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The ministry of the Holy Spirit has been so distorted and misrepresented that the effectiveness of the Believer has been brought into question. For some reason, the emphasis on the Holy Spirit has been on His Gifts instead of His personal interaction with the Believers. Much of the teaching on the Holy Spirit today is out of line with the Scripture and, as a result, there has been an attempt to define His ministry as fulfilling the Christians self serving agenda. Through Biblical illiteracy, doctrines of humanity have defined the Church.
God’s Biblical blueprint for the Church has been altered with so many upgrades and redesigns that the Church has lost its Biblical identity. New churches pop up regularly with new blueprints that tend to redefine the Church in a more “relevant” manner. God’s Word points out what man needs, while the neo- modern church offers what man wants. To limit the Holy Spirit to our shallow understanding of the Scripture is to dwarf our ability to establish God’s visible Kingdom on earth.
When Jesus ascended into Heaven, the earthly Kingdom of God would be influenced by the Holy Spirit. Instead of having the physical appearance of Jesus, the Holy Spirit would manifest Himself in the spirit of man. Jesus’ ministry approached man from the physical, while the Holy Spirit’s ministry is from within the Believer. Jesus showed the Kingdom while the Holy Spirit reveals the Kingdom. Jesus laid the foundation while the Holy Spirit reaffirms and builds on that foundation. Jesus shared the Word while the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word.
To understand the Holy Spirits role in the Believer one needs to study the upper room discourse between Jesus and His disciples. (John 14 through 17) Here Jesus shared some of His greatest truths. The questions of Thomas, Philip and Judas (not Iscariot) laid the framework for building on Christian character. Jesus said that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life, and the only way to God was through Him. Jesus was so transparent that God could be seen through Him. Even though He was leaving them, He would still be with them (Hebrews 13:5), and that would be through the Holy Spirit. In the introduction of this upper room experience, He told them not to be troubled with what was going to happen. The reason was that the Holy Spirit, to be known as the Comforter (John 14:26), would change the negative into the positive. The Holy Spirit would be their teacher and would go over the teachings Jesus had brought them. (John 14:26) He would not speak of Himself, but would share with them what the Father wants them to know. (John 16:13) Jesus told them that the Holy Spirit would not only minister to the Believer, but would also admonish (convict and convince) the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. (John 16: 8) What would happen is that Jesus and the Holy Spirit would exchange ministries. Jesus takes His seat at the right hand of God, while the Holy Spirit becomes God’s outreach to man. Jesus gave His disciples “power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1, 2) The Holy Spirit would equip future Believers to bring the Word with power. These actions are manifested through what we know as the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 12: 8-10)
Jesus paid the price for our salvation, where as the Holy Spirit builds on that experience. The Disciples were ordered not to leave Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4) Jesus knew that without the empowering of the Believer, the effects of His ministry to the world would be severely limited. Some Christians are so hung up with the Gifts of the Spirit that they fail to understand what His ministry is all about. By attempting to follow Jesus’ teachings without the Holy Spirit, we will limit ourselves to our human initiatives instead of the “dunamis” of the Holy Spirit! May God open our eyes that we may truly understand the Ministry of the Holy Spirit!
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