Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Holy Spirit's work in the incarnation, creation, evangelism

As the Spirit's primary ministry is that of Revelation, all of His other ministries flow from who He is.   As the Holy Spirit works to reveal the work of the Son and the voice of the Father, He reveals His own nature as the God of glory, sharing the same divine life with the Father and Son.  As the God of glory who reveals, the Holy Spirit ministers or has ministered in the other following areas:

The Incarnation
When we say "incarnation", we are referring to the event in which Christ entered into the womb of the virgin Mary and took upon Himself a human nature, literally "being made human flesh".  The term "incarnation" comes from two Latin words: "en" meaning "in" and "carnos"  meaning "flesh".   In a manner that is still more mystery than a known step by step way, the Holy Spirit "hovered" or "overshadowed" Mary, making it possible in history and time for the Eternal Son to become a man.  As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:6, the glory of God is revealed on the face of Jesus Christ. 

In Genesis 1:1-2 we read of the "Spirit of God" hovering over the waters.  Whenever we see the Spirit hovering over anything in scripture, the idea is to bring forth either life or to manifest the glory of God (or in the case of the incarnation, both).  The Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life.  Without Him, life on this planet would not be possible. (Compare Psalm 104:30).

It is the Holy Spirit who applies the salvation accomplished by Christ and planned by God the Father.  It is He, the God of glory, who calls men and women to Christ, convicting and effecting them with the gift of firm persuasion (faith). It is the Spirit who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.  The Holy Spirit, as God, has ordained Christian people to be the means by which this gospel is brought to lost sinners, in order to accomplish His end: convicting, calling and convincing the sinner of their need for Christ.  No evangelism can be done without the Holy Spirit.

When we think about the Spirit's work in these three areas, we can see how they are all connected.  Because the Holy Spirit works in evangelism to bring forth life out of the sinner's spiritually dead human heart, they in turn are able to see Jesus Christ as the Creator whom they have offended, and the Savior who became a man to save them, and thus believe on Him. (Please compare John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:1-10)

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