[CF Devotionals] 2009-03-15 - Necessity of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit Series, Part 11

“What are our souls without His grace? As dead as the branch in which the sap circulates not. What is our Church without Him? As parched and barren as the fields without Heaven’s dew and rain. Where is the hope of the world’s conversion, or of the salvation of dearly loved ones, out of Christ? If the Spirit of God come not to our aid, our eyes may fail with looking for these much-valued blessings.

~ LEWIS 4

The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Church: First as we have noted in passing previously, the church is indwelt by the Holy Spirit as well as the individuals who make up the church. Stringfellow describes this as a “Spiritual Organism.” 5

  1. The work is tied to Christ’s promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Through this baptism, the Spirit indwells us, creating the universal church or a “unified spiritual organism.” 6

    Christ is the head of this unified body.

    “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” … “He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” … “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (Acts 1:5; Colossians 2:19; Ephesians 1:22-23).

  2. We become part of this body at the time of salvation, when we are baptized and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

    “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” … “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13).

  3. As a result of being baptized and sealed, we also are able to experience the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, i.e., “Walking in the Spirit,”“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh”(Galatians 5:16).

    “Renewing of the Spirit”“He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal bythe Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

    “Leading of the Spirit”“…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

    “Indwelling of the Spirit”“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time, the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:37-39).

  1. Lewis, “Necessity of the Spirit,” Pearls From Many Seas, The Master Christian Library, AGES Software, Albany, OR, Version 8.0 © 2000
  2. Ibid., p. 64.
  3. Ibid.

Comments or Questions?
Geoff

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