The Holy Spirit with the Disciples
Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, had spent
forty days with His disciples the saints talking to them
about the things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Ac
1:3)…afterwards and prior parting ascending to
Heaven, He told them "tarry in the city of Jerusalem
until you are endued with power from on high" (Lk
So what was this power which they needed to
He told them "But you shall receive power
when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and
you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and
in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the
earth" (Ac 1:8).
Yes, they couldn't start their service preaching
spiritual work unless they were endued with that
power from on high; the Holy Spirit being upon
They were taught at the hands of Jesus Christ
Himself for more than three years; listening to the
teachings of this Great Master " in whom are hidden
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:3)
with all the depth, strength and influence of His
teachings… with all what they practically witnessed of
His various means in treating everyone, the way He
served, the wonders and miracles…yes, God didn't
find all that as to be sufficient for them, even the
forty days period which He spent with them after the
resurrection God saw that they weren't sufficient.
They ought to have power from the Holy
Spirit in their service. So God gave us an
example on how to prepare Church servants…
It happens that we, mistakenly, introduce
servants to work in God's vineyard before they are
well matured and before acquiring power from the
It's not how many Church servants are in
number; what counts is how strong their
It's not how quickly we prepare them; but
how well they are internally filled up.
Only one sermon by Peter the Apostle, after the
Holy Spirit came upon them on Pentecost, was quite
sufficient for attracting three thousand persons who
were cut to the heart and then were baptized (Ac
And so was the work of the Holy Spirit with all the
other disciples whom "with great power the apostles
gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
And great grace was upon them all" (Ac 4:33). That is
why we read about their service that "the Lord added
to the church daily those who were being saved" (Ac
2:47), and that is why we also read that " the word of
God spread, and the number of the disciples
multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of
the priests were obedient to the faith " (Ac 6:7).
They are clear examples of the fruitful service in
which God's spirit continually works, its God's Spirit
who gives words to preachers.
The Holy Spirit came upon the reverend
apostles and that was a necessary condition for
them to serve, as well as on ordaining deacons
it was a prerequisite.
In the story of appointing the first seven deacons
chosen to serve, we hear the apostles saying to the
people "brethren, seek out from among you seven
men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and
wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business"
(Ac 6:3). "And the saying pleased the whole
multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith
and the Holy Spirit" as well as the rest of the seven
men, it was said about Stephen the deacon that he
was full of faith and power… (Ac 6:5-8).
For that reason when St. Stephen commenced his
service he was able to dispute with three Synagogues
of the Freedmen "they were not able to resist the
wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke" (Ac 6:10).
It was also said that "all who sat in the council,
looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of
an angel" (Ac 6:15).
How broad and deep is the work of the Holy
Spirit in the preliminary Church.
The Holy Spirit was choosing servants and
commanding that they should be ordained.
The Holy Spirit is the One who said to the
forefathers " Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them " (Ac 13:2),
the Book says " Then, having fasted and prayed, and
laid hands on them, they sent them away" " So, being
sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to
Seleucia " (Ac 13:3, 4).
The Holy Spirit then called the two apostles Paul
and Barnabas and sent them away…the Holy Spirit
even indicated places where service was to take
place…as it was said once that they were forbidden by
the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia and in
Bithynia…then guided them to go to Macedonia (Ac
The Holy Spirit also led the Holy Councils.
The first of which was convened by the reverend
apostles in Jerusalem on year 45 A.D. which was
concluded by their saying " For it seemed good to the
Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden…" (Ac 15:28).
If the work of the Holy Spirit was essential for the
reverend apostles so how would it be for the ordinary
Church servants whom if fallen into sin would be an
offense to the service and the congregation.
If some people served and failed in their service,
or may be their service was incomplete and not up to
the required level of perfection; the main reason
could be that they worked without the Holy Spirit and
this shows us the importance of the Holy Spirit's
leadership in the service.
The first work of the Holy Spirit is granting
numerous and various talents which St. Paul the
apostle mentioned in his first epistle to
Corinthians chapter 12.
