How He Works

Last week I spoke to you about the Holy Spirit and all the things He does. We saw the way He works in creation and its creatures. Well, in much the same way He works in us. By His power we believe in the work of the Father and the Son; in the same invisible way in which He renews the face of the earth every spring He works in us the knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s realize that: God’s power is at work in you and me, just like in the growing process of those plants; gradually you see the seed of the Word germinate, come to a shoot, a small plant, and to a fruit-bearing plant. They bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold! The Holy Spirit does that, the power of the Most High, and the third Person of the triune God! He is God in power! Does that comparison help, and does it work? Well, according to the Son, the Word in the flesh, that’s how it works as He explains it in the parable of the Sower. Yes, this comparison works, because it is the same Spirit who moves tons of soil to make all the flowers and plants grow, who also needs to move tons of unbelief and remove lots of barriers and overcome much resistance against God! Every one of us is a piece of work due to our stubborn will and sinful nature, and it takes the power of the resurrection from the dead by the Holy Spirit to do that work! Just as we see nature look totally dead in the winter, so we’re all dead in sin when we’re born, and there is no power in the world which can make dead-born children alive but by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. He is God in power: He makes alive what is dead, He makes soft what’s rock-hard, and He works faith. Yes, He does so the way He makes flowers and plants grow: from the inside out, slowly but surely, gradually, unnoticeably, and miraculously! Yes, He is so powerful, that He overcomes every kind of resistance! Now Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would come to us as a tutor, a counsellor, to renew us in the image of Christ. He wants to move your heart, change your mind, and renew your spirit, from the inside out! He does so by His Word, sowing the seed of new life in your heart, which He warms, moisturizes, makes it germinate and grow out into faith. He makes a plant grow in which everything He has done through the Word, Jesus Christ, grows on you, is manifest in you; all the blessings and benefits of Christ! It changes you into a believer, a disciple of Christ, a true Christian, who shares in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, and which justifies you before the judgment seat of God! He changes you so that you’re going to hate and flee from sin and delight in God to praise Him! It’s this wonderful and miraculous work which the Holy Spirit works out in you and with you, yet certainly not without you. Hence this work of conversion, regeneration, and recreation, He works out in you as a person, and He works out among His church as a people: He is God in people! It’s not so that you would all of a sudden wake up some day as a believer, who entrusts himself to God from then on and lives for God. As if you’re surprised yourself how that is possible suddenly. No, the Holy Spirit brings the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ to you and opens your ears for it. He works in your heart and mind so that you begin to understand the promises of the gospel; so that you will go to God to claim them as your own. The Holy Spirit works in you, yet not in such a way as if He believes for you; the Holy Spirit makes a new man of you who loves to do good works, but He does not do those works for you; the Holy Spirit gives you the strength to fight against your sin, but He does not fight this battle for you! The Holy Spirit works in you but does not draw the attention to Himself but to Jesus Christ, holding Him up as the image of the Father, renewing you and restoring you in that image! Your question, dear listener, at this point could be, “How do I know this? How do I have to understand this?” Let me answer that question with an example. As you probably know, the air is filled with air waves on which all sorts of speakers, music, noises, singing, etc. can be heard. However, you don’t notice anything of that when you walk outside. In order to find out you need a radio, a receiver which can catch all these sounds on the airwaves. However, in order to receive certain programs, the receiver must be tuned in on the right wave-length. Well, the same we need with the Holy Spirit. We need a receiver to discover the Holy Spirit and we have to be on the right wave-length for the Holy Spirit. You find this in the Bible! It’s not so that your own heart automatically will be on the wave-length of the Holy Spirit; too many fanatics and spiritualists have claimed this, resulting in the most bizarre consequences. The heart of man is corrupt and deceitful, and, as the proverb says, “He who trusts in the heart of man is a fool.” No, the Spirit of God works through the Word of God! In that Word of God the love of God is expressed, and by the gift of this Word of God to people the Holy Spirit of God is given to man! However, the Spirit is not given to all men just like that. He works especially at a particular address, the church! Therefore, we wish to point out to you via this broadcast also where this address is; knowing that the strength of the church is in its Word: it is the power of the Spirit of God for our salvation! You see, and now everything we have seen and heard about the work of salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ and all the blessings and benefits we share with Him by faith; all that and much more, He brings to you by the preaching of the Word, through the proclamation in the church. He brings it to you there into your heart and mind. That Word is near you! How, by some inner voices, through some rumblings in your soul, by some emotions in your heart? No, by the Word of faith which we preach, Paul says! In this preaching the Holy Spirit comes to you as your Comforter with the forgiveness of sins, pleading you free from sin and guilt, and imputing on you the righteousness of Christ. He fills your life as the Counsellor to renew your life, help change your ways, your attitude, your behaviour, your conduct, etc. He keeps coming to you as your Comforter with the life, love, faith, and hope of Jesus Christ! Thus, the Holy Spirit as God in power, as God in Person, as God in people, makes new people, regenerated people, who show the newness of their life in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Next week, the Lord willing, I wish to speak more about this as we examine the Word regarding what we see of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our life!

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