The Ministry of the Holy Spirit (part 4)
John Telgren

One aspect of sanctification is our renewal, or transformation. The Spirit has an active role in our renewal and transformation.

"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, Renewal, Transformation" (Tit 3:5).

It is not merely about outward rituals that identify us as Christians. Acts of worship, baptism, communion, etc. can all become outward rituals without the renewal and transformation that comes from the Spirit. That is the reason why the scriptures remind us:

"But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God" (Rom 2:29).

We demonstrate this renewal and transformation in our attitude, disposition, and actions. The Bible refers to these as the "Fruit of the Spirit."

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (Gal 5:22-23).

Without the Spirit, we would not be able to think in a godly way, live a godly life, or make the needed changes in our lives to please God.

"…because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom 8:7-8).

We are not even able to do God's will or please him. However, if we have the Spirit, we can put to death the deeds of the flesh and truly follow Jesus as our Lord.

"…for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Rom 8:13).

"Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor 12:3).

The Spirit strengthens us inwardly in a way that nothing else can. Whether it is in our transformation, or in struggling with words to pray to God.

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man" (Eph 3:14-16).

"In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" (Rom 8:26).

The Spirit's ministry of sanctification, renewal, transformation, and strengthening is imperative if we are to please God and be what he desires us to be. No wonder Jesus refers to him as our "helper." We are deeply in need of a helper because of the weakness and corruption that afflicts us due to sin. Thank God that Jesus has sent us a helper.