Regarding the strength of the service, the Holy
Spirit not only gives utterance to the servant as when
Paul the apostle asked to pray for him saying " that
utterance may be given to me, that I may open my
mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the
gospel " (Eph 6:19)…but also the Spirit gives such
influence and effectiveness to the word uttered on
souls listening to it, the Holy Spirit grants the ability
to implement what is heard, as well as working
through the person's will hence this word would bear
As the Church cares for the work of the Holy
Spirit in every person, she set up among the
daily prayers the third hour prayer which refers
to the Holy Spirit and His work.
I know that the majority prays the Prime and the
twelfth hour prayer, but do you care, as well, praying
the third hour prayer in which you say to the Holy
Spirit “O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of
truth, who is present in all places and fills all, the
treasury of good things and the Life, Giver, graciously
come, and dwell in us and purify us from all
defilement, O Good One, and save our souls”.
You have an evident relation with the Father in
most of your prayers and in the prayer of
thanksgiving, you also have a relation with the Son
our Savior especially in the prayer of the sixth hour in
which you say "O You, Who on the sixth day and in
the sixth hour was nailed to the cross, for… ", but
what is your relationship with the Holy Spirit whom
without Him you cannot live in the life of
In the prayer of the third hour we ask for
the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the work of this
grace in us particularly for the sake of purifying
And in the absolution of the third hour we say "we
thank You for You raised us for prayer in this holy
hour, in which You abundantly poured the grace of
Your Holy Spirit upon Your holy disciples and
honorable and blessed apostles…"
We also repeat the phrase ' the grace of Your
Holy Spirit ' and say "send forth upon us the grace of
Your Holy Spirit, and purify us from all defilement of
body and spirit. Change us into a spiritual manner of
life, that we may walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the
lusts of the flesh."
Point out here that according to the Holy
Spirit; we are speaking about the grace being
sent forth upon us and not the hypostasis as some may falsely think…
Sending forth the grace is for the apostles and for
Notice the work of the Holy Spirit as well in
purifying body and spirit.
It is good for a person to seek purification of his
soul through the work of the Holy Spirit in him and
not just by means of his own humanly effort
throughout which he might fall and rise…
There are other kinds regarding the work of
the Holy Spirit; we say about Him in the third
hour prayer: "a spirit of prophecy and chastity, a
spirit of holiness, justice and authority".
The book of Isaiah the Prophet says about the
Holy Spirit: "The Spirit of the Lord, The Spirit of
wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and
might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the
Lord " (Is 11:2).We ask in our prayers for the work of
Regarding authority, it is mainly appointed
Including the power of forgiving sins, as the Lord
said to His disciples "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you
forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you
retain the sins of any, they are retained" (Jn 20:22,
When the Priest forgives sins of those who repent,
he forgives through the power of the Holy Spirit
working in him. As God says about the congregation
at the end of the Divine Liturgy prayer "be absolved
by my mouth through You Holy Spirit".
Spirit of authority as regarding average
Either having control on their own selves through
self discipline or on the other hand having power on
devils not allowing them to be in control of their life
or of their own will…
The Holy Spirit as well is the Spirit of truth
(Jn 15:26), the Spirit of justice.
He, whom the Spirit of God works in him is fair
and honest, rightly divides the word of truth, has no
partiality in his judgments and avoids the idle
babblings in his talks.
The work of the Holy Spirit is infinite; He is the
treasury of good things, the Life, Giver He is the giver
of the spiritual gifts as mentioned in (1 Co 12), He
gives words of wisdom, of knowledge, gives words of
faith, of prophecy, healing and mighty acts…
We must not also forget the work of the Holy
Spirit in all the Church Sacraments.
We are born through baptism from water and
spirit, and then we are given the sacrament of Holy
Chrism (anointment with the Myron oil) hence we
abide in the Spirit and become temples for the Holy
Spirit, and the Spirit of God dwells in us (1 Co
3:16)…in addition to the work of the Holy Spirit
through the rest of Church sacraments.
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium