Rev. John Compere

The Baptist Corner

Rev. John Compere is the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Portageville.

Christian Doctrine pt. 18: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit: His work

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Holy Spirit has always been working. The Old Testament reveals the Holy Spirit at work in creation (Gen 1:2), then striving with man (Gen 6:3). The book of Exodus reveals the Holy Spirit imparting wisdom and ability (Exod 28:3), and in 1 Samuel and Ezekiel the Holy Spirit anoints men to prophesy (1 Sam 10:6; Ezek 2:2).

In the New Testament the distinctive work of the Spirit is made clear. It shows a three-fold arena of the mission and work of the Spirit. First, the Holy Spirit is at work in the world. By the “world” we mean unregenerate humanity (John 3:16; 16:8). According to John 16:8 the Holy Spirit reproves men of sin. The word “reprove” means to convict or convince. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to cause men to realize their lost condition and make them seek after life and righteousness.

The Holy Spirit convicts but then He also converts those who are lost. He quickens and creates the disposition and power in the sinner’s heart to believe in Christ for salvation. This is the Holy Spirit’s work in the world among unbelievers, to convict of sin and convert the sinner.

The Holy Spirit also works in believers. Of course, His work at conversion is never repeated. First Corinthians 6:19 speaks of the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer. This is the solemn truth of Scripture that every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. How could we ever think to take our bodies which are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and use them for vile purposes?

The Holy Spirit also seals (2 Cor. 1:22). The seal is the mark of ownership and security. The Spirit indwelling the believer is the mark that the believer now belongs to God and that he is eternally secure. The seal, of course, is invisible. People do not know that a person is a Christian by some badge they wear, but only by the evidence of a Spirit-filled life. In Ephesians 1:13 the seal is called the Holy Spirit of promise. He was promised by the Father and the Lord Jesus. He is the guarantee that all of God’s promises will be fulfilled (Eph 4:30).

The Holy Spirit also baptizes into the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13). This baptism does not refer to water baptism but to the act whereby the Holy Spirit places us into the body of Christ. His work of conversion, sealing, and baptizing are once and for all and are never repeated.

The Holy Spirit cultivates Christian character, brings comfort, teaches and helps to understand the Word of God, empowers for service (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). In relationship to the Church the Holy Spirit creates unity in the body (Eph 4:3). He enables the church to worship (John 4:24; Phil 3:3; Eph 6:18). He also gives gifts for ministry and edification (Eph 4:8-12; 1 Cor. 12:4-11).

In addition the Holy Spirit works in relationship to Christ and the believer. It is the Holy Spirit that makes Christ real to the believer. He glorifies Christ (John 16:14). In fact His principle work is to glorify Jesus. This is one way we can test teaching and preaching. If it has the effect of magnifying the Lord Jesus then it is likely of the Holy Spirit. Any experience or ministry that claims to be of the Holy Spirit but pushes Christ to the background is clearly not of the Holy Spirit. God bless you and remember that God loves you and so does First Baptist Church.