Christ ministers to both saved and unsaved souls through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Through infinite love and mercy the Father draws men to salvation of the soul through conviction, repentance, and faith in the death of a Savior for personal forgiveness from sin. All these come from hearing, learning, and accepting the Gospel message that Christ commanded us to preach. Since the original sin in the Garden of Eden man has remained unholy from birth and polluted with an Adamic nature. The Bible teaches the will and desire of every human being born is to do wrong in the sight of God. The ministry and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is God’s method of restoring humanity back to a God-given state of righteousness.
The first work of the Holy Spirit through conviction affects the will, conscience, and desire of man by revealing the sinful and unholy heart. Man’s need for a Savior’s love is made known to the penitent as the Holy Spirit testifies the person of Christ to the human soul. Through conviction from the Holy Spirit and guilt from the human conscience, condemnation from sin is revealed and placed heavy upon mans inner being. The Holy Spirit places a desire in that heart of man to quit wrong doing. Conviction is the ministry of the Holy Spirit that affects the human soul and leads a sinful man to repentance.
Repentance is the process of an unbeliever changing his mind after the ministry of the Holy Spirit’s conviction sways the human will to change or brokenness. God’s goodness leads men to repentance as the Holy Spirit reveals man’s need for a Savior’s mercy and forgiveness. When man recognizes Christ and sees himself as he really is, the presence of the Holy Spirit makes man sorrowful for a wrongful past and his unholiness of heart. This man will no longer want to continue in sin and unrighteousness. Man thus turns away from sin and cries out to God for help. The process of repentance through the work of the Holy Spirit is a sinful mans action of turning away from sin and disobedience to a life of obedience and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Repentance is simply a change of mind.
Trusting in the death of Christ for personal forgiveness of sins allows God to give man a new heart which begins the new life in Christ. This new creation in Christ comes through the Spirit’s work of regeneration in the human soul. Regeneration is a re-created mind, will, and conscience produced by God’s Grace in the new birth. The inner make-up of man is morally restored with a divine nature like Adam had before the fall. Through the Holy Spirit’s power of regeneration a sinful man is converted into a child of God and thus receives a God-given divine nature. In this new birth man’s sins are not only forgiven but also a new desire from the Holy Spirit is given to the believer in Christ… to forsake sin.
The Holy Spirit testifies Christ and confirms the truth of God’s Word. This revelation does not come from flesh and blood it comes straight from the Throne of God. After regeneration the work of the Holy Spirit continues making Christ known to the heart of a believer through divine revelation. This witness from the Spirit not only reveals Christ but also strengthens the believer inwardly. Regeneration from the Holy Spirit leads the believer in Christ to sanctification. Sanctification allows the Spirit of God to cut the believer away from the old man and the old life of self consisting of bad habits, selfish desires, selfish affections, etc. that still exists. An inner conflict which began through the power of the new birth arises between mans inherited carnal nature and the newly given divine nature. The power of the Holy Spirit’s witness exposes the conflict caused from the Old Man that still tries to rule. This exposure in light of the death of Christ on the cross reveals the crucifixion of self. Crucifixion of self is brought more to a believer’s attention by the Spirit of God. Crucifixion of self is an actual death to the Old Man. This crucifixion of self is experienced in the life of a believer by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible states, “The body of sin might be destroyed”. Romans 6:6
Sanctification through the Spirit reaches to the deepest need found in the heart of a believer. This need is the crucifixion of self that gets in the way of God. The ministry of the Holy Spirit leads the believer in Christ to the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying power that’s found in the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. Sanctification through the Spirit is a work that enables the Spirit of God to sever a believer away from a selfish life of I, me, and mine that exists… to the complete crucifixion (death) of the Old Man. After Sanctification through the Spirit cuts man away from all the conflicts in life God also can preserve and fortify this faithful man in Christ. This operation in the life of a believer is the “fullness” of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and comes after regeneration and after the crucifixion of self where the body of sin, the Adamic nature is destroyed. Yes, a believer can be completely rid of the Old Man. God said so!
Indwelling sin is destroyed as the indwelling Holy Spirit takes full possession of mans total being. This final work of the Holy Spirit is called, “Entire Sanctification”. It’s proven in New Testament records through the sanctifying power of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire and follows the regenerating work of the new birth. Two complete experiences through the ministry and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. Both experiences take place at separate times. Regeneration is the experience of a sinner and takes place when forgiveness of sins is received. Sanctification is the experience of the believer and takes place when the Old Man is crucified.
Unlike the new convert at regeneration where the conflicting Adamic nature still tries to rule, the entirely sanctified believer is completely delivered from the carnal nature and relieved from the bondages caused from all struggles in life… both inner* and outer*. This completed work of Sanctification allows the Holy Spirit to have full sway of the believer’s entire being and character. After the inward work of the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire is experienced, a believer’s life is renewed in the Spirit. Holiness of heart and full trust in Christ for everything in life without an inner or outer struggle is proof of this renewal.
*Inner Struggle…conflict between the new nature and the Adamic life…after the new birth
*Outer Struggle…conflict with the problems of life that man can’t control
Unfortunately for many, the fullness of the work of the Holy Spirit is missed and never experienced until late stages of the Christian life or even after death to the physical body. When the blessing of Entire sanctification is however; experienced and walked out for a long period of time on this side of heaven it offers: an unimaginable life that provides victory over sin; gives a sense of contentment the world can never offer; and provides a full assurance to an eternal inheritance that awaits every child of God in heaven. There is no struggle when God has your complete trust and dependency on Him for everything in life. There is a contentment found in this experience that can be found in no other place in life on this side of Heaven. It’s Full Salvation that offers the full blessing of deliverance. It’s not just being saved it’s being completely dependent on God without the Old man trying to dictate your life.
This writer does not have all the Biblical answers for all of our encounters in life. I know the new birth is taught in the Bible. I know the baptism with the Holy Ghost is taught in the Bible. Both operations regeneration and Sanctification have their distinct purpose. This discourse on the ministry and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit was written only to build up ones personal faith in Christ who regenerates and sanctifies. This document is intended only to encourage men to learn more about the truth of the Bible. This writing is based on an overview of all New Testament records that agrees with the Epistles of Paul, John, James, and Peter after the death of Christ. This writing contains many years of doctrinal clarification and clarifies with words the most blessed experience any man can receive from a living Christ in the Throneroom. Sanctification entire, the will of God, is one of the greatest blessing’s any believer can receive on the Christian side of life.
….As a believer grows in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ a closer walk with God is developed. A shallow knowledge of Christ can also mean a shallow walk with God. A broad knowledge of Christ will increase faith and bring responsibility to the heart of a believer…
Hubert T. Lindsey