Today's Foundations Devotional: The outward evidence
I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
Up to this point we have considered the invisible, inward nature of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We must now go on to consider the outward manifestations which accompany this inward experience.
First of all we must point out that it is perfectly scriptural to use the word ‘manifestation’ in connection with the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge, of course, that the Holy Spirit Himself is, by His very nature, invisible. In this respect He is compared by Jesus to the wind. Jesus says concerning the operation of the Holy Spirit:
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8).
Although the wind itself is invisible, the effects which the wind produces when it blows can in many cases be both seen and heard. For example, when the wind blows, the dust rises from the streets; the trees all bend in one direction; the leaves rustle; the waves of the sea roar; the clouds blow across the sky. These effects produced by the wind can be seen or heard.
So it is, Jesus says, with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit Himself is invisible. But the effects which the Holy Spirit produces when He begins to work can often be seen or heard. This fact is confirmed by the language of the New Testament in various places.
For example, let us turn to Peter’s description of the effects produced by the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He [Christ] poured out this which you now see and hear (Acts 2:33).
The effects of the descent of the Holy Spirit could be both seen and heard. Paul describes the work of the Spirit in his own ministry in these words:
And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (1 Cor. 2:4).
He also says that the Spirit can have a similar effect in every believer’s experience.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all (1 Cor. 12:7).
Notice the phrases which Paul uses in connection with the Holy Spirit – the “demonstration of the Spirit” and the “manifestation of the Spirit.” These two words, demonstration and manifestation, show clearly that the presence and operation of the Holy Spirit can produce effects which can be perceived by our physical senses.
Lord, how thankful I am to You that the words of the Bible come to life as I reach
out to the fullness of Your Spirit. Thank You for Your strength in me and through
me, to build up your Church! Amen.