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The Holy Spirit as Revealed in the Gospels As it Relates to We Disciples- Part I

In my last two posts I tried to explore Jesus’s relationship with the Holy Spirit as is revealed in the four gospels and in some Old Testament passages.

In this post I want to explore what John the Baptist and Jesus taught us about the Holy Spirit in the four gospels as it relates to our being His disciple and living a life pleasing to Him. You will find nine truths below. Nine more next time.


I.              Our Relationship with the Holy Spirit

-              One of the primary distinctives of Jesus’s ministry is to baptize His disciples then and today in, with or by the Holy Spirit. – “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matt. 3:11

I baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”  Mark 1:8

John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Luke 3:16

This is something unique that Jesus promises to do for each of His disciples. With His original disciples it happened after their conversions/after they were born again. It was something additional to their being sealed or receiving the Holy Spirit. See   for more instruction on the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the N.T.



-              One of Jesus’s promises to His disciples then and today is that we can trust the Holy Spirit to anoint or instruct us for what to say and how to respond when we are all of a sudden on the spot in front of a government official or persecutor with no chance and no need to prepare. The context of all three passages is persecution for our faith in Jesus. – “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Matt. 10:19,20

When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.”  Mark 13:11

When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”  Luke 12:11,12

One of the things the Holy Spirit specializes in is giving us a specific word for a specific situation/opportunity on the spot.


-              Jesus sternly warned then and His warning should be heeded today that it is very serious to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. – “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” Matt. 12:31,32

Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” – because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”  Mark 3:28-30

And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.  Luke 12:10


The context of all three passages is Jesus’s enemies charging that He cast out demons by Satan rather than by the power of God. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit then must be attributing something the Holy Spirit has said or done through one of His servants to the devil. Sadly this happens a lot today even in the body of Christ, and few seem to take the warning seriously. It is beyond the scope of this post to fully dive into all that is involved theologically in these three passages. Practically though let’s be very careful about unrighteously judging what other believers say or do unless we absolutely know for sure somehow that they are not led or anointed by the Holy Spirit.


-              Disciples are to be water baptized in the name of the H.S. – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matt. 28:19  This is not a formula. Every believer in Jesus Christ must be baptized in water by more mature disciples who know and worship and walk with our triune God. New disciples of Jesus Christ cannot come to know and revere God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit soon enough. In our experience many worshipping communities are the weakest in their knowledge of and experience of the Holy Spirit for a variety of reasons.


-              Three of the people God used significantly to prepare the way for Jesus to begin and fulfill His ministry were said to be filled by or with the H.S. – The first is John the Baptizer as seen in Luke 1:15 “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.” How can someone be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in their mother’s womb?  Well the least we can say is the Holy Spirit begins to work in their hearts and minds while they are in the womb. He is God. He can do that! This filling appears to be a divine anointing that enabled John to live a godly life and fulfill his ministry.


The next person said to be filled with the Holy Spirit is Elizabeth – John’s mother. We see this in Luke 1:41, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”  This filling seems to be more of an experience or encounter with the Holy Spirit, though of course Elizabeth needed divine enablement to be the godly mother John the baptizer would need. But the context seems to me to be more of an experience she had with the Holy Spirit in that moment for that moment.

The third person in the gospels said to be filled with the Holy Spirit (other than Jesus) was Zacharias – John’s father as seen in Luke 1:67, “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:” This filling enabled him to prophesy at that moment for those listening then and for all of us who have listened in since.


             -  Simeon was an unusually devout man in his day aided by His relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is seen in two phrases in Luke 2:25, 26, “And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to Him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Not many older men in Jesus’s day were described as devout and righteous. Then as today, older men don’t necessarily end well spiritually. Simeon is given to us as an example of one who did end well enabled by His relationship with the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit was “upon him” it was because Simeon obeyed and looked to the Holy Spirit for enablement. Simeon also had learned to listen to His voice for his present and his future – that is for how he should think about his present and his future.


-              The Father promises to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” Luke 11:13  Simeon must have learned to do this. Jesus wants all of His disciples to do this as a way of life. For some of us God had to let us go through some intense trials and difficulties to see our need for the Holy Spirit. My encouragement is to act on this gracious promise daily as your need for Him is far greater than you can imagine and your experience of Him is nothing compared to what it could be. Ask, ask and ask again!!


-              The Father gives the Holy Spirit without measure.  “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.”  John 3:34

Jesus is basically saying here that He speaks the words of God only and entirely – by the enablement of the Holy Spirit. Based on Luke 11:13 and other scriptures I believe Jesus as one fully human while on earth asked for more of the Holy Spirit’s power and anointing as a way of life. The Father is not stingy. He is extremely gracious and generous. And He longs to give more of the Holy Spirit – that is more ability for us to know and experience and be led and anointed by Him.  For us to obey Luke 11:13 we need to be convinced of John 3:34.


-              Jesus made it clear with Nicodemus that anyone who would seek to know and walk with Him must be born of the Spirit. ”Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” - John 3:5, 6, 8  God is spirit and anyone who would relate to Him must be re-created by the Holy Spirit. Anyone who would be saved from their sins and be able to enter His kingdom must be re-born by the Spirit of God. We need a total makeover and only the Holy Spirit by the blood of Jesus can do that. We need a total new capacity created by and imparted to us by the Holy Spirit to be able to know and see and walk with the living God who is Holy and who is Spirit.


I have nine more truths on this topic to share, but my board has encouraged me (as has my wife) to write shorter posts when I can, so I will stop for now. May the Father help us all be more filled by the Holy Spirit today for His glory in Jesus’s name! Amen.

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