Theology: The Doctrine of God

Is the Holy Spirit Really At Work In My Life?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
Often Christians tend to think that if we don't have certain feelings, it means the Holy Spirit is not at work.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Often Christians tend to think of the person and work of the Holy Spirit in terms of how we feel. If we do not have certain feelings, we conclude that the Holy Spirit is not at work. For this reason, many believers mistakenly think that if they do not have those feelings, they need to somehow manufacture them.

The evidence of the work of God the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is based on solid facts, not our varying feelings. If you are truly a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation, you can know on the authority of God's Word that the Holy Spirit has been, is now, and will be at work in your life, and will never leave you.

The Holy Spirit and Salvation

The Holy Spirit works in many, many ways in the life of the child of God, and this article is a very brief discussion of a broad and deep subject.

God the Holy Spirit's ministry begins with salvation. The Holy Spirit regenerates (brings to spiritual life) the soul who is "dead in trespasses and sins" so that the individual may believe on Christ (John 3:3-6, John 6:63, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Titus 3:5, 1 John 5:1). The Holy Spirit baptizes all believers into the invisible body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).

The Holy Spirit indwells and abides in every believer, making the believer's body His temple (John 14:17; Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19). He frees the believer from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). He is the seal and guarantee of the believer's final redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Corinthians 1:22).

The Spirit's Present Ministry

When the Lord Jesus told the disciples that He would be returning to Heaven, He reassured them in John 14:18 that "I will not leave you comfortless" (KJV) - literally, "I will not leave you as orphans." Jesus was saying that He would not leave believers without God's loving instruction, guidance, guardianship, and advocacy as we walk in this world. The Holy Spirit is the believer's Comforter (parakletos, one called alongside to help, John 14:16-18, 15:26), and His help is in many forms.

The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ and enables the believer to testify of Christ (John 15:26-27, Acts 1:8). The Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16).

God the Holy Spirit, "the Spirit of truth" (John 14:17), the Author of all Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21) lives within the believer. He instructs the believer, using and illuminating the Scriptures, guiding the believer into all truth, revealing the deep things of God that are foolishness to the world, and giving discernment along with knowledge (John 14:26, 16:13-15; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 9-14; 1 Thessalonians 1:5).

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers (1 Corinthians 12:7-12, 27-30) and empowers them for service (Ephesians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 1 Thessalonians 1:5). The Holy Spirit calls believers and sends them into specific places of ministry (Acts 13:2-4).

The Holy Spirit leads and directs the believer in holy living (Romans 8:14). He brings forth Christ-like fruits in the life of the believer (Romans 5:5, 14:17, 15:13; Galatians 5:22-23). He helps the believer in his own praying (Ephesians 6:18, Jude 20) and the Spirit Himself makes intercession for the believer (Romans 8:26-27). The Holy Spirit guides the believer in worship (Ephesians 5:18-20, Philippians 3:3). It is the work of the Spirit to cause us to "abound in hope" because of "joy and peace in believing" God's promises (Romans 15:7-13). 

The Holy Spirit and the Life to Come

The Holy Spirit will give life to the mortal bodies of believers at the resurrection (Romans 8:11 and 23; 1 Corinthians 6:14). God the eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14) will abide with believers throughout eternity (John 14:16).

Is the Holy Spirit at Work in Your Life?

Are there evidences of the Spirit's work in your life? If there has been no past work of the Spirit in salvation, there can be no present work of the Holy Spirit within you, and you have no hope of a future bodily resurrection in Christ. "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His" (Romans 8:9). You must begin at the beginning: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).

If you are a believer, you need to be mindful of the truly awesome fact that God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, lives within you - and you need to live in the light of that truth:

"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16)

"Do not quench the Spirit." (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

"Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30)

"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For 'the two,' He says, 'shall become one flesh.' But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6:15-20)

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.' Therefore 'Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.' 'I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.' Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)

"Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." (Galatians 5:16-25)

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