205. The ministry of the Holy Spirit.
There are seven things that the Holy Spirit does inorder to prepare us to receive the Spirit :-
1. Testifies about Christ to us. "When the Counselor comes,... he will testify about me." ( John 15:26) He first reveals to us the Saviour before he convicts us of sin. What is the point of convicting us of our sins without telling us about the Saviour?
2. Convicts us of sin. "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin ... because men do not believe in me ..." (John 16:8-9) The gravest sin of the world is not believing in the sacrifice of Jesus. Every sin has been atoned for, but for the sin of rejecting Christ, there is no sacrifice left!
3. Cleanses our conscience by the blood of the Lamb. 'How much more, then will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences ...' (Hebrews 9:14) The cleansing through the blood of Jesus is effected ( brought about) by the Holy Spirit in those who believe in Jesus and repent of their sins. (Scripturally, a believer is qualified for water baptism only after this cleansing by the blood because water baptism is afterall, 'the pledge of a good conscience towards God' - 1 Peter 3:21)
4. Sets us free from every curse in Jesus' name. 'Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set us free from the law of sin and death.' (Romans 8:1-2) The deliverance and healing is effected ( brought about ) by the Holy Spirit in those who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, when he ministers the power in the name of Jesus.
5. Convicts us of the righteousness through Christ and clothes us with the robes of righteousness. The world is guilty of self righteousness because men seek to establish their own righteousness. "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt ... in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer" (John 16:10) 'Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.' (Romans 10:3) Just as the prodigal son was clothed with the best robe of his brother, when his father said to the servants, "Bring the best robe and put it on him" ( Luke 15:22), we too are clothed with the robe of Jesus by the Spirit at the command of the Father.
6. Convicts us of our authority in Christ and the judgement that has come upon the devil. The world is guilty of harbouring (giving shelter or hiding a criminal or wanted person) the devil, whom God has condemned. "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt ... in regard to judgement because the prince of the world now stands condemned." ( John 16:11) Just as the prodigal son was assured of his authority, when his father said to the servants, "Put a ring on his finger.." (Luke 15:22), we too are assured by the Spirit, of the authority delegated (entrust to another person) to us by Christ. "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given me." ( Matthew 28:18)
7. Assigns to us our task and gives sandals for our feet to go and make disciples. Just as the prodigal son was given a sandal to go about his work, when his father said to the servants, "Put sandals on his feet", we too have 'our feets fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace' ( Ephesians 6:15) to go as led by the Spirit, because Jesus has given us the great commission to go. "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations .." (Matthew 28:19) Later on we read that the Holy Spirit said, '"Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I called them." ... The two of them were sent on their way by the Holy Spirit ...' ( Acts 13:2-4)
It was to those who were ministered to by the Holy Spirit and went through these processes, that Jesus gave the instruction to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Spirit. (Acts 1:2-5) How naive ( showing a lack of wisdom or judgement) of us to believe that we automatically get the Spirit when we get baptized in water as a child or as an adult! May the Holy Spirit prepare the vessels for Jesus to pour out his Spirit in these last days! Amen.