It’s no surprise that the above two words have been purposely omitted from many pulpits around the world. Not because they are explicit, but simply because they are associated with accountability, self denial, and submission. All of which have become either offensive or irrelevant to the conforming church. Not to mention the fact that they can hinder the exponential member$hip growth sought by many of its congregations.
The purpose of this post is to briefly but openly talk about those two words because I believe they are extremely important, especially in the spiritually challenging times we are now living. So, I hope you are not offended as I fully spell them out for you. If you are taken aback then you can take it up with God. The words are…Holy Spirit. There!
The Holy Spirit has been playing a major role in the church body and in the world as a whole ever since God the Father sent Him as the promised Intercessor.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.” -John 14:16 NIV
“But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.” -John 14:26 AMP
“And when He [The Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.“ -John 16:8 NLT
The Holy Spirit (the third person in the Godhead) works in the hearts of believers and non-believers alike. However, there is a crucial element in the process. It is called the will to surrender. While His job is to strengthen, guide, remind, and convict, it is up to us as individuals to allow Him to operate in our lives. In other words, not only do we need to listen (be sensitive) to His voice but we also need to accept (acknowledge) and willingly submit (surrender) to Him. This is where some of today’s contemporary church leaders put the brakes on preaching about the Holy Spirit. That’s because submission demands accountability, accountability demands exposure, exposure demands taking responsibility, and taking responsibility demands repentance and change.
“When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth.” -John 16:13 GNT
A growing number of churchgoers have fallen prey to the “all inclusive/God made me the way I am” unscriptural theology simply because they don’t want to change! So, in order to attract, keep, and increase their audience, preachers are opting to just stick to a sugar-coated Gospel that complements and comforts instead of the one that challenges and changes.
Submitting to the Holy Spirit will inevitably cause you to CHANGE. No ifs, ands, or buts! And if you ask my beloved ministry colleagues, Nelson and Cynthia, change is GOOD!
God DOES love us just the way we are, but He loves us TOO MUCH to leave us that way. That’s because no matter how good of a person we may think we are, without Christ we are nothing more than selfish self-centered sinners on our way to Hell.
God sent His Son to deliver us from eternal damnation and grant us access to His eternal kingdom, which starts with a renewed life here on earth. Then He sent us the Holy Spirit to help us live a holy life by setting us apart and conforming us to the image of Christ (sanctification). This change includes leaving our old godless life and being made new (born-again) in Him.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.“ -John 3:16
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.“ -2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
Another thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to moral convictions, there is a stark difference between our conscience and the Holy Spirit, but I will leave that for my next Words to Ponder. For now, make sure you are listening to Bible teachings that include the Holy “S” word. Any message that causes you to focus more on yourself than on Christ and that produces inspiration but no transformation is not the full Gospel, and hence not worth listening to. The Word of God is not meant to make you feel good. It is solely to draw you closer to your Creator and your Savior. And it is the Holy Spirit who points you in that direction, keeps you in spiritual check, empowers you to overcome and to witness, comforts you, and helps you live a morally victorious life while on earth.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.“ -Romans 8:14 NLT
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.“ -Galatians 5:16
The Dangers of an Ear Candy Gospel by Joe Rodriguez