What is Righteousness? What is Holiness? What is the difference?
1. Conforming in disposition and conduct to a standard of right and justice; upright; virtuous.
2. Morally right; equitable. Holiness is the state of being holy. To be holy means to be completely devoted to the service of God; having great spiritual and moral worth. If one is truly righteous in the spiritual sense one can be considered holy. If one can be described as holy, then that person is indeed righteous.
If a person confessed to having the holy ghost after just
salvation , and later thought that she may have spoken too soon and
retracted her confession about receiving the holy ghost, but not about her
salvation, has that person committed blasphemy?
I would not say such a person has committed
blasphemy, just mistaken and
upon reflecting on the matter decided she spoke too quickly. She might need
to study the scriptures a bit more on the subject of salvation and the Holy
I believe in being filled with the Holy Spirit. I don't know what ya'lls
beliefs are but I thought I'd ask cause I don't understand a certain
scripture in the book of John. It is chapter 3 verse 5. It seems to be
saying that the only way to enter the kingdom of God is to be born of the
Spirit. Is being born of the Spirit and being baptized in the Holy Spirit
two different things?
The fact of the new birth is stated in John 5:3; here, the details of it are
given. There is one birth; there are two elements, "water," and "the
Spirit." Thus, both are essential to the new birth; and the new birth is
essential to entering the kingdom. What, then, is meant by being born of
water and the Spirit? To enter the kingdom is to be saved. (Colossians
1:13,14.) To be saved one must believe, repent, confess and be baptized for
(unto) the remission of sins. (Hebrews 11:6; Luke 13:3; Romans 10:10; Acts
2:38.) To enter the kingdom one must be born of water and the Spirit.
Since things equal to the same thing are equal to each other, it follows
that to be born of water and the Spirit is to believe the gospel, repent of
one's sins, confess one's faith in Christ and be baptized for the remission
of sins. John 3:5 figuratively states what is literally affirmed in Acts
2:38. To be born "anew" is simply to obey the gospel. It is not surprising
that those who deny baptism its proper place among the conditions of pardon
would interpret "water" in John 3:5 to mean something other than baptism; in
so doing they are in conflict with the scholarship of the world, both
ancient and modern. Henry Alford, one of the translators of the American
Standard Version, wrote that "all attempts to get rid" of baptism in this
passage, "have sprung from doctrinal prejudices by which the views of
expositors have been warped," and Hooker, himself a writer of more than a
hundred years ago, said that "of all ancient writers there is not one to be
named who ever expounded this text otherwise than as implying external
baptism." One is begotten by the Sprit by believing the Word which the
Spirit gave, and born of water by coming forth from the waters of baptism.
The flesh produces fleshly life; the Spirit begets spiritual life.
Nicodemus had thus far known only the first; the second he must experience
before he could enter and enjoy the blessings and benefits of the kingdom.
The law that like begets like was and is a universal one and Nicodemus ought
already to have perceived it, instead of marveling at it.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is totally different. The definition of
baptism in the Greek (the language of the New Testament) indicates an
overwhelming, an immersion or a burial. There are only two accounts of Holy
Spirit baptism and those are recorded in Acts chapter two where the Holy sat
on top of the heads of the apostles like forked tongues of fire and
empowered them to speak the gospel in the languages of the people assembled.
Again we find Holy Spirit baptism in Acts chapter ten when the household of
Cornelius received such and they spoke in tongues.
Neither of these instances was for the purpose of saving the ones baptized with the Holy
Spirit, but in the first instance it proved the apostles were speaking the
message of God (since the gospel had not been revealed to the public at that
time) and it also enabled them to speak in the languages of the people
present. In the case of Cornelius and his household it was to demonstrate
to Peter and the other Jews present that the Gentiles were entitled to be in
the kingdom as well as the Jews. You will note that Peter commanded them to
be baptized and apparently they obeyed him as is implied in the next
In reference to the Holy Spirit and in response to one of your answers, 1
Corinthians 18:8(NIV) states that prophesies, tongues, and knowledge WILL
cease, be stilled , and pass away (in the future tense). Immediately
following this is the statement that this will until perfection comes. Not
one of us alive can claim to be perfect. Only the Son who "has been made
perfect forever" (Hebrews 7:28) is perfect and he hasn't returned yet so how
could the gift of tongues cease?
My next question involves another answer further down on the "Holy Spirit"
page of your "Topics for Bible study" in which you quote Ephesians 4:5
referring to a single baptism. How does this relate to Hebrew 6:2 that
speaks of "baptisms" in the plural sense?
The passage you make reference to is chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians verse 8.
The prophecies, tongues, and knowledge he speaks of ceasing was that of the
miraculous or divine. The word prophet means one who speaks for another and
the apostles and certain other preachers were inspired by the Holy Spirit to
speak for God to the people. Since they did not have the revealed Word of
God available at that time (it was just then being revealed) God empowered
them to preach that Word. None of those preachers were linguists so that
had to be given the languages of the nations where they would be preaching.
