The Work of the Holy Spirit

In the second grade, we had a standing assignment to write a “morning story,” a short story about whatever we did the night before, that we would read to the class the following morning. I dreaded that assignment; instead of writing about what I did, I would write about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go. This frustrated my teacher to no end. He was so frustrated that he called my mother in for a parent-teacher conference.

When my mother saw the note, she took my face in her hands, hugged me, and told me that everything would be all right. We went into the class the next day, me terrified and her holding my hand. That day my mom became my hero. She stood up for me, and for the rest of the year my teacher took my morning story, whether it was about something mundane like making dinner or something as outrageous like building sandcastles on the moon.

The Holy Spirit is a lot like my mom; He has many roles, but ultimately, He is there to nurture our spiritual and emotional well-being. Ellen White, in Acts of the Apostles, refers to the Holy Spirit as “a counselor, sanctifier, guide, and witness”. (Acts of the Apostles, 48). Often, we relegate the Holy Spirit to the role of comforter as noted in John14:26 when there is so much more to the work of the Holy Spirit than that. The Holy Spirit helps us to live full Christian lives guiding our growth into loving, hopeful, witnesses and disciples of Christ.

He is a counselor, one who provides advice and guidance. When I would sit in front of a blank page every evening wondering what to write, I would turn to my mom as she prepared dinner and ask, “What do I write Mom?” She would ask me a million questions about my day and then end by saying, “Well why don’t you write all that?” In a sense that is the Holy Spirit acting as a counselor, allowing us to “speak” and make choices. But, to get to that point, we have to have a relationship with God and allow the Holy Spirit into our lives. (Acts 2:38). As we have learned through this quarter’s lesson, the Holy Spirit is a personal being and as such we need to be in a relationship with Him.

One of the more surprising roles of the Holy Spirit is to provide hope and courage (Romans 15:13; Psalm 31:24). Our day-to-day lives are filled with trials and challenges. Through the companionship of the Holy Spirit we are able to face those challenges. This covers a range of experiences, from the challenge of dealing with difficult personalities, to facing the loss of a loved one. The Holy Spirit points us toward God and heaven. Not only are we given the courage to stand but, by our example, we act as a witness to God’s love and kindness.

Which brings us to the role of the Holy Spirit as a witness (Acts 1:8). Those in the early church were contemporaries with Jesus, they saw His miracles, walked with Him, and talked with Him. After the crucifixion, they became witnesses to others. And, through the Holy Spirit, we are also witnesses.

The Holy Spirit also acts as a sanctifier. According to 1 John 5:12, the Holy Spirit leads to sanctification. Again, we see the guiding nature of the Holy Spirit and how His influence leads not only the individual Christian journey, but how we lead others to Christ. We have all heard that small voice, the one that tells us, “don’t go there” or “take this way home”, a gentle nudging. This can be insight into scripture that leads to accepting Christ. “Under the Holy Spirit's working even the weakest, by exercising faith in God, learned to improve their entrusted powers and to become sanctified.” (Acts of the Apostles, 50.)

Helper, comforter, advocate, those are the words used to describe the Holy Spirit and the work He performs. In those roles, the Holy Spirit is not just a static, insubstantial being but an active loving presence in our lives.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7928

Does the Holy Spirit comfort us by assurance of salvation?
How specifically or in what cognitive way does that take place?
Is there any qualifiers, conditions, or criteria that needs to take place first?
How is it different from once saved always saved assurance?
Can one have assurance and then lose it? How?

Anyone else, besides me, think that the frequent presentations that members are lukewarm Laodiceans, the calls for revival and reformation, the appeals for totally surrendering to Jesus and the weekly sermons for members to confess, repent, avoid the lust of the flesh & worldly interests, AND the emphasis on UNITY might work against/counter the members’ assurance of salvation?

Sirje,

I am asking questions to counter ambiguous, superficial, cliché, make believe, false sense of security doctrine.

Some pastors & teachers quote the assurance verse, 1 JN 5:13 and yet avoid elaborating/explaining on “These things have I written” which points to what is written in the chapters/verses preceding.

ALSO
We are saved by GRACE…through faith.

You miss the point by mentioning the legal contract & blood. The lesson is “The work of the Holy Spirit”, not the work of Jesus or our work or volition.
Where in the bible do we get clues as to what the Holy Spirit does to us in a personal way to promote assurance of salvation.
The parable of the soils gives clues as to how God’s efforts can be voided. The cross is a waste to those who do not confess or repent, (1 JN 1:7) or to those who fall away.

Here is the current unpopular SOP quote…

“We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying, “I am saved.” When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayer, for earnest endeavor to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God.”

Sounds like you’re looking for a legal contract, signed by God. I think we have that, signed in blood.

So I’ll ask you - What’s the difference between assurance and faith? Paul says we are saved by FAITH. If that brings assurance, good for you. Can you lose faith- sure - and there goes the assurance.

Are there any “qualifiers, conditions, or criteria” for faith?

Yep! Y’ gotta be alive:
‘Liveliness’ is the work of the life-giving Spirit.

Trust God.

2 Likes

The Holy Spirit , is the Third Person of the Godhead . He is Equal to both God the Father and Jesus, the Word of God .He is a Life Giver and a General . Jesus has commission Him to care and nurture His Church and to present it to Himself spotless and without wrinkles . The Holy Spirit takes no mess . He is about His business, to protect those saved through the blood of Jesus .The only tool in His hand is the Law of God. By it, He is able to convict the world of sin, righteousness , and judgment. He is the small voice speaking to us to do right , while at the same time it is not beyond Him to speak audibly .He will defend Jesus with His own life , and is hurt when we don’t attribute to Christ His proper place in the Godhead , having divinity. That was the Alpha of apostasy . The Omega is to deny divinity to the Holy Spirit. We are at the last stage of time . This Sabbath School Lesson exposed a lot of things in my church. There is a small ,growing group that is speaking out against the Holy Spirit being God. He alone can bring the life of Christ into our hearts. If we deny that He is God, we limit His power in our lives, and grieve Him in the process .Satan last attack is to convince us to dis believe in the Spirit of Prophecy . This is the work of the Holy Spirit to tell us of things to come , thus we are fighting against Him when we talk , or refuse to read the Spirit of Prophecy. The Adventist Church is at the cross roads. Let us all be faithful and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit .