Often, we Christians associate the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues, but beyond that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity(Father, Son and Holy Spirit) who was there at creation, moving over the face of the deep to bring about form(Gen. 1:1-2, 26-27). He works by empowering human beings in order to bring a change into the world / people around them. Such changes that the Holy Spirit empowers believers to make include emotional (feelings), social (justice) and spiritual (soul winning). Therefore, Holy Spirit in-filling is not for spiritual self-fulfillment alone but also for bringing change into the lives of others. The Holy Spirit is a person and is rightly called God because God is spirit. He is the one who empowers our lives to give it meaning.

Holy Spirit In-filling Confirms / Affirms Others

Amos Yong states that “the filling of the Spirit focuses attention outward, to others, for their edification.”[1] Elizabeth, full of the Holy Spirit, began to pronounce blessings upon Mary and her fetus – confirming and affirming Mary (Luke 1:39-45). When you have the Holy Spirit, you affirm people, the supernatural will bring about the ministerial (the presence of the Holy Spirit will move one to minister to, serve or be a blessing to others).  This is a reason why no one should debate or doubt the necessity of receiving the Holy Spirit: His occupancy in one’s life brings forth the fruit of kindness and goodness etc. (Gal. 5:22-23), this is why Elizabeth was not jealous of Mary but was happy and rejoicing with her.

Holy Spirit In-Filling Enables Liberation of Others

One could raise the question of how to address society illsif we say the Holy Spirit is in us. This question is brought about in light of the Prophetic saying of Isaiah “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;”(Isa. 61:1-3 NRSV) and Jesus’ affirmation of this in(Luke 4:18-19). A possible response to this is that we should see the Holy Spirit in light of Social Justice. So, Prophet Isaiah knew the purpose of the Spirit of God coming upon him and Jesus affirms that this is exactly the purpose. Therefore, all Christians of today should know the purpose of receiving the Holy Spirit, that is to bring social change to people’s lives. the way to deal with the systems of evil that is in this world today is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and engage His fruit in order to be empowered to go out and engage the wicked powers that are out there.

Preachers who desire social change must be empowered like Jesus, in order be able to set the captives free from all the different sufferings they encounter. Amos Yong discusses this saying, “Ecclesial holiness without a corresponding social dimension is hypocritical.”[2] This means that holiness is more than personal spiritual holiness; there is a social dimension to it. This then ought to cause a person who claims to be filled with the Holy Spirit to do self-examination pertaining to what it is that he or she is doing to help his or her community, outside of the church for social justice.

By God pouring out His Spirit on all flesh, each of us is enabled to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to not only liberate people who are already in the body of Christ but also grant the boldness and passion necessary to liberate the oppressed and do justice for the people who are without. As done in the early church, we need to destroy the social hierarchy between men and women, young and old, have and have-not in the community, etc. We can do this with unity in the body of Christ (the church) through the move of the Holy Spirit who illuminates our thinking and empowers us to become children of God. The Holy Spirit is the one who understands the mind of God and is able to help renew our mind. When the mind is renewed, the fruit of the Holy Spirit will be shown clearly in humankind.

In-Filling Empowers for Soul Winning

Speaking of bringing a change into the lives of others, it is always exciting to see a person accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and start living a renewed life in Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who can empower you to win souls, bringing the badly needed spiritual change to the lost. Holy Spirit became poured out upon all fresh in the New Testament, enabling the Apostles of Christ to do mighty acts and signs and wonders for the benefit of people.  It is clear in thebiblical story of Apostle Peter that he was not able to boldly stand for Jesus until he had an encounter with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Therefore, one can claim that the Holy Spirit is directly related to ability to win souls.Christ had already told them, “Ye shall receive power …. And ye shall be able to bear witness …” (Acts 1:8) This means they could only do the work of soul winning if and when the received the power of the Holy Spirit. This power is needed because preaching the gospel always attracts persecution. Jesus warns that, “And when they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be anxious [beforehand] how you shall reply in defense or what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour and moment what [you] ought to say.” Luke 12:11-12

The in-filling of the Holy Spirit is directly related to increase in church membership.Once we receive the power of the Holy Spirit and begin to do the work of soul winning, then the number of believers will increase (Acts 2:41). If you are a minister who wonders why your membership is dwindling, you should consult Jesus to fill you with His Holy Spirit who will allow your teachings to be followed by repentant hearts and miracles that cause people to come and stay.

When Christ said we shall be His witness here and there, it simply means we shall not only speak of Him wherever we go but also bear witness through our characters and attitudes. By calling ourselves soul winners, this does not mean that we are the ones who convert souls; it the Holy Spirit who does this. All the time, the Holy Spirit would have prepared the hearts of people for change, so when you share the gospel, they easily receive.

[1]Yong and Anderson, The Gifts of The Holy Spirit, 60

[2]Ibid, 128-129