Title: THE BLESSED WORK OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
Text: Acts 10:44
Subject: The Office Work of God the Holy Spirit in the Covenant of Grace
Date: Tuesday Evening – October 5, 1993
My subject is The Blessed Work Of God The Holy Spirit. I fully realize that my subject is infinitely larger than my ability. But it always is. I am only a man talking to you about the infinite God! When I am finished with my message there will be much, much more to say. But there is a real need for some sane, biblical instruction about the Person and Work of God the Holy Spirit, especially with regard to the salvation of God’s elect. In this day of Pentecostal confusion a clarion voice needs to be heard with regard to the office and ministry of the Spirit of God in the economy of grace.
I will take Acts 10:44 for my text. While Peter was preaching the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ to Cornelius and his household we read, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word.”
Proposition: This is what I want us to see – If you and I are going to effectually minister to the age and generation in which we live, we must have the power of God the Holy Spirit upon us.
· Diligent study is not enough.
· Oratory, logic, and eloquence are not sufficient.
· Doctrinal orthodoxy does not effect the hearts and lives of men and women.
· Unless our gifts and labors are crowned by the almighty power and Grace of God the Holy Spirit, all our labors are spent in vain, we will accomplish nothing for the good of men’s souls or the glory of God.
Divisions: 3 Statements – One Question.
1. Some Biblical terms and Phrases Need to be Defined.
2. Without the Spirit of God our Work is Useless and We are Impotent.
3. Salvation Comes to and is Wrought In Sinners Only by The Sovereign, Irresistible Power and Grace of God The Holy Spirit.
4. What are We To Do?
I. First, because of the confusion of this religious age, There Are Several Biblical Terms and Phrases That Need to be Clearly Defined and Understood.
You are all familiar with such terms as “The Baptism of the Spirit,” “The Indwelling of the Spirit,” “The Filling of the Spirit,” and “The Anointing of the Spirit.” But I suspect many of us are vague in our understanding of these terms. If you were asked to explain them in Bible language, you might have some difficulty. Let me briefly define those terms.
A. The Baptism of the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).
Pentecost was the advent of the Holy Spirit. As the virgin birth was the advent of the Son of God in his office capacity as our Mediator and Substitute, so the day of Pentecost and the events of Acts 2 signaled the advent of the Holy Spirit in his office capacity as the Sanctifier and Comforter of God’s elect. Yes, the Holy Spirit was in the world before, even as the Son of God was in the world before his advent. But now, since the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has come in his office capacity, to fulfil his part in the covenant of grace. (See Eph. 1:3-14). In the covenant of grace all three Persons in The Godhead fulfilled a part.
1. Planned by the Father.
2. Purchased by the Son.
3. Performed in us by the Holy Spirit.
Arthur Pink wrote – “At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came as he had never come before. Something then transpired which inaugurated a new era for the world, a new power for righteousness, a new basis for fellowship. On that day the fearing Peter was transformed into the intrepid evangelist. On that day the new wine of Christianity burst the old bottles of Judaism, and the Word went forth in a multiplicity of Gentile tongues.”
NOTE: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was, like the advent of Christ a single, once for all event, never to be repeated. The Lord Jesus baptized his church and kingdom into the Holy Spirit as he had promised (Mk. 1:8; Acts 1:8; I Cor. 12:13). This baptism of the Spirit, or baptism in the Spirit was…
· The Fruit of accomplished Redemption (Gal. 3:13-14).
· The Inauguration of Christ’s Spiritual Kingdom.
· The Coming of the Glory of God into His Temple – The Church.
· The Climatic Annihilation of all Carnal, Ceremonial, Ritualistic Worship (John 4:23-25).
All true believers live in the realm of the Spirit and are permanently, constantly indwelt by the Holy Spirit from the moment of regeneration. Being perpetually indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we are taught, led, and comforted by his gracious influence in us through the Word.
1. He is the Earnest of Our Inheritance.
2. He is the Seal of God’s Covenant.
3. He is in us as the Spirit of Adoption.
The filling of the Spirit is not a “spiritual trance,” a spasm of religious excitement, or even a deeper life experience.” The filling of the Spirit is a voluntary, deliberate, continued surrender of oneself to influence, dominion, and control of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Spirit of God.
1. It is a disposition wrought in us by the Spirit.
2. Yet, it is a personal, deliberate surrender of myself to my God.
The anointing of the Spirit and the unction of the Spirit is the same thing. It is the special out-pouring of the Holy Spirit upon God’s saints for the accomplishment of a specific thing for the glory of Christ.
