Free Bible Study Magazine
This article is reproduced from Sept 2011 edition of Living Word Magazine, available from www.biblestudiesonline.co.uk/Living-Word.html
This Month: Part 2.His Work.
Having learned about the Person of the Holy Spirit we realize that He does not carry out our wishes, but rather we should obey and carry out His!
The Holy Spirit is given to carry out the work, plan and purposes of God in our lives, and in order for him to do so, we must submit ourselves under His control.
Let us consider several aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit:
a) To Testify of Christ
The Holy Spirit bears witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God who came to give His life as a ransom for many (John 15:26).
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would convict men: of the sin of unbelief; of the righteousness which God offers them in Christ (Rom. 10:3-4); and of judgment to come.
Christ has judged and broken the power of Satan that all men might believe and be saved, so that if men reject Christ, they will find themselves under judgment. The Holy Spirit makes this truth real to the human soul.
b) To Regenerate and Quicken the Believer.
Once we were dead in trespasses and sins and walked according to this world and the god of this world (Eph. 2:1-3). Now in Christ we are “born again”, having received a new spiritual life, which is the life of Christ within us.
c) To Sanctify the Believer
It is the Holy Spirit that separates us to God and from the evil habits which formerly enslaved us that we might serve the Lord in holiness (1 Peter 1:2).
God has predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29), and the Holy Spirit’s work of changing us into the image of Christ (a work called sanctification) is an ongoing process, which will be completed when Christ comes again.
d) To Indwell the Believer
In the Old Testament, the scriptures often refer to the Holy Spirit coming upon men (e.g. Judges 3:10, 6:34, 14:6, and 1 Sam. 16:13). The prophets spoke as the Holy Spirit moved upon them.
It was at the commencement of the New Covenant, when the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized by John, that the Holy Spirit came and dwelt within Him in fullness (John 1: 32).
It is God’s purpose that this same fullness which indwelt his Son should indwell all of God’s people throughout the Church age and forevermore. He dwells in believers individually (1 Cor. 6:19) and collectively as a body (1 Cor. 3:17 – where YOU is plural).
Many promises were given in the Old Testament concerning the manner of the coming of the Spirit, which Jesus referred to as the “promise of the Father.”
The first promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was given by Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 32:15) where he says that His coming will make the useless, empty, barren places fruitful to the extent that the fruit trees will be so numerous as to be like a forest.
If we replace the word “‘places”‘ with “‘people”‘ we will have the correct picture of, in the first instance, the people of God without the Holy Spirit, and secondly with Him.
As we read in Joel 2, the promise of the Father is not confined to a select few but to as many who will seek and ask for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)
There is however a condition that has to be fulfilled in order to receive this promise and that is we must first accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our own personal Savior (Acts 2:38), for then the Holy Spirit can come upon us, for He only ever comes upon the Jesus living in us.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would indwell His followers, and he referred to the experience of receiving the Holy Spirit as the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)
The word baptize means to immerse or submerse completely, so it is not a part of us that receives the Holy Spirit, but the whole body soul and spirit of believers are indwelt (1Cor. 3:16).
How do we receive this baptism of the Holy Spirit? If we are saved, then on God’s side there is nothing to stop us receiving,
Jesus tells us that if we “‘ask”‘, “‘seek”‘ and “‘knock”‘ (Luke 11: 9-13) He will not fail to fulfill his promise.
Jesus also told the disciples that they were to wait until they received the Holy Spirit. So, we receive the Holy Spirit by claiming the promise by faith.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not received by everybody in the same way. On the day of Pentecost He came upon the disciples as a “mighty wind” and “cloven tongues of fire” (Acts 2:2-3)
Yet the believers in Samaria and at Ephesus received the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 19: 6-7), whilst Cornelius and his household were baptized as Peter was speaking (Acts 10:44).
In every case recorded in Acts, when believers received the Holy Spirit there was a miraculous evidence of his indwelling, a miracle peculiar to the New Testament: “speaking in tongues”.
e) To Teach, Guide and Reveal Truth to the Believer.
There is no one that can find out or teach themselves concerning the word or things of God, for the things of God can only be made known to us by revelation (1Cor. 2:13).
The Holy Spirit is given to instruct us in the things of God (Neh. 9:20). We have no need to be taught by men for He is our teacher (1 John 2:20-21).
When as Christians we are called to give an account of ourselves before men or to give a reason for the hope we have in Christ, it is the Spirit that will give us the right words to speak (Luke 12:12).
It is He that brings the words of Christ back to our memories (John 14:26).
Because He is the Spirit of Truth it is only the truth of God that he can give to us, nothing false (John 16:13). From this verse we also learn that He is our guide in the Lord’s work (Acts 13:2 and Acts16:6). The fact that we are guided by the Holy Spirit is proof that we are sons of God.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Rom 8:14).