Furthermore the knowledge he speaks of was that which they were receiving
from God by the power of the Holy Spirit. The writer is simply saying here
that these gifts would pass away in the future when that which was perfect
was come. That which was perfect which was to come in the future apparently
was the complete revealed will of God.
When Paul wrote his very last epistle to Timothy he said, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect (complete) thoroughly
furnish unto all good works"(2 Timothy 3:16,17). The thing that is perfect
in this instance was not a person but the perfect will of God or his
complete Word. This word is able to completely equip the Christian to every
good work that god would have us do.
Your second question in which you compare Ephesians 4:5 (referring to one
baptism) and Hebrews 6:2 where he uses the term baptisms may be reconciled
in this manner. Paul is correct in referring to the fact that now there is
one and only one baptism that applies to mankind, but there had been others.
For instance there was John's baptism (first preached by John the Baptist
and practiced unto the death of Christ on the cross). This baptism was
limited to Jews (lost sheep of the house of Israel) and they came confessing
their sins. With the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord
Jesus Christ we note the baptism of Christ (New Testament baptism) coming
into practice in Acts 2. The baptism preached and practiced by the apostles
and other preachers of the gospel after the ascension of Christ calls for
faith, repentance, confession (of faith in Christ as the son of God) as
necessary prerequisites. (Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:38, Acts 8:36,37 KJV; Romans
There was also the baptism of the Holy Spirit with which they
were also familiar, and the Jews we are told had practiced a type of baptism
even before John the Baptist. So you see there were several baptisms with
which they were familiar and the writer says we need to leave these things
with which you are so familiar and to on to the meatier matter in the Word
of God. If you will read the rest of the chapter you will see he is trying
to b ring them to a higher level of spiritual maturity.
What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the divine outpouring of the Holy Spirit
in an overwhelming manner and we find only two instances of it in the New
Testament scriptures. The first is in Acts chapter 2 where if filled the
house where all the apostles were gathered together and it sat on top of the
heads of the apostles like forked tongues of fire and they began to speak
with other tongues (languages) so that the many nationalities of people in
Jerusalem at the time could understand them in their only tongue or
The second instance of Holy Spirit baptism is found in Acts
10:44-47 when the Holy Spirit fell upon the household of Cornelius to
convince Peter and the other Jews with him that the Gentiles could enter the
kingdom as well as the Jews. Until that time the apostles had limited their
preaching to the Jews but now they know that God has opened the door to the
Gentiles as well if you read on into chapter eleven you will see that
verified. As far as we can tell these are the only instances where Holy
Spirit Baptism has occurred.
Are there any Bible verses that imply that "the Spirit in not the doer but is the helper"?
There is a sense in which the Holy Spirit is both helper and doer. In John 14:26 Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter. The same verse says that the Holy Spirit would bring to the apostlesí memory all the things Jesus had taught them. Romans 8:26, 27, and 34 teach that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and helps us in our prayers. Romans 8:14 speaks of those who are led by the Spirit, His leading coming through the Holy Scriptures which He inspired. Each of these passages reinforces the idea that the Holy Spirit is a helper. However, it can very easily be seen that the Spiritís help comes through the things He does. The thing to guard against, though, is coming to believe that the Holy Spirit the controller of their lives in the sense that He controls and overrules in oneís life. It would be almost somewhat like demon possession that is portrayed by Hollywood. The Spirit does not force Godís will upon us nor does He usurp authority over us. The Spirit does not turn men into robots. Men are responsible for their actions, and will face them on Judgment Day. The Holy Spirit will lead us through the word, but men must obey that word. Submission will not be forced; it must be given.
I would like to know about the anointing and the Holy Spirit what are
Your question is not entirely clear. To what anointing do you have
reference. In general anointing was the pouring of oil on the head or any
object to be honored. Jacob poured oil on his stone pillow at Bethel,
consecrating it to God. Guest were honored by having their heads anointed
(oil poured on their hair). It was common among the Hebrews, and is often
referred to in the Old Testament (Psalms 23:5; 14:7; Proverbs 21:7; 27:9).
Both kings and priests were confirmed in their offices by the anointing of
oil, both in Egypt and Palestine.
The Holy Spirit on the other hand is a person, the third person in the
Godhead. All three are mentioned in Matthew 28:19. We must remember that
the Trinity consists of spirit beings without physical bodies which are
characteristic of men. God the Son became flesh and dwelt among us in order
to be able to redeem mankind. (John 1:14; Ephesians 1:7). When Jesus was
baptized the Holy Spirit descended on the head of Jesus, like a spiritual
anointing, a divine confirmation of his office of Messiah.
Can we worship the Holy Spirit?
There are no scriptures that teach that we should worship the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that worship must be directed to God the Father. Jesus said in response to the Devil's temptation to worship him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'" Matt 4:10. In response to the woman at the well's question concerning worship, Jesus said:
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:23-24.
We also read in the scriptures where worship was offered to a man and it was rejected: "As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, 'Stand up; I myself am also a man.'" Acts 10:25-27. Twice in the book of Revelation, John attempted to worship an angel and again, it was rejected: "And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!'" Revelation 19:10. "Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God." Revelation 22:8-10. Notice on both occasion the exclamation: "Worship God."
