There has not only been an objective, public act of divine self-disclosure in the crucifixion of God’s own Son, but there must be a private work of God by His Spirit, in the mind and heart of the individual. If we should express unqualified gratitude to God for the gift of His Son, we should express no less gratitude for the gift of the Spirit who enables us to grasp the gospel of His Son…Unless the Spirit enlightens us, God’s thoughts will remain deeply alien to us.
In our evangelism we must be partners with the Holy Spirit, presenting the Gospel but relying on the Holy Spirit of God to do the true convicting and convincing and converting.
The Spirit never makes men the instruments of converting others until they feel that they cannot do it themselves; that their skill in argument, in persuasion, in management, avails nothing.
A Roman seal conveyed authenticity, security, ownership, and authority. And the Spirit of God represents those same realities in the lives of His children. Those who have received the Holy Spirit can rest assured that they are truly saved (authenticity) and that their salvation can never be lost or stolen from them (security). Moreover, the Spirit’s presence in their lives demonstrates that God is their Lord and Master (ownership). As they are led by the Spirit, they will manifest a life of submissive obedience to Christ (authority). All this is part of the Spirit’s sealing work.
What the Holy Spirit does in the new birth is not to make a man a Christian regardless of the evidence, but on the contrary to clear away the mists from his eyes and enable him to attend to the evidence.
There is not a better evangelist in the world than the Holy Spirit
I shall not attempt to teach a tiger the virtues of vegetarianism; but I shall as hopefully attempt that task as I would try to convince an unregenerate man of the truths revealed by God concerning sin, and righteousness and judgment to come. These spiritual truths are repugnant to carnal men, and the carnal mind cannot receive the things of God. Gospel truth is diametrically opposed to fallen nature; and if I have not a power much stronger than that which lies in moral suasion (persuasion), or in my own explanations and arguments, I have undertaken a task in which I am sure of defeat… Except the Lord endow us with power from on high, our labour must be in vain, and our hopes must end in disappointment.
You might as well expect to raise the dead by whispering in their ears, as hope to save souls by preaching to them, if it were not for the agency of the Spirit.
If God should please, the Holy Spirit could at this moment make every one of you fall on your knees, confess your sins, and turn to God. He is an Almighty Spirit, able to do wonders.
A sinner can no more repent and believe without the Holy Spirit’s aid than he can create a world.
We are so dead, so blind, so perverse, that neither can we feel when we are pricked, see the light when it shines, nor assent to the will of God when it is revealed, except the Spirit of the Lord Jesus quicken that which is dead, remove the darkness from our minds, and bow our stubborn wills to the obedience of the blessed gospel.