The Work and Mission of the Holy Spirit
9 Aug 2003, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
TITLE: The Work and Mission of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture Reading John 14: 15-18
Previously we looked at the Doctrine of the Trinity. We established from Scripture the fact that the Divine Person of the Holy Spirit is Co-equal with the Father God and Christ God. We also noted that we live during the time of the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. We noticed in John Chapters 14 - 16, His work for and on behalf of the believers. We also noticed His work and Mission for unbelievers, which we will survey in a future sermon.
Today I will take a Scriptural view of His Divine works and mission which confirm His Divinity.
THE HOLY SPIRIT'S WORKS.
In Genesis 1:2 we note that He is present with the Godhead at the creation of this world. He is listed as Co-creator. Chapter 1: 2 confirms this doctrinal fact. It states, " And God said, Let us make man in our image." Right from the start Scripture endorses the Divinity of The Holy Spirit plus His creation ability.
In Job 33:4 Elihu's conversation with Job is recorded and clearly defines what he believed Scripture taught. He confirms the Genesis record by saying, "The Spirit of God has made me, the breath of the Almighty has given me life." The Godhead made us and we are their family. God is our Father. We are the work of the Godhead.
Beside the work of creation the Holy Spirit specializes in the works of recreation. Pastor John makes this very clear. In John 3:5-8 Jesus made it very clear that regeneration or recreation is the work of the Holy Spirit and unless it happens in us our Christianity is a myth and we are not part of the kingdom of God's born again family. The Holy Spirit implements for Christ what Christ accomplished for the Godhead family while on earth. This is the dispensation of His Mission.
In 1 Peter 3:18 His work is shown to cover resurrection of the flesh of humanity. Peter notes that , "… Christ was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. "Quickened" is zwopoiew in the Greek. It means produce alive, cause to live, make alive or quicken. Christ's dead humanity was made alive by the works of the Holy Spirit. He resurrects. We need to know the Holy Spirit now because He will no doubt, as one of the Godhead, be working at the resurrection of righteous humanity at Christ's return. He is the Minister for Works and Communication in the heavenly Trio, 2 Peter 1:21. Only Divinity could accomplish these works and activity.
Scripture makes it clear that the Holy Spirit's Ministry covers several portfolios or roles. His works include Creation, Inspiration, Conviction, Regeneration, Sanctification and equipping the saints with spiritual gifts and in particular, His own presence in them. So that we can do His works, the works and life of Christ.
His communication works gives us access to the Trinity. Ephesians 2:18. Our soul maintenance is carried on through His intercession on our behalf. Romans 8:26. Christ also intercedes for us Romans 8:34. TheTrinity is in the business of soul recovery and maintenance. This leads to my next point.
THE HOLY SPIRIT'S SPECIFIC ROLES IN MISSION FOR HUMANITY
John chapter 14 make it very plain that His prime mission is to bring Christ's presence into us. They dwell in us and with us. He is Christ's gift to "comfort "us in His physical absence. Acts 1:8 is the promise of their presence with and in us to complete their mission in their power. The Holy Presence brings the Holy Atmosphere of heaven into the believers life. As John plainly states in John 14:16-17 that the Holy Spirit takes up personal occupancy in the believers. Again in verses 21-23 Christ makes it plain that the Trinity dwell in us by the Holy Spirit, "we will make our abode with him", verse 23.
Secondly, His mission is to reveal God's Truth to us. He teaches and guides the believer into ever increasing depths of truth. Great! A teacher dwelling in our minds not one standing over us! John 14:26 and 16;13. E.G. White says in Desire of Ages, p. 671, "The Comforter is called the 'Spirit of truth.' His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace and comfort can be found in falsehood."
Thirdly the Spirit's role and mission is to be the Vicar of Christ on the earth. He is the seat of Divine authority on earth. See 1 Cor 12:3. No man, woman, priest, pastor, elder or anybody must usurp the Divine authority invested in the Holy Spirit. He is the only Vicar of Christ on this planet earth. He alone is the true successor of Christ on earth. He alone is Vicar of Christ. Apostate Christianity over the A.D. centuries has usurped and challenged the Spirit's authority and position. No earthy man however saintly has authority to stand in as Vicar of God in place of the Holy Spirit.
This has led to serious heresies since Christ's return to heaven. The Great Controversy intensified throughout Christendom during the Dark Ages. Holy men inspired by God's word have challenged unscriptural usurpation and occupation of the Holy Spirit's vicarage. God carefully took action.
GOD INITIATED THREE MOVEMENTS TO COUNTER THE DECAY.
God initiated Reformation. Protestant Reformation. He prepared, " Three Angels." Martin Luther a Roman Catholic Christian priest. John Wesley a Christian of the Church in England, and William Miller an American student of Biblical prophecy.
THE FIRST ANGEL FROM GOD - LUTHER'S REFORMATION was necessary because the Mediaeval Church dethroned the Holy Spirit and took on His role as Vicar of Christ. The saints lost loyalty to the Holy Spirit. They lost sight of Justification by Faith. The Bishop of Rome and his priests stood between the Holy Spirit and the saints. Martin, as God's angel resurrected righteousness by faith and restored the Holy Spirit to His Vicars' position as intercessor.
Unfortunately, as time went by, the reformation lost its luster and momentum. It became short sighted and did not go onto Sanctification by Faith.
THE SECOND ANGEL FROM GOD - WESLY'S REFORMATION- EVANGELICAL REVIVAL was necessary to restore the lost vision of the need for personal sanctification. God sent His second angel in the human form of John Wesley, because the reformed church failed to heed the Holy Spirit's call to sanctification and growth to maturity in holy living. As Vicar of Christ, the Holy Spirit is commissioned by Christ to call us to Holiness. See 1 Thess 4:7
THE THIRD ANGEL FROM GOD - THE 19TH CENTURY REFORMATION OF PROPHECY AND WILLIAM MILLER. Miller was not the only person to take a great interest in prophecy. However, God chose Miller as His third angel to cause Christianity to re-focus on the Second Advent of Christ and the Final Judgment of earth's peoples. Miller was able to take the scholars views of end-time prophecy and with his own study of the Bible books of Daniel & Revelation, call the entire globe's focus to the immanence of final judgment on all mankind and the return of Jesus Christ.
At last the Holy Spirit had been enthroned once again as Vicar of prophetic Truth and final events.
Following on from these movements the Seventh-day Adventist Church movement was initiated by God to continue to revive the interest in all three areas above. We believe that we with all the "Remnant" of "believers" will repudiate all false doctrine and perversions of Scriptural Truth. God today has a remnant in every Christian body who He will use to cause the Truth to succeed and prevail on this earth. I believe Seventh-day Adventist must be leaders in this challenge.
God proposes through the Remnant people of earth to allow the complete restoration of the Holy Spirit . To restore the Holy Spirit to His rightful Sovereign place in our minds. Our beliefs. Our lives and our service for Him. We need to reinstate the Holy Spirit as Vicar of our lives so that Christ reigns supreme in our lives. Then only will the last work (latter rain) of the Holy Spirit take place in us personally and then collectively in the world. Then only will His final Three Angels get their message across. (see Revelation 14:6-12).
Who is your Vicar of Christ? Don't delay act today. "Jesus said, If a man loves me , he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and live with him'. John 14:23 That is the Spirit's prime work and mission.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you always. Ephesians 6:18.
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