Listen:  97 Question 4

It was the Apostle John who said in Revelation 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…”  What exactly did he mean by being in the Spirit?  This literally means to be under the control of the Holy Spirit.  It is when He is guiding our thought and our actions.  One characteristic of being in the Spirit is found in Galatians 5:16 which says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  To walk, or to be occupied, with the Spirit will give us the ability to resist the lust of the flesh.  When we are being controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, He will keep us from giving in to the evil desires of the flesh.

Let’s continue reading in Galatians and read Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”  This nine-fold fruit of the Spirit will be evidenced in our lives when we are under the control of the Spirit.  When under the influence of God’s Spirit, we will not evidence most of these characteristics; we will evidence all of these characteristics.  Some have acted in very volatile ways, jumping up and down, screaming and running; claiming to be in the Spirit.  We learn here that the fruit of the Spirit includes being gentle, meek, and temperate (or, having self-control).

Speaking of the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus told His disciples in John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”  When we are being guided by the Spirit, He will give us understanding and a deep love for the Word of God.  The Lord later expressed to His disciples the necessity of His going away in John 16:7-11 where He said, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”  The Holy Spirit not only has a work to do in the hearts of believers, but He also works to convict the world of sin.  When we are being led of the Spirit, we will be very active in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others.

The Lord Jesus goes on to say in John 16:13-14, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”  Notice here that the work of the Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.  He takes all truth concerning Christ and reveals them to the believer.  The whole design of the work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ, not Himself.  He will draw attention away from Himself and direct our hearts and minds to focus on Christ.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”  This teaches us that it is the true believer that is led by the Spirit of God.  It is only the one who is truly saved that the Holy Spirit will lead.

So, what have we seen here?  We have seen that the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to resist the lust of the flesh.  We have seen the evidence of the Spirit in our lives by the fruit He produces in our lives.  We have seen that the Spirit gives us an understanding and love for the Word of God.  We have seen that the Spirit glorifies the Son.  It will be seen that we are under the control of the Holy Spirit of God when we bear these characteristics in our lives.  (97.4)