Summary: The Holy Spirit is vital to everything we do as followers of Christ. We as God
Intro: Hosea 6.6 gives us a glimpse from the Old Testament into the heart of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God through Hosea says, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” This book tells the story of Hosea and Gomer. God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute by the name of Gomer to illustrate Israels unfaithfulness to their covenant or their relationship to God.
In Hosea they were experiencing prosperity and it was leading to empty and religion instead of enthusiastic relationship. They were merely going through the motions and not motivated by their love of God. We know this by what Hosea addressed. They was violent crimes, political revolt, spiritual ingratitude, social injustice, and selfish arrogance. God through Hosea called for knowledge or intimate relationship with himself because relationship with Him did not result in the rebellious lifestyle the Israelites were living.
So even in the Old Testament we see that acknowledgement and relationship to God result in a life that is different from the cultural standards around you. Life at its best will never come from rebellion against God.
The fact that Israel and even us as the church have a tendency to fall into this life of rebellion again and again strengthens our need for the vital ministry of the Holy Spirit in our individual and corporate lives as the church.
I. The vital ministry of the Holy Spirit in salvation (John 16.8-11)
A) He convicts us of Sin
Oswald Chambers: "Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man. It is the threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and when the Holy Spirit rouses the conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers him, but his relationship with God."
Conviction of sin is the unbearable burden of all of your sin and filthiness before a holy and righteous God. The word in the Greek carries the idea of exposing your sin. When the Spirit of God brings this type of conviction it reveals your total bankruptcy before God. The burden of that sin can only be overcome by realizing God’s blessing of salvation. The verses tell us that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment. When does salvation take place when we stop disagreeing with the truth of our rebellion against God. At this point we no longer have the pride or arrogance to say “I’m good.”
John 6.44 “The Spirit must convict and call us before we can receive God’s gift.”
B) He confers on us the gift of salvation
There is no way to have life at its best with out God giving it to you. The Holy Spirit is spoken of as a gift. He is yours to convict, comfort, help, heal, teach, encourage, discipline, correct, grow, and connect you powerfully to Jesus Christ and the rest of His body.
Acts 2.38 – “the gift of the Holy Spirit”
It is connected with repentance. Repentance means a changing of your mind. In modern terms it calls for a paradigm (standard) shift.
How do we receive this gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit? Repent and believe. Repentance and faith go hand in hand. There cannot be a turning toward God if there is not a turning away from sin.
II. The vital ministry of the Holy Spirit in sanctification
Sanctification literally means separated for God. It can also mean different. When we experience the gift of the Holy Spirit we are set apart or separated from sin, the present world system for God. We become different. In the simplest terms I know it speaks of a growing closeness to God as well as a desire to know more about His character and person. It shows itself in our life by a transformation in the way we think and therefore in the way we act. Remember in Hosea God called Israel to mercy rather than sacrifice. Gracious treatment of the people around them especially the poor, slaves, etc is a much better indicator of a relationship with God than worship attendance.
A) Positional Sanctification
This is a one time event where you begin your trusting relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We often refer to it as getting saved. Ephesians 1.13-14 “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom, also, having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
This is not simply mental facts or acknowledgement. It is an abandoned trust that turns your life over to the authority and control of Jesus Christ.