Ministry of the Holy Spirit // Part 2
Today, we are going to continue our study called, “The Ministry of the Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit who is present with us. You could say that what God does in the world today He does through the Holy Spirit. To discount the work of the Spirit or to hinder or change it in any way changes how God is working in the earth today. Jesus spoke of the coming of the Spirit which would occur after His ascension to heaven. Last Sunday, we spoke of how the coming of the Spirit fulfilled the desire of Jesus regarding His disciples:
“And the glory which You gave Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” /// John 17:22-23 (NKJV)
Jesus’ desire and prayer to the Father was that we receive the glory, be one in Christ, that Jesus would live in us, that we would be transformed, and that the world would know the love of God. This was accomplished through the coming of the Holy Spirit. We talked last week about the transformative work of the Holy Spirit: how the Spirit draws us to Jesus, convicts and convinces of sin and righteousness, makes us new, and makes us like Jesus.
The message of the gospel is that we cannot change ourselves into anything worthy or holy in God’s eyes. All the work is done by the Spirit. Jesus walked with His disciples on earth, and it surely must have been an amazing time. But, Jesus told His disciples that it was to their advantage that He leave them because if He did, He would send the Holy Spirit to them. The Spirit took Jesus from with them to in them. It brought them the glory of Jesus. It testified of Jesus. It answered Jesus’ prayer and fulfilled His desire. The work of salvation was provided for in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. But, there were many more to whom salvation was to be made known. Here is Jesus command:
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” /// Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus’ disciple making process included baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would remind them of what He had said and guide them into all truth. Jesus said He would be with His disciples forever. This was accomplished through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Are we trying to make disciples differently than Jesus did?
How can we baptize people into Jesus and the Father if we don’t baptize them into the Holy Spirit? If we change the ministry of the Spirit from what we witness in the Bible, then we can’t fulfill the purposes of God for this dispensation. You see, transformation is an amazing part of the Spirit’s ministry. But, there is another part of Spirit ministry that is fulfilled in the great commission. It is the testimony of Jesus to the world.
I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. /// 1 Corinthians 1:4-8 (NKJV)
In this passage, we see another aspect of the advantage Jesus spoke of possessed by those who receive the Holy Spirit. Those who received the Spirit were enriched is such a way that the testimony of Christ was confirmed in them. How is the testimony of Christ confirmed in us? Through gifts and fruits of the Spirit! These gifts and fruits confirm that Christ is in us because they perform the ministry of Christ and reveal the heart of Christ.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. /// Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
The Holy Spirit releases the transformative work of Christ, the testimony of Christ, and the kingdom of Christ in us. 1 Corinthians 1:4-8 tells us that this is the pattern of God’s work until He returns on the day of the Lord Jesus Christ! How can we testify of Christ without the full work of the Spirit? How can we minister as Christ without the full work of the Spirit? We can be partial or we can be full.
Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. /// Acts 18:24-26
God has a fulness for you spoken of by Jesus – prayed over by Jesus – fulfilled in the Holy Spirit. It is the most accurate picture of Christ we have! Isn’t that what Jesus prayed for? Isn’t that what the world needs?
- John 17:22-23 (NKJV)
- Matthew 28:18-20
- 1 Corinthians 1:4-8 (NKJV)
- Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
- Acts 18:24-26
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