“The ministry of the Spirit is larger than His ministry in the Church; it is world-wide, and is always based upon the work of the Christ.”
—G. Campbell Morgan (1863–1945)
The Holy Spirit works by both sanctification and conviction; to the Church, and the obedient follower of Christ, is pointed the former, yet the Spirit is also operant through conviction, of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (see John 16:5-11).
So the ministry of the Spirit is broader than the Church. Even beyond the evangelicalisation of the world, through missionary endeavours and the preaching of the Word, the ministry of the Spirit persists and endures through all manifestation of time and space.
The Spirit has been poured out upon humankind, to the ends of all creation.
Just Two Ways the Spirit Works
There are infinite expressions of the works of the Spirit, such that humanity could not conjure them all. These things are too marvellous for us. But to marvel is to worship.
We may see the ministry of the Spirit active by our participation through mission into the world and the preaching of the Word and passive by the unknown and unknowable Divine acts through the world to limit and perplex evil. But both forms of the Spirit’s ministry are just as highly active. Indeed, it is such a human trait to go ahead of the Lord and attribute less glory to God and abundant glory to ourselves. Rather, it is the Spirit manifold through time who is engineering the very circumstances of holy revelation.
The Holy Spirit works actively whether we act or not.
The Holy Spirit acts whether we are obedient or not.
The Holy Spirit will work actively and ceaselessly in this Age until the Elect have been called home.
The Ministry of the Spirit Throughout Eternity
There is hardly a doubt that the Holy Spirit has been active within the Triune Godhead from everlasting to everlasting. This is a difficult concept for many people to grasp. But we can only grasp it by faith.
It is clear that the ministry of the Spirit was evident through Old Testament times, particularly in and through the ministry of Jesus, and continues now in all our lives, in every way, beyond even the realm of the Church.
Through all eternity the Spirit is active in calling spiritual persons to both repentance and faith. He guides believing ones from baby-belief to the fullness of maturity upon the consummation of life eternal at the transaction of death.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is active and ceaseless through all eternity. Praise and thankfulness should fill our hearts and minds that God has reconciled us to such a gift as his holy and eternal Presence.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.