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Friday, October 21, 2011

16 Ways the Holy Spirit Ministers to Believers

Recently, I had the privilege to teach a Sunday School  lesson on the Holy Spirit and how He minsiters to believers.  While I was only able to spend an hour on these 16 ways, I could see a powerful devotion or even a weekly bible study coming from this, so I wanted to post it up here.  In the interest of full disclosure, some  of the information presented here is adapted from the "Victors Every Day: Summer 2011 Teacher's Guide," a resource from the Accent Bible Curriculum published by David C. Cook.

16 Ways the Holy Spirit Ministers to the Needs of Believers

1. The Holy Spirit indwells believers.

a. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”
– Romans 8:9

b. In chapter 8 of Romans, Paul emphasized the truth that the Holy Spirit dwells in believers. While defeat is the lament of Romans 7, Romans 8 is the song of victory. Notably, there is no mention of the Holy Spirit in chapter 7, but He permeates chapter 8, where Paul describes the victorious life.

2. The Holy Spirit leads believers.
a. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”
– Romans 8:14

b. Unbelievers follow the promptings of the flesh, but Christians have been freed in Christ to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

3. The Holy Spirit assures believers.
a. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” – Romans 8:16

b. Just as children need assurance of their parents’ love, so the Holy Spirit tells our spirit that we are part of God’s family.

4. The Holy Spirit produces fruit in believers.
a. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” – Romans 8:23

b. Many people try to generate love and joy. They seek to show kindness. While this is commendable, these genuine qualities can be produced only by the Holy Spirit. As Chrisitans trust Him to work in their lives, He produces Christ-like qualities.

5. The Holy Spirit intercedes for believers.
a. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Romans 8:26, 27

b. What assurance is ours to know that even when we cannot express ourselves, the Holy Spirit clearly expresses our concerns to the Father!

6. The Holy Spirit convicts the world.
a. “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” – John 16:8

b. The Spirit touches a life and persuades people to understand that they are sinners under God’s wrath in need of Christ.

7. The Holy Spirit restrains evil.
a. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way” – II Thessalonians 2:7

b. Paul informed the Thessalonians that it is the Spirit of God who keeps the sinfulness of man from advancing full-speed and unchecked.

8. The Holy Spirit enables people to know the truth concerning God.
a. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” – John 16:13

b. The Spirit helps us to evaluate teaching. Without the Spirit, we’d be let to our own devices.

9. The Holy Spirit regenerates.
a. “Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” – John 3:5

b. Just as we were once born physically, so, too, we must be born spiritually. A sinner does not ooze into Christianity; neither does salvation come on a group plan. A person is not saved because of his parents, background, or good works. A person is born again when he is regenerated by the Spirit.

10. The Holy Spirit baptizes believers into the body of Christ.
a. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” – I Corinthians 12:13

b. At the moment we were born into God’s family, we inherited many brothers and sisters.

11. The Holy Spirit seals believers.
a. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” – Ephesians 1:13-14

b. The Holy Spirit is the mark of ownership that is placed upon each Chrisitan, guaranteeing his salvation.

12. The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer.
a. “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” – II Thessalonians 2:13

b. The Holy Spirit is the one who “sets us apart.” Just as the Holy Spirit made us alive unto God, so, too, He continually sets us apart for God.

13. The Holy Spirit fills the believer.
a. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”
– Ephesians 5:18

b. Paul instructed that we are not to be controlled by alcohol, drugs, evil spirits, or anything other than the Holy Spirit.

14. The Holy Spirit gives discernment.
a. “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” – I Corinthians 2:10

b. Paul informed the Corinthians here that the natural man cannot understand spiritual things, but that the Holy Spirit enlightens the believer.

15. The Holy Spirit gives joy and peace.
a. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” – Romans 14:17

b. The latest forms of entertainment won’t produce joy; neither will building a saving account provide peace. Security, discernment, or joy will prove elusive & illusive apart from the influence of the Holy Spirit.

16. The Holy Spirit gives gifts.
a. “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” – I Corinthians 12:11

b. Paul wrote the above concerning spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit is the one who determines which gifts believers are to have. He brought us into the Father’s family, He comforts and teachers, and He also gives spiritual gifts for the building up of the body of Christ.

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