How has your study of the work of the Holy Spirit influenced your ministry? Dr. Sinclair Ferguson explains how his study has affected his own life and ministry.
I guess I’ve spent quite a lot of time studying the work of the Holy Spirit for a variety of reasons. One is because Christians should do that. In my own academic research, I’ve worked on theologians who have had an interest in the Holy Spirit. I’ve written on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And I think what that has led me to, at the end of the day, is actually a picture that is enshrined by Jesus in the second half of John 14 where He speaks about the Holy Spirit coming, in a sense, to continue His ministry. To be another Advocate but to do this by indwelling us. And to me, one of the wonderful things to know about the Holy Spirit in terms of gospel ministry is that He has promised to use His Word. You know, no matter how poor our preaching may be, He has promised to use His Word. And the other thing that has helped me in the life of the church is the understanding that there is only one Holy Spirit. There are not two Holy Spirits—the Holy Spirit that was on Jesus and the Holy Spirit that indwells me. The Holy Spirit who indwells me is actually the Holy Spirit who lived and accompanied the Lord Jesus through His ministry. And there are not ten thousand Holy Spirits, you know, one for every group of Christians everywhere. There is only one Holy Spirit. Which has helped me in the fellowship of the church to think about other Christians. This is someone in whom the same Spirit who was pleased to dwell in our Lord Jesus is pleased to dwell. And I think when you begin to grasp that, it really transforms your view of other Christians. It helps you to admire what the Spirit is doing in them and is really a great solvent of some of the differences and difficulties we have with each other when we focus on the great glory we have in common: that the Holy Spirit is pleased to dwell in each of us and in all of us.
Editor’s Note: This post was first published on August 19, 2019.