The necessary work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life
Romans 5:5 “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
That love is the same Jesus had for the people, it is to do the will of God and focus on serving the people.
Without the Holy Spirit’s work the gospel is not understood “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
The Gospel preached and being accepted depends on the Holy Spirit working to enlighten a person “the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit” (1 Peter 1:12)
You cannot have the confession of Romans 10 without the Holy Spirit at work. No one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (meaning God has come in the flesh 2 Cor. 5:19).
It is by the Holy Spirit that we are born again (Jn.3) “According to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5-6). And no one can be changed into the image of Christ without the Holy Spirit dwelling in them and they are cooperating with his work.
You cannot have koinonia without the Holy Spirit “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” (1 Corinthians 12:3-4)
2 Corinthians 13:14 You are not his possession without the Holy Spirit living in you.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
You cannot have assurance of anything you do, especially salvation without the Holy Spirit.
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Ephesians 4:30 The Holy Spirit is he who seals us “for the day of redemption.”
Our Christian life is held together by the Holy Spirit, He is the power to have us live a life pleasing unto the Lord.
“Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us” (2 Timothy 1:13-14)
Shepherds are not exempt
When it comes to leadership, being a minister to the people of God, there is even a more strict criteria in servanthood.
1 Peter 5:2-3: “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”
Being examples means to teach how, not lord it over them. Peter says what not to do, lord it over, see the examples in Mt.20:25, they are serving you as leaders.
Our part “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Heb. 13:17)
A true shepherd does not abuse the sheep, nor does he ever try to settle a matter by stopping dialogue or threaten ex-communication; tell you it’s their way or the highway or bring sheep to court. That’s not true shepherding, that’s what cults do in their shepherding. This shows the person is not controlled by the Holy Spirit and is in rebellion to God and his Word. This is happening far too often these days.
I’m not trying to be a hardened critic but a realistic observer. Keeping to a biblical view what I’m seeing is distasteful, even a disgusting display of how people are being treated, abused under certain teachers. Yes, it is true, you can have pastors teach good doctrine and still abuse people. Which does bring into question what they really believe. Pastors can say what is right from the pulpit and never live by the same words they tell others. There are rare individuals that do, those whom are truly called to the ministry. They do not just read the scripture with expression to their congregants, making a few comments. They actually have a message from the Lord to feed the sheep.
When people make decisions and do things wrong in their personal life that is a far different situation than the actions of leaders in the church that affect other people’s lives by their leadership. I can speak from personal experience on this. I have trusted pastors, leaders in churches whom not only made a wrong judgment and decisions but lied to me affecting my whole family. God witnesses all these things and he will repay.
Pastors can be passionate about something and be wrong. Don’t let emotions persuade you by their speech or enthusiasm. Listen to the content. Just because they speak loud, or with authority does not mean they are speaking truth. Watch what they do when situations arise that they spoke of. Do they try to make peace with the two parties at any cost, or do they pursue the truth to find out who is wrong and settle the matter in a biblical way. True reconciliation can only come by the truth being made known, not hidden. I can tell you that the church is damaged from all this going on as people hearts are being broken and there is no accountability for any of the people who do this. The accountability factor is near zero from men’s actions that are supposed to be held to a higher standard.
Those of you who feel abandoned and been wronged, I fully understand the wilderness journey you are now on. You wonder if you can ever trust someone again.
In this time of apostasy, which is a test for all the believers, we must be watchful over ourselves, not just in doctrine but how we react, that we continue to bear the fruit of the Spirit and not stunt our spiritual growth (keep ourselves in the love of God). We need to remember people are more important than doctrine. In stating this I do not mean to diminish the importance of doctrine but to keep our focus on what really matters; God loves people.
What I have learned is that the problems we see do not just concern doctrine. It has much to do with our motivation, ministering to men’s hearts in genuine sincerity. Once that is not part of the basis for ministry we can grow cold and are able to be misled in so many other different areas. When the truth is not found being practiced in the church (the world is already void of the truth) then worldliness can easily grow in that church.
The church has become a stage for many who are actors, and the performance they give, they deserve an encore. These men operate from their pride but present themselves as humble. They pray in the open and show their works to all (on TV) or from the pulpit. Serving people without being noticed shows one is genuine.
Gal. 5:13 “but through love serve one another.”
Love is caring for others, it is an action, it is the motivator for our good works done in Christ. Serving means one must have humility, being other centered and are not self -serving. They may be hard things to say to turn a person around from the direction they are going. This means we must care less what they think and more what we must do for their sake.
Rom. 16:18 “For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”
True ministry is not just by words. There are pastors who will do anything to keep their job, the Bible calls them hirelings. Some have their housing paid by the church, or cars, whatever they need is done for them, they care not that they may be taking advantage of the people. They are trying to live a life of a shepherd without being a servant, which cannot be done.
Heb. 9:14 “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Without this clean conscience we cannot serve others right. There cannot be honesty or right motivation without this. We are to be priests whose priority is serving the lord in serving his people.
Col. 3:23-25 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.”
We are to do these things not for the rewards in heaven (God forbid that’s our motivation) but for the need to affect people on earth that will carry into eternity. It can be difficult to make progress with those who are caught in the enemies web of deceit, it takes patience to persevere with people who are blinded. In working with people in ministry, I tell them if someone is lost deep in the forest of false doctrine where there is no sunlight, we must take them by the hand and walk them out, not talk them out.
2 Tim. 2:25-26 “in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”