The Work Of The Holy Spirit In Conversion

Nearly everyone, regardless of their Bible knowledge, believes the Holy Spirit operates in the converting of a person from a sinner to a Christian. The controversy begins when the question arises: How does the Holy Spirit do His work of conversion? Generally, there are two ideas: direct and immediate as opposed to indirect and through a medium. Let's examine both ideas and compare them to the Scriptures.

Direct Operation: Many teach and believe that the Holy Ghost works separate and independently from the Bible, the revealed word of God. Should this be true, consider an answer for these questions: If the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost works directly on the mind of a sinner to bring about salvation, why are there no Christians where missionaries have not gone? If the Holy Spirit works directly, what is the need of preaching and teaching God's word? If the Holy Ghost works independently of the gospel, the revealed word of God, how can the gospel be the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16)? For the Holy Ghost to work directly upon a sinner and independent of the Bible, His work would make the Bible a "dead letter". Thus, this idea about the Holy Spirit's work does not harmonize with what the Scriptures teach. It must be a man made idea! Indirect Operation: Before the completed revelation of the New Testament the Holy Spirit spake through holy men. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:21). The Holy Spirit was to testify of Christ. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit also revealed all truth. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come." (John 16:13). The context of John 16 shows that Jesus is speaking to the twelve apostles and also gave them the promise of the Holy Spirit coming upon them (Acts 1:2-5). In Acts 2 we read of the fulfillment of that promise when the Holy Ghost came upon the apostles and they spake as the Spirit gave them utterance (verse 4).

The apostles spoke and wrote all truth which the Holy Spirit revealed unto them and we have it written in the New Testament. Therefore, everything the Holy Spirit does, including the work of changing a sinner to a Christian, He does it through the medium of the word. "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:17).

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