* Please Read Parts 1 and 2 first.
So, where is the biblically defined evidence of the Holy Spirit in modern-day Christianity? The absence of the Holy Spirit (properly referenced as the Spirit of Holiness) aptly explains why the Body of Christ as a whole is so powerless, for She has not been filled! In Acts 1:8 Jesus stated, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you." When reading this statement, with the two differing approaches of this topic in mind, we either have churches teeming with unsaved people claiming to be Believers or we've been born again but have not asked for a filling of the Holy Spirit. How can I arrive at this? Because there is virtually no power to be seen in the vast majority of the goings on within church walls. (I'll let you decide which is the proper verdict.) Whatever the case, the power is just not evident so it seems to me that we need to look at Jesus' words and ask "Why not? Where is the power and why are we not seeing it?" It's quite simple really when one looks into the Word. The Body lacks power so it would seem that it is because the Holy Spirit has not come upon Her. Perhaps, since the devil can easily keep the Body up in arms with each other over this matter for eons, this is why it is always such a divisive issue.
If the Body is always busy arguing over doctrines, denominational viewpoints and constantly dividing, She can never be empowered by the Holy Spirit!
Sadly, instead of being unified in holiness and empowered by the Holy Spirit, much of the Body of Christ is back-biting, grumbling, bitter, selfish and completely divided! For some reason, the Holy Spirit seems to scare people or make them nervous, conjuring up images that might make them feel uncomfortable (oh no!). On the other side of the coin, the Holy Spirit is some short of gimmick used to attract attention to themselves, making them look somehow more spiritual. The Holy Spirit is likely more used and abused (and definitely more misunderstood) than Anything within all of Christendom. Although many men seem to get hung up on defining the presence and filling of Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues, raising your hands, "manifestations" or other "pentacostalisms", it is about the Holy Spirit empowering and enabling us to continually be conformed into the image of Jesus The Christ and going forth as Ambassadors for Christ in power! This is the Holy Spirit that I have been filled with. This, I believe, is the Holy Spirit of the Bible sent to empower and enable the entire Body of Christ.
Lastly, as I seemingly find myself saying all of the time – know why you believe what you do! You will be accountable to God Himself for what you embrace as Truth. Don't take sides and declare what a pastor, teacher, denomination or friend told you is truth if you've not studied and rightly divided the Word of God to know it for yourself! And if you disagree with someone else, it's OK! Peaceably gather and, in humility, take the lower position. Lording views and understanding over others is dangerous and it continues to do more damage to the name of Christ than anything else, in my opinion. I am often full of errors and shortcomings when it comes to studying and writing. Yet, I fully rely on the LORD to be my Guide and my Enabler! My task, my responsibility is to live a life of continually going deeper and relying upon Christ, the Head of the Body, to be my Teacher! The question is, are our stances based upon personal opinion and preference or solely upon the written Word of God? Only one will stand my friend… and it is neither my nor your opinion.
As for me, I desire to be filled to the fullest! But I must willingly, humbly lay down my life, exchanging my will, my ways and my desires for His. Then and only then will I be filled to the fullest! It is dying to myself daily that allows more and more of Him to live in me! This, my friend, is the power of being "filled" with the Holy Spirit! Pouring myself out so that more and more of the Holy Spirit is what I am completely filled with.