The Holy Spirit is often focused on for his supernatural work as seen in revivals, healings and more. Here we want to focus on his ordinary work which of course is no less supernatural, and hence our heading.
The Spirit’s work
The Spirit’s work is wide and far ranging because God works in his world are usually by his Spirit. We will focus on the Spirit’s work in salvation and Christian growth. Here again many activities attributed to the Father are accomplished by the Spirit.
Hence when we read that the Lord opened Lydia’s heart to respond to Paul’s message (Acts 16:14), we should understand he did so by his Spirit. When we read that the Lord’s hand was with those speaking the gospel such that many turned to the Lord (Acts 11:21), we should understand the Spirit was at work.
The Spirit then is the source of new spiritual life in us (John 3:5-8). We are brought to see the truth of the gospel and to trust in Christ by the Spirit (John 16:8-11). Hence Paul says that if we are ‘in Christ’ through faith then we must have the Spirit (Rom. 8:9).
The Spirit then also empowers our spiritual life. This includes leading us into holiness such that we produce his fruit (Gal. 5:16-26); enabling relationship with the Father (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:1-6); strengthening gospel proclamation (Acts 4:31); bringing unity between believers (Eph. 4:3; Phil. 1:27); and gifting for service in the life of the church (1 Cor. 12:4-11).
Progress in the Christian life is then only possible by the Spirit. While we are to believe, obey, fight sin, serve and more, all this depends on the prior work and ongoing work of the Spirit in us. That will have profound implications for ministry as we will see below.