The Work of the Spirit in relation to the Believer and the Church

The Spirit birthed the church on the day of Pentecost and, since then, births individual believers into the church by regenerating them so that they may exercise repentance and faith and thus confess Christ as Lord. The Spirit effects one’s union with Christ, allowing one to participate in the divine nature, and communicates the benefits of Christ’s salvation to the believer. Throughout this post-Pentecostal age, the Spirit empowers the believer and imparts spiritual gifts to the believer that enable one to proclaim the gospel, serve the church and fellow believers, and to make one fruitful in developing the character traits consistent with one who is in union with Christ. The Spirit also leads the believer and the church corporate in worship specifically with regard to praise and prayer, which is offered up in the power of and under the guidance of the Spirit. When the church (or individual believers, though it is more often seen in corporate terms) fall into sin or are otherwise weakened, the Spirit works to bring repentance and renewal (“refreshing” as Jonathan Edwards termed it) to the church. When faced with persecution, the Spirit gives persecuted disciples the words to day so that the Father speaks through the believer in those moments. The Spirit also bears witness with the believer’s spirit that one is indeed a believer and also serves as the “down-payment” (or “first-fruits” or “guarantee”) on the promises of God that are yet to be fulfilled.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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