Under the Influence

“While Peter was still speaking these words (the gospel), the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word” (Acts 10:44)

When was the last time you experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? Jesus taught that it was through Him that the Christian life would be lived (John 14:26). When the household of Cornelius heard the gospel preached, the Holy Spirit fell upon them.

Likewise, when the day of Pentecost arrived in Acts 2, the disciples were together praying when the Holy Spirit came into their lives. At that time those ragged disciples who were previously hiding became changed people. Peter, the very one who had denied Christ three times, walked outside and boldly preached the gospel to an apparently hostile community. Not withstanding, over three-thousand people were saved through that solitary sermon.

The presence of the Holy Spirit in one’s life brings profound transformation into a person’s life. The first area of transformation is seen in the early churche’s boldness for Christ. When a person is living under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they have a supernatural boldness for the person of Jesus. They want to make Him known. They want to stand up for His integrity. They desire to worship Him. They will say, as the apostle Paul did, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ,” even if such boldness were to cost them their lives (Rom 1:16).

Another area of change is seen in their willingness to walk away from the world (cf. Phil 3:7; 1 John 2:15-16). When a person is under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they understand that they are a stranger in this world, and citizens of the world to come (Eph 2:19-22). It is for that reason that when they are given the choice between denying Christ or suffering persecution, the early church always chose the latter.

Yet another area of change for the person under the influence of the Holy Spirit is their desire to love their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This, of course, does not mean they will never have a fight, or disagree; but it does mean that the overall tenor of their conduct toward fellow believers will be one of kindly affection and brotherly love.

And yet another area of change, but certainly not the last, is their desire to flee from sin. When a person is under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they develop a desire to live a holy life. As children of God, they seek to reflect the character of their heavenly Father; and they seek to honor Him through their daily conduct.

The reality is that when a person is under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God, that person is a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). There are many changes that come about as a result of walking in the Spirit, but the point is that the Spirit filled life is the Christian life. Are you living life under the influence?

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