As we prepare to wrap up this blog series focused on the work of the Holy Spirit, we’ll review just a tad. If this is old hat to you, please indulge me as I seek to help all of us get this right. We need a sound understanding of the work of the Spirit in our lives, and in our world. In fact, He has been at work from the very beginning (Genesis 1:2).
The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and rebellion. It is by the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that we first come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. He illuminates, and makes real and relevant, our spiritual understanding. He witnesses with our human spirits that we belong to God the Father, as His deeply loved children. Religion says “slave,” but the Gospel says “son.”
The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. He enables and empowers our unique witness as Christ’s church, and He strengthens us to move forward with holy boldness – even in the face of intense opposition – as heralds of Christ’s magnificent truth. And God the Holy Spirit is fully accomplishing the work of sanctification within (and in spite of) each and every one of us who follows Christ.
You and I should be most grateful for what Charles Spurgeon called “a miracle of miracles, that ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish’ … surely that precious word, ‘Whosoever will, let him come and take the water of life freely’ and that solemn promise, ‘Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out,’ are better than signs and wonders.”
Easter 2016 lies on the immediate horizon. As we prepare to celebrate our Savior’s glorious resurrection from the dead, we must never hold back from affirming that the main thing is still the main thing. Because we know Christ and are eternally safe in Him, the resurrection of Jesus – the greatest sign and wonder of all time – puts all of our “signs and wonders” in their proper perspective. The absolutely amazing reality is this (Romans 8:11): If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you!
There are valid reasons why you and I should be cautious whenever people credit “the Holy Spirit” with various seemingly supernatural phenomena. Some of us have been disenchanted with movements and trends which were high on emotion and low on doctrine. We should be skeptical of any experience being sought, or advocated, just for the sake of experience. You and I should be seeking experiences which motivate us toward Christlikeness, and toward a more fervent witness for Christ. All within the bounds of Scripture.
We are not free to cook up our own doctrine of the Spirit, nor are we free to ingest someone’s tasty but noxious version of “truth.” We’re never to give up our reason, or our Biblical anchor, and simply “let ourselves go.” We’re to test all things by God’s Word (Second Timothy 4:1-5; First John 4:1-6), and we’re to remember that a blank mind is never advocated in the Scriptures.
But with all of that having been clarified, we still need the Holy Spirit! I’ll close with an old quote from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “It is better to be credulous than to be carnal and smug and dead.”
Here’s to life – resurrection life – in the Holy Spirit!