By Richard B. Sauls,
Lee Worship Center
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.”
Joel is the Holy Spirit Prophet of the Old Testament, the one quoted by Simon Peter on the Day of Pentecost.
Before the Cross, the Holy Spirit, even though working mightily in the world, still, was very limited as to what He could do, because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins (Heb. 10:4). In other words, the Holy Spirit could not come into the hearts and lives of Believers before the Cross and abide there permanently. He came into the hearts of some to help them accomplish particular works, but He was still very limited, due to the fact that the sin debt could not be paid with animal blood.
That’s the reason that Jesus said of John the Baptist, that even though he was the greatest Prophet born of woman, still, the least in the Kingdom of God was greater than John (LK. 7:28).
What did Jesus mean by that?
He didn’t mean that we are greater in character than John. Not at all! He meant that the Cross would afford greater privileges and opportunities than John ever thought of having.
That’s why Paul said that the “New Covenant,” which was made possible by the Cross, is a much better Covenant, based on better Promises (Heb. 8:6).
Now, due to the what the Cross has made possible, in that it atoned for all sin, the Holy Spirit comes into the hearts and lives of all Believers, and does so to remain forever, and to constantly help us (Jn. 14:16-17).
The Cross, by the shedding of the Precious Blood of Christ, atoned for all sin, past, present, and future, at least for those who will believe. The sin debt was thereby forever paid. Consequently, the Holy Spirit now, even at conversion, comes into the heart and life of the Believer in order to abide forever. As long as faith is maintained in Christ, He most definitely will there abide. He desires to help us, lead us, and guide us as we live this life for the Lord (Jn. 16:7-15).
Every single thing done in our lives, as it regards the Fruit of the Spirit, Christlikeness, Righteousness, Holiness, in fact, all Spiritual Growth, must be carried out by the Holy Spirit. That’s what makes false doctrines so wrong.
They are attempting to sanctify people by the means of the flesh. Such cannot be done.
Anything done in our hearts and lives for the Lord must, and without fail, be instituted, instigated, carried out and accomplished by the Holy Spirit.
And how does He do such? He only requires of us that we evidence Faith in Christ and the Cross, and not allow our faith to be moved from that correct Object, which then will give Him the latitude to do all the things that need to be done. He works entirely within the confines and parameters of the Finished Work of Christ. He will not work outside of those parameters.
HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS
The Holy Spirit works exclusively within the realm of the Finished Work of Christ. This means that He works entirely within the parameters which are defined by the Cross (Rom 8: 2,11). That’s what Jesus was talking about when He told His Disciples just hours before His Crucifixion, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (Jn. 14:16).
Before the Cross, the Holy Spirit dwelt with Believers; but, since the Cross, where the sin debt was paid, the Holy Spirit can now “be in you.”
(1 Cor. 3:16).