Three

Dr. Anthony W. Adams

The miracle that occurred on the Day of Pentecost was paramount regarding the ministry and life of the church. However, many people really don’t understand the difference between how the Holy Spirit operates in our salvation and how the Holy Spirit operates in regard to the Day of Pentecost experience. In this article I want to deal with how the Holy Spirit operates in our salvation, and where the  Holy Spirit resides.

The Holy Spirit and Salvation

There is a very interesting event that is recorded in John’s gospel, chapter 20 verses 19-22, “On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’(NIV, emphasis mine).  What happened at this dramatic moment?  The disciples entered into, what could be called, New Testament Salvation. Notice the requirements to be saved. “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9, NAS, emphasis mine).

This was the first time the disciples truly believed that God had raised Jesus from the dead. When they confessed Him as Lord and believed that God had raised Him from the dead, they were saved.  Paul said that when we are saved we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), which leads me to the second part of this event.

Jesus did something quite remarkable, “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 19:22, NIV). Why did He do his? To answer this we must look back to the first creation.

“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7, NIV, emphasis mine).  The breath (Holy Spirit) transformed that figure of clay into a living soul.  When Jesus appeared to His disciples and breathed into them the breath of resurrection life, this was a new kind of life. One that had triumphed over all the forces of darkness, death, and evil. This was the breath of resurrection life.  It was at this moment they received the Holy Spirit in salvation.

Where Does the Holy Spirit Reside?

There are two answers to this question.  First, the Holy Spirit lives in the church, the corporate body of Christ.  Consider 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you” (NIV)?  Paul was talking to the Corinthian believers- the church at Corinth. Think about this, God the Holy Spirit dwells in our church. This is one reason why I feel the church is becoming so weak. The Holy Spirit resides in the Community of Faith. I think television and live streaming is good, but people need to come to church where the Holy Spirit resides.  This may be why the writer of Hebrews said, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some re in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV).

Second, the Holy Spirit lives in the body of each new believer.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NIV). When we receive Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling in us.

Conclusion

God the Holy Spirit resides in the church and in us.  This is a powerful truth.  It shows how significant being an active part in a community of faith- in a church- is and it reveals that the Holy Spirit lives in our bodies.

Questions: What should be the believers’ response to these two revelations about the Holy Spirit? What does this say about the church and how we should live our personal lives?  

(Note: We look forward to your comments. You may answer any, all, or none of the questions. If you wish you can pose your own questions or simply add your insight and viewpoint to the article.)