Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The Holy Spirit has three main roles in preaching the gospel; first, the Holy Spirit empowers the disciple to be a public witness, second, He leads the disciple and third, He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8).
The Holy Spirit is not just a “force,” He is a person with the exact same divine nature of the Father and Son. As, the third person of the Trinity, He is worthy of total obedience and worship (Hebrews 3:7).
First, the Holy Spirit empowers the disciple. In today’s passage Jesus taught the Holy Spirit would empower the disciples to be living witnesses. In Acts 2:4 Luke described the experience of speaking in unlearned tongues as the evidence of receiving Jesus’ gospel preaching power. This pattern of being baptized and endowed with power from the Holy Spirit is seen all throughout the book of Acts (Acts 10:45-46 & Acts 19:1-7). Paul further described the benefits of being filled with the Holy Spirit’s power in 1 Corinthians 12-14 when he listed and described the twelve gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Second, the Holy Spirit leads the disciple. Jesus said in John 16:7 to His disciples, “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” And in John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” The preacher desperately needs the Holy Spirit in regards to the gospel because he needs the Spirit to reveal the truth of God to the lost and to guide him in all that he does.
Third, the Holy convicts the sinner. Jesus taught in John 16:8, “When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.” Therefore, the world (those who are lost in their sins), desperately need the Holy Spirit too. They need Him to prove and convict them of their sins, show them the righteousness of God in Jesus and let them know about the judgment to come.
Consequently, when preachers are empowered by the Spirit and given His truth and guidance, the Holy Spirit can use them with the Word of God to convict the lost to be born again! Charles Spurgeon said, “A sinner can no more repent and believe without the Holy Spirit’s aid than he can create [the] world.” John said in Revelation 22:17 that the Spirit and the Bride (“the Church”) work together in the great harvest, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
When you preach the gospel do you rely upon the Holy Spirit or do you only trust in your own efforts?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His power with the evidence of speaking in other tongues if you haven’t already (Acts 2:4).
- Make a conscious effort to rely upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance when you are preaching. Only say what He says.
- Pray for the lost to hear what the Spirit is saying through the church!