What good would a football team be if the Quarterback was the only guy to do any of the plays? You know, you come up to the line and the Center decides he doesn’t want to snap the ball and block the defenders. The Wide Receiver wants to sit down. The rest of the line, in fact, sits back and orders a pizza so they can watch the game rather than play it.
There’s a lot of neutering that the Catholic church did to the role of the congregation in church life, and sadly it has translated into Protestant congregations as well. When the priesthood of believers is consolidated into the pastor only, then ministry is placed heavily on his shoulders and everyone else runs off and plays.
Ephesians 4 tells us that we all have a role to play in the body, and that no one’s role is more important than another’s. Not all roles are the same, of course, but that doesn’t mean your role is not essential and that you can take a vacation or retire from it.
And, since today is Thankful Thursday, remember that we are not left alone to do our part. We don’t have to manufacture it in the flesh. We have the almighty, eternal, sovereign, all-powerful, wise, convicting God of the universe dwelling in each and every one of us in the person of His Spirit. He has gifted us to fulfil the work of ministry, whether behind the scenes or out in the open. Today, we will visit Jesus’ prophecy of the Spirit’s place and role in our lives.
- John 14:16-17 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
- “Helper” is the Greek word, paracletos, which means “one called alongside to help; or Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor”. That is what the Spirit is for us as children of God.
- Reading the above verses, what are a couple of things you can be thankful for today with regards to the Spirit’s ministry in your life? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Aren’t you glad that you do not have to do anything for Christ in your own power? _____________________________________
- John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
- We are to study God’s Word and make it our primary meal. We need to study it humbly, without bias, without eisegeses (making it match what we want it to say), and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us.
- Thank God for giving you spiritual eyes to see and spiritual ears to hear what He says: _____________________________________________
- Have you ever had a situation (witnessing, counseling, just a plain old conversation) where Bible verses come to mind that you never even memorized? ________________________________
- If so, that’s the power of the Holy Spirit in you.
- John 15:26-27 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
- Isn’t it great that you do not have to convert anyone? You are never told in the Bible to “win souls” (except when pastors misuse Proverbs 11:30 and apply it to evangelism). You are never told to get anyone saved. But, as a Spirit-indwelled believer, He will testify within us and then through us! We are to preach the Gospel, yes! But thank God now that evangelism’s results are in His hands and not yours: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- John 16:7-11 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”
- Again, we see that the Holy Spirit is the One Who does the convicting of sin in the world. You and I don’t need to do anything but present Gospel truth to the lost. But, looking at this passage, what are the three areas that the Spirit will convict the world: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Now, thank God for convicting people of sin through His Word and our testimony,
- Thank God for convicting people of Christ’s righteousness,
- And thank Him for convicting the world of the final judgment and Satan’s final defeat!
For Your Gift of God The Spirit Hymn by Edith Margaret Clarkson
1 For your gift of God the Spirit,
power to make our lives anew,
pledge of life and hope of glory,
Savior, we would worship you.
Crowning gift of resurrection
sent from your ascended throne,
fullness of the very Godhead,
come to make your life our own.
2 He who in creation’s dawning
brooded on the lifeless deep,
still across our nature’s darkness
moves to wake our souls from sleep,
moves to stir, to draw, to quicken,
thrusts us through with sense of sin;
brings to birth and seals and fills us
saving Advocate within.
3 He, himself the living Author,
wakes to life the sacred Word,
reads with us its holy pages
and reveals our risen Lord.
He it is who works within us,
teaching rebel hearts to pray,
he whose holy intercessions
rise for us both night and day.
4 He, the mighty God, indwells us;
his to strengthen, help, empower;
his to overcome the tempter
ours to call in danger’s hour.
In his strength we dare to battle
all the raging hosts of sin,
and by him alone we conquer
foes without and foes within.
5 Father, grant your Holy Spirit
in our hearts may rule today,
grieved not, quenched not, but unhindered,
work in us his sovereign way.
Fill us with your holy fullness,
God the Father, Spirit, Son;
in us, through us, then, forever,
shall your perfect will be done.