The Holy Spirit and the Church
"The body apart from the
spirit is dead" (James ).
Likewise, a congregation without the Spirit of God has no spiritual life. The
church of the living God must have the Holy Spirit. In other words, believers
in the true church are given the promised Holy Spirit, with the speaking of
tongues as the evidence*. Together, these believers become the dwelling place
of the Spirit (Ephesians ).
Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus
Christ gives the church the authority to forgive sins (John -23). Therefore, it is the
presence of the Holy Spirit that makes baptism effective for the forgiveness of
sins (1 John 5:68).
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of
truth who reveals the truth of salvation (John ). Thus in the true church where God's spirit is
present, people can hear of the full gospel and walk in the way of salvation.
The Holy Spirit also distributes
his gifts to the members of the church, such as the gift of understanding, the
gift of healing, and the gift of encouragement. As members of Christ's body, we
may benefit from these various spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12:4,12,13).
* For a more detailed explanation,
please read the booklet in the series titled Holy Spirit.