Healthy Leaders


Depending on the Holy Spirit for Life in the Church

Jim BrennemanJim Brenneman

Salvation and life in the Healthy Church is supernatural and must flow from the Holy Spirit!

The Church was originally birthed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, with many great confirming miracles. Churches around the world have differing views with regard to the continuation of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, but regardless of our view of the gifts, all Christians affirm that the life of the believer and the life of the Church flows from the Spirit of God (John 15:26-27; 16:12-15; Rom. 8:1-16; Eph. 2:14-22; etc.)

While Jesus was with the disciples, He was personally guiding and training them. He told them that He was going away, but He promised to send them the Holy Spirit as “another Helper” to continue His work in their lives (John 16:12-17; Acts 1:4-8).

After His ascension, Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:32-33) so that the lives and ministry of the disciples and of all future believers would be a continuation of what He began when He was on the earth (Acts 1:1; 2:33; 4:10). All the miracles they experienced were done by Jesus through the Spirit of God in them (Acts 4:12-13; 5:30-32; 9:34).

As believers, we are restored to spiritual life so that we are no longer dead or separated from God (Rom. 8:2; Eph. 2:1-10; Tit. 3:5). Now as His disciples we are to live by the power of the indwelling Spirit and we are equipped to edify one another in our churches by the enabling of the Holy Spirit. By the same Spirit we are endued with power to be witnesses of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.

The Church, then, is supernatural, moving and living by the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of individuals who are joined together as one family by God the Father. Individually and corporately, we are energized with real life from God flowing from the indwelling Spirit of God working in our lives now. 

In this sense we all have the Holy Spirit, but the question remains: How much does the Holy Spirit have us?

Jesus promised to give the Holy Spirit to children of the heavenly Father who ask:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, by how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:13)

When we believe, God provides the Holy Spirit as part of the provision of our salvation. But beyond that, we can be more or less yielded or filled with the Holy Spirit as we desire. Paul tells the believers in Ephesus to “keep being filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18) and Jesus taught us that we should pray for the Father to give us the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13).

We must not be afraid of spiritual power – God loves us and wants us to receive more of His good and gracious Holy Spirit (Neh. 9:20; Ps. 143:10; John 16:13-15). And Paul urges us to desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1, 39). Paul often expresses the desire to see the churches grow in their operation of the gifts and enablings of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:9-12; 1 Cor. 1:4-8).

Believers in a healthy church will seek the Holy Spirit, depend on the Holy Spirit, continually be filled with the Spirit, and encourage others to do so as well (Eph. 1:13-14; 2:18-22; Eph. 4:1-6). As a healthy church is infused with life by the Holy Spirit, then relationships with the wider Church will be invigorated in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Since the Holy Spirit is God, then anyone who has the Holy Spirit has an infinite supply of the power of God. However, it is only as we submit to Him, earnestly seek Him, and wait for Him that this infinite power is of any benefit to us. We have more of this great power and enabling as we humble ourselves under God’s hand (Jam. 4:5-10)!

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