The title question is a question anyone who is following Jesus needs to ask. There are many reasons, but above all:
Jesus promised us His Spirit - "If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you." (John 14:15–17)
Paul declared that being led by the Spirit is essential to being God's kid - "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God." (Romans 8:14)
This week on the blog, I'm aiming to guide you through some great resources that I've curated in three crucial areas of understanding - your theology, your biblical understanding, and your prayer/worship. Why these three?
Your theology is the structured thinking you have around a topic of Christian understanding.
Your biblical understanding is the scripture that fills out that structure and gives that structure weight.
Your prayer/worship makes it all real in living relationship with God.
Firstly, Your Theology
I know of few more influential scholars on the subject of the Holy Spirit, and especially Paul's understanding of the Spirit, than Gordon Fee. Two books that I would highly recommend on this crucial subject for Pentecostal Christians like us are:
Paul, The Spirit and the People of God - a shorter version of a much longer work, basically exploring how important the Holy Spirit is to the whole work of God in history, through Old and New Testaments.
God's Empowering Presence - the tome of in depth biblical study and scholarship that goes into the shorter above work.
If you want to get a well researched, thorough, and inspiring understanding of a good theology of the Spirit read Fee. If you want to read an interesting interview about Gordon Fee that gives you a bit of his story and his influence in the world of Christian scholarship, check this out.
If you want a visual storyboard of "Paul, The Spirit and the People of God", check this video out below:
Secondly, Your Biblical Understanding
I've curated what I would consider, from viewing a few of the samples, some solid bible reading plans from bible.com that you could consider working through to get a starting understanding of some of the key scriptures on the Holy Spirit. Here they are:
5 days - "The Holy Spirit Today." Some key scriptures, short teaching from the author, and questions for reflection.
6 days - "Who Is the Holy Spirit." More devotional, with a number of key scripture readings.
8 days - "The Holy Spirit." A catechism that captures core doctrinal beliefs around the Holy Spirit.
Thirdly, Your Prayer/Worship
Of course, you may have a great structured understanding of the Holy Spirit, and some great scriptures to back it up, but you need to have a living, breathing, dynamic relationship with God the Spirit.
Prayer and worship are crucial. Here are some great songs/resources that will help you here:
"This I Believe" from Hillsong - a fantastic, soaring anthem that will really build up your sense of God, including God the Holy Spirit.
"Holy Spirit" by Kari Jobe and ft. Cody Carnes - this is a powerful song of desire for growing in your relationship with the Holy Spirit.
"Circles" by Ryan Smith - fantastic instrumental music, creating a great atmosphere for prayer and engagement with the Holy Spirit.
"Bethel: Synethesia" - again, different instrumental music for creating a great atmosphere for prayer.
Hopefully you find a thing or two in here to encourage you and grow you in your partnership with the Holy Spirit. Growing in partnership with Him is not only key to a really enjoyable walk with God, but essential to living a powerful life on mission with God in the world.
Let's get growing together!
Written by Ps Rob Waugh.