Ephesians 4:4-6, One Spirit – His ministries in our age.

Class Outline:

Tuesday December 1, 2020


Common grace: the entire work of the Holy Spirit on behalf of the unsaved world - restraining [2TH 2:7] and revealing the gospel [JOH 16:8].


Efficacious grace: God makes our faith an effectual calling.


JOH 16:8-11

“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”


The Holy Spirit reveals to the world the conviction of sin (they don’t believe in Christ), righteousness (God demands it), and judgment (Christ judged in their place.)


The sin of unbelief is the issue between the unsaved and God. Due to the cross of Christ, it is no longer a question of being condemned simply because of sin or being a sinner. The death of Christ is shown through revelation to satisfy all the righteous demands of God. To the unsaved, the determining factor in his destiny is whether he believes in Christ.


The second revelation concerns the righteousness of God. Christ, the only righteous Man, ascended to the Father, and so it is necessary for the HS to undertake the ministry of revealing the righteousness of God to the world. The HS reveals that we are dealing with a righteous God, and for that reason was Christ qualified to ascend to the righteous Father, being righteous Himself. Righteousness, therefore, is not a question of conforming to some earthly standard. The so-called woke, identity politics of our current culture puts the label of righteous on people which certain characteristics of birth (race) and sexual orientation. It is anti-God and anti-Christian, for the Christian maxim is that all men are born sinners and that righteousness can only result from faith in the Person and work of Christ.


The HS also reveals that righteousness will be imputed to all who believe in Christ. The details of that doctrine obviously don’t have to be deeply understood at the time of faith for salvation.


Thirdly is judgment. Satan has been judged, meeting his defeat at the cross. In Christ Jesus there is deliverance from judgment by faith in Him.


Needless to say, the depths of these truths are to be fully explored after salvation through faith in Christ as Savior.


Common grace has a much more solid foundation in the scripture, especially in JOH 16:8-11. Efficacious grace is a sound doctrine, but it comes about because man is shown in the scripture as being incapable of coming to God. Efficacious grace leads us into the question of how anyone becomes saved, and indeed, it is derived from that very problem.


“Men and women who have experienced the forgiving grace of God will always wonder why their eyes should have been opened while the eyes of others remain closed.” [F.F. Bruce, Romans]


There is one Spirit in the world and that Holy Spirit, God Himself, has taken up residence in the body of every believer. It is the greatest blessing ever given to mankind. Since the beginning of when it happened, men, both believers and unbelievers, have wondered how it comes to pass for some.


For everyone who investigates it, it leads them into the realm of sovereign predestination of God on the one hand, and the free self-determination of man on the other. They who investigate, find both doctrines clearly taught in the scripture and they eventually either offer an explanation, which must be built on human reason, or they chalk it up to inscrutability.


Starting in January of 2019, we studied election for three months and still we didn’t solve the problem.


What we know for sure is that man is saved by faith in Christ.


If you have believed upon Him, get moving in the truth and don’t get bogged down by unanswerable questions.


Explore the questions. There is much fruit in studying passages intently, even though the deeper question is not solved. Yet read and study with the humility that does not superimpose your own ideas on the scripture. Let the word of God speak to you and be patient without hastily jumping to conclusions.


Since our current path has us in Eph 4, I will forgo the deeper study of these doctrines. We will return to them, for we can’t avoid them when we study the entire realm of doctrine. Plus, in our world where the politics of identity, innocent and guilt by birth as determined by the elite, is ever increasing, we must broadcast to the world that all are born in sin and that whosoever may be saved through faith in Christ, and God has made it that every man has a moral obligation to do and not do as he ought, as God has said, for the good of himself, his family, and society.



There is also the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit to the believer in this age. And added to all of that is the Spirit’s work in the Old Testament. There is much rich scripture that reveals it all to us.


2CO 1:21-22

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.


The sealing of the Holy Spirit (EPH 1:13; 4:30; 2CO 1:22) - the Holy Spirit seals every believer as a sign of a finished transaction.


The sealing of the Spirit is not given in the form of an exhortation, nor pictured as a goal, but rather as a gracious act by the sovereignty of God upon every believer. God Himself becomes our seal, as an official signature in the ancient world, that completes a contract. The seal means that every believer in this age has entered into the New Covenant permanently. It is an unconditional covenant. No matter what we do, no matter what happens in our lives, the Holy Spirit will always be a seal upon us.


EPH 1:13-14

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation —  having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.


ROM 8:23

And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.


In context that we may more see what grieving is:


EPH 4:25-32

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.


The Holy Spirit has sealed every believer. His indwelling presence is that seal forever.


Each part of the workings of God are indispensable to the whole. No part is to be overlooked.


A distinctive feature of the dispensation of the church is that every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This will also be true of believers in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, His thousand year physical reign on earth. We are the beginning of the fulfillment of the New Covenant and the Millennium believers are the complete fulfillment of the New Covenant.


Since the Holy Spirit indwells every believer, His work in filling is made universally available to those who are dedicated and yielded to God in obedience.


There are at least fourteen passages that mention the believer being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit made the church His residence, and we see the condition of the apostles drastically changed.


The Spirit made His home in the church by indwelling every believer, making them the temple of God. He will never leave you. There is nothing anyone can do that would cause Him to leave His residence within them. By sin they will grieve Him, EPH 4:30, but they cannot lose Him. And by His instruction and power, the sin that so easily entangles us will be overcome that we may run the race set before us.


Never in this dispensation are Christians warned that the loss of the Spirit will occur as a result of sin.


To the contrary, the notable case of the Corinthian church, they are exhorted to live a godly life because they are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit is in them and they are not their own.


1CO 6:12-20

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food; but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body. 14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "The two will become one flesh." 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.