Ministry of the Holy Spirit // Part 1
The Lord has directed us to begin a series of studies on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Since the ascension of Jesus, the church has been in the period of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Many biblical scholars call such a period a dispensation.
Since dispensation is not a biblical term, men have used it to describe how God is working in a particular period. Most call the period or dispensation we are in the dispensation of Grace because God is saving and working through people by grace or the mercy of God bestowed through Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, God is doing His work in the earth right now through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said it this way when He was preparing His disciples for His ascension:
But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, “Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. /// John 16:5-7
I do not think that the disciples understood how things could be better without the presence of Jesus. How could Jesus fulfill His role as Messiah of Israel if He left? Wouldn’t His presence ensure salvation for both individuals and Israel? Jesus said that the dispensation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit will be advantageous for us. We are in a period of advantage.
How do we understand the advantage Jesus has given us? By understanding the ministry of the Holy Spirit. For the next few weeks, we’ll study the Spirit. We’ll learn what the Bible says He brings to us. Look at your neighbor and say, “You have the advantage!” The Father is on the throne of heaven. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for believers. It will shock many of you to think that Jesus is for you and not against you! Jesus said that the works/miracles/living that He did was done by the Father who dwelt within Him.
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. /// John 14:10
Then, Jesus told His disciples that upon His ascension the Father would send another Helper, the Holy Spirit who would come to abide in the believer forever and His ministry would be to glorify Jesus and pass along Jesus’ revelation, power, anointing and declare it to the believer:
He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. /// John 16:14
The Holy Spirit is the agent of the Trinity present with us today. The work done by God today is done through the Holy Spirit. Let’s begin our quest by looking at the foundational ministry of the Holy Spirit:
1. He draws the sinner to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus. We saw that in John 16:14. Jesus has come that we may have everlasting life. He leads us to everlasting life through repentance of our sins and faith in God. No one comes to the Father expect through Jesus so the Spirit’s revelation of Jesus is imperative to salvation.
2. He convicts the world of sin.
And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged. /// John 16:8-11
The Spirit convicts both believers and non-believers of sin. Conviction is an evidence of God’s love, an evidence of Jesus’ Lordship, and an evidence of Satan’s defeat.
3. He regenerates human spirits.
He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. /// Titus 3:5
We are made new in the Lord – new ability, new desires, new motivations, new destiny, etc.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. /// 1 Peter 1:3
Satan tries to convince you that you are the same. The Holy Spirit has released you from the bondage to that which made you who you were before you knew Him.
4. He sanctifies us in the Lord.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. /// Romans 8:29
Your destiny is confirmation to the image of Jesus. The conviction of the Spirit and power of the Spirit to change you brings this destiny to pass.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. /// Romans 6:22
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. /// 1 John 3:9
You are dead to the control of sin and alive to the Father. He will lead you into liberty so you become like His dear Son.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. /// 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)
- John 16:5-7, 14
- John 14:10
- John 16:8-11
- Titus 3:5
- 1 Peter 1:3
- Romans 8:29
- Romans 6:22
- 1 John 3:9
- 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)
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