Today, we will be essentially continuing our look at the advantage that the Holy Spirit gives us in our Christian walks by studying what He is commissioned to do for us. So, I am titling this Holy Spirit series— “The Commission of the Holy Spirit.”
In this series, we will look at the variety of things that the Lord told us that He would do for us—such as, teach us, remind us, lead & guide us into all truth, convict us, etc. It is essential that we understand specifically what the Lord told us that His Spirit was commissioned to do for us because if we feed our spirits these things, then we will have the necessary faith to receive them. Amen?
How many of you could stand to have the Holy Spirit teach you more? How many of you would like for Him to glorify Jesus a little more through your life? Well, have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us today and in the coming weeks, and I believe you will experience more of a manifestation of these things He is commissioned to do in our lives.
Now before we move forward into all of these things, it is important that we go back and review what we learned in our last series—because it “dovetails” into this new series:
Again, in John 14:16, we saw how Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—”
So, if the Holy Spirit is “another Helper,” then that must mean that there was an original Helper, right? In other words, since Jesus uses the word “another” here, then that indicates that the Holy Spirit is not the first Helper to come on the scene. So again, who was the original Helper? JESUS! Yes, Jesus was that other Helper! Therefore, Jesus was stating in John 14:16 that the Holy Spirit, who would come after His departure, would be “another Helper” like Him.
So, we saw that there are two different Greek words that could be used to translate the word “another.” One was heteros and the other was allos: The word heteros means “another of a different kind.” This is where we get our English word “heterosexual” from, which is someone who is attracted to another (human being) of a different kind (of sex). The other word is allos and means “another of the same kind.” More specifically, allos described another of the same kind that is essentially an exact representation, a duplicate, or even a twin. This is the Greek word that Jesus used when He referred to the Holy Spirit as— “another Helper!”
So, Jesus was not saying to His disciples that the Holy Spirit was just some other kind of Helper, but rather the Holy Spirit is the exact same kind of Helper that He had been to them for the past three years! In other words, the Holy Spirit is an exact duplicate of Jesus – His identical twin, if you would! Glory! So, just like when Jesus said in John 14:9 that if you have seen Me you have seen the Father, likewise, if you have seen the Jesus, you have seen the Holy Spirit! Yes, He is here to mirror the Lord Jesus Christ to us! Therefore, the Holy Spirit is to us today what Jesus was to His disciples!
But here is the point I wanted to get to: The term “Helper” again comes from the Greek word parakletos, and this word is a compound that comes from the Greek words para and kaleo. The word para is a preposition that describes “coming alongside of.” The other word, kletos, literally means “to call,” but not to call like you would call your dog or call your friend; in this instance, it denotes “calling with purpose or intent.” Therefore, kletos describes more of a “vocation, a career, or a mission.” If you recall, Paul used this word to describe how he was “called to be an apostle” (Romans 1:1). So, again, this describes God calling Him, not just to get his attention, but as Paul goes on to say in this verse, to “separate (him) to the gospel of God.” (Now this example of Paul being called to be an apostle is an important part of today’s teaching, so remember that)
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S CALLING
But in the example that we are looking at, it is not a man who is called; it is the Holy Spirit! So how does this apply to the Holy Spirit? It shows us that He has a calling, just like Paul was “called” to be an apostle, and like you and I are called by God to do certain things and fulfill certain positions in God’s kingdom.
And that is something that we do good to realize: that we all have a calling. It is not just those who stand behind the pulpit or the podium who are called; everyone who is a child of God is called to do something. I have noticed that those who know they are not called to teach, preach, sing, or play an instrument seem to feel insignificant. But that is not the case. As someone who is called into the five-fold ministry, I can guarantee you that you are important. I cannot do the things I do, if I do not have a team around me—whether that be someone helping with the media during the service, cleaning the toilets before the service, or ministering at the altars after the service. It is all important. So, just know that you fulfilling your part & portion is extremely significant in the whole grand scheme of things, and you will be rewarded for it to boot.
