How You Can Have and Keep the Holy Spirit

As recorded in Scripture, the Holy Spirit was given to the Church of God on the day of Pentecost following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues [languages, as each listener heard the message in his own language, verse 6], as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).

This was obviously a special manifestation of the Holy Spirit, as the phenomena mentioned is not typical of the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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The Path To Salvation—Part 3

The Bible teaches that God has a plan of salvation for mankind. What does that mean, and why is a plan of salvation necessary? What is it that human beings need to be saved from? If there is a “plan of salvation,” what is it? Are there specific steps to be followed on the path to salvation?

In previous articles, parts one and two of a series, I addressed the first seven of the following questions relating to salvation for human beings:

(1) What is “salvation”?; (2) Are “good” people saved even if they don’t know about Christ, or are unbelievers?; (3) Are infants and babies saved, even though they know nothing of Christ and lack the capacity to choose good or evil?; (4) Does the Bible teach “Universal Salvation”?; (5) Who qualifies you for salvation?; (6) Can one, after making a profession of faith in Christ, and receiving the Holy Spirit, be disqualified from salvation?; (7) Are those who do not attain salvation in this age eternally condemned?; (8) What is the path to salvation?

In this article, part three of this series, we conclude the final question: “What is the path to salvation?”

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The Two Covenants — Part 5

In previous articles in our Two Covenants series we’ve discussed the relationship between the Old and New Covenants, and reasons why the Old Covenant was given.

To review, we’ve discussed the concept that the Old Covenant was a type of the New Covenant. It was given as an introduction to living spiritual principles. But as it was a shadow, or type or figure of the New, it was not the full reality of what the New Covenant encompasses. For example, the sacrifices under the Old Covenant were among other things a type of Christ’s sacrifice, but they were not the reality of the sacrifice itself.

Reasons for the giving of the Old Covenant that we discussed included:

(1) The Separation and preservation of a people for God.

(2) A tutor or schoolmaster pointing to Christ.

(3) A form of knowledge and truth.

(4) To teach the nature and effect of sin.

(5) To reveal the need for the Holy Spirit.

Later in this article our focus shifts to the New Covenant.

But first, we will briefly list some other important reasons for the giving of the Old Covenant in addition to the five already discussed. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but will furnish food for thought.

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Examine Yourself

When God set his hand to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, he commanded a Passover sacrifice to be offered, and afterward, it was to be offered yearly on the fourteenth of the first month of the sacred calendar. Only those who were ritually clean were, under ordinary circumstances, permitted to partake of the Passover sacrifice.

To be ritually clean, one had to know what that meant, what measures had to be taken to meet the standard of cleanliness required. To do that implies that one had to examine his behavior, and his condition, based on certain standards.

Faithful Christians baptized into the body of Christ, having learned to keep his festivals as he commands, are also expected to examine ourselves, especially as we approach the Passover, not only at this time of year, but on a continual basis. Let me explain from the Scriptures what that means and how to go about it.

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Thirst For Living Water

Without water you can’t live. In fact, your physical body consists largely of water. And the supply of water in your body must be constantly replenished for you to thrive. Usually we rely on our sense of thirst to tell us when and how much water to drink. Sometimes, however, for various reasons, our sense of thirst may fail us. And when that happens individuals may become sick or even die from dehydration. At other times, people may thirst, but seek to satisfy their thirst with impure water that, either slowly or quickly, produces disease and death. Do you thirst for living water, pure, flowing, abundant and life-giving?

Thirst For Living WaterThe Spirit of God is analogous to water. “On the last day of the Festival–the great day–Jesus stood up and cried aloud. ‘Whoever is thirsty,’ He said, ‘let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, from within him–as the Scripture has said–rivers of living water shall flow.’ He referred to the Spirit which those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not bestowed as yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:37-39, Weymouth translation).

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