Why Is It So Hard to Discern the Work of the Holy Spirit in My Life?

The Pervasive Work of the Spirit

The Spirit’s work in the life of a believer is pervasive. I call it prevenient. It goes before; it’s always there. The Spirit is always already at work in the life of any believer. What’s tricky about the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is that he is often anonymously at work.

So think about conversion. When you become a Christian, it’s because you come to know something about Jesus Christ and confess that about him. And your attention and your faith are focused on Jesus Christ, the Son. If you start to think more broadly, you’ll start to think, Well, because the Son was sent by the Father, in Christ I have God the Father as my father.

Fred Sanders

In this addition to the Short Studies in Systematic Theology series, Fred Sanders teaches readers how to hold a proper understanding of both the person and power of the Holy Spirit, exploring his role in both the Old and New Testaments. 

And then the third thought you’ll have is that you may begin to recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think that’s a mistake. I think that’s actually the design of biblical faith—to focus on Jesus Christ. And then as you grow in your awareness, you don’t meet the Holy Spirit for the first time as if he was not at work. You come to an awareness of him eventually in which you realize he was always already there. So I think this is what explains the kind of slippery or tricky nature of awareness of the Holy Spirit.

And it explains why Christians often feel like they’re always playing catch up on understanding what’s going on with the Holy Spirit in their life. It’s because of that two-step nature of faith. You come to awareness and confession and belief in Christ and then gradually become aware that if you are successfully believing in Jesus, it’s because the Spirit is at work within you and has been all along.

Fred Sanders is the author of The Holy Spirit: An Introduction.

Related Articles

Related Resources

Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for
the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing
gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. Learn more or donate today at

Source link

Next Post

Recent News