What Does the Holy Spirit Do?
February 23, 2014
Once the calendar annually turns to December and the family Christmas tree is erected, there is generally a daily trek to that tree by the children in the family to determine what new gifts were placed under the tree. “Can we touch them?” they ask. “Can I pick them up?…Just one?” “Can I shake it?”
Their thoughts are of wonder and excitement at the prospect of what is in those packages. What will they receive on Christmas morning, and what will they be able to do with all those gifts?
Last week we began a short series on the Holy Spirit. It sprang from what John says in 1 John 3:24,
The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
John’s point is that we can be sure of our salvation when we recognize the work of the Spirit in our lives.
That statement triggered in John the obvious question — “how do you tell the work of the genuine Spirit from false spirits?” So in 4:1-6 he answers that question. One of the statements he makes is “test the spirits to see whether they are from God…” (4:1). To conduct this test, however, we are going to have to know what the genuine Spirit looks like and what He does.
So last week we began laying a foundation for a clearer understanding of John 4 by asking and answering the question, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” This week we’ll start to answer the question, “What does the Holy Spirit do?” And what I want to particularly consider this week is what theologians call the monergistic work of the Spirit — monergism = mono (single/one) + ergos (work), so the singular work of the Spirit, apart from any effort of man. This is what God and God alone does in man apart from any effort on our part. (Next week we’ll begin considering some of the synergistic [working together] aspects of the Spirit.)
The Spirit is given by God to us to indwell us, baptize us, and seal us. These are God’s provisions to empower us with His strength, identify us with Christ, and keep us for all eternity.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is God’s provision to empower us with His strength, identify us with Christ, and keep us for all eternity.
- The Holy Spirit Indwells Every Believer (Jn. 7:37-39; 2 Cor. 1:22)
- The Holy Spirit Baptizes Every Believer Into Christ (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4-6)
- The Holy Spirit Seals Every Believer (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30)