“The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17 NKJV).
Before the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit only had a “come and go” ministry in the world.
All through the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was seen to come upon few chosen people to inspire, empower, equip or endue them to accomplish specific divine tasks or purposes. However, the Holy Spirit would not abide with them forever because Jesus Christ was yet to be glorified (John 7:39).
One of the major benefits, blessings and privileges of the New Covenant in the precious blood of Jesus Christ is the coming of the Holy Spirit to dwell or abide in and with the born-again believers forever.
The Lord Jesus promised His disciples in John 14, saying,
16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–
17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (NKJV).
Since the dramatic and spectacular descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost upon the 120 disciples of Christ, who were together with one accord in the upper room waiting for His arrival, the Holy Spirit has never for once left the Church of Christ (Acts 2:1-4, John 14:16).
The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church is profound, awesome, and unprecedented. The Holy Spirit is now the ever present or abiding God, Helper, Comforter, Teacher, Partner, and Guide in every born-again believer.
According to the Lord’s promise, the Holy Spirit will dwell or abide in and with the born-again believers forever. If you are born again, the Holy Spirit is now dwelling in you and He will never leave you nor forsake you (John 14:16).
Sadly, many believers today are still always asking, seeking or imploring God to send down or pour out the Holy Spirit upon them in every service. They are obviously ignorant of the truth that the Holy Spirit is now abiding in them and with them, and will continue to do so forever. What a terrible ignorance!
Many ignorant believers today expend unnecessary great deal of energy in prayer and fasting seeking for more of the Holy Spirit – His presence and power. The Holy Spirit is not abiding in you partly or partially. What you have now in your born-again spirit is the fullness of God, the Holy Spirit in His totality (1 John 4:13).
While it is one and the same Holy Spirit who is abiding in and with every born again believer. The Holy Spirit, however, manifests and flows through the believers as He wills and as the believers yield themselves to Him or cooperate with Him.
The Scripture states in 1 Corinthians 12:
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. (NKJV).
What are the glorious works or the new ministry the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant?
Let us consider some of them.
First, Spiritual Regeneration:
Spiritual birth or regeneration is impossible without the presence, power and operation of the Holy Spirit. Nobody can become a new creation in Christ without the Holy Spirit working on his heart. Nobody can enter the Kingdom of God without being recreated or regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus testifies to this truth in His answer to Nicodemus in John 3:
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (NKJV).
It is by the Holy Spirit that all believers were baptized into the Body of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who places you in your right position in the Body of Christ. Your adoption into God’s family is made possible by the operation of the Holy Spirit.
The Scripture states: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:13 NKJV).
It is the Holy Spirit who convicts men of their sin of not believing in Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
Jesus said concerning the Holy Spirit in John 16:
8 “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 “of sin, because they do not believe in Me;
10 “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;
11 “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (NKJV).
No man can receive, believe in and confess Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord without the help of the Holy Spirit.
The Scripture states: “No one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:3 NKJV).
It is the Holy Spirit who quickens and regenerates the repentant heart that puts his faith in the person of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for sins on the cross. It is the Holy Spirit who imparts, transmits or communicates divine love, life and nature to the repentant and believing heart (John 3:5-6, 6:63, 1 John 3:9, Rom. 5:5).
Once born again, the Holy Spirit continues to purify, cleanse and restore the believer’s soul or mind through the Word of God. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the truths of God’s Word to the believer while he is reading, studying, listening to, or meditating in God’s Word.
It is also the Holy Spirit who takes the revealed truths of God’s Word to sanctify, purify or cleanse the believer’s mind.
Peter writes, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” (1 Pet. 1:22 NKJV).
Paul also writes, “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” (2 Thess. 2:13 NKJV).
It is the Holy Spirit who works in the believers both to will and to do for God’s good pleasure (Philip. 2:13). The believers cannot love, obey, serve, worship or honour God without the help of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of holiness.” (Rom. 1:4 NKJV). A life of holiness is absolutely impossible without the indwelling and enabling of the Holy Spirit.
Third, Transformation into Christ-likeness:
God’s ultimate desire and expectation for all His children in this world is “to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom. 8:29 NKJV).
Although the born-again believers are now perfectly like Jesus Christ in their born-again spirits, however, they are not yet fully conformed to Jesus Christ in their souls (will, mind and emotions) and bodies (1 Cor. 6:17, 1 John 4:17, Rom. 8:23, Phil. 3:20-21).
The Holy Spirit seeks to work mightily in every born again believer to conform them increasingly to the image of Christ until they attain “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13 NKJV). And “grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” (Eph. 4:15 NKJV).
However, it is only as you constantly behold the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in the mirror of God’s Word that the Holy Spirit will be able to transform you increasingly into the same image from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18).
Beloved, the Holy Spirit has come to accomplish great works in you and through you, but unless you yield yourself to Him and cooperate with Him, His works will be hindered in your life.
Find out more about the great works the Holy Spirit seeks to do in your life in the next piece.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to abide in and with me forever. Dear Holy Spirit, I welcome and cherish Your mighty and profound works in my life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.