There can be no true Christian experience, except by the work of the Spirit. There can be no salvation, except by the work of the Spirit of God. There can be no sanctification, except by the work of the Spirit of God. There can be no fruitful service, except by the works of the Spirit of God. There can be no satisfactory relationship with the Lord – except by means of His Spirit. All the work is done by the Spirit, but the vessel He works through is man. The mission of the Spirit is a threefold mission:-
FIRST: Salvation is secured through the Spirit at the time of rebirth, but we are given a choice and warned against resisting the Holy Spirit. Those that rejected the Spirit at the time of Stephen’s death were rebuked: you stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always RESIST the Holy Spirit – as your fathers did, so do you. Acts 7:51
There is a sevenfold work of the Spirit of God at our salvation, which can be resisted:- 1) He convicts us of our need of a Saviour (John 16:8-9) 2) He regenerates the forgiven sinner, giving a new life (Titus 3:5) 3) He baptises the new believer into the body of Christ (1Cor.12:13) 4) He indwells the new believer permanently and forever (1Cor.3:16 1Cor.6:19) 5) He anoints the new believer (2Cor.1:21 1John 2:20-21) 6) He earnests a first-fruit pledge of full fruit (Eph.1:14 Rom.8:23) and 7) He witnesses with an assurance of son-ship (Rom.8:16). God desires that all be saved, but He invites and waits for the sinner’s choice.
SECOND: Sanctification is undertaken by the work of the Spirit in a believer, and it’s a lifelong process that He desires to undertake in all believers. And God desires that we are transformed into the image of the Son of His love, but we can hinder His good transforming work in our lives, and grieve His Spirit – and so we are warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit: do not GRIEVE the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption… Eph.4:30. Grief is a deep-seated emotion, that results from deep-seated deep, deep love.
There is a duel work of the Spirit in this thrilling, transforming, sanctifying work: a negative work – that sets self aside, removing all traces of the fleshly lusts and a positive work, where the character of Christ is formed in us. The context of grieving the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 4 which tells us: do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption (Eph.4:30) – let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, along with all malice (Eph.4:31) – and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph.4:32) – The life-long sanctifying process is carried out in the power of the Holy Spirit, but the sanctifying process cannot be accomplished by the work of the flesh. All believers, unwilling to participate in His transforming work, grieve the Spirit.
THIRD: Christ lived a life of service demonstrating the work of the Spirit through Him, so that we would understand that our service can only be carried out in His power. Harrison puts it this way: the Holy Spirit is equally intent upon securing service through us, as we are yielded to Him. To be unwilling at His hands, to repress Him and thus to thwart His purpose of testimony and service – is to QUENCH Him.
As the Candlestick is kept continuously burning in the Temple of God, so too the light from the oil of the Holy Spirit must be kept alight. As constant communion with the Vine gives fruit – more fruit and much fruit.. so too can the believer only bear fruit when in constant communion with Him. And remember and by much fruit is the Father glorified. Disallowing this vital work in a believer’s life is the quenching of His Holy Spirit. God loves you with a deep, deep, deep love and longs to work in your life. We should day by day examine ourselves, lest we consciously or unconsciously resist the Spirit; quench the Spirit, or grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
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