The Work of the Holy Spirit
God the Father and God the Son sent the Holy Spirit into the world (Jn 14:26; 15:26). The Spirit has always been at work in the world, even in the life of individuals. Following the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit was sent to bear witness of the risen Savior.
The Spirit’s witness brings conviction of sin to the world (Jn 16:18). He makes known the righteousness of Christ and the judgment to come. These matters are made known through the Scriptures, which the Spirit brought forth through the prophets and apostles (2 Tim 3:16; Heb 1:1–2; 2 Pet 1:20–21). These very Scriptures inform us that God calls men of God to preach the Word (the Bible).
We learn from Bible preachers and teachers, who proclaim the Gospel of God that they themselves are filled with the Holy Spirit and with power to perform their work (Acts 4:8; 13:9, 52). By expositing the whole counsel of holy writ, the world is made aware of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
The same Spirit that preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through the preacher, is the One who opens the ears of some listeners, to hear and believe the Gospel of God’s grace.
The Holy Spirit grants all the spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3), afforded to God’s elect people (Eph 1:4), following His baptism of them (Mt 3:11; Acts 2:38), indwelling them with His permanent presence (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; Heb 13:5; Jas 4:5). Every true believer truly believes in Jesus Christ because the Spirit of Christ has taken up residence in his or her heart and mind (soul).
The Holy Spirit obviously knows the heart and mind of God because He is God (1 Cor 2:11). The life of God, in the soul of man, begins by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The soul, void of the Spirit, receives the gift of God (Acts 2:38; 10:45), only by the will of God (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:16). God has chosen, from before the foundation of the world, those who will receive Jesus Christ as Savior (Rom 11:5; Eph 1:4; Rev 13:8; 17:8; 21:27).
Receiving Jesus means receiving the Spirit of Christ sent from Him and from God the Father (Jn 14:26; 15:26). God’s provisional benefits package comes with the Spirit, who now abides in the one He has caused to be born again (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). The new birth, caused by the Spirit, means the born again belongs to Christ’s church, as a new member (1 Cor 12:13). He or she has been baptized into Christ’s body, over which Jesus is the Head (Col 1:18).
The new birth is the beginning of a new life for the new creation in Christ (Gal 6:15). Old things have passed away, and new things, spiritual things, have come (2 Cor 5:17). He that is spiritual is now inclined to the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:15), having received a new heart for God (Ezek 36:26) and the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16).
The Holy Spirit manifests the life of Christ, in the one who now believes in Jesus, by God’s grace, alone (Eph 2:8–9). The sovereign grace of God’s Spirit means that God wills and God works according to His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). His eternal will (Eph 1:11) is carried out in His eternal purpose in Christ (Eph 3:11).
The Holy Spirit is working toward the summation of all things in Christ (Eph 1:10). God’s predetermined plan will be executed with perfect precision (Acts 2:23). Before the day of consummation arrives, the Gospel of grace must be preached to the whole world (Mt 24:14), to all creation (Mk 16:15). It is the Spirit who empowers the witnesses of Jesus Christ, to go into all the world to fulfill this purpose (Acts 1:8).
It is the Spirit of God, who causes God’s people to walk in God’s statutes (Ezek 36:27). This is in alignment with their walking by the Spirit (Eph 5:25), in faith (2 Cor 5:7), and in a manner worthy of their calling to be children of God (1 Jn 3:1, 10), children of Light in a dark, fallen world (Eph 5:8; Phil 2:15). The Light of the world, Jesus Christ, shines in and through them (Mt 5:16; Jn 8:12), by His Spirit (2 Cor 4:6).
The Holy Spirit is bringing the saint into conformity with Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 8:29). Renewing the believer’s mind daily (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 4:16), the Spirit sanctifies the adopted child with the Word of God, the Word of truth (Jn 17:17). The produce of the Spirit’s internal work in the Christian is called “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22–23).
This collection of produce, from the work of the Spirit, is the evidence of holiness, that is, the formation of the attributes of God in the believer, whose mind is set on the Spirit and the things above (Col 3:2). With eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:2), the anticipation of glory-revealed is a genuine longing to leave this world, to be in the presence of Jesus Christ (Rom 8:18; Phil 1:23).
Finally, in the resurrection to life (Jn 5:28–29), it will be the same Spirit of God, who raises those in Christ to their glorified state of immortality (Rom 8:11). It was the Spirit at our birth, the Spirit through our lives as Christians, even unto death. It will be the Holy Spirit working at our resurrection.
Friend, the Holy Spirit and the work of the Spirit are impervious to manipulation by sinners or devils. God is at work, and He will accomplish His will for sinners, saints, and demons (Ps 57:2; 138:8). If you belong to Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:23), the Spirit of Christ will find you, if you are lost. The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19), and again, He will find you (Mt 18:12–14) because He is the Good Shepherd (Jn 10).
Christian, rejoice in the token of God’s love for you (2 Cor 5:5), poured out in your heart (Rom 5:5), which constrains you (2 Cor 5:14). He that is in you, is greater than he that is in the world (1 Jn 4:4), therefore, sing, rejoice, and be glad, for God chose you (Rom 11:5), Christ died for you (Rom 5:8), and the Holy Spirit has come to baptize, regenerate, indwell, teach, comfort, and help you on your sojourn home to glory. He is your assurance that you will indeed arrive safely.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 31, 2022