Often in ministry, pastors in counseling situations end up dealing with the felt needs of individuals. But underlying those felt needs are the actual needs.
The real needs are usually related to incorrect actions that stem from aberrant thinking, i.e., an uninformed or weak conscience, biblical ignorance or poor theology.
“For as he thinks in his heart so is he,” states Proverbs 23:7. Former Western Theological Seminary Dean Dr. Earl Radmacher used to say it like this: “Right actions begin with right thinking, and right thinking begins with thinking right about God.”
To shape proper thinking, a person must be guided by God’s Word. But to manifest right actions, God’s Word must be overwhelmingly powerful and convincing in the conscience of the individual — in his or her thinking. Your conscience is no better than what you are conscientious about!
This is where habitually studying the great doctrines of the faith comes into play. When a person grasps and understands all that Scripture has to say about a particular subject, that information will often be persuasive and bolster the conscience — and will guide the person into right actions.
With that truth in view, it is essential that believers study the great Bible doctrine of the Holy Spirit. This particular doctrine especially relates to informing the conscience.
Are you familiar with him and his work? Do you know: Who is the Holy Spirit? What is his ministry? What, specifically, is his work in the believer’s heart? How do you best facilitate his work? How does a believer know if he is filled with the Spirit? Do you know what grieves the Holy Spirit and how a believer can avoid quenching him?
Christ-followers can know the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity who lives in their hearts! In fact, he desires to have an ever-increasing personal relationship! You can learn how to talk to him through prayer, consult with him and enjoy his ever-present company! He is there to help you, encourage you, guide you, empower you and even correct you!
Knowing and understanding the profound truths about the third person of the Trinity will further mature you in the faith and strengthen your conscience, ensuing thinking and subsequent actions.
Jesus underscored the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer when he said to his disciples and to believers today, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16). Whereas Jesus’ ministry with his disciples was limited by time as he would soon ascend into heaven, the Holy Spirit remains on earth indwelling every believer in order to accomplish God’s work in and through us!
That God has empowered all believers with the Holy Spirit is comforting news, which is revealed to us only through studying and applying the truth of Scripture.
He is called our helper; he is tasked not only with the ministry of helping but also, and importantly, the ministry of empowering (cf. Acts 1:8). Via his enabling, every public servant and every citizen who is a follower of Christ can do what is right in his personal and vocational life.
In this study we will learn more about who the Holy Spirit is, his presence and ministry, his enabling and empowering, and his aiding abilities in the believer’s life. Whether you are learning these tremendous truths for the first time or reviewing them today, they will recreate and shape your identity, i.e., how you see yourself in this life!
How refreshing — especially in light of the fact that so many in our country today are suffering from a massive identity crisis!
Read “Do You Grieve or Quench the Holy Spirit” as taught in our House, Senate and former White House Cabinet member Bible studies.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.