Sunday, June 12, 2011

Elements of the Spirit's Work

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

On the day that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church, Peter delivered one of the most powerful sermons ever preached. Peter's sermon embodies four elements of the Holy Spirit's work. These elements are at work within both the Church body and the lives of individuals.

Confrontation of Skepticism--The Holy Spirit compels us to confront our own fears and doubts that keep us from stepping out in faith. The Holy Spirit confronts us with our sin and with our attempts to justify it.

Clarification of the Scriptures--Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as being the "Spirit of truth." Jesus says, "He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you"(John 16:13-14).

Condemnation of Evil--The Holy Spirit does not condemn us (see Romans 8:1). Rather, He convicts us of wrongdoing. He teaches us how to discern behavior and how to judge character. The Holy Spirit always stands against evil, condemning its influence in our lives.

Confirmation of What Is Good, Right and True--The Holy Spirit works in us to confirm in our hearts all that is pleasing to God. He confirms His character in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The Holy Spirit teaches us to overcome greed, sloth, addictions, lust, prejudice, hatred and anger.

Prayer: God, thank You for giving us the Spirit to confront us, to clarify Scripture, to condemn evil, and to confirm what is good, right and true. Amen.

"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26).

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