How does The Holy Spirit work on your heart?

While talking with a denominational preacher about reaching the lost he said, “Some people just aren’t interested in spiritual things, they don’t study and don’t have many conversations about spiritual things. In these cases, all we can do is let the Holy Spirit work on their heart.”

This man would say that he doesn’t accept Calvinism, but he was vocalizing the false doctrine. To remind you of what Calvinism teaches allow me to summarize…

  • Total Depravity: All mankind is born into sin, including babies.
  • Unconditional Election: God picks and chooses who will be saved or lost and it’s unchangeable.
  • Limited Atonement: That God picks only a few individuals to be saved and all else will be lost and you can’t change it. Including babies.
  • Irresistible Grace: That if you’re among those being chosen to be saved, then you cannot prevent it nor resist it.
  • Perseverance of the Saints: Once God saves you (even if against your will) then you can never lose your salvation ever, no matter how sinful a life you lead or even if you change your belief.

Now this is my summary of their belief and if you asked a Calvinist, he will spin it so it sounds better, but the result will be the same; IT’S UNSCRIPTURAL. Another thing you might find is that there are denominations that accept all or part of the above. Belief (faith) comes from hearing the written word of God [John 20:30-31; Rom 10:17].

A partial belief is what this preacher had accepted. He rejects most of Calvinism, but his statement, that the Holy Spirit will work on a person’s heart even as they have no interest in spiritual things, no reading, nor studying with others from the bible, proves it.

HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVERT?

No Bible believer questions the fact the Holy Spirit saves sinners (John 3:5), the question is HOW? We only have 2 options a) direct operation of the Spirit or b) through the influence of a medium (the Gospel, Romans 1:16).

The Scriptures teach us that the Holy Spirit’s work, in the redemption of mankind, is the work of divine revelation. God originates, Christ procures, the Spirit reveals.

Review the chart on the next page to see HOW the Holy Spirit works to save sinners. What you will find is that people are converted through the Holy Spirit revealed word of God that utilized teaching, preaching or reading of the scriptures. Yes, the Holy Spirit does work on our hearts, but He does it through our diligent study of God’s divine word.

ILLUSTRATION: When a person says, “my spouse made a nourishing dinner,” who did it? Were they nourished by the spouse or the food? If a person and an instrument perform the same task, the person is working THROUGH the instrument.Thus, the Holy Spirit saves through the influence of the written word of God [John 3:5; 1Pet 1:22-23].

The Holy Spirit converts a person when they engage in seeking the Kingdom of God, Bible reading and a diligent study of God’s word, rightly divided. [Matt 6:33; 2Tim 2:15]

The Beverage Station church

 

We’re all familiar with the ‘BEVERAGE STATION’ found at many eateries. The self-service place one pours their own drink. A beverage station is nothing more than a place to get a version of WATER.

Jesus said to the woman at the well, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” [John 4:10]

Jesus is the provider of ‘living water.’ Unfortunately, many find His water unpotable, that’s where the ‘BEVERAGE STATION’ comes into play.

For some, they need a little flavor in their water, so to the ‘BEVERAGE STATION’ they go to get tea, coffee or some lemons to ADD a little flavor to their water. Others want a version of water from a major company, these choose Coke, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper (and lines are drawn as to which is better).

Still others don’t like any of these flavored waters but despise the taste of regular water. These folks go to the ‘BEVERAGE STATION’ for the filtered water, to TAKE AWAY what they don’t like about the water.

The ‘BEVERAGE STATION’ is just a simple way to illustrate denominationalism. These divisions are nothing more than folks adding to the WORD of God or removing from the word so that the WORD is more palatable to one’s personal tastes. [cr. Deut 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18-19]

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

[1Corinthians 1:10]

If I met the Pope

If I met the Pope, what would I say? I’m no head of state, nor do I have access to a bully pulpit, so it is very unlikely that a meeting would be arranged by our people. As a man that “labors in the Gospel”, I do have some opinions about the Pope. 

So, what would I say? 

I know what I would NOT say: I wouldn’t call him my spiritual Father. [Matthew 23:9] Nor would I bid him God speed, [2Jo 1:10] for the teaching of the Catholic church has become so foreign to the doctrines found in the Bible. 

I also wouldn’t be mean, or bitter, rather, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” [Col 4:6] Whatever words I use would need to be purposeful, for defense of the Gospel, and intentional for the conversion from the errors. [Jas 5:20] 

So, what would I say? 
  • Why is the doctrine of the Catholic church so different from the word of God?
  • Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:4 “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” Clearly, we as people can understand the word of God as revealed to the Apostles by the Holy Spirit, and if any of us lack wisdom we can ask of God and He gives it to us liberally. [James 1:5]
  • Have you considered all of the verses warning against such changes to the word of God? [De 4:2; 12:32; Pr 30:6; Rev 22:18] Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” [Mat 28:18] How is it that the office of Bishop (His title being the Bishop of Rome) has been elevated above the one described in the New Testament, and that he has power to make doctrine? Even Paul told Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” [1Ti 4:16]
  • Paul also marveled that the Galatians had become removed from Christ to another Gospel. [Gal 1:6-9] The Gospel certainly includes the doctrines of Christ, for in addition to teaching all nations and baptizing them, Jesus gave this command, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” [Mt 28:19-20] 
  • He may respond with some argument that the Pope has authority to make new doctrine. He’ll likely cite Matthew 16:19 saying that Jesus has given the Pope the “keys” to the Kingdom. He’ll also note that he is infallible only if he speaks under 3 conditions, 1) ex cathedra (from the Chair of Peter) in his official capacity, 2) the doctrine must be binding on the whole Church, and 3) It must be on a matter of faith or morals. 1 
  • To this I would ask in reply, “Are you saying that you can make new doctrine, because Jesus gave you the keys? Wouldn’t that mean Christ has abdicated His role as head of the church to a man?” [Eph 1:22; Php 2:9-10; Col 1:16; Eph 1:1Co 15:27-28] Based on these and other verses, Matthew 16:19 is more accurately understood to mean that whatever Jesus has bound in Heaven will be bound on Earth and whatever is loosed in Heaven will be loosed on Earth.
  • If it’s by faith, which clearly means by hearing the revealed word of God [Rom 10:17], then you could speak nothing different than that which has already been revealed in the word of God. Therefore, there would be no need of you in the capacity which you serve and the New Testament pattern for organization, doctrines, and teachings would be sufficient. [2Timothy 3:16] 

Of course, none of this would ever occur. However, all of us as Christians do come into contact with Catholics here in Borger. Perhaps you found this fictional exchange helpful in your evangelistic efforts. We need to be ready and know how to answer every man. [1Peter 3:15; Col 4:6] 

Our goal is to shine as lights in this dark world. 

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; [Php 2:15]

 

Spencer is the evangelist for the Franklin St church of Christ, Borger Tx.

 

  1. Infallibility of the Pope; http://www.staycatholic.com/papal_infalibillity.htm.