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The Pillar and Ground of Truth

“The Presence of the Holy Spirit” Ephesians 5:1-21

Date:March 17, 2024
Author: Wayne J. Edwards



According to the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, most ‘Christians’ in the United States don’t believe the Holy Spirit is a real Person. 
Of the 69% of Americans who call themselves Christians, a majority (58%) “contend that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being but is merely a symbol of God’s power, presence, or purity.”
For those who are self-identified, born-again Christians (about 35% of the population), “62% contend that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being but is merely a symbol of God’s power, presence, or purity.”
However, Jesus told us very clearly that the power to live as His disciple comes from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, in most churches today, there is an absence of preaching and teaching on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, which is why the majority of Christians are struggling in their spiritual lives, and the majority of churches are so weak.

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Old Testament Reading – Ezekiel 36:16-38
New Testament Reading – Romans 8:13-30 

The Pillar and Ground of Truth
“The Presence of the Holy Spirit”
Ephesians 5:1-21

Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor

  • In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus told His disciples to “Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
  • In Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  • The Greek word for power is “dynamin,” from which we get our word, “dynamite.”
    • Since Jesus said the source of that power would be the Holy Spirit, we conclude that dynamic power would be manifested as a boldness to preach and teach the gospel.
  • The Greek word for witness is “martyres,” from which we get our word “martyrs.”
    • Since all but one of the original disciples were martyred for their expressed faith in Jesus Christ, we conclude the Holy Spirit empowered them to give their lives to proclaim and defend the gospel.
  • In the first chapter of Acts, Luke told Theophilus that “in his former book,”   i.e., the Gospel of Luke, he wrote, “about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until He was taken up to heaven.”
  • In the second chapter of Acts, Luke said he desired to document the “acts” of the Holy Spirit through those Jesus sent out to fulfill the Great Commission.


A review of the previous doctrines studied:

  • The Authority of the Holy Scriptures – unless the Bible is accepted as the divinely inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God, and the final authority regarding the matters of our faith and the practice of our faith, all of the other doctrines lose their credibility, for they are based upon the truth of Scripture.
  • God The Father – unless we accept and believe in the triune nature of the Godhead, that God exists as one God, but that He is manifested in three distinct personages, we have, in effect, nullified the deity of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, as well as the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing us to salvation.
  • The Deity of Jesus Christ – unless Jesus was, at the same time, both God and man, He could not have been our Savior. Jesus had to be full human to give His life as a ransom for our sins. Jesus had to be fully God for His ransom to pay for the sins for all who would believe in Him.
  • The Person of the Holy Spirit – unless a sinner is born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, they are not saved. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit “rested” upon those God chose to carry out His assignments. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit “indwells” those He has brought to salvation, to cleanse them from their sins and to equip them for their service unto the Lord.

“The work of the Spirit is to impart life, to implant hope, to give liberty, to testify of Christ, to guide us into all truth, to teach us all things, to comfort the believer, and to convict the world of sin.”

Dwight L. Moody

   According to Ephesians 5:18, for a believer to live without the constant fullness of the Holy Spirit is to live in disobedience to God’s Word and God’s will. However, according to the latest research, over 90% of those who claim to be Christians do not know what it means to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, much less to be filled and empowered.

  • In John 10:10, Jesus said He came to earth so that all of His followers might have “life more abundantly,” than they had ever dreamed possible.
  • While that included our eternal home in heaven when we die, it begins with the ability to live for Christ until we die.
  • In John 14:10-30, Jesus said He would ask the Father to send us another “Comforter, that He may abide with us forever.”
  • He identified that “Comforter” as the Holy Spirit, who would be our “Teacher,” our “Helper,” our “Enabler,” our “Guide:” One whose constant presence within us would convict and continually cleanse us of all sin, conform us to the image of our Savior, assure us of our relationship with God the Father, and assist us in our fellowship with others.

    While some believers have “experienced” a work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, in addition to the day their salvation, the overwhelming majority have not, and sadly, they will not until a crisis occurs and they discover they do not have the spiritual strength to endure it.

  • Spirit-filled Christians have considered themselves to be dead to sin, dead to their selfish desires, and alive to God’s plan and purpose for their lives.
  • In essence, the “Sprit-filled-life” is a “Christ-filled-life,” which is where the term “Christi-in-me” originated.
  • In Galatians 2:20, the Apostle Paul said: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
  • Hudson Taylor referred to this as the “exchanged life.” I give up:
    • My life of defeat for His life of victory!
    • My life of weakness for His life of power!
    • My life of fear for His life of faith!
    • My life of lust for His life of love!
    • My life of temporary happiness for His life of everlasting joy!

How to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit:

  1. Present your body to God – Romans 12:1-2 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
  • Are you ready to present your body as a living sacrifice unto God and allow Him to control what goes on, in, to, and through your body, including your mind, your will, and your emotions?
  • Can you say: ‘Lord, this is no longer my body but yours – I dedicate it to you as a temple of your Holy Spirit – a vessel to be used by You to draw others to see Jesus as their Savior! If so, your heart’s desire is no longer to become conformed to the ways of the world, but of the Lord Jesus.
  1. Ask to be filled – Luke 11:9-11 – “Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you, for everyone who asks, receives, and he who seeks shall find, and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.”
  • There are no particular words to say or prayers to pray.
  • Just cry out unto the Lord as the woman at the well did: “Fill my cup, Lord! Let it overflow with your love!”
  1. Obey Him in whatever He asks you to do – Acts 5:32 – “And we are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him!”
  • Our lack of instant obedience diminishes the power of the Holy Spirit within us, for when we disregard His first prompting, they don’t get stronger; they get weaker, until He simply withdraws from us.
  1. Receive Him by faith – Galatians 3:2 – “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
  • Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, comfort, assurance, hope, and peace, even in the midsts of the storms of life.