What About The Holy Spirit?

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us” (1 John 3:24).

Because the Holy Spirit affects every area of the Christian life, it is vital that we have a balanced and correct view of His role.

The church’s understanding of the Spirit’s Person and ministry has been seriously distorted over the past few decades. Charismatics have given an undue emphasis to certain pentecostal gifts so that subjective experience is often elevated over objective scriptural truth.

At the same time, many non-charismatics have overreacted to charismatic excesses by almost ignoring the Holy Spirit. For most, an in-depth study of the Spirit does not fit with the pragmatic, psychological approach to solving spiritual problems.

But we can’t afford to go to either extreme; otherwise we’ll miss out on what it really means to know the Spirit and to minister by His power. He is indispensable in saving us, enabling us to obey Jesus Christ, and ultimately perfecting us in glory. Paul urged the Galatian believers not to abandon the Holy Spirit but to lean completely on Him.

“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).

Too many Christians are wasting time looking to seminars, gimmicks, counselors, and novel interpretations of old truths to uncover “the secret” to the abundant Christian life. But the key to such living is not a mystery or a secret. The sufficiency of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, as revealed through the pages of God’s fully reliable Word, is all the information and resources we’ll ever need to live fruitful and prosperous spiritual lives.

In today’s verse, the apostle John is speaking of Christ’s indwelling presence in the believer’s life, which the Holy Spirit reveals to us. Therefore the Spirit is working with the Lord Jesus in encouraging you, guiding you, enlightening you, and empowering you for every good work (see John 14:16-20; 16:13). By understanding the Spirit’s role and allowing Him to work in you daily, you’ll begin to see your life becoming more like Christ each day.

by John MacArthur

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