Section 5: The Holy Spirit
Week 4: The Holy Spirit’s Work in the Life of the Believer
Day 1: The Holy Spirit’s Role in Leading the Believer to Christ
1 Cor. 2:3; Eph. 2:1-10
The Fall really messed things up, not just for the world in general, but for each one of us personally. As we discussed in an earlier section, because of Adam and Eve’s sin, we’re all born with a sin nature. As a result, we don’t naturally want what God wants for our lives. That’s why Paul says, “There is no one who seeks God. All have turned away…there is no one who does good, not even one” (Rom. 3:11-12).
That has a profound impact on our willingness to accept the gospel and turn to Christ. On our own we won’t do it. We are blind to the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). That’s why we need the Holy Spirit to work a change in us before we can turn to Christ in faith (1 Cor. 12:3). The Spirit, therefore, plays an essential role in our conversion. We’ll have an opportunity to talk about what happens within the believer as the result of the Spirit’s work later. For now, let’s focus on the significance of our conversion.
It’s popular to think of all people as God’s children. From a biblical perspective, though, we aren’t adopted as God’s children until we put our faith in Christ. Before that we were under God’s judgment – children of wrath, rather than children of God (Eph. 2:3).
That changed when we put our faith in Christ. How do we know that? We know it because of the Spirit’s presence in our lives. Paul says, “You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry “Abba Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:15-16). The Spirit’s work in our lives thus serves as a guarantee that our relationship with God has fundamentally changed (Eph. 1:14).
I’m a Milwaukee Bucks fan. Recently the team was purchased by new owners. There was some talk that the new owners might take the team to another city. Despite the owners’ promises not to move the team, initially there was some skepticism. Then the owners pledged 250 million dollars of their own money to build a new arena in Milwaukee. If they were willing to put up that kind of money, they had to be committed to keeping their promises.
The Holy Spirit’s work in our lives says something similar about God’s commitment. The fact that the Spirit is at work within our lives is a sign that we are God’s children, and, as his children, we will one day receive a great inheritance. There can be no doubt about that. The Holy Spirit presence guarantees it (Eph. 1:11-14).
Make a list of the work the Holy Spirit has done in your life (e.g. lessons he has taught you, ways he has helped you to grow spiritually, etc.).
Do you ever question your relationship with God? Take a look back at your list. According to Paul, what does that list say about your relationship with God? Does this give you greater confidence? Why or Why not?