Communion with the Holy Spirit, Part 3 - Bob Sawvelle

Communion with the Holy Spirit, Part 3

The Holy Spirit is to the Christian what the cloud by day and fire by night was to the Israelite. God’s powerful personal presence! The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit guarantees our present and future redemption and eternal inheritance. God’s Word, and the witness of the Holy Spirit, assure us of our union with Jesus and affirm that all of God’s promises are yes and amen in Christ!

Last week I examined how the Holy Spirit desires to fellowship with us, have partnership with us, and take responsibility for us. This is comforting and exciting! Let me recap last week’s teaching before examining further this understanding of communion and partnership with the Holy Spirit.

Paul writes in his benediction to the Corinthians, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” 2 Cor. 13:14 NKJV

Communion is from the Greek koinōnía and means, fellowship, communion, sharing, participation. A term that conveys a sense of commonality, solidarity, and shared responsibility among households or individuals. The most general sense of this term refers to a shared conviction that manifests itself as mutual responsibility and status.[1]

Through Jesus, we know the love of the Father, and communion (fellowship) with God and God’s people is given by the Holy Spirit. There is no fellowship with the Holy Spirit apart from a life surrendered to Jesus.

In this season, God is inviting us to go deeper in genuine relationship with Him and each other. Intimacy, transparency, and heart-to-heart communication in relationships are essential to build trust and experience true friendship. The same is true with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 5:7 says “So they signaled to their partners…” Partners in this verse is a form of this word koinōníaLuke 5:7 refers to business partners but gives us some understanding of how the Holy Spirit comes alongside us to help in our Christian walk and expansion of God’s kingdom.

Keeping this in mind, 2 Cor. 13:14 could convey this idea: “… and the partnership of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Paul, the book of Acts, and church history record the ongoing leading and partnership with the Holy Spirit. Additionally, looking at Jesus’ earthly life, we observe how He and the Holy Spirit always worked together. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons by the Holy Spirit.

Power of the Spirit

Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving. The devil said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.”

Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread.”

Next the devil led him to a high place and showed him in a single instant all the kingdoms of the world. The devil said, “I will give you this whole domain and the glory of all these kingdoms. It’s been entrusted to me and I can give it to anyone I want. Therefore, if you will worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him.”

The devil brought him into Jerusalem and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here; for it’s written: He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.”

Jesus answered, “It’s been said, Don’t test the Lord your God.” After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity.

Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.” Luke 4:1-15 CEB

Jesus, who was full of the Holy Spirit, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to fast and pray for forty days. He was tempted by the devil and overcame by relying on the Holy Spirit and using God’s Word.

Like Jesus, we need God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to stand against temptation and evil. As we rely on God in the wilderness, greater authority and power are given. Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit is with you always, even during times of trial and wilderness experience.

Paul states that we are sealed and anointed with the Holy Spirit

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Cor. 1:21-22 NKJV

The Holy Spirit is our down payment, or guarantee, of our present and future hope in Christ. The Greek for guarantee is arrabōn which means “the first or initial payment of money or assets, as a guarantee for the completion of a transaction or pledge (in the NT ἀρραβών is used only figuratively in referring to the Holy Spirit as the pledge or guarantee of the blessings promised by God)—‘first installment, down payment, pledge, guarantee.’” [2]

Paul would write later in 2 Cor. 5:1-8 vs 5: “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (arrabōn).

In this passage, Paul is giving the reader assurance of the resurrection and glorified body that we long for. He then states in verse 5 that our present new life in Christ is experienced by the Holy Spirit within as a guarantee, pledge, or down payment of our future resurrection and eternal life!

Paul’s use of arrabōn is a word used at the time for legal or commercial transactions. Down payment on a piece of land. God has taken the initiative; the Spirit is part of the promised future meeting us now in the present. The Spirit is a sign that one day we shall fully possess our inheritance—the already and not yet of the kingdom.

Theologian Gordon Fee states of this Holy Spirit guarantee, “Along with the resurrection of Christ, the Spirit is the certain evidence that the future has been set in motion; and the Spirit’s indwelling presence serves as God’s own guarantee that we are to inherit all that has been promised.”[3]

The Spirit is to the Christian what the cloud by day and fire by night was to the Israelite. God’s powerful personal presence! The Spirit is part of future inheritance and guarantees our present and future redemption.

You have been marked by God, sealed securely by Him in Christ, who is always your yes. Further, the Holy Spirit has been given as a deposit, down payment money, a first installment, which guarantees full inheritance when the whole is paid latter!

The Holy Spirit is partial payment or pledge of our future joys and bliss in heaven! The Holy Spirit gives a foretaste or guarantee of things to come!

The Holy Spirit’s presence is also a deposit on God’s promises to us. We can have assurance of the dreams and promises God has made because we are sealed in Christ and have the Holy Spirit as a deposit!

Over the years, the Holy Spirit has “nudged” me to action numerous times!

It could be as simple as praying for someone during my prayer time or out in public for healing. Or, on occasion, He has directed me to make a missions trip overseas. Some of those trips have had powerful results as I followed His leading and allowed Him to be the principal partner!

The Holy Spirit wants to fellowship and partner with you, just like a close friend, or close partner in the same business endeavor. It is the family business, God’s Kingdom that is expanding and growing!

Here are Principles and Benefits of Communion with the Holy Spirit

Genuine Worship. As we abide in Jesus, His Word, and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, We participate in true worship. John 4:23 says, “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.” NKJV

The heart of worship is Jesus! He is our affection and desire. We pursue Him, not His gifts or His benefits. We worship the King in holiness, in singularity of heart. No other God before us, no other false affections. This is worship in Spirit and in truth.

We hear God’s voice. Revelation flows from intimacy with Jesus and communion with the Holy Spirit, our friend and helper. He guides us into all truth, speaks what He hears, and reveals God’s plans and purposes to us.

We are revived and renewed. Psalm 16:11, “…In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (NKJV) Jesus said He would send us another helper. Another is from the Greek word allos, which means another just like me. The Holy Spirit wants to revive and renew us daily—allow Him too!

We are empowered. Jesus said in John 14:12, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” As we remain in Christ, trust His finished work, and yield to the Spirit, God releases His might through us to do what we cannot of ourselves!

We become a conduit for God to touch others. You and I were destined to be a river of blessing to others. It is not accomplished in our human effort alone; rather, as we walk with God faithfully and rely upon His Word and the Spirit, we begin to bring life to dead places! We have become the temple of God, and the River of God’s presence is bursting forth through those who are yielded to God’s mission and purpose!

Final Thoughts

The greatest gift God gave humanity was Jesus Christ. The greatest gift God gave the Church was the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost for all believers in every age.

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39 NKJV

Church, God invites us into another corporate outpouring of His Spirit, He will pour water on a dry and weary land when God’s people seek Him from a place of sincerity and humility.

Begin today to develop a walk of daily communion with the Greater One within! Let Him be all He wants to be in your life – your source of wisdom, power, and strength to launch you forth into victory.


Holy Spirit, I want to thank You for being my friend, helper, partner and for taking responsibility for me. I need Your friendship and partnership ….  I ask You to forgive me for the times that I have not fellowshipped with You. I promise from this day forward to commune with You and to consult You before deciding on the direction I take! 

I invite You to come now and fill me afresh, let me know the joy of Your fellowship, in Jesus’ name!


Bob Sawvelle Signature


For a deeper look at this topic, watch the Passion Church message “Communion with the Holy Spirit, Part 3”

[1] Derek Leigh Davis, “Assembly, Religious,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

[2] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 576.

[3] Gordon D. Fee, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1994), 671.

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