The Bible teaches us that our worship should not be directed to the Holy Spirit, but to God the Father.
There is no reference to being "slain in the Spirit" in the Bible. According to those who practice this doctrine, it refers to one being possessed by the Holy Spirit and then falling down. When the person falls he/she may writhe, shout, supposedly speak in tongues or other phenomena, but an example of this is just not in the Bible. Sometimes the apostle Pauls falling to the ground following his vision on the Damascus road, Acts 9:3-4, is offered as an example of such. However, there is no writhing on the part of Paul, no shouting, no speaking in tongues, nothing even similar to what those do who claim to possess the gifts of the Spirit today. In fact, he carries on a rational conversation with the Lord! To say that Paul possessed the Spirit, even in a non-miraculous sense, at this point would contradict what he himself wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Note, "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father," Galatians 4:6. In addition, the gifts of the Spirit have passed away. There is no laying on of the hands to heal. There is no speaking in tongues. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:8 that these things will pass away. The Bible says that such miraculous gifts were given for one purpose, to confirm the preaching of the gospel, Mark 16:19-20; Hebrews 2:1-4. The Bible says that, with the exception of the apostles on Pentecost and the gentiles of Acts 10 to show Peter miraculously that the gentiles were to receive the gospel, the gifts of the Spirit were passed on through the laying on of hands, Acts 8:14-20. There are no apostles around today, so there is no one to pass on the gifts of the Spirit.
What is the difference between birth from God and baptism by the Holy Spirit into His body?
You have raised a question that is worthy of much study. However, it is not entirely clear to me as to your understanding of the two parts to the question.
The "birth from God" probably has reference to John 3:3-5 where Jesus said to Nicodemus, "...unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The new birth "of water and of the Spirit" is one birth having two elements. One of these elements "born of water" is water baptism. That element of the new birth is that which man himself is responsible (Acts 22:16). The other element of the new birth, "born of the Spirit," is the reception of the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13, 14). John 3:5 teaches that both elements are absolutely necessary in the new birth. When Jesus gives the great commission (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:;38), we learn that being born again is to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ by believing in him, repenting of sin, confessing his name, and being baptized into Jesus Christ, and as a consequence of such obedience, one receives the Holy Spirit.
It is the second part of the question "baptism by the Holy Spirit into His body" that is unclear to me. You may have reference to I Corinthians 12:13 where it is stated that "by one Spirit all were baptized into the one body." In this passage we note that the Spirit in inspired men taught others to be baptized into the one body. Thus, this has reference to the same idea as expressed by Jesus to Nicodemus, that which all must do to be saved.
Some have thought that I Cor. 12:13 is a reference to baptism in the Holy Spirit. This view is incorrect. There are only two cases of Holy Spirit baptism in the New Testament (Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-46). Paul later wrote there is only one baptism (Eph. 4:5). This is the baptism taught by Jesus and is to be administered to the end of the age (Matt. 28:18-20).
How does the Holy Spirit work in our lives today?
The Holy Spirit does work in the lives of Christians today. We can know that it is the Holy Spirit that affects our lives.
To the Christians of Galatia the apostle Paul inquired, "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?" (Gal. 3:2.) The phrase, "by the hearing of faith," is, literally, by the message of faith. The gospel embraces the entire system of salvation. Thus, through the Christian system the Spirit came to the Galatians. But how was this system of faith made available to the Galatians? Through the preaching of the word. (Romans 10:17) "So belief cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."
Consider the following parallel from Paul:
"And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs " (Eph. 5:18.)
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace " (Col. 3:16.)
To be "filled with the Spirit," was to allow "the word of Christ" to dwell in you richly."
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" (Rom. 8:16.) The Spirit gives directions through the word of truth, the inspired scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16), how to become children of God and how to live the kind of life becoming to children of God. Thus, when our own spirit bears testimony that we conform our life to these instructions, we can know that we are led by the Spirit of God.
Does the Holy Spirit live in us?
These passages, as well as others, reveal to us that most definitely the Holy Spirit is in our life today. However, does this mean the Holy Spirit is active in our lives in some mysterious and/or miraculous way? No.
He strengthens, sets apart, saves, justifies, witnesses, prompts to love and leads all through the word which He inspired, 2 Peter 1:21. We are strengthened by the word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, Ephesians 6:17, which is part of the whole armor of God. We are set apart by obedience to the gospel, 2 Thessalonians 2:14.
We are saved by the gospel, or word of God, 1 Peter 1:22. We are justified as we hear and obey the gospel, Romans 5:1; 10:17. Where else can we learn of the God we love except through the word, John 3:16? He witness to us through the scriptures, which speak of Christ, John 5:39. He leads us by the word which is a light and lamp to us, Psalm 119:105. This should show us that the way to God and having the Spirit in our lives is through obedience to Gods word.
We need not look for the weird, strange or miraculous, merely the word of God which will lead to all these things, as well as more. In addition to all of this we have the Spirit'ss help in our prayers, as well as the assurance that one day He will be instrumental in our resurrection. What blessings the child of God has!