Purpose of Guarding the Treasure

The purpose of this blog is to encourage readers to invest their time into the Word of God and "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." Paul wrote these words to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:14) in his presumed last letter before his execution. May we be those who see the word of God as a treasure, guarding it with our lives, investing in it with our hearts and minds, and reaping the fruit of an abundant life while getting to know the God who loves us and created us for His marvelous pleasure and glory.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The guidance provided by the Holy Spirit to a believer while studying the Bible is often referred to as the illumination of the Spirit. The gospel of John records Jesus telling His disciples about this future ministry of the Holy Spirit, saying He will teach, testify, guide and disclose the truth concerning Christ: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you…When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me…I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.” (John 14:26,15:26,16:12-15)

Another excellent passage discussing the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:10-16, emphasis added) The natural man cannot understand the supernatural and spiritual things of God. As the Bible is a spiritual book inspired by the very Spirit of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21), it requires the Spirit of God for interpretation. Only believers in Jesus Christ as indwelled by the Holy Spirit can fully comprehend the truth contained in the Word of God.

The Holy Spirit ministers in the lives of humanity before, during and after salvation. Before salvation, God the Father draws humanity to Himself (John 6:44) through the conviction of the Holy Spirit regarding sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11). Those who believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life escape condemnation and are justified by their faith in Christ (John 3:16-18, Romans 3:21-28,4:4-5,8:1). The moment a person places their faith in Christ, they are born again, regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit (John 3: 5-8,Titus 3:5) as well as being securely sealed in their salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14), permanently indwelt (John 14:16, Romans 5:5, 1 Corinthians 3:16,6:19, 2 Timothy 1:14), baptized into the body of Christ (Romans 6:3-5, 1 Corinthians 12:3) and given spiritual gifts for ministry in glorifying God (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4:7-16, 1 Peter 4:10-11). After salvation, the Holy Spirit provides the power for the believer to live in righteousness resulting in sanctification (Romans 6:19-22, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2 Thessalonians 2:13). Other ministries of the Holy Spirit after salvation include illumination of the Scriptures (as discussed earlier), conviction of sin (Hebrews 12:4-11), intercession on behalf of the believer (Romans 8:26), testifying to the assurance of salvation (Romans 8:15-16), filling and controlling the believer to walk in the power of the Spirit (Romans 8:4-11, Galatians 5:16-17, Ephesians 5:18) and ultimately using the believer to bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Thank you Jesus for giving us the Helper who will be with us forever!

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