Featured in the January, 2004 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
The Holy Spirit, who is the third person in the divine Trinity has been much
abused in our time.
He has been ignored by some. You could attend some churches for half a lifetime and scarcely know anything about the person or work of the Holy Spirit and that is not right.
On the other hand, you might attend elsewhere and the majority of the preaching and teaching is about the Holy Spirit.
Certainly, the Holy Spirit is not to be ignored, but neither is He to be
featured. His task is not to promote Himself, but to “bring glory” to Christ
(John 16:14). When one has received the power of the Holy Spirit, he becomes a witness to Jesus (Acts 1:8).
Some are more excited about the “gifts” of the Spirit than they are about the
Holy Spirit Himself. Even the gifts are not for our enjoyment, but for the
edification or building up of the church. In the key chapter of I Corinthians 14 on “tongues”, the word edification or its equivalent appears seven times. So the work of the Holy Spirit is not to make us feel good, but to help us do good for other believers. We should never want to “use” the Holy Spirit, but have Him use us for the glory of the Triune God.
The key mark of the presence of the Holy Spirit is not some ecstatic experience, but a holy life; and the Bible speaks repeatedly about the “sanctifying work of the Spirit” (II Thessalonians 2:13). After all, He is the Holy Spirit and will produce holiness in the life of the Christian. So our relationship with the Spirit is not about fun, but fruit as the Scripture says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control” (Galatians 5:22,23).
There are some who think they are promoting teaching about the Holy Spirit when they are dividing the Lord’s people. But the great chapter on gifts of the
Spirit (I Corinthians 12) emphasizes the oneness of the body and says, “There should be no division in the body” (I Corinthians 12:25) which is the local church.
Since the Holy Spirit is the key helper in our Christian lives (John 14:26), it is not surprising that Satan would want to sow confusion about who the Holy Spirit is and what He does.