Friday, July 25, 2014

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

I’m currently in the process of reading Richard Baxter’s, A Christian Directory and I came across 10 things that he outlines in the book that I thought I would share:
(1) That the Holy Ghost, as given since the ascension of Christ, is his agent on earth, or his advocate with men;
(2) This Holy Spirit, so sent, infallibly inspired the holy apostles and evangelists, first to preach, and then to write the doctrine of Christ, contained in the Holy Scriptures.
(3) This same Spirit in them, sealed this holy doctrine, and the testimony of these holy men, by many miracles and wonderful gifts, by the which they did actually convince the unbelieving world, and plant the churches.
(4) The same Spirit(having first by the apostles, given a law or canon to the universal church, constituting its offices and the duty of the officers and the manner of their entrance) doth qualify and dispose men for the stated, ordinary ministerial work, (which is to explain and apply the foresaid Scriptures,) and directeth those that are to ordain and choose them (they being not wanting on their part); and so he apppointeth pastors to the church. (Ephesians 3: 2-4) (Ephesians 3:8,13).
(5) The same Spirit assisteth the ministers to teach and apply the holy Scriptures according to the necessities of the people, the weight of the matter, and the majesty of the word of God.
(6) The same Spirit doth by this word(heard or read) renew and sanctify the souls of the elect; illuminating their minds, opening and quickening their hearts, prevailing with, changing, and resolving their wills, thus writing God’s word, and imprinting his image by his word upon their hearts, making it powerful to conquer and cast out their stronge st, sweetest, dearest sins, and bringing them to the saving knowledge, love, and obedience of God in Jesus Christ. See Acts xxvi.
(7) The same Holy Spirit assisteth the sanctified in the exercise of this grace, to the increase of it, by blessing and concurring with the means appointed appointed by him to that end: and helpeth them to use those means , perform those duties , conquer temptations, oppositionss and difficulties, and so confirmeth and preserveth them to the end.
(8) The same Spirit helpeth believers, in the exercise of grace, to feel it, and discern the sincerity of it in themselves, in that measure as they are meet for, and in those seasons when it is fittest for them.
(9) The same Spirit helpeth them hereupon to conclude that they are justified and reconciled to God, and have right to all the benefits of his covenant.
(10) Also, he assisteth them actually to rejoice in the discerning of this conclusion. For though reason of itself may do something of itself in these acts, yet so averse is man to all that is holy, and so many are the difficulties and hinderences in the way that to the effectual performance, the help of the Spirit of God is necessary.

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