Ministries of the Holy Spirit
Caveat: We all have experiences, but experiences cannot have authority. If we have two believers in Christ who have different experiences and different outcomes, we can’t say one’s right and one’s wrong.
We must be very careful: when we elevate our experience to equal or above Scripture, we’re going to get in trouble.
The problem with our interaction and with the Holy Spirit is that we don’t understand who He is or how He works. It’s a bit of a mystery because it’s spiritual, but the Bible does give us wisdom.
The Scripture is sufficient for all of our Christian life, but the Scripture doesn’t tell me how to repair a lawn mower. It won’t offer clear-cut answers to daily issues.
So, why do we lean so much on our experiences, our story? Because it’s a lot easier to talk about our experiences than it is to spend time in the Word.
The Baptizing work of the Holy Spirit:
Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, 1 Corinthians 12:13
Simply, baptism in the Holy Spirit establishes a union with Christ and with other believers.
It identifies the believer, as in Christ’s baptism.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is unique to the Church age, i.e., after Pentecost.
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
John 14:16, 1 John 4:13, Ephesians 1:13
The Holy Spirit indwells us at the time of our salvation.
The Holy Spirit indwells us permanently, even when we persist in our sin.
Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 1:22
The carnal Corinthian Christians, who were guilty of incest, lawsuits against fellow believers, and other sins, were nonetheless indwelt by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). If only a select group is indwelt by the Spirit then the Corinthians would not all have been indwelt. Romans 8:9 and 2 Corinthians 1:22 demand a conclusion that all believers, regardless of their spiritual condition, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (1.)
The Sealing of the Holy Spirit
2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30
Scripture is clear:
The sealing of the Holy Spirit secures our salvation, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit authenticates that we’re owned by Christ.
The Filling of the Holy Spirit
The filling of the Spirit is a measurable work.
The meaning of “filled” (Gk. plerousthe) is “control.” “The indwelling Spirit of God is the One who should continually control and dominate the life of the believer.” (2.)
The filling of the Holy Spirit is:
…a sovereign act of God whereby He possesses someone for special activity. …and it highlights the event of being filled rather than the resultant state of fullness. It occurs in Luke 1:15 (John the Baptist), Luke 1:41 (Elizabeth), Luke 1:67 (Zacharias); Acts 2:4 (the group on the Day of Pentecost); Acts 4:8 (Peter), Acts 4:31 (the believers); Acts 9:17 (Paul); and Acts 13:9 (Paul)….second facet of Spirit filling may be described as the extensive influence and control of the Spirit in a believer’s life. It evidences an abiding state of fullness rather than the specific event. It produces a certain character of life and seems to be a close synonym to spirituality. …It occurs in Luke 4:1 (Christ); Acts 6:3, Acts 6:5 (the first helpers of the apostles); Acts 7:55 (Stephen); Acts 11:24 (Barnabas); Acts 13:52 (the disciples); and Ephesians 5:18 (believers). (3)
Aspects of this filling:
We find no command to be filled or to pray or ask for more of God’s Spirit.
If the Holy Spirit indwells the believer at the moment of salvation, it isn’t a matter of receiving more; it’s a matter of our submission to His control.
This is the one thing we do in the work of our sanctification: we choose to submit to the control of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Am I going to let the Spirit control me, or not?
We might say it this way: I don’t need more of Him, He needs more of me.
Sin both grieves and quenches the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:30-32, 1 Thessalonians 5:19
If I’m choosing to live in sin, what’s my spiritual appetite going to be like? Quenched. You cannot live in sin and have a vital fellowship with Christ, it’s impossible.
Galatians 5:19-22, We are to be controlled by the Spirit.
Evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work and control in your life:
Love looks like joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
Are you and I more loving than we used to be?
- Paul P. Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology(Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), 268
- Paul P. Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology(Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), 278.
- Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth(Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1999), 434–435.