The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 5 The Holy Spirit in Relation to the Unsaved World -- By: John F. Walvoord
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The Person of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit in Relation to the Unsaved World
(Continued from the January-March Number, 1941)
[Author’s Note: In previous articles the Person of the Holy Spirit, His work in the Old Testament, and His relation to the Person and work of Christ have been considered. We begin now the study of the present work of the Spirit, in this article discussing the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to the unsaved world. The doctrine of the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation and in the spiritual life of the Christian will be treated in future articles.]
The doctrines of providence and of the sovereignty of God demand that the power of God be effective not only in the saved but also in the unsaved world. While the ministry of the Holy Spirit is ever primarily directed toward the Christian, it is evident that He is working in the world as well, bringing to pass the will of the Father and the Son. The Scriptures reveal that it is characteristic of the Holy Spirit to minister in scenes of disorder and sin. The chaos of the primeval earth as described in Genesis 1:2 was not without His presence. The wicked generation of Noah’s day was opposed in its mad course by the striving of the Spirit (Gen 6:3). The degeneracy of the period of the Judges had its Samson who was empowered by the Holy Spirit. The prophets of the period of Israel’s decadence before the captivities were living examples of the power of the Holy Spirit to minister in the midst of sin and unbelief. We are reminded in the New Testament that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). It should therefore be expected that the Holy Spirit should have a special ministry to the unsaved world in every age, particularly in the age of grace during which the Holy Spirit is resident in the world in the Church.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit in relation to the unsaved world falls into two categories which are not necessarily independent. The Holy Spirit is given the ministry
BSac 98:390 (Apr 41) p. 156
of resisting evil and restraining the world in its manifestation. To the Holy Spirit, also, is committed the task of making known the way of salvation to a race which has no natural capacity to receive it with understanding. Most of the attention of theologians during the Christian centuries has been directed to the latter ministry, that of revealing the message of salvation to the lost and providing enablement for saving faith. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in restrainin...
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