The Ministry of the Holy Spirit 2

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit 2

(Teacher, Counselor, and Comforter)

Last week we began looking at the ministry of God, the Holy Spirit. We saw in the Word that the Holy Spirit’s work is essential in giving us faith, grace to repent, and a new life born of God. Consequently, if we don’t have the Holy Spirit in us, we are not children of God. Neither are we saved.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

We are not saved by the Holy Spirit. We are saved by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, who took our sin and punishment and gave us His righteousness. This is why Jesus came. Near the end of His ministry, Jesus said it was good that He leave us so the Holy Spirit could come and be in us. The Holy Spirit is the anointing evidence that we are saved. His presence in our heart is like God’s seal of ownership, letting us know that we are His children and guaranteeing our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus said in John 16:7, Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Jesus came to earth to be an atoning sacrifice for the sin of the whole world. Having completed His task, He rose from the dead and returned to His glory with the Father to intercede for us and send the Holy Spirit as our Comforter in His stead. The Holy Spirit gives us power over sin and the ability to become like Jesus and be His witness in this world.

Without the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing but sin because we only have power to follow the deceptions of our passions, desires, the world’s philosophy, and the devil’s lies.

Jesus said in John 14:15-17, "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

Unbelievers cannot accept the Truth of the Holy Spirit because the Truth is spiritually discerned. And they lack the Holy Spirit’s grace to understand the Truth. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit strives with unbelievers, calling them to believe in Jesus Christ and repent. If they yield to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and His grace to believe, they can be saved. Then they will have grace to understand the Truth and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, for He is our teacher, counselor, and comforter.

Proverbs 1:23 If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.

The Holy Spirit brings conviction to sinners that demands repentance. They must choose to repent or continue to go their own way. There is no other choice. To the one who does repent, God promises an intimate relationship with Him, including His wisdom.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

If we truly repent, God promises cleansing from sin, a new heart that is inclined to worship Him, and His Holy Spirit to dwell in us and enable us to walk in obedience to His Word. The Holy Spirit renews our mind, gives us new insight and understanding, and directs our thoughts and conduct. Our evil inclinations are replaced by a new nature that wants to obey God.

1 Corinthians 2:9-14 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The faith to believe is revealed to us by God the Holy Spirit. He gives us conviction of sin and the grace to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Spirit knows all that God knows, for He is one with the Father and the Son. He also knows our thoughts and the intentions of our heart. Therefore, the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God to us, convicting us of sin, giving us faith to believe and the ability to discern divine truth from demonic deception.

Ephesians 1:17-19 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in His holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe

Again, we see God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The purpose of this series, which began with “Who is God?” is the same as Paul’s prayer: that you may know Him better. We need to grasp the greatness of Who we worship and the inheritance that is our in Christ Jesus. This knowledge should give us hope and power to live obediently for Him.

It will also help us share with others the Truth about God. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we can explain the Trinity, how we are made in His image, the work of the Father, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said in John 14:26the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Our flesh is conditioned to react to what we see and hear. However, the Holy Spirit will give us a check in our spirit, reminding us of what Jesus said. He will teach us and guide us during every situation we face if we listen to Him and obey.

Jesus also said in John 16:13-15 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”

A degree in theology is not necessary to understand the Truth. The Holy Spirit is Who is necessary. Without the Spirit, the theologian will only have head knowledge, but he will not have understanding, wisdom, nor revelation from God.

The Holy Spirit is all the apostles had to remind them of what Jesus said and what He meant. They did not study theology. They were called “unlearned” men. They were led by the Spirit, they walked by the Spirit, they preached by the Spirit, and they prophesized what is to come by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will give us the same grace.

Jesus said in Luke 12:11-12 "When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."

If we study the Scriptures, obey them, and habitually walk by the Holy Spirit instead of our flesh, then we do not need to worry about what to say in situations where we have no opportunity to prepare a defense, for the Holy Spirit will continue to counsel us as to what to say and do.

The Holy Spirit will teach us what to say and do even when we are not persecuted, but we have to practice listening to Him and obeying Him; otherwise, we will grieve Him into silence or reduce His counsel to one word: “repent.”

Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

The Holy Spirit speaks in a still, small voice. We must be praying (i.e. listening) continually to hear Him. When you hear Him, trust and obey immediately.

1 John 3:24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

The Holy Spirit is critical to our salvation, our relationship with God, and our relationship with each other. Too often, there are churches devoid of the Holy Spirit, where the congregation is reduced to following rules, regulations, traditions, and selected doctrines of men. In such a place, a believer can sense that God is not there. On the other hand, when the Holy Spirit is present, His presence can be felt. It is possible to sense the Holy Spirit and demonic spirits in people, too. This ability is called discerning of spirits, a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:17-19 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

In a Spirit-filled church, there is righteousness that springs from a love for God and for one another. The fruit of the Spirit is exhibited in our relationships. Peace and joy are evident because of the Holy Spirit’s presence.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

This is not freedom to sin. The grace and power of the Holy Spirit gives us freedom from sin, the devil, and our flesh. By the Holy Spirit’s grace, we are making a continual, progressive transformation into Christlikeness. This glory comes from the Spirit within us and not from ourselves.

Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

The Holy Spirit—not programs—adds to the Church daily those who are being saved.

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit gives gifts to the Body of Christ to empower its members to be ambassadors of Christ, to share the Gospel of reconciliation with God the Father through faith in the Son of God, and to build one another up in the Faith.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Do you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you? This is a serious question! You need to know. How can you tell?

Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Is this fruit of the Holy Spirit being produced in you? Are you crucifying your flesh? Be honest with yourself, for the Spirit knows the truth. If you are lacking the Holy Spirit, Jesus has good news for you.

Luke 11:9-13 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Before you ask, make sure you have made Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. Then the promise will be for you. Children of God can ask the Father every day for the Holy Spirit.

If you are not a child of God, this is what you can do. Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

If you believe Jesus is the Son of God who atoned for your sin on the cross and rose again from the dead, then publicly confess your faith. Repent of your sin, and follow Jesus in baptism. Then your sin will be forgiven, you will be born again of the Holy Spirit, and you will have grace to receive the Holy Spirit’s ministry unto you. He will be your daily teacher, counselor, and comforter.