In the Bible, Jesus warns his disciples that false Christians will arise. As Matthew 24.23-24 tells us:
If then someone says to you: “Christ is here! “Or:” There it is! Don’t believe it. For lying Christs and lying, prophets will arise. They will give great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even those who have been chosen.
In view of this very serious warning, it is more than necessary for everyone to develop their discernment in order to test the spirits, as 1 John 4.1 urges us.
In the light of the Bible, we can detect several elements that help us analyze that a ministry or an individual is truly inhabited by the Holy Spirit.
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5 Actions of the Holy Spirit for our discernment
Here are 5 visible signs of the authenticity of the Holy Spirit:
1. The Holy Spirit CONVINCED
When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive God who is three times Holy. God being perfectly Holy, he cannot cohabit with darkness. The first action of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the horror of sin in us ( John 16.8 ).
2. The Holy Spirit TRANSFORMS
He doesn’t just reveal sin, he transforms and replaces it by gradually developing the character of Christ ( Galatians 5: 18-23 ). The work of the Holy Spirit is not only intellectual but spiritual. A life that receives the Holy Spirit must undoubtedly be marked by the growing desire for sanctification.
3. The Holy Spirit ILLUMINATES
The Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes. He makes us understand the Gospel. This does not mean that he makes us understand everything the scriptures say, but rather that he gives us an understanding of the essentials in order to live our lives as disciples. ( John 14.26 )
4. The Holy Spirit is CHRISTOCENTRIC
The Holy Spirit is not self-glorifying, it glorifies Jesus ( John 15:26 ). The role of the Holy Spirit is to remind us of the person and work of Jesus. Any teaching or experience of the Holy Spirit must humbly lead us to the message of the cross, no more and no less ( 2 John 1.9 )
5. The Holy Spirit is BIBLICAL
Anything from the Holy Spirit will never go against the word of God, which himself inspired it ( 2 Timothy 3:16 ). The Holy Spirit prompts us to be men and women of the word, to study it, and to draw our spiritual nourishment from it so that we accept & keep sound doctrine: Trinity, life, death & resurrection of Christ, humanity & divinity of Christ, salvation by faith alone … ( Titus 2: 1 )
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In summary, with the Holy Spirit:
– You can be sad to do evil, but you can also experience saving repentance ( 2 Corinthians 7:10 ).
– You can have a good heart like many unbelievers, but you can also have a heart regenerated by Christ.
– You can know things about Christ, but also know Christ ( Matthew 15.8 ).
– Your spirituality does not depend only on the supernatural experiences that you can live, since Satan also produces miracles ( 2 Thessalonians 2.9 )
– You can be biblically faithful by living the gospel and not just by quoting the Bible.
May these words encourage us in our walk with God!