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How does the Holy Spirit work today?

00:00 / 25:51

19 May 2024


Ezekiel 37:1-4; Acts 2:1-21; John 15:26-27; 16:4(b)-15

The Need for a Helper: Story of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor

Acts 2: Birthday of Church

Fulfilment of “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:9

Miraculous events: “A mighty rushing wind”, “divided tongues as of fire”, speaking in different languages, Peter’s sermon with 3,000 baptised (Acts:2:41).

Relevant for us today?

Yes. Because same Holy Spirit is at work today.

God is present and active within the world.

This is the Holy Spirit.

Three Things about the Holy Spirit (from our readings)

1.     The Holy Spirit brings life out of death. (Ezekiel 37)

‘…he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones…there were very many on the surface, and behold, they were very dry.’ Ez. 37:1-2.

Dry bones a picture of spiritual death.

Recognising our deadness is prerequisite to spiritual life.

Thank God if you feel weak and unable, buffeted and storm-tossed. These help you to come to him.

“I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live.” Ez. 37:14

So, we pray: “Come, Holy Spirit. Bring life out of death!”

2.     The Holy Spirit displays God’s miraculous power. (Acts 2)

Amazing miracles in Acts 2 and though NT.

Do miracles continue to happen?

Yes! All through church history. EG Gregory the Great’s Life of St Benedict, Athanasius of Alexandria’s Life of Antony, Bede’s History of the English Church and People, replete with miracles. So many other places in history of Church.


Yes! Often it seems in subtle ways.

Tom Holland example: historian, sympathetic to influence of Christianity, but sceptical of truth. Diagnosed with bowel cancer. At Christmas 2021, attended St Bartholomew the Great, stood on spot where Blessed Virgin said to have appeared, said, “Come on. Please.” Now, free of bowel cancer. Other things going right. Was it miraculous? Holland says, “Possibly.”

“Sacramental” power: holy oils, relics, especially consecrated bread and wine – transformed by a miracle, imbued with miraculous power.

So, we pray: “Come, Holy Spirit. Send your miraculous power!’

3.     The Holy Spirit helps us. (John 15-16)

Christ promises the parakletos – the helper, advocate, counsellor.

Humility needed to recognise our need of a helper. Clough example again: needed help, needed to put away pride.

Two ways the Holy Spirit helps us:

1.     Makes us holy.

Galatians 5:22-23: Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Presence of Jesus makes us more like Jesus. Not automatically, but by faithful, patient engagement.

2.     Bears witness to Christ.

John 15:26, 16:8-11: The Helper “will bear witness about me”, “When he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement.”

This has happened. Enormous success of Christian Church, as a small mustard seed sown in a garden (Mark 4:26-29).

Again, Christ promised power of Holy Spirit to make his disciples witnesses (Acts 1:8).

Have faith when faced with hardness of heart, weakness of one’s own ability. It is God who works in men’s hearts.

So, we pray: “Come, Holy Spirit, make me holy like Jesus!”

“Come, Holy Spirit, make me a witness to Christ!”


What do you bring? Recognising need for help, what will you ask Him for? Spiritual life, miraculous power, holiness, conviction? Ask. Watch for his working in and through you.


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