Summary: A sermon on what the Holy Spirit does after conversion for the Christian (Material adapted from Dr. Jack Cottrell's book, Power From On High, chapter 9, and the Holy Spirit: A Biblical Study, chapter 6)
John MacArthur- A basic mark of true spirituality is a deep awareness of sin. In Scripture those who most despised their sinfulness were often those who were the most spiritual. Paul said he was the chief of sinners. Peter said to Jesus, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” Isaiah said, “Woe is me, because I am a man of unclean lips.” Spiritual people realize they are in a death struggle with sin. For Paul, ultimate spirituality was to be like Jesus; and that is not something you could attain by any one time experience.
Ever since the Day of Pentecost the HS has been working in the lives of God’s people in a wonderful and exciting way.
We have discussed how the HS worked upon us before we were Christians. Last week we talked about how the HS worked within us in our conversion, being saved.
Had some good questions last week. Had a question about how the HS worked in the life of Jesus. Lord willing we will deal with that next week. Have to back up for that. Left it out.
Our question tonight is how does the HS work within the lives of individuals after we become Christians? What is the Spirit doing for us now?
The key word is power. The HS is giving us two different kinds of power.
Giving us ministering power in the form of spiritual gifts. Talk more about this later on
Moral power, enabling us to obey God’s commands and live a godly life.
Last time we focused on regeneration, how the HS comes and resurrects us from spiritual death. We talked about how the HS causes regeneration in Christian baptism. We talked about the results of regeneration, how the medicine is applied, how we continue to recover.
We said briefly that at baptism we receive initial sanctification and from that point on we are undergoing progressive sanctification. Regeneration is connected with initial sanctification.
The Indwelling of the Spirit
Acts 2:38 says that when a repentant sinner is baptized, the HS comes as a gift. We accept the reality of the indwelling of the HS based on faith and because the Bible teaches it.
1 Corinthians 6:19: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
Even though Paul uses plural pronouns here, it is clear from the context that he is talking about the personal body of each individual Christian.
When we received Christ, the HS began to use our physical body as his dwelling place.
Vs. 9- The Spirit lives in you means that he treats our body as his house, his residence. He is not just paying us a visit; he has moved in to stay.
Vs. 11- He lives in you is said twice.
We must not conclude from these verses that the Spirit’s presence within us is limited to our bodies. Two other Scriptures to consider:
2 Corinthians 1:22: set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Galatians 4:6: Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
How the Spirit does this is not explained but we know it is true.
One caution is that our confidence in the HS indwelling must not be based on some kind of experience, such as a glowing feeling or a supernatural vision, dream or miracle. Such experiences are not a guarantee of conversion and of the Spirit’s presence. Matthew 7:21-23.
Our assurance of the HS indwelling is God’s word, which we accept on faith.
The Purpose of the Spirit’s Indwelling
What is the purpose for the Spirit’s presence within us? Sanctification. Explain:
Sanctification is also holiness. The root idea in this word is separation. A holy or sanctified person is one that is separated or set apart from others and devoted to God.
Initial sanctification is the one time event in which the unsaved person joins the ranks of the saved, the moment in which he is set apart from “this present evil age” (Galatians 1:4) and united with the body of Christ. Look up 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
Progressive sanctification is the ongoing process in which the Christian becomes more and more separated from sin. This is a continuing transformation of our character and mental attitudes, as well as our outward behavior and conduct.
Unlike regeneration, which was entirely the work of the Spirit, sanctification requires our ongoing cooperation. We must contribute our effort to live a life of obedience.
2 Peter 3:18: But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.