The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit has been given by our gracious God to every believer. Why He was given and what He does is revealed in the Scriptures.

I. The Person of the Holy Spirit

Our study on the Trinity shows us that the Scripture clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is both a person and God.

A. The personality of the Holy Spirit

1 The Holy Spirit is a person in exactly the same way as the Father and Son in the Trinity.

2. As a person, He has an intellect, a will, and emotions.

He thinks -- Romans 8:27, John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 2:11,13

He decides -- I Corinthians 12:1 1, Acts 13:2

He feels -- Ephesians 4:30, Isaiah 63:1 0

3. The Holy Spirit acts in a way that only a person can act.

He communicates and has relationships with other persons

Acts 13:2, Acts 15:28

He teaches other persons John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 2:13

He performs miracles Acts 8:39

B. The deity of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is God. He is the third person of the Trinity, coequal with God the Father and God the Son.

1. The Holy Spirit is called God -- Acts 5:3-4

2. The Holy Spirit is one with God the Father and God the Son -- Romans 8:9

3. The Holy Spirit appears with the Father and the Son in an equal role with them. Matthew 28:18

(See study on the Trinity)

II. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit which is permanent

The Holy Spirit plays an essential role in the salvation, daily life, and growth of the believer. He ministers in rive basic ways, which can be divided into two categories.

The four-fold ministry of the Spirit which occurs at the moment of salvation for every believer and is permanent.

The regeneration, baptism, sealing, and indwelling of the Holy Spirit all have common characteristics:

1. They occur at the moment of salvation for all believers because they are an essential part of salvation.

2. The are permanent and cannot be reversed.

3. They are acts totally of God.

4. They are spiritual and positional experiences, not emotional ones.

5. These are not felt, but the results can be.

A. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit

Regeneration refers to God's act of giving-eternal life by means of the Holy Spirit to the one who trusts in Christ.

A person who is spiritually dead apart from Christ is made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit when he trusts in Christ.

The Bible describes "regeneration" in three ways:

1. Born again

Ezekiel 36:25-27 "water is a symbol of purification from sin"

Titus 3:5 "washing with water symbolizes the regeneration of the Holy Spirit

John 1: 1 2-13 Christians have "become children of God." They are "born of God."

Galatians 4:4-5 Christians have received "the adoption as sons."

2. Spiritual resurrection

Ephesians 2:4-7, Romans 6:1 1

Christians are "dead to sin but alive to God."

Colossians 2:13-14

"And you being dead in your trespasses ... He has made alive together with Him."

3. New creation

1 Corinthians 5:17

B. Baptism by the Holy Spirit

Definition: Christ's act of joining the believer to Himself and the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

That is not water baptism, but Spirit baptism.

1. Jesus Christ baptizes the believer spiritually.

Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16, John 1:33

2. Christ does this by means of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:15, John 1:33, I Corinthians 12:13

3. The result of Spirit baptism is two-fold.

We are placed into union with Jesus Christ and His body.

a) Union with Christ Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:1-5

b) Union with the body of Christ (all other believers) 1Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 4:3

4. It is not water baptism The same word is used for two different acts. Mark 1:8

Water baptism and Spirit baptism are two different acts which occur at two different times for two different reasons.

C. The sealing of the Holy Spirit

Definition: God's act of giving to believers His Holy Spirit as a divine identification and guarantee that they are God's children and will receive an eternal inheritance in the future.

1. In ancient times, a "seal" was a design, initial, or other mark placed on a letter, document, and the like to authenticate it as genuine and secure it as a permanent transaction that could not be changed (except by the one sealing it, if that was legally possible)

Jeremiah 32:9-12

2. The presence of the Holy Spirit in believers is the divine identification that they are genuine children of God and as such will receive an eternal inheritance with Christ.

Ephesians 1: 1 3-14

"guarantee" = "down payment"

Ephesians 4:30, 1 Corinthians 1:21-22, 1 Corinthians 5:5

D. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Definition: The Holy Spirit indwells or lives within every believer and leads him or her into obedience to God.

1. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer

Romans 8:9,11 I Corinthians 6:19 I Corinthians 3:16 (corporately as well as individually) Galatians 4:6

2. The Holy Spirit leads every believer into obedience to God Romans 8:12-17

CONTEXT: Chapter 8 contrasts believers and unbelievers. All believers are indwelt by the Spirit and led by the Spirit, therefore they live according to the Spirit as the regular pattern of their lives. As unbelievers do not have the Spirit, therefore they live according to the flesh as the regular pattern of their lives.

The Holy Spirit prompts the believer through the Scriptures to obey God. The Holy Spirit convicts the believer through the Scriptures when he sins. The Holy Spirit encourages and strengthens the believer through the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit is available to empower the believer to turn away from sin and obey God when he is tempted.

Galatians 5:18

NOTE: Romans 11:29 says that the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. The gift of the Holy Spirit to the believer will not be taken away from the believer for any reason.

III. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit which is not permanent

A.. The filling of the Spirit

Definition: The Filling of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit reading and empowering the believer as the believer submits to and trusts in God. Ephesians 5:18

B. Walking by the Spirit (another way of referring to the same thing) Galatians 5:16

C. The result of a believer being filled with the Spirit or walking by the Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit in his or her life. Galatians 5:16-25

D. Characteristics of this ministry:

1. It is a moment by moment experience. It is not permanent. Ephesians 5:18

present tense -- "keep on being filled"

2. It is commanded by God. It requires an act of our will -submission.

3. It relates to our daily experience as believers, not our salvation.

4. It is not an emotional experience in and of itself but can be experientially verified by the fruit of the Spirit it produces.