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7 Topics on the Holy Ghost You Got Wrong

Updated: Feb 8, 2023


Defining the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost, also known as the Holy Spirit, is a central figure in the Christian faith and is a manifestation of God. The Holy Ghost is defined as the essence of God, who is omnipresent and actively involved in the world. The spirit guides and inspires individuals to live a life of faith and obedience. The Holy Spirit is the source of wisdom, power, and inspiration, and is an intermediary between God and humanity.

In Christianity, the Holy Spirit is believed to have been present at the creation of the world. It was also active in the lives of the early Church and its leaders. The Holy Spirit is involved in the sanctification of individuals, leading to a deeper understanding of the Holy One. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is depicted as descending upon the apostles at Pentecost. When they received Him, it endowed them with the power to perform miracles. Today, many Christians believe that the Holy Spirit continues to be present in the world, guiding the followers of Jesus.

Who Received the Holy Ghost in Scripture

In scripture, there are several instances where individuals received the Holy Ghost. The most well-known is the event of Pentecost in the Book of Acts. This was when the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. This event allowed the spread the gospel to a wider audience. In addition, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the form of tongues of fire.

The Spirit was also received by the household of Cornelius, a Gentile, demonstrating that this gift was not just for Jews, but for all people. Throughout the New Testament, individuals who received the Holy Spirit were empowered to also live a life of faith and obedience to God.

Here are twelve (12) examples of people receiving the Holy Ghost:

  • The Apostles (Acts 2:1-4)

  • The household of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-48)

  • Saul/Paul (Acts 9:17)

  • John the Baptist (Luke 1:15)

  • Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:35)

  • The disciples at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7)

  • Stephen (Acts 6:5)

  • The Samaritan believers (Acts 8:14-17)

  • Ananias (Acts 9:10-17)

  • Lydia (Acts 16:14-15)

  • A twelve-year-old girl in Philippi (Acts 16:34)

  • The Corinthians (Acts 19:1-7)

The Holy Ghost in the Old Testament

The Holy Spirit is also mentioned in the Old Testament. However, His role, and the Jews understanding of the Holy Spirit, were not fully developed. The Holy Spirit is present in the Old Testament as the "Ruach" (Hebrew for "breath" or "wind"). It is further depicted as being active in the creation of the world.

In the Old Testament, the Spirit is also seen as being a source of power and inspiration for prophecy and guidance. The understanding of the Holy Spirit, in the Old Testament, lays the foundation for the more developed understanding in the New.

Some of the key six (6) passages that mention the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament:

  • Genesis 1:2 - the Spirit is involved in the creation of the world.

  • Numbers 11:25-29 - the Spirit is described as resting upon the seventy (70) elders.

  • Judges 3:10 - the Spirit comes upon Othniel and enables him to defeat Cushan-Rishathaim.

  • 1st Samuel 10:6 - the Spirit is described as coming upon Saul and changing him from being a timid individual to a confident leader. Unfortunately, he later descended into a level of irresponsible leadership which cost him his life.

  • 1st Chronicles 12:18 - where the Spirit is described as coming upon the soldiers of David.

  • Psalms 51 – After sinning with Bathsheba, the king pleads with God: “do not take your Holy Spirit from me.

These are just a few examples of where the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Old Testament.

Gifts of the Holy Ghost

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are various abilities given to individuals for the purpose of building the Church. These gifts are described in several passages including 1st Corinthians 12:4-11 and Romans 12:6-8.

Each of these gifts is unique and is believed to be given to individuals as the Holy Spirit determines. Believers are encouraged to use their gifts to serve others and to bring glory to God. Such gifting is essential for the growth and development of individuals as well as the entire Bride of Christ!

Here are twelve (12) gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Bible (1st Corinthians 12:8-10):

  • Wisdom

  • Knowledge

  • Faith

  • Healing

  • Miracles

  • Prophecy

  • Discernment

  • Tongues

  • Interpretation of Tongues

  • Service

  • Teaching

  • Exhortation

Understanding 99% of us do not have all gifts, the very few in the biblical narrative who did you know as “Apostles”. If someone says they have all gifts, they are, in effect, claiming to be in the line of apostolic succession. That is a high bar to meet and truthfully, after multiple decades in ministry, I have yet to meet such a person.