1. In a sense, every believer has the unction, or anointing of the Spirit.
· As our Teacher.
· As our Preserver.
· As our Guide.
· As our Comforter.
2. In another sense, this unction, this anointing of God, This Unction of the Spirit is a thing to be craved by anyone. Who attempts to do anything in the name of God. (Isa. 63:17-64:4).
II. Secondly, we must have the anointing of God the Holy Spirit upon us, because Without Him our Work is Useless and We Are Impotent.
No matter how hard we strive to serve the souls of men, no matter what we do in the name of Christ, without the power of God the Holy Spirit upon us, we are just beating the air. No good shall be done by us. All that we do is useless. Our labor is never in vain in the Lord. But it is always in vain without him!
Here is a tremendous contrast –
· “Without me, ye can do nothing!” (John 15:5).
· “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
That for which we labor for the glory of God is bitterly impossible without the power and grace of God the Holy Spirit.
A. The New Birth is a Resurrection from the Dead (Eph. 2:1-4).
Only God can raise the dead!
Illustration: Ezekeil’s Bones – (Ezek. 37).
B. The New Birth is a Creation of Life (II Cor. 5:17).
1. Only God can create life (Gen. 1:1-2).
2. No one ever has been and no one ever will be saved by the power, will, and works of the flesh.
· The Preacher is Helpless!
· The Church is Powerless!
· All The Instrument Means of Grace are Useless!
· Sinners are Hopelessly Lost – Unless God the Holy Spirit is pleased to come upon us in power.
NOTE: Whenever we meet in Christ’s name, whatever we seek to do for the glory of God, we must seek the unction of God the Holy Spirit –
· Always Expect It!
· But Never Presume Upon It!
III. Salvation Comes To And Is Wrought In Chosen Sinners Only By The Irresistible Power And Grace of God The Holy Spirit.
He is like Ziba, sent by the Son of David to fetch his covenant people from Lo Debar. God the Holy Spirit works salvation in chosen, redeemed sinners by revealing the Lord Jesus Christ in them through the preaching of the gospel.
· John 16:12!
· II Corinthians 4:3-6!
· James 1:18!
· I Peter 1:23-25!
· Psalm 65:4!
· John 6:63!
A. He Regenerates the Soul (John 3:8).
B. He Illuminates the mind (I Cor. 2:11-16’ Eph. 1:17-19).
C. He Creates Grace in the Heart – (Gal. 5:22).
1. Spiritual (Not Legal!) Conviction (John 16:8-11).
2. Repentance toward God (Zech. 12:10).
3. Faith in Christ (Eph. 2:8-9; Col. 2:12).
4. Conversion – Reconciliation to God…
· To His Character.
· To His Law.
· To His Son.
· To His Gospel.
· To His Providence.
· To His Will.
D. He Preserves us in Grace (Eph. 4:30).
E. He Comforts us by the Gospel.
IV. What Shall We Do?
The Holy Spirit is like fire in one of those old steam engines. Without the fire, the engine is useless. And without the power of God the Holy Spirit, we are useless!
We all recognize the weak, frail condition of the church of God in this age. The power of God seems to be gone from our assemblies and our preaching. Our blear appears to be spent in vain. So what shall we do?
We want the power of God. The fake power of emotionalism is more disgusting than the lack of real power! But what are we to do?
I do not have the answers. I know that. But I do know what our responsibilities is. I do know some things we must do.
A. We must Continue, like Cornelius, in the Worship of God (Heb. 10:25).
B. We must faithfully Perform the Work God has Committed to Our Hands – “Preach the gospel to every creature!” The message Peter preached here!
C. We must take care not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30).
D. We must pray for the Holy Spirit’s Anointing and Power – (Luke 11:13) – (II Thess. 3:1).
E. We must wait for Him.
· The Preacher must wait upon the Holy Spirit for a message.
· You must wait for the Holy Spirit to give you a message.
· We must wait for God the Holy Spirit to apply his message.
I Samuel 2:30 – “Them that honor me, I will honor!”
1. We have the message – Let’s Proclaim It.
2. We have the means and opportunity – Let’s Use Them.
3. We have reason to expect the power of God upon us – Let’s earnestly pray for it.
· At Every Service!
· Regarding Every Endeavor!
· Wherever Faithful Men and Women Serve our God!