Holy Spirit empowerment is crucial to living a life of discipleship, witness, mission, and service. This component of teaching explores who the Holy Spirit is, His giftings and fruit, and the importance of His work in spiritual warfare.
Jesus modelled the way for us by being empowered and ministered to by the Holy Spirit. Just as the Spirit worked in Jesus’ life, He will carry out all that God has for us and wants to do in our lives.
Every person needs the Holy Spirit to help come to a recognition of our sin; to repent; to be led to God; to be given faith to believe; to become part of the family of God; to be sealed; to regenerated; to intercede in prayer and understand the Bible; to be empowered for ministry; to bring about true life change; to help in serving and loving others through spiritual gifts; to display the fruit of the Spirit as a disciple of Jesus (John 3:5; 14:26; 16:7-15; Ephesians 1:13; Romans 8:16, 26; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 5:18).
We cannot live a victorious life and fulfill the Great Commission without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Gifts of the Holy Spirit are special abilities that the Holy Spirit gives to disciples of Jesus for the purpose of building up the Body of Christ. They are divine abilities granted to followers of Jesus to accomplish what God has called them to do. As it is recorded in 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
All disciples of Jesus have been given one or more of the Holy Spirit’s gifts so that we can function within the body of Christ. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will bring forth the fullness of His working in our lives. It is through the gifts of the Spirit that we are able to effectively encourage one another in our faith and receive the help of the Comforter in our lives. All gifts should be used to glorify Jesus and to benefit others.
Reflection questions: What is the best way to encourage others to exercise the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in their lives? How often do we pray and encourage others to receive and discern these gifts?
The Battle for our Souls
Spiritual warfare is a reality for any follower of Christ (Eph. 6:10-12, 2 Cor. 10:3-5). The Bible tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against demonic forces. “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
The enemy uses different strategies to war against us such as deception, temptation, accusation, negligence, rebelliousness, fear, ungodliness etc. To win souls from the hand and realm of the power of the darkness, we must be empowered and led by the Holy Spirit and the word of God (Ephesians 6:12-18).
In conclusion, a Holy Spirit empowered life results in victory over sin, joy and peace in heart, and submission towards the Lord and others. To live as disciples of Jesus with fruitful and victorious lives, we must walk in total dependence on the Holy Spirit.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the character-building outcomes of one who is saturated with Holy Spirit presence (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit of the Spirit enables us to eliminate spiritual barrenness, to escape the corruption of the world, and to experience the divine nature of God in our own lives (2 Peter 1:4-8). It is our responsibility to walk in step with the Spirit so as to develop this fruit that is the character of Christ in our lives; not only will it cause us to grow spiritually, but it will be a powerful witness to unbelievers as well (2 Peter 1:8-9).
This is the second post of a 9-part series that explores “Discipling in the way of Jesus”, a focus on Global Disciples’ 9 Essential Components of Discipleship Training. The series summarizes the core teaching of our discipleship-mission training that is taught to program directors chosen by local clusters of churches around the world.