What is Sinning Against the Holy Spirit

Sinning against the Holy Spirit is a concept described in the New Testament. It refers to the deliberate and persistent rejection of the work and influence of the Holy Spirit in one's life. It is considered a serious offense because it involves rejecting our source of power and guidance. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus warned about the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, saying that it would not be forgiven (Matthew 12:31-32).

In the Book of Hebrews, it is written that those who deliberately reject the Spirit, after knowing the truth, can expect no forgiveness. This does not suggest repentance cannot be received, however. If one dies having rejected and not repenting, there is no hope. It is the only means of forgiveness (Hebrews 10:26-29). The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unpardonable sin.

Here is a simpler definition of blasphemy: “calling good evil and evil good”. There is only one (1) reason anyone is in Hell and the Lake of Fire – calling good evil and evil good. People never go to hell for “what they have done (sin)”. They spend eternity there because of what they did not do – accepting the pardon God offers through Jesus Christ.

Here are six (6) scriptural examples of warning(s) against sinning against the Holy Ghost:

  • Matthew 12:31-32: Jesus warns listeners that not only would blasphemy of the Holy Ghost not be forgiven in this world, neither in the world to come.

  • Mark 3:29: This texts explains the eternalness of spiritual blasphemy.

  • Luke 12:10: Jesus teaches that people can blaspheme Him and not be eternally lost. But to do so against the Holy Spirit is unforgiveable.

  • Hebrews 10:26-29: These scripture teach that fiery fury will result if we sin deliberately which is sinning against the "spirit of correction".

  • 1st John 5:16: This portion of text indicates there is sin can be forgiven while another is not. Can you guess which one is unforgiveable?

  • James 5:20: James teaches, however, that someone can be brought back from "wandering away from God". This is interesting because other texts, at least our interpretation anyway, is there is a "cliff" which one can jump off and never recover.

When Do I Get the Holy Ghost

The receiving of the Holy Spirit is an event that can occur at different times in a person's life. It is a guide given to those who have given their lives to Christ as born-again Believers. This experience is described as baptized in the Holy Spirit and is often accompanied by visible signs mentioned in the previous section. The exact timing of receiving the Holy Spirit can vary, but it is generally understood to be a moment of radical transformation and empowerment. Here are six (6) examples of people receiving the Holy Spirit.

  • Acts 2:1-4: The apostles receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

  • Acts 8:12-17: The Samaritans receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by Peter and John.

  • Acts 9:17-19: Saul (later known as Paul) receives the Holy Spirit after his conversion on the road to Damascus.

  • Acts 10:44-48: The Gentiles receive the Holy Spirit in the house of Cornelius.

  • Acts 19:1-7: Disciples of John the Baptist receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by Paul.

  • John 20:22: Jesus breathes on the apostles, giving them the Holy Spirit.

Can I Lose the Holy Ghost

The Holy Spirit is an indwelling presence in a believer and is considered to be an irrevocable gift from God. However, I am not suggesting that someone cannot back-slide away from God through rejecting of Holy Ghost guidance. Further, a person can grieve the Holy Spirit hindering their relationship with God and diminishing the manifestation. What is crucial is believers nurture this relationship through prayer, worship, and obedience to God's will. Here are six (6) biblical warnings against grieving the Holy Ghost:

  • Ephesians 4:30: "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

  • Isaiah 63:10: "But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, And fought against them."

  • 1st Thessalonians 5:19: "Do not quench the Spirit."

  • Hebrews 10:29: "How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?"

  • Acts 7:51: "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did."

These verses emphasize the importance of treating the Holy Spirit with respect and reverence, and caution against actions that may grieve or offend it. The Holy Spirit is a “keeper” and “preserver” of God’s people. It seems that the whole process is over-complicated, but it is really quite simple.

Above all: treasure the Spirit of God in your life. Life without it was almost unbearable.

Header Image Courtesy of @ Pixabay

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