Aug 5, 2013

Ministries of the Paraclete

How is the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, ministering to me?Well,in my own life, the Holy Spirit prompts me to worship (Jn 4:23), comforts me, provides me with power to serve in the Body of Christ and gives me the ability to conquer sin (even if I don’t always feel like this is true, Scripture tells me it is so). The Holy Spirit is sanctifying me, setting me apart and making me holy; he is the agent who transforms me into the image of Christ. I need the Holy Spirit’s ministry in my life to encourage biblical ideals such as passionate worship, having my emotions and body under the Lordship of Christ, being filled with Him daily, walking in Him as I crucify my flesh, cultivating His Fruit, and challenging me to witness in power. He helps give me a sense of closeness and intimacy as I walk with the Lord (again, I am saying this is the ideal, not how I actually live all the time). These are the things I view as part of a Spirit-led life.

He also guides me (he gives illumination and revelation for the Christian – see Jn 14: 16-17; 16:12, and 1 Jn 2:20, 27) but the Holy Spirit will never contradict Holy Writ; contradictions between the Bible and the Holy Spirit cannot happen. I do not view things like dreams, visions, audible or internal voices as authoritative sources of revelation. This is not to say I do not believe in them; I do and have even experienced some of them in some way. Still, I do not go looking for these things or base my walk on them, as feelings and experiences change.

How might the Spirit be working among non-Christians in our culture right now? Some of the ways I believe The Holy Spirit works in our culture right now are that he restrains evil, convicts the unbeliever of sin (Jn 16:8), and enables the unbeliever to accept and believe the Gospel (Jn 6). Also, since the Holy Spirit is the one who moved the prophets and apostles to write the Scripture and enables people to understand it, I believe this is another way He is interacting with the larger culture right now, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. But when I think of the culture, I think of the US, yes, but I also think of the world – and God is moving all over!

Lastly, I can say that Scripture tells me the Holy Spirit was present during creation and that He still gives and preserves all life. Therefore, his work is universal and touches all creation, whether animate or inanimate. However, I wonder exactly what that means for the larger unbelieving kosmos and even the physical creation itself? I am not sure and am hesitant to speculate too much. However, I do know that the Holy Spirit’s work can be seen in the world today, primarily through God’s people, the church of Jesus Christ. Praise the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity; so humble, so sweet, so real, and so needed.

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