Summary: "If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody
Opening illustration: In many Christian circles the Holy Spirit is neglected, forgotten, or misunderstood.
The One given to unite the body of Christ is the center of controversy …
So often Christian work is so rigidly programmed that it seems we need no longer depend on Him - yet Jesus said, "Without Me you can do nothing." ... Apparently many have even put Him in a box …
The late Dr. A. W. Tozer, author and pastor, said, "If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference."
Apparently all of know and understand how the Holy Spirit was manifested in Acts 2 and how it was operated in the NT times. Let us turn to John 3 in God’s Word and hear what Jesus had to say about the Holy Spirit … This morning we will dwell upon the 4 profound works of the Holy Spirit.
Introduction: After the ascension of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon the church.
Paul calls this the “dispensation of the Spirit” which will be attended with even greater splendor then dispensation of the law. The Holy Spirit is now "Emmanuel", God with us. His work not only includes heaven but also embraces the earth.
What is He doing among us?
He is vast; His work is vast. Like the wind He is mysterious. His movements are often beyond the reach of our apprehension. He is immensely creative and though His purpose remains constant, which is witnessing to Jesus Christ. His works are varied.
From the witness of Scripture we may discern three general ways that the Holy Spirit is at work among us. These are justification, sanctification, and empowerment. The result of this three-fold working, and distinctive in its own right, is what seems to be a fourth operation of the Holy Spirit.
This is koinonia. Though we shall have to take them in sequential order, experientially it is difficult to separate them so neatly. We are baptized into them all and the Christian life consists of growing into all the fullness of the Spirit’s work. Let’s look at a description of each of these categories.
What are the 4 basic works of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer?
The Problem: How do we enter into the Kingdom of God?
From the testimony of Scripture and the doctrines of the Church we know that in Jesus are to be found all the treasures of fellowship with God and the gift of eternal life. "All the promises of God find their yes in him." (2 Corinthians 1: 20)
We may affirm these things intellectually, and elaborate them as a philosophical system. But there is a gap! How do these blessings become ours? How does Jesus move from a historical fact and true doctrine to become lived reality?
In a nighttime conversation with Jesus this was Nicodemus’ question. He knew that Jesus was sent from God and had the keys to the Kingdom of God. But how would one enter into the Kingdom? How would one bridge the gap between knowing about the Kingdom and being in the Kingdom? There is a door and a way in. It is Jesus Christ. We must somehow get inside of Jesus and have Jesus inside of us!
The way that we enter in and are connected to Jesus Christ is through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again. When asked the very natural question of "How is this possible?" Jesus answers, "Truly truly I say to you unless one is born of Water and the Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." (John 3:3)
Here we touch a mystery as deep as the mystery of Jesus Himself being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. By the same Holy Spirit, we are born into the family of God as sons and daughters.
The Holy Spirit thus makes the whole Christian life possible. Without the Holy Spirit, entrance into the Kingdom of God, and sharing in the new life in Jesus Christ, would all forever be beyond our reach.
How does the Holy Spirit bring us to be born again?
Nicodemus wanted to know the same thing and was given the answer that it is a mystery. Truly, it is a mystery, but we must push to the limits of our understanding and uncover the depths of the mystery.