It is our purpose in this study to show the present work of the Holy Spirit in His dealings with unbelievers - especially the ones who are brought to faith in Christ. God the Father has made a plan. He has sent forth His Son to fulfill that plan. The Father and the Son have delegated the Holy Spirit to influence and empower people, bringing the work of the Son of God to completion. The Spirit works invisibly. Yet His effects are noticeable with the aid of Scripture.
The Holy Spirit at work in the world - John 16:7-1
- He convicts or convinces men about sin, righteousness, and judgement.
- See Acts 2:4,36-37; 7:51-52; 24:24-25.
As we noted back in Genesis 6:3,5-6, God's Spirit contends with the consciences of sinful men. God's Spirit grieves - feels pain when those who are created in the likeness of God live wickedly and rebelliously.
- He witnesses to men about the worth and work of Jesus Christ.
- See John 15:26; Acts 5:30-32 cp. I Timothy 3:16.
The Holy Spirit giving new birth to men - John 3:1-8
- Prior to salvation, man operates in the strength of the flesh. Spiritually dead to God, man cannot know, desire, seek, love, or please God (John 3:6-7; Romans 8:5-9).
- A new birth is necessary for someone to see their sin the way God does and to desire Christ for cleansing (John 3:3; Ephesians 2:1-5).
- Invisibly, but powerfully, the Holy Spirit gives new life and washes us by His work through the use of the Scriptures (John 3:5,8; Titus 3:3-6; Ephesians 5:25-26; I Peter 1:22-23.
The Holy Spirit uniting people by faith in Christ - Ephesians 2:1-2
The Spirit of God takes us from the realms of living by the world's standards, which are controlled by Satan, and puts us in a new realm which is controlled by Christ (Colossians 1:12-13; I John 5:18-20). Though physically in the same body and the same earthly location, our new position enables us to be in union with the heavenly realm and to be also united with other believers (Ephesians 2:1-7; John 17:16-23; I Corinthians 12:12-13 cp. John 1:32-34 - Spiritual baptism is not the work of men. It is not something for men to seek after. It is a one-time work of Christ, giving us His Spirit at the time we believe the Gospel - John 16:7; 20:21-22 cp. Ephesians 1:13; John 14:15-26).
Whether Jew or Gentile, all those who receive Christ are born again and are united by the indwelling of His Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-22; II Corinthians 13:14).
The status of the child of God is described as "in Christ" / "members of Christ" / "in the body of Christ" / "members of the body of Christ" (Romans 8:1; 12:4-5; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:1-6; I Corinthians 6:15; Galatians 3:28; Hebrews 13:3).
The Holy Spirit indwelling the believer - Romans 8:9-11
Those who are born again are permanently possessed by the Holy Spirit. He lives within the body, mind, and heart of each believer (John 14:15-23; I Corinthians 3:16; 6:15-20; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:25-28; I John 3:23-24).
The Holy Spirit seals the believer.
He stays with the child of God, like an identifying mark, showing that the believer belongs to God. This has been compared to a king sending a letter and making it official by folding it, sealing it with wax, and pressing his signet ring into the wax. The Holy Spirit, living within the child of God, is the mark / evidence that this person is God's purchased possession until the day of redemption. See Ephesians 1:12-15; 4:30 (note that the Son of Man has also been sealed by the Father - John 6:27; 1:32-34 cp. Isaiah 11:1-2).
Awareness of this seal is a motivation to live holy lives, knowing that we are in God's presence. We are to live for God's glory and pleasure. To the child of God, phrases such as "in the sight of God" and "before God" mean more than just God's omnipresence in general. See II Corinthians 2:17; 4:2; 12:19; Galatians 1:20; I Thessalonians 1:2-3; I Timothy 2:1-3; 6:6-14; II Timothy 4:1; James 1:27; Revelation 3:1-2.