The Spirit was mentioned consistently in the early church, as seen in Acts and the epistles.
The Spirit was mentioned consistently in the early church, as seen in Acts and the epistles. (Pexels)

Christianity was never meant to be lived without the power of the Holy Spirit.

Before Jesus returned to His Father, He promised to send a Helper, a comforter, who would dwell inside His followers and empower them for ministry:

"I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, that He may abide with you forever: the Spirit of truth ... He dwells with you and will be in you" (John 14:16-17).

So important was the Holy Spirit's coming that Jesus instructed His disciples not to leave the city or start their external ministry until He came:

"And look, I am sending the Promise of My Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).

The coming of the Holy Spirit birthed the church, which ultimately "turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6b). The Spirit was mentioned consistently in the early church, as seen in Acts and the epistles. Yet today, because of controversies surrounding the gifts of the Spirit, many Christians shy away from understanding His person and work.

They think it is enough to "just focus on Jesus," not realizing that Jesus did His ministry from a place of being filled with the Spirit's power (Luke 4:1; 14).

The Holy Spirit's role is to lead us to Jesus, comfort us, and conform us to His image—which includes being filled with His power.

The work that Jesus sent His followers to do requires power, yet this is impossible in our own strength:

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. ... These signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues ... [and] lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" (Mark 16:15-18).

Yes, there are controversies about the gifts of the Spirit (such as tongues, healing, prophecy and other manifestations), but that doesn't mean they're not real, valuable and able to be walked out in wholeness.

God created the gifts. Even if some have twisted, abused or distorted them, God has a plan to see them used in integrity, in alignment with His will.

It will take sound teaching from Scripture, as well as careful stewardship by people seeking to walk in wholeness, to show the world (and the church) how this looks.

We must remember that the Holy Spirit is a Person, the Third Person of the Trinity. He's just as much God as the Father or Jesus. His will is never separate from theirs, and He is always leading us to them, which is our greatest desire as Christians—to know God, follow Him and do His works.

If we are confused about the gifts, the Lord is willing to give us "the spirit of wisdom and revelation" (Eph. 1:17b). He will teach and guide us how to walk in truth, so that we shine as lights in the world.

The disciples could never have done what they did without the Holy Spirit, and we shouldn't attempt our Christian walk apart from Him either.

The Lord will give hungry hearts the knowledge they need to minister in the Holy Spirit's power, which can include (but is not limited to) healing, power evangelism and words of knowledge.

Our God is good, and He gives good gifts to those who ask, seek and knock (James 1:17; Matt. 7:7).

How can you grow in ministering in the Holy Spirit's power?

If you're seeking more understanding of the Holy Spirit's role and how to walk in His power, we invite you to Immerse: Ministering in the Power of the Holy Spirit, August 5–12 in Kansas City. Experience theological teaching along with practical, hands-on training as you fellowship with like-minded believers, building confidence in the gifts and understanding of the Holy Spirit's work. Learn more about Immerse »

A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam Wittenberg worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at International House of Prayer of Kansas City. Adam is also active in evangelism and has a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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