Faith

“Is the Holy Spirit in His rightful place in your life?”: Pastor Lawrence Khong at Pastors’ Summit 2022

by Gabriel Ong // January 14, 2022, 5:35 pm

Summit 03

Image source: Summit 2022, all photos taken by Ang Wei Ming.

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:25-26)

The Bible tells us that apart from the Holy Spirit, we cannot really understand the truths taught to us by the Lord Jesus about His Heavenly Father.

In other words, we cannot truly know God if we don’t have a living relationship with the Holy Spirit on this side of heaven. We will not experience the reality of God without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We will not even understand the Bible if not for the illumination of the Holy Spirit, no matter how brilliant you are, no matter how scholarly you are, no matter how diligent you are in preaching or studying the Bible.

Unpacking the basics: Who exactly is the Holy Spirit?

Without a dynamic relationship with the Holy Spirit, we will not experience the power of God in our lives and in our ministries.

If we are to fulfil what God has for us, you and I today must come back to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, because He alone can guide us into all truth (John 16:12-15).

God wants us to have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. Why do we tend to neglect Him? I want to share a few things about the Holy Spirit.

3 REFLECTIONS ON THE HOLY SPIRIT

1. The Holy Spirit is a Person

The problem is that most of us don’t think of the Holy Spirit as a Person.

I remember there was a song that we used to sing in the early days of renewal. It goes: “Father, I love you. I praise you, I adore you.” The first verse, very easy. No problem.

The second verse is also easy: “Jesus, I love you. I praise You, I adore you.” It’s so natural.

But I remember the first time I sang: “Spirit I … love you? I … love you?”

I had difficulty doing that. Why? Because many analogies in Scripture talk about the Holy Spirit as fire. So, it’s like singing: “Fire, I love you?” Or, “Wind, I love you?”

Somehow it just dawned upon me that we never related to Him. But the Bible tells us that He is a Person. He is a person of the Godhead. He’s a person that we can relate to (John 16:14).

2. The Holy Spirit is the Lord God

The Holy Spirit is the Creator of the earth.

Psalm 104:30 says: “When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.”

But somehow, deep inside us, we don’t feel like He’s God. I had to repent of this.

Have you ever told anybody: “Please be careful. Don’t overemphasise Jesus?” No, because Jesus is God! Have you ever told anybody: “Don’t overemphasise God the Father?” You’ll never say that. He’s God!

Tongues-tied: The gift I never knew how to ask for

But somehow we dare to tell people: “Don’t overemphasise the Holy Spirit.”

Sometimes we overemphasise one aspect of what Jesus does and forget about the others.

But you can never overemphasise the Holy Spirit any more than you can overemphasise Jesus Christ, because He is the Lord God Almighty. 

We all know the doctrine of the trinity: God the Father is fully God and the fullness of God. Jesus Christ is fully God and the fullness of God. And the Holy Spirit is fully God and the fullness of God.

3. The Holy Spirit is the Lord God in the now

I was just teaching the book of Ephesians, and the Bible tells us in Ephesians 1:13-14 (KJV) that the Holy Spirit has been given to us as the “earnest” of our inheritance.

What is an earnest? An earnest is a prepayment that guarantees our salvation will be full at the day of His appearance. It is a guarantee.

But we also know that the earnest itself is part of the payment of what we’re going to get in eternity. It’s a deposit of heaven in our hearts.

If we don’t understand what it is to walk in the Holy Spirit, to talk to Him and to have fellowship with Him like we fellowship with God the Father and God the Son, then we have shortchanged ourselves of a very dynamic reality of God’s power in our lives.

Unpacking the basics: How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?

In Acts 10:38, Peter said God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit. Everything that Jesus did on earth was in the power of Holy Spirit.

If that’s true of Jesus, what about us?

We read in Acts 8:14 that when the apostles heard that people in Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them to pray for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

You mean they were baptised but they didn’t have the Spirit? Of course they had the Spirit.

That would be heresy to say that I can be born again without the Spirit.

But the apostles knew that if the Church wanted to continue to grow in the power of God and fulfil the Great Commission, members had to experience the power of the Holy Spirit, which empowers them to do the work.

If the apostles needed the power of the Holy Spirit, you and I need it today. 

If you want to see people getting saved, the sick getting healed and therefore being drawn to the power of the Cross, if you want to see demons being cast out – you must understand that without the Holy Spirit, you cannot do that. 

ALIGNING OUR SPIRIT WITH THE SPIRIT

Because of that, we need to learn to grow as spirit beings. We need to grow in our spirit so that we can discern the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:25).

Our spirit is the part where we can commune with the Spirit of God. Our spirit is the part where the love of God will be deposited in our hearts so that we know in our spirit – not just with our minds, not just with our hearts – that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

The problem is that we often get caught up with Aristotle arguments that enthrone the mind. But biblical Christianity enthrones the spirit. 

When we enthrone the mind, true reality is the physical world. When we enthrone the spirit, true reality is the spirit world.

When we enthrone the mind, the mind directs us through calculated, cognitive and analytical thought. When we enthrone the spirit, the Spirit of God directs us through spontaneous flowing thought that is placed there by God.

If I focus on my mind, I cultivate my academic ability. But my spirit is cultivated by communion with God.

Unpacking the basics: What does it mean to be a Christian?

We want to get the spiritual part right first, otherwise we’ll keep teaching, teaching, teaching. But they will go back and beat their wives and quarrel with their husbands and watch pornography.

But when we go there and take authority in Jesus’ name against spirits that have got strongholds in their lives, they become people who can speak the word of God and be used by God. 

I sense that these past two years are meant to bring us back to a place where we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

You have to move in the power of the Holy Spirit. You need to have a personal revival before we can embrace the revival that God has given to us.

This excerpt, first published on Salt&Light, is adapted from a sermon preached by Lawrence Khong, Apostolic Overseer at Faith Community Baptist Church and Chairman of LoveSingapore at the first day of LoveSingapore’s Summit 2022.

THINK + TALK

  1. Define the Holy Spirit. 
  2. Who is the Holy Spirit to you?
  3. What does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit?
  4. What is one practical thing you can do to put the Holy Spirit in His rightful place in your life?
About the author

Gabriel Ong

Gabriel isn't a hipster, but he loves his beard and coffee. In his spare time, he'd rather be on a mountain.