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What does it mean to lose the empowering of the Holy Spirit?

What does it mean to lose the empowering of the Holy Spirit?

In the Old Testament, we read of people who have experienced the “departing from the Spirit of the LORD.” To be more specifically, in the Old Testament we read of kings being anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill their God-given calling.

Departing doesn’t mean losing

Losing empowerment by the Spirit isn’t equal to losing the Holy Spirit Himself.

Some people might think that when “the LORD departed” from someone like Saul (see 1 Samuel 16:14), the Holy Spirit left him entirely. But that is not true. The point is this: Saul was called to be king over the house of Israel and for this purpose he was anointed. In other words, Saul was appointed by God to govern the Israelites by the empowering of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit of the LORD departed from him, the empowerment by the Holy Spirit for his government was taken away. We don’t read Saul lost his salvation. Those two things should be distinguished. In 1 Samuel 15:22-25 we read,

And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.” Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow before the Lord.

Saul had transgressed the commandment of the Lord therefore “the Spirit of the LORD departed from him.” But losing empowerment by the Spirit isn’t equal to losing the Holy Spirit Himself.

Every Christian is anointed

In the New Testament, we read of an anointing as well. The apostle John tells us in 1 John 2:26-27:

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Every Christian has been anointed. How did the true believer receive this anointing? By faith in the Gospel of the blessed Messiah (which means Christ, anointed).

We must be very clear at this point: to be anointed doesn’t mean you, as a true believer, are more special than other Christians. John wants to make this point: every believer is taught by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus is the Messiah. This is “the anointing.” But nowhere in the New Testament we read that some saints are “more anointed” than others. Everyone who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, believes that Jesus is the Christ of God, is anointed.

Saved, sealed and secured

Can a Christian lose his salvation? The answer is no. Can he sin? Yes. The sin of a Christian will not make him lose the Holy Spirit. It may be unfitting, however, to let him go undisciplined. Sin has consequences. Maybe a leader must step back. Has he lost his leadership? Yes. But has he lost his salvation? No. Because he is anointed by the Holy Spirit, in the truth of the Gospel. The Christian is saved, sealed en secured – forever! But when he or she sins, God will discipline the believer. And if there is no discipline, it is a sign there was no anointing in the first place. God will bring you back to Him, like a father who loves His children.

How does this Bible teaching speak to you? Please share your thoughts below!

Also read How do we receive the Holy Spirit?

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Robert Bezemer

Robert Bezemer

Robert Bezemer (1988) grew up in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. After secondary school, He decided to study Theology at Christian graduate school. He works as a data engineer. He is also involved with Veritas College International, which is especially founded to help people read and better understand the Bible for themselves. In 2013 He married his wife Rolinda.

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What does it mean to lose the empowering of the Holy Spirit?