Ministry of the Holy Spirit // Part 4
Today, we’ll finish the series on The Ministry of the Holy Spirit. Let’s dive in. Jesus told His disciples that it was to their advantage that He left them to return to heaven. In essence, His return to heaven finished His work as Savior. You see, if He didn’t return then He couldn’t send the Spirit because claiming the seat of authority in heaven finished the devil. Once Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father – on the seat of intercession for us – on the seat of His victory, then we were able to sit down with Him on that same seat! The Holy Spirit was sent and was able to dwell within the believers. God and man were now one.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. /// Ephesians 2:4-6
Now, we have the victory over the devil He has. We are joint heirs with Him. Do you see how we MUST possess the same Spirit He did? If we must, then why would it surprise us if it operates the same way it did in Him? Last week, we spoke of the testimonial ministry of the Holy Spirit; i.e., the duplication of the ministry of Jesus and the completion of the post resurrection ministry of Christ. We learned that, according to Scripture that the Spirit is manifest in us through gifts given by God as He wills. But, the Spirit also releases within us the heart of Christ. That’s what we look at today.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. /// Galatians 5:16-23 (NKJV)
Can you appreciate the contrast given here? To be saved is to walk in the Spirit. You cannot have the Spirit when under the dominion of the fleshly life. The one given control will operate. There is one antidote for the control of the flesh: death of the flesh. Once the control of the flesh is dead through the crucifixion of Jesus, you are no longer under condemnation and live life in the Spirit. Life under dominion of the flesh is evident in the works of the flesh. But, life under dominion of the Spirit is reflected not only in the gifts but in fruit that the Spirit produces in us.
Can you separate the character of the Spirit from the ministry of the Spirit? No! We must be careful not to have a divided heart that separates the character of God from the ministry of God. Paul cautioned believers not to allow a divided heart to cause sin in the exercise of the gifts:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging symbol. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and through I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. /// 1 Corinthians 13:1-2
Let all things be done decently and in order. /// 1 Corinthians 14:40
One final thing: it is a mystery but gifts can sometimes operate through a disobedient person or through one who is not operating in the fruit of the Spirit. If this were not true, Paul would not have written what he did. Moses once struck the rock in a matter contrary to God’s direction and the water still flowed from the rock. God’s plan will go forward and God will respond to the faith of those who cry out to Him. But eventually, God will deal with the vessel of disobedience.
Since Jesus departed, the Spirit has been sent. His ministry fulfills the desire of Jesus to be one with His disciples. His ministry reveals the post resurrection lordship of Jesus. His ministry does the works of Jesus through the disciples. His ministry brings us all together into one family. His ministry releases in us the power and authority of Jesus.
- Ephesians 2:4-6
- Galatians 5:16-23 (NKJV)
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-2
- 1 Corinthians 14:40
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