A Different Spirit

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, Oct. 14, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Daniel 6:1-5

Text: Daniel 6:3

Daniel 6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

Introduction: Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because he had an excellent spirit. He had a DIFFERENT spirit than theirs. When we think of such an expression, we might think of a hard-working spirit, a loyal spirit, a cooperative spirit, an honest spirit, a sincere spirit, a humble spirit, a persevering spirit, and other attitudes that might characterize an “excellent” employee.

I want to take this expression this morning to remind us of a fact more important than the obvious one, that people have different attitudes and temperaments. There are actually different SPIRITS in this world and in people. I am talking about personalities, called in the Bible devils and unclean spirits. Many people call them DEMONS.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

People who have never become Christians are usually unaware of the fact that they have a spirit WORKING in them:

Ephesians 2:1-2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Some unsaved people have more unclean spirits than others, and some unsaved people have unclean spirits who are more wicked than others.

On the other hand, Christians have the Spirit of God dwelling in them:

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

The Christian has a DIFFERENT Spirit than he had before he was saved. That Spirit is the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God! It is a different Spirit than what his unsaved friends have working in them and dwelling in them. It is the Spirit that gave him spiritual life.

The spirit living in unsaved people is different from the Spirit of God who makes His home in those who are saved, and vice versa. I want us to think today about the Holy Spirit and how He, who indwells the believer, is DIFFEENT than the spirits of this world who inhabit unbelievers. When I refer to “a different Spirit” in this message, I will be thinking positively, as in the more excellent spirit of Daniel, of the Spirit of God who is in the believer.


Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The body of the believer, when resurrected,

A. Will have a better pattern

  • Our body will be just like that of our Lord (Phil. 3:20-21).
  • I don’t know what a lost man’s body will be like, but if it is fashioned like HIS Lord, it would look like a SNAKE!

B. Will have a better permanence

  • The body of unsaved people will burn forever and ever without ever being consumed.
  • The body of the believer will be perfect forever!


1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

1 Corinthians 2:12-15 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

We who are saved have the ability to know

A. The word of God

  • Many people say, “I read the Bible, but I don’t understand it.” If you really don’t understand the Bible whenever you read it, you probably have the WRONG SPIRIT.
  • Today I completed reading the Bible through from front to back for the 55th time. I don’t claim to understand EVERYTHING in the Bible, but I DO understand it, by the Spirit of God who dwells in me!

B. The wisdom of God

  • By submission to the word of God and by supplication to the Lord (Jas. 1:5), we obtain the wisdom of God through the Spirit of God.

C. The will of God

  • The Spirit of God leads the believer to do God’s will.
  • Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
  • The Spirit of God can reveal to the believer God’s will concerning a partner for life; a place to live; a pastor for leadership; a people for love (a local church); and a position of labor.


Prophesying of the time when He would send the Holy Ghost from heaven to indwell Christians, the Lord Jesus Christ said:

John 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

1 Corinthians 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

The Spirit of God promotes

A. Redemption by a solution from Heaven

  • Psalms 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
  • Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

B. Redemption by the sacrifice of the Savior

  • The spirit that dwells in unsaved people teaches SELF-redemption by their own sacrifice. Most lost, religious people think they are going to go to heaven by giving to others and doing good to their fellow man.
  • Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

C. Redemption by the simplicity of faith

  • Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;


Ephesians 2:2-3 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

A. Real purity

  • An inner purity, not just in appearance or actions
  • The right motive – to please God and glorify Him

B. Real peace

  • Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.
  • Galatians 5:22a But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace …
  • Peace in the head, peace in the heart, and peace in the home.

C. Real power

  • 1. In His permissive will, God has allowed unclean spirits to have certain amounts of power.
  • 2. You may remember that the man of the Gadarenes who had the Legion of devils also had superhuman physical strength. Yet he did not have the power to control himself. He was miserable.
  • 3. God gives the believer REAL power:
  • 4. Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

If you are saved, you have a different SPIRIT in you, and He can make you different from this world if you will let Him:

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Are you following His leadership today?

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