The Ministry of the Holy Spirit (Part 2)
10 Jan 2018
In the past, we have been misinformed about the Holy Spirit, but we must know who He is if we are to understand His ministry. Fables and myths about Him can get in the way of us truly knowing Him, and it is important not to define Him in terms of what He is not. The Holy Spirit is not defined as a feeling or an emotion, a jump or a skip, but as a real person. We must set aside our religious assumptions about His identity and the role He plays. When we know who He is, then we can benefit from what He was called to do. The Holy Spirit was sent to speak to us, but we must not get so caught up in jumping and shouting that we do not hear what He is trying to tell us. When we get to know Him as a person, then we can make the distinction between true spirituality and mere emotional displays.
- We must believe that the Holy Spirit was sent to earth to help and guide us.
- However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you] (John 16:7, AMPC).
- The Holy Spirit wants to comfort, counsel, help, advocate, intercede, strengthen, and stand by us. These are the things He wants to do in our lives; we make a mistake when we reduce Him to a feeling or an emotion.
- He is with us always and everywhere, not just in a church service.
- The Holy Spirit stands between us and the promises of God. He is the pathway from the grace we cannot see to the grace we can experience. He is referred to as the Spirit of grace.
- The Holy Spirit is a “He,” not an “it.” He can be grieved, but not enough to leave us. Religion tells us we can do things to make God leave, but the Bible says otherwise.
- …For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] (Hebrews 13:5, AMPC).
- It grieves the Holy Spirit when people do not know Him. Grief is associated with loss, but people who do not understand who He is will often lose out on the better things because they accepted carnal things.
- And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me (John 16:8, 9).
- Unbelief is the sin of which the Holy Spirit came to convict the world. He also came to convince us that unbelief itself is a sin.
- Unbelief is the only sin that was not taken care of at the cross, because belief or unbelief is a choice we all have as free moral agents. God will never take away that freedom of choice.
- I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).
- Unbelief cannot be forgiven, only repented of. Repentance is a change of mind from unbelief to belief.
- If we choose not to believe, we put ourselves outside of what God can do for us. The Bible calls the state of the unbelieving heart “evil.”
- Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God (Hebrews 3:12).
- Believing on Jesus is not simply acknowledging that He existed; it is to believe everything He did for us. He forgave us of all our sins, except unbelief.
- All our sinful behavior is the result of the one sin of unbelief.
- The Holy Spirit convinces us that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for sin.
- For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
- Jesus was tempted with unbelief, just like us. Immediately after His baptism, God announced He was well-pleased with Jesus (Mathew 3:16, 17). Jesus was then led into the wilderness where the devil tempted Him (Matthew 4:1-3).
- For Jesus, the sin would not have been turning stone into bread; it would have been not to believe that He was the Son of God.
- For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God (Hebrews 10:1-7).
- In the Old Testament, the animal sacrifices made annually to atone for sin were only a temporary fix. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for sin ended the need for blood sacrifices every year.
- “Sanctified” means set apart. We are set apart from sin not through animal blood, but through Jesus’ blood.
- Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified…For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:8-14, 26).
- If we do not read verse twenty-six in context and with the knowledge of what grace has done for us, we will focus on our sins and think there is no more sacrifice for what we did. We will end up feeling condemned.
- All sinful acts are willful. The truth is that Jesus is now the only sacrifice for sin. If we do not believe this, then there remains no more sacrifices to deal with our sins.
- Unbelief is the unforgiveable sin. The Spirit convinces us to repent of that.
- Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come (Matthew 12:22-32).
- Religion puts fear in us when we read verse thirty-one, but God does not want us to be afraid.
- When Jesus cast out the demon, the Pharisees responded with unbelief that it was done by the Holy Spirit.
- The unforgiveable sin is unbelief that the Holy Spirit works in people.
- Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
- The Holy Spirit washes and sanctifies us from what previously would have kept us out of heaven.
- Taking these Scriptures out of context makes us feel condemned to hell.
- But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Galatians 5:18-24).
- If we are led by the Spirit, we are no longer guilty under the law.
- Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:29-32).
- We grieve the Holy Spirit when we do not believe that we are as He is. God is love; therefore we are also.
- And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:5).
John 16:7, AMPC
Hebrews 13:5, AMPC
John 16:8, 9
Matthew 3:16, 17
Hebrews 10:1-14, 26
1 Corinthians 6:9-11