I am continuing my thoughts on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It has become more and more evident that the modern Christ-follower understands little about the purpose of the Holy Spirit other than to bring about a person’s salvation. In the last chapters of John, Jesus shared with His disciples that the Holy Spirit’s ministry would be to take of the things (words, will, and ways) of Christ and reveal them to, in and then through the believer.
Such revelation (by both information and installation) enables the believer to follow, live for and then minister not only “for” the Lord Christ Jesus, but “as” Him. Paul used the term “ambassador” to convey the same idea in 2 Corinthians 5. The Lord Jesus Christ desires to shine from and through every Christ follower by the Holy Spirit. But, the Holy Spirit can only do this as the Christ follower submits to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s expression is limited by our level of our surrender, knowledge, understanding, fears, experiences, etc.
The Holy Spirit seeks to do more than to remind us of the words written in our Bibles. He seeks to make the Word of God experientially known to, in, and through us. His full expression can be prevented and/or limited by many different things. These things include, pride, unconfessed sin, lack of faith, fear of men, lack of spiritual understanding or by our lack of understanding concerning God’s Word.
Why is this so important to understand? It is because the Lord Jesus Christ will not glorify Himself by His own self-expression. The expression of Who the Lord Jesus Christ “is” was given to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit must not be prevented or limited in the very purpose for which He was given to us. Max I. Reich put this beautifully when he said, “If we make room for the Holy Spirit, He will make room for the Lord Jesus.” The converse is also true, that if we do not make room for the Holy Spirit, He cannot make room for the Lord Jesus.4
The Galatian Christ-followers had deviated from the gospel by accepting the teaching of the Judaizers. The Judaizers were Jews who were saved by grace but believed that to be “completely saved or completed in their faith” a believer had to follow the Law of Moses (including all of the fence laws created by the Pharisees and Sadducees). They taught that a Christ follower was not completely saved by grace, but was completed by keeping the Law. In response to them Paul wrote, “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3)
Paul is asking them a rhetorical question as to their belief of being justified by grace and then sanctified or completed through keeping the law. Paul presses the point in Galatians chapter five, verse four, by saying, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4 KJV)
And while Paul does not seem to be telling them they have fallen from grace to the point of losing their salvation. Their salvation (which was a spiritual and legal matter) should and would have been producing a sanctified life—if they were making room for the Holy Spirit to fill and manifest in and through their lives.
So while Paul does not seem to be addressing their salvation, he is directly addressing the spiritual development of the Galatians. He is telling them that it is impossible to start out in the Spirit and finish in the flesh. It wasn’t that Jesus (their Savior) had become of no use to them. It was that their spiritual development in Christ (the Anointed One and His anointing revealed in and by the Holy Spirit) had become of no effect or use to them. They had drifted away from the original gospel. They saw themselves as being saved without the need to become what God has intended—Christ Ambassadors that were full of the Spirit.
Paul’s solution for the Galatians was for them to stop trying to live the Christian life in their own strength and to experience the victorious Christian life through the Holy Spirit. They had been saved. Their lives had changed. But, they had only experienced a limited amount of victory over sin. But as far their lives radiating the glorious presence of the Lord Jesus, there was very little of that. Why? The Lord Jesus has given that ministry over to the Holy Spirit5 and they were unwilling to recognize and embrace the Holy Spirit’s purpose for their lives.
I want to encourage each of us to come to the following revelation, which is, if the Holy Spirit is not recognized and depended upon for the work of completing and developing our spiritual lives, He simply cannot perform it. We see this same pattern of thought in Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonians, “Quench not the Sprit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). We must stop “trying” and start “being.” Our being in Christ produces a becoming that is inspired and conducted by the Holy Spirit. The more we give of ourselves to Him, the more He will develop and reveal Christ in and through our lives.
Take the step. Declare that you are in the state of becoming totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Ask the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus to help you make room for the Holy Spirit. Pray to experience Him. Seek to depend upon Him. Walk and live in Him. I promise your life will never be the same. Why? You will become Christ’s hands extended to the hurting and the hopeless. Your hands will be His hands—open, loving and conveying the love of God to everyone around you.
God bless you.