The Ministry of the Spirit

by | Dec 26, 2011 | Purpose & Identity

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. —1 Corinthians 2:10

Now, the Christian faith is not merely head knowledge. This is why we have the Holy Spirit, who teaches us in such a way that we do not remain helpless and ignorant. What can be more basic than our need for the Holy Spirit to guide us? Many have let book learning, systematic theology, creed, and doctrine replace the Holy Spirit. And for this reason, many Christians today, I fear, have very little experience of the Spirit of God showing them things, guiding them in the truth, seeing things are real and definite and right from God. So many of us are in a rut that it does not even enter our minds to break out of it, and the Spirit never shows us anything. The reason that the Spirit will not show us anything is that He is grieved. One way we grieve the Spirit is by bitterness.

My point is, when we do not forgive one another and we let any kind of bitterness creep in, the Spirit is grieved, and it causes a short circuit. Nothing happens, nothing connects, and we do not grow. I believe this with all my heart. So many have not taken seriously this matter of walking in love and, in consequence of that, have not been able to walk in the light. It does not seem to bother them a bit if they judge another person, if they hold a grudge, if they cannot speak to certain people in the same congregation. Look, this is wrong! The Spirit is grieved. Do you know what else that means? It means that they do not grow, although they come to church week after week, month after month, and year after year. This is what had happened to some of the Hebrew Christians.

We need to learn that the Christian faith is not like math or physics, because what we need is not intellectual acumen, but the Spirit shows us things.

Excerpted from Are You Stone Deaf to the Spirit or Rediscovering God? (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1999).

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