Twofold Ministry of the Spirit Pt.2

In our first blog concerning the Twofold Ministry of the Spirit we looked at the Indwelling work of the Spirit in a believers life. In this second part we are considering the Outward work of the Holy Spirit, which is for those around me…

Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on the disciples and they received the Holy Spirit, that is the Indwelling presence of God. But His instructions were specific to the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit’s power to be His witnesses. The Spirit comes upon us in order that we may be witnesses and for the building up of other believers’ .

  1. Called to be witnesses… Jesus called His followers (and still does) to make disciples, teaching them all that He has commanded. (Matthew 28:18-20) This witness includes the preaching of good news, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, baptising them in the Holy Spirit, speaking in new tongues. (Isa 61 & Mark 16:17-18) ) The anointing of the Holy Spirit is activated when we preach good news and is confirmed by works of power as detailed above. This is a demonstration of the Kingdom of God breaking into lives revealing the truth of who Jesus is… the King! The teaching of disciples and assisting them, to not only be hearers of God’s Word, but to also live out God’s Word is the process of discipleship (included in this is baptism and repentance). This is the first outward working of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Mutual edification of the Body of Christ is the second outward working of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 12 & 14 and Romans 12 Paul explains the importance of desiring the spiritual gifts. Included in these gifts are speaking in tongues & interpretation, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, revelation, acts of service, hospitality, administration etc. These gifts are for the building up of the Body of Christ and not for the glory of those bringing them! Paul also talks about the 5 fold ministry in Ephesians 4:11… Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.* These callings and giftings, activated by the power of the Holy Spirit, are again for the building up and maturity of the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit equips us to be a blessing to the Body of Christ in our worship gatherings, small groups and daily meetings in the town.

We come into maturity when we begin to believe and walk in our inheritance as children of God, namely the Twofold ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit comes to bring the Father’s work through our lives. As we grow in our understanding of the Spirits work both within us and upon us, we can then start to grow to maturity as the Body of Christ.

I encourage you to ponder these things prayerfully and allow the Spirit to reveal more of the Father’s grace bought for us by Jesus in order that we may grow into maturity, not lacking in anything, to see the world transformed by the love of God.

*Please note the Five Fold Ministries are not our ‘Identity’ but are our callings. Our ‘Identity’ is found only in Christ and not what we are gifted to ‘do’.

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Two Fold Ministry of the Spirit Pt.1

As we move forward in our journey with Jesus we need to recognise the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Its important we begin to grow in our understanding of the Spirits nature in order that we can mature to all the fullness of God. This is the first of a two part blog on the twofold ministry of the Spirit. Its not an exhaustive blog but simply a beginning to help you move from immaturity to maturity, emptiness to fullness. I encourage you to read up on it for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you…

There are two dimensions to the Spirit’s work in a believers life. There is an inward working of the Spirit, which is essential to an individuals walk with God, and is for me but is also of a benefit to others. The second is an outward working of the Spirit, which is of benefit to other believers around me. If we lack understanding of either, we can become unbalanced in our Christian lives.

The Inward work of the Spirit, is first of all for me. Paul writes in his 2nd letter to the Church in Corinth that the Spirit has been given to individual believers as a guarantee of what is to come… namely, our inheritance. It means that the Spirit dwells within us as a pledge that we belong to God. (2 Cor 1:22) We are temples of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 6:19-20) We carry within us the very presence of God.

The Spirit living with me, has a primary goal, which is to make me more like Jesus. This is evidenced to others by the fruit of the Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5. The process of refining (1 Peter 1:6-7) and the Fathers loving discipline (Heb 12:5-13) bring about the inward change, if we learn to submit to the working of the Spirit, that makes me become more like Jesus each day.

The Spirit living within me also helps me to understand the scriptures. Do you remember in John’s gospel, when the disciples were gathered following the resurrection of Jesus, and he appears to them? John records that Jesus breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22) … now indwelling in them… so that they could understand the scriptures. And the scriptures teach us about Jesus. The Holy Spirit longs to reveal Jesus to us in a deeper way and Jesus said that the Spirit would take His words and make them known to us (John 14:26).

Guaranteed, refined, understanding… and ultimately, our shared destiny of becoming like Jesus, are the purpose of the Spirits indwelling presence in my life… this is primarily for me but others benefit from the fruit!

Do we truly believe that the Spirit lives within us? Its an important question to ponder. If we do, then it changes everything because we recognise that the Father has trusted us with His Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is the presence of God living in us!