Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Holy Spirit #2: The Ministry of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-26

INTRODUCTION

From Galatians Chapter 3 we see that the Galatian believers had been drawn into thinking that they could live the Christian life in the flesh. Paul reminds us of the foolishness of such a notion. And yet that is exactly what many Christians are doing. The last resort is to turn to God. The Holy Spirit and His power in our lives is ignored by many while they turn to the teachings of men and their own power to solve problems.

We need to direct our attention to the One who dwells within each believer to guide and direct us into all truth. The Holy Spirit of God. Much confusion exists because of the crowd that will over emphasize and misrepresent the true ministry of the Spirit. The Spirit of God is the power of ministry in the lives of believers and must not be over looked.

I. The Holy Spirit Saves and Sanctifies

A. The Holy Spirit is the Agent of salvation.

1. He produces conviction.

a. Conviction is an awareness of guilt regarding one's own sins.

b. Only God can produce that awareness.

(John 16:8) "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"

2. He produces repentance.

a. Repentance is turning from our sins once we have been convicted of them.

b. Men are incapable of repenting on their own; it is God who grants repentance.

(2 Tim 2:25) "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"

3. He empowers preaching.

a. The Holy Spirit empowers God's truth so that it penetrates the unbeliever's mind and begins to do its saving work.

b. He empowers both the preacher and the hearer, and both are necessary works of the Spirit of God.

(1 Thess 2:13) "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."

4. He regenerates hearts.

(Titus 3:5 6) "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;"

B. The Holy Spirit is the Agent of sanctification.

1. He indwells believers at the moment of salvation.

(1 Cor 6:19) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

2. He baptizes believers into the Body of Christ.

a. The Spirit of God places us into this body at the moment of Salvation.

b. He gives spiritual gifts to believers.

c. Spiritual gifts allow us to do spiritual service such as preaching, teaching, etc.

d. Each believer has a unique combination of gifts especially suited to them by the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.

e. The spiritual gifts are to be exercised in the believer's local church.

3. He secures every believer's eternal inheritance.

(Eph 4:30) "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

a. We are sealed and we have the earnest (down payment) of the Spirit.

b. This assures us of God's love and guarantee to keep His promises to us.

4. He sanctifies believers.

(2 Cor 3:8) "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

5. The Christian life begins in the power of the Spirit that's why we should never try to reach spiritual maturity apart from His power.

II. The Holy Spirit Provides Access to God

A. The importance of access.

1. Access to God implies intimacy with God.

2. God is the provider of all spiritual resources, our needs can't be satisfied by natural means.

3. Only God can supply those needs, and He's available to us through the Holy Spirit.

(John 14:26) "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

B. The means of access.

1. Through prayer we have direct access to God.

2. Through God's written Word we have access to God also.

(James 1:5) "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

C. The benefits of access to God.

1. We have fellowship with God.

2. We have all the provisions we need for a healthy Christian life.

3. We have resources for every need.

4. We have wisdom for every circumstance.

(Phil 4:19) "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

III. The Holy Spirit Illuminates Scripture.

A. Illumination is necessary.

B. Having intimacy with God is wonderful, but it must be a two way conversation.

C. We speak to Him in prayer, but He speaks to us through His Word.

D. It is the Spirit of God who opens our minds to God's Word and makes it come alive to us as God speaks through its pages.

(1 Cor 2:9-10) "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."

E. Scripture is sufficient to supply all God wants us to know about Himself and His will for our lives.

F. But Scripture must be illuminated by the Holy Spirit if we are to understand it.

G. The Spirit works through the Word of God to accomplish His purposes in our lives.

CONCLUSION:

When we became Christians, God's Spirit convicted us of our sins, brought us to repentance, and regenerated us. He then indwelt, baptized, sealed, gifted, and separated us from sin. He gives us access to God, who supplies all we need for physical and spiritual life. He illuminates our understanding of God's Word so that we are transformed by its principles as He applies them to our lives.

He is our source of spiritual power. Unfortunately, many Christians have been drawn away from depending on the Spirit's ministry and focused on some quick and easy answer to their problems. But there are no shortcuts to godliness. We must allow the Spirit of God to transform us through God's Word and His ministry. That is how we grow as Christians.