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The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Church

Take a glance through the book of Acts. Just as we saw in the gospels, you will see that the Holy Spirit is alive and at work on every page. One of the questions frequently asked is, “How does the Holy Spirit work in the church today?” If we look through the book of Acts will find that He worked through miracles, signs, wonders, and works. In some of those events He worked in a miraculous way (temporary) and in others it was more natural (eternal). They can be divided into seven categories:

1) The Holy Spirit gave visions and dreams (Acts 7:55-56, 9:10-18, 10:10-20, 16:9-10, 18:9-10, 22:17-21, 23:11). Consider the many examples of how God led His people through this supernatural process. One of the best examples is how He coordinates the meeting between Ananias and Saul of Tarsus.

2) The Holy Spirit gave revelation for the purpose of instruction, guidance, and prophesy (Acts 1:2, 1:16, 4:25, 7:51, 8:29, 10:19, 11:12, 11:28, 13:2-4, 15:28, 16:6-7, 19:21, 20:22-23, 21:4-11, 28:25). There are many examples of how God’s Spirit leads His people to teach others by giving them supernatural knowledge and wisdom.

3) The Holy Spirit gave wisdom and discernment (Acts 5:3, 6:3-5, 6:10, 9:31, 13:9, 16:8). There are several supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:1-11). This is one of those that is often overlooked and overshadowed by other gifts.

4) The Holy Spirit inspired praise, prophesy, and revelation through tongues on the day (Acts 2:4, 10:46, 19:6). Most people think of this specific supernatural gift when they think of the work of the Holy Spirit. However, speaking in tongues was a temporary supernatural gift (I Corinthians 13:8).

5) The Holy Spirit stimulated peaching and/or witnessing (Acts 1:4-8, 2:14-38, 4:8, 4:31, 5:32, 6:10, 6:8-53, 8:26-40, 9:17). God’s Spirit has always guided godly leaders to preach and teach the truth. As we will see in future articles, this is not always a supernatural process, but the natural result of one who is walking in the Spirit.

6) The Holy Spirit guided teaching (Acts 8:26-40, 9:31, 13:52, 18:25). These brief examples listed are just a handful of specific cases where we know the Holy Spirit aided in teaching. Just like in preaching, when we are full of the Holy Spirit, God’s words should be spoken. We should seek to reveal God’s will, not our own (II Timothy 3:16-17).

7) The Holy Spirit strengthened the disciples (Acts 4:8, 4:31, 6:3-5, 7:55, 9:17-19, 9:31, 11:24, 13:9, 13:52, 15:32, 16:35). Clearly the Holy Spirit fulfilled one main objective, set forth by Christ, to comfort and strengthen the disciples (John 14:15-31).

One additional thought, not categorized above, is the fact that the Holy Spirit compelled some men to become overseers in the church and sent some out to the work of church planting (Acts 20:28, 13:2). Are those things still happening in the church today? If so, what can we know about it? Who is behind it? Think about it. Have a great week!

You are loved.

Dr. Ray Reynolds

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