In my Christian walk, I have observed several key truths about the Holy Spirit I would like to explore as we prepare for Pentecost Sunday. I discussed the first two in my recent article, and I will look at the third and fourth today.
- The power of the indwelling Spirit enables Christians to do great things for Christ’s Kingdom.
- We experience God’s presence through the Holy Spirit as he teaches us and reminds us of Jesus’s words.
- The gifts of the Holy Spirit help us to find our purpose.
- The fruit of the Spirit makes us like Christ.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Here are the passages where the Apostle Paul provides a list of spiritual gifts for all believers: Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, and Ephesians 4:11-13. The Apostle Peter mentions them in 1 Peter 4:10-11.
To begin, let us go back to the book of Exodus, where we see a worker who yielded his talents to serve God. God selected a craftsman named Bezalel, one of the talented construction workers who he ordained to be in charge of building and furnishing his tabernacle. God tells Moses, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts” (Ex. 31:1-3).
I do not think that Bezalel suddenly developed these things overnight. To the contrary, he had already possessed these technical skills, aptitudes, and know-how because God had sovereignly developed them over the course of his entire life “for such a time as this.” The presence of the Spirit of God enabled him to do the job well, with the strength that God provided to accomplish this great work.
The spiritual gifts each Christian has were designed to be used in and out of the church, wherever we work. Paul indicated that this outworking of the Holy Spirit was “given for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). Miroslav Volf writes, “As the firstfruits of salvation, the Spirit of Christ is not only active in the Christian fellowship but also desires to make an impact on the world through the fellowship.”
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit
In contrast to the gifts, which are assigned at conversion, the fruits of the Spirit develop over time. Paul lists them in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” If we display these qualities at work to our bosses, coworkers, employees, and customers, which lines up perfectly with what Jesus taught his disciples to do, this could radically change the world we know it as well.
Let me focus on two examples from the list above that can make an impact at work: love and joy.
A good friend of mine, whom I have known for over thirty years and who is a pastor in the Seattle area, shared in his blog about Jesus’ teaching on treating others with the same kind of love that God does in Luke 6:27-36. He asks some hard questions:
What would happen in your workplace if a couple of people began treating everyone at work this way? Would that change the environment of your workplace? I think so. Treating others this way has the potential to transform your workplace relationships.
Christians who display joy will bring something positive to the workplace that the world cannot provide. When we go through a trial and have confidence in God’s ability to work out all things for good, those who do not know him may ask us where this joy comes from. At that moment, we have earned the right to explain to our co-workers the reason for the hope we have in Christ (1 Pet. 3:15).
Where do we go from here?
Writing about deep theological topics is a fun hobby for me. However, if I don’t make it practical or if the average Christian reading this doesn’t have a clue about what to do with it, I’ve failed. There are a number of ways that these reminders about the ministry of the Holy Spirit can impact how we celebrate Pentecost Sunday and what we do at work the following Monday morning.
- Thank God for his Holy Spirit.
- Ask him to help you to understand his power in your life.
- Experience his presence every day.
- Use your spiritual gift(s) inside and outside the church.
- Develop the fruit of the Spirit.
- Intentionally interface with the Holy Spirit by focusing on how we are called to relate to him; to be led by (Rom. 8:14), walk by (Gal. 5:16), and be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 4:29).
I trust that this exposition of how Pentecost impacts our ordinary work will cause you to experience the power and presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit at work so that you can give hope to a lost world.