Also, remember that because Jesus was a beloved Son and God is pleased with Him, I am a beloved son and God is pleased with me. As we look at our lives, we need to magnify God's goodness, not our weakness. We need to focus on what Jesus has done. Magnifying Him gives us the grace to overcome every weakness. We reflect what we behold, changing from glory to glory. If you don't like what you are getting, start focusing on God's goodness in that area to start bearing fruit in that area.
So, since the Holy Spirit has a “calling” then that means that He is “commissioned” to do certain things for us. And as we have seen, the first thing He is commissioned to do is to be para us—that is, He is called to be by our side to be our ever-present Helper in our needs. But there are some very specific things that He helps us with. And that is what we are going to look at in the coming weeks.
Now since we are using this word “commissioned,” let’s define it: It has different meanings depending on the context it is used in. It means to formally choose someone to do a special piece of work. You could say that it means to be “ordered, authorized, or appointed to do something.” In other words, when one is commissioned to produce something then that means that they have been appointed to perform certain duties. And, saints, the Holy Spirit has been specifically called and commissioned to do something. And can you guess what that is? Let’s look at First Peter chapter one and find out:
In First Peter 1:10-12, after encouraging his readers to persevere through their trials & tribulations in order to receive the end of their faith—that is, the salvation of their souls—he begins to expound on this salvation that they had experienced. He says, “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.”
When the apostle Peter refers to “this salvation,” he is obviously talking about the salvation that you and I are currently experiencing right now! Yes, this is the grace that Peter said has come to us in this hour!
So, the gist of what Peter was saying here is this—that many of the prophecies that were given through the major and minor prophets were not things that Israel would see fulfilled in their dispensation. These prophets inquired of the Lord and also searched the Scriptures themselves to find out when these things concerning both the sufferings of Christ and the good things that would come as a result of His suffering might come to pass. But the Lord showed these prophets that it wasn’t going to happen in their lifetime but, rather, to a future generation were these things going to come to pass. Therefore, these things that were given through them were written for us who are now experiencing the good news they spoke of! Glory to God! And Peter said that the blessings of salvation that we are walking in today are things that even angels desire to look into.
Now this phrase— “things which angels desire to look into” —describes how a child might curiously peer over a gate to see what was on the other side. Church, even the angels of God are interested in the glorious salvation that you and I have! This is one of the reasons I believe that the cherubim are positioned in such a way on the top of the arc of the covenant—that they might peer over into the mercy seat and see the glorious covenant that has been established between Christ Jesus and God the Father! So, you could say that the Church is God’s University for angels. Hallelujah!
So, my point (and the apostle Peter’s point) is that what we have today is far better than even what they had under the Old Covenant. Yes, if any of those prophets could have switched places with any of us, they would have. We are blessed, blessed, blessed! And why? It is because, for one, we have been born again and made children of God. Oh, what manner of love has been bestowed upon us that we are called children of God. That means that we have become partakers of His divine nature. Yes, His seed remains in us! I am God’s son. Glory! Therefore, this means that we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ Jesus. Yes, we have an inheritance reserved for us in heaven! And not only are our sins covered, but they have been washed away. He doesn’t remember our sins or lawless deeds anymore! We have been saved from our sins—past, present, and future.
But guess what else we have under this New and Better Covenant? Notice again, that small and seemingly insignificant phrase at the end of verse 12: In First Peter 1:12 Peter talked about how those who preached the gospel to the recipients of his letter did it through the Holy Spirit Who was sent from heaven. Church, there is a powerful description of the Holy Spirit’s commission contained in these three words— “sent from heaven.”
The word “sent” comes from the Greek word apostello, and can more specifically be defined as “to commission, to set apart for a special service, or to send out with a mission to fulfill.” Word Meanings in the New Testament by Ralph Earle defines it as to “send on a mission, or with a commission.” This word “apostello” is akin to the Greek word translated as “apostle,” which literally means “sent one.”
