Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Essentials: "The Person and Work of the Spirit" - Henry Knapp

 He’s a busy Spirit!

 In my nightmares, I am terrified that many of my Christian friends at Hebron would agree with the sentiments of Acts 19:2. When asked about the work of the Holy Spirit, these baby disciples respond with the observation, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Not even heard of Him! Egads! The dream gets worse when I think I might be part of the problem: that I haven’t shared enough about what the Bible says about the Spirit, what He has done in my life, what I know to be true of His Presence. And then I wake up, and pray…Lord, fill us with your Spirit!

 When the Bible speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit, it describes His actions in various ways—His actions in creation, in God’s providential guiding of this world, in writing the Bible, in convicting and judging sin in this world, and in applying Christ’s salvation into our lives. With all this and more, the Holy Spirit is constantly at work in Creation.

 I want to focus on the Spirit’s work of “applying Christ’s salvation into our lives.” We believe that Jesus’ death on the cross freed us from our bondage to sin. But, how do we become aware of that? How does what Jesus did work into our lives? This is part of what the Spirit does in the life of the believer.    

  • Conviction:  The Spirit brings to mind the presence of residual sin in our lives—having forgiven us, the Spirit draws us to confession (John 16:8).
  • Regeneration: Through the ministry of the Spirit a person is born again, receives eternal life, and is renewed (John 3:3-8).
  • Indwelling: The Spirit abides in the believer (Romans 8:9-11).
  • Sealing: God seals believers with the Spirit, marking us with ownership and the promise of final redemption (Ephesians 1:13).
  • Filling: Believers are “filled” with the Spirit, strengthened to spiritual growth, maturity, and faithfulness far beyond our natural abilities (Ephesians 5:18).
  • Guidance: We are to walk in the Spirit and be led by the Spirit, avoiding legalism and sin, providing discipline and direction (Galatians 5:16).
  • Empowering: The indwelling Spirit provides victory in the Christian life (Romans 8:13).
  • Teaching: Jesus promises that the Spirit will lead believers into the truth, illuminating the mind, and restoring God’s will through the Word (John 14:26)

And, the best of all…

  • Transformation: The work of the Spirit is the means by which we are transformed more and more, day by day, into the image of Christ Himself (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 Well, I guess I don’t know if “transformation” is the best or not, since, really, all the works of the Spirit are life to the believer!

 I hope and pray that your awareness of the Spirit’s presence and work deepens, grows, and matures more and more every day. Join us this Sunday as we worship our Triune God!

 In preparation for worship this Sunday, read John 14:15-18 and 16:7-15.

 1. In 14:16, the Spirit is referred to as “another Helper.” Another than who? What does that tell us about who the Spirit is? He is also referred to as “the Spirit of truth.” What might that imply?

 2. In verse 15, Jesus speaks of love and keeping commandments, then immediately speaks about the Spirit. What connection might there be between the three?

 3. In 16:7, Jesus says that it is better for Him to go away so that the Spirit might come. Why might that be hard to believe? What confidence does the list above inspire?

 4. Read verses 8-11 carefully. What sense can you make of these? How does the Spirit convict the world of sin? Of righteousness? Of judgment?

 5. Verse 13. How might the Spirit lead you into all truth? Have you had any experience of this work of the Spirit in your life?