Paul Ellis has a very helpful website called Escape To Reality. I strongly agree with what he shares in this eye-opening piece. Most believers have completely wrong notions of the Holy Spirit and His real work in the life of those in Christ. Click here for the article on the ETR website.
Myth 1: The Holy Spirit keeps a record of my sin.
Truth 1: The Holy Spirit remembers your sin no more (He 10:17).
The Holy Spirit is not forgetful, but love keeps no record of wrongs. At the cross, justice was done and all your sins were forgiven (Col 2:13). To forgive literally means to send away. Your sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12). God has reconciled the world to Himself and is no longer counting men’s sins against them (2 Cor 5:19). If the old covenant was characterized by remembrance of sins (He 10:3), the new is characterized by forgetting them (He 8:12).
Myth 2: The Holy Spirit convicts me of my sin.
Truth 2: The Holy Spirit convicts you of your righteousness (Jn 16:10).
How could He convict you of something that He chooses not to remember? Jesus has done away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb 9:26). Your sins are not the problem. The real question is whether you trust in the grace of God. As an expression of His love and mercy, the Holy Spirit convicts the world of the sin of unbelief in Jesus. But the only thing He “convicts” or rather, convinces, Christians of is their righteousness (Jn 16:8-10).
Myth 3: The Holy Spirit leads me to confess my sin.
Truth 3: The Holy Spirit leads you to confess Jesus is Lord (1 Co 12:3)!
The Holy Spirit will never seek to distract you from Jesus. His ministry will always make you Jesus-conscious rather than self-conscious (Jn 16:14). Specifically, the Holy Spirit will lead you to recognize Jesus as Lord which means everything you have – including your problems and sins – belongs to Him. You don’t have the right to your sins. They are not yours for He bought them with His blood. Still thinking about your sins? Then reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Rm 6:11).
Myth 4: The Holy Spirit is watching to see if I slip up and fail to finish.
Truth 4: The Holy Spirit personally guarantees your salvation and inheritance (Eph 1:13-14).
When you were saved you were marked as one of God’s own (2 Cor 1:22) and sealed with the Spirit for the day of redemption (Eph 4:30). The Holy Spirit is not a fault-finder, but a hope-giver (Rm 15:13). His hope is a firm and secure anchor for the soul (He 6:19). What’s your part in this? Trust Him!
Myth 5: The Holy Spirit reveals God’s judgment.
Truth 5: The Holy Spirit reveals God’s love (Rm 5:5).
“God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit…” (Rms 5:5, GNB). “So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment” (1 Jn 4:18). If you fear God’s punishment, please allow me to introduce you to the Holy Spirit.
Myth 6: The Holy Spirit inspires us to fear a holy and distant God.
Truth 6: The Holy Spirit helps you to know and draw near to God your Father (Eph 1:17, Gal 4:6).
“For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, ‘Father! My Father!’” (Rm 8:15, GNB). Wow! How good is that?!
Myth 7: The Holy Spirit lives somewhere out there, probably behind Alpha Centauri.
Truth 7: The Holy Spirit lives in you (1 Co 6:19; 2 Ti 1:14, Rm 8:11).
Under the old covenant, God lived in the temple. In the new covenant, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Co 6:19). Where does He live? In you! As Ralph Harris says, you are “God’s sacred mobile home.”
Myth 8: The Holy Spirit comes and goes. We need to cry out for Him to come.
Truth 8: The Holy Spirit abides, dwells, stays with you and in you (Jn 14:17, 1 Jn 3:24, Rm 8:11).
In the old covenant the Holy Spirit rested on certain people for certain times. But in the new covenant He abides with us and “makes His home in us” (2 Ti 1:14 AMP). If you have received the Holy Spirit, be comforted, for He’s not going anywhere. He has promised to never leave nor forsake us (He 13:5).
Myth 9: The Holy Spirit plays hard to get.
Truth 9: The Holy Spirit is The Gift, sent by Jesus and freely given by the Father (Jn 16:7, Lk 11:13, Acts 10:45).
According to Galatians 3:14, Jesus redeemed us so that we might receive the blessings promised to Abraham, namely, the promise of the Holy Spirit. Do you believe that Jesus has redeemed you? Then you are eligible to receive the promised Holy Spirit. Who is not eligible to accept Him? The (unsaved) world, “because it neither sees Him or knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you” (Jn 14:17). Look at what Peter said to those who heard the gospel at Pentecost: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). The Holy Spirit does not limit Himself to a chosen few. Believe in Jesus and you will, you will, you will receive the promised Gift! Believe it!
Myth 10: To receive the Holy Spirit you must fast, pray, attend some classes, get straightened out, act holy…
Truth 10: The Holy Spirit is received by faith (Gal 3:14).
Did you fast and pray to receive Jesus? Didn’t think so. You just received by faith. It’s exactly the same with the Holy Spirit. How do we receive the promise of the Spirit? By faith (Gal 3:14)! “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Lk 11:13). Here Jesus is saying that the Holy Spirit is freely given to all who ask. Don’t let anyone tell you that you must do stuff to earn what God freely gives. Jesus already did it all. “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (Jn 16:24)
In this post we looked at 10 myths surrounding the Person of the Holy Spirit. In the next post we’ll look at 10 myths surrounding the work of the Holy Spirit. Stay tuned!