Now some people do not believe that the position of an apostle is an active office in the Body of Christ today. These believe that the apostles of the New Testament were the last of the apostles and since they have passed away, all of the signs, wonders and miracles of the New Testament have passed away as well. I could not disagree with this belief system any more emphatically. I heard once that man a went to a church service where the preacher was preaching against miracles in the church today saying that they passed away with the last apostle, then this man had an open vision of a flashing, neon sign above the podium that said, “The last apostle isn’t dead yet.” No, this is just man’s attempt to explain their lack of experiencing the things they read in the Book of Acts. But the truth is, all of God’s gifts and graces are still with us today.
Now there are others who go to the other extreme—not only believing we still have the office of apostles today, but self-appointing “apostles” left and right in their churches and denominations. You will find some of these wearing tailored suits, embroidered with “Apostle such and such.” And it’s a good thing they put that on their suits because you wouldn’t be able to tell they were apostles by their fruit. Amen?
No, church, that is just man’s attempt to confer titles on one another and on themselves. The truth is—if you are an apostle, then you will do the work of an apostle and have the fruit of an apostle.
So, what is the fruit of an apostle? Let’s look at this in detail because in seeing what the office of an apostle does, we can see what the Holy Spirit is commissioned to do:
As I’ve said already, the term “apostle” literally describes “a sent one,” but more specifically, it is one sent with a message—for the word suggests one who is a messenger or a missionary. Strong’s describes this office as a “commissioner of Christ.” Now while a missionary can be an apostle, this does not mean that all missionaries are apostles. So, don’t get confused there because there is certainly more fruit that comes through the office of an apostle. We will get into some of these things momentarily.
But the fact is, one thing that an apostle does is he is sent to foreign soil with the gospel of Christ. So, how does this apply to the Holy Spirit? Well, where was He commissioned from? Heaven! So, next to the Lord Jesus, He was the original Sent One from heaven to the earth.
And why is an apostle sent to foreign soil? It is to preach the gospel to those people with signs & wonders. So, an apostle is someone who is sent to foreign soil to start, establish, and build up churches. Likewise, the Holy Spirit was sent from heaven with a similar mission to fulfill. That mission was (and still is) to start churches, establish churches, and build up churches. Now I am not talking about physical church buildings. I am talking about the true Church, the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit’s commission is to start churches—that is, to draw people to the Lord Jesus Christ and to regenerate them through the new birth (John 3:6 & Titus 3:5-6). The Holy Spirit’s commission is to establish those churches—that is, to teach and council those He has regenerated, thus making disciples out of them. He does this by teaching us, reminding us, and guiding us into all truth. And, last but not least, the Holy Spirit’s commission is to build these churches up—that is, to strengthen and edify these believers so that they will grow and reach their full potential.
And the Holy Spirit most certainly does this through power—that is, with accompanying signs, wonders and miracles which are His gifts (faith, word of knowledge, working of miracles, gifts of healings, etc.). So, the Holy Spirit is an apostle in every sense of the word!
Therefore, having the Holy Spirit is like us having our own personal & divine “apostle.” What do I mean? I mean that He is the One who got us started in our Christian walk by coming to this earth from heaven and drawing us to our Lord and Savior. Not only that, but He is the One who keeps us progressing on the path of life by teaching, encouraging, and strengthening us. He is our Rabbi—our own personal, internal apostle. I believe this is the best summary of His commission.
Some believe that it would have been so wonderful to walk with Jesus and be one of His disciples. Others would certainly settle to be the apostle Paul’s son in the faith, having him instruct them. But, church, I am here to tell you that what we have available to us is far better than having another physical person with us, even as great as the apostle Paul, Peter, John, or even Jesus. The Holy Spirit is our apostle, and He will do the work of an apostle in us and through us if we will let Him. He was sent here for you. Let Him be your apostle today!