“The activity of the Spirit … is the activity which brings salvation! We may say that because of the far brighter glory now the glory that was so bright in the past is gone”.
2 Cor 3:8, 9, 10 GNB
Many Christian believers who have witnessed the charismatic renewal, have been aware of the power of the Holy Spirit bestowing his various gifts on themselves and other believers. As a result of this emphasis on gifts the impression sometimes created was that bestowing exceptional and dramatic gifts was the Holy Spirit’s main role – or even his only role. The Bible paints a much broader picture and Paul gives deeper insights into the work of the Spirit than the “gifts” story.
Here in 2 Corinthians he says, “the activity of the Spirit … brings salvation”. When the apostles arrived in a city and preached the Good News of Jesus some of the people believed in Jesus and experienced salvation in his name. They were mostly people who were either born and brought up Jewish or who had been converted to Judaism from whatever pagan faith they had previously practiced. This latter group were fertile ground for the preaching of the gospel. What Paul calls “the activity of the Spirit” refers to the spiritual experience these people had when they were converted to Jesus. This conversion showed the glory of God and Jesus in coming into these peoples’ lives. It was a “brighter glory” than the glory on the mountain when Moses received the Ten Commandments – the heart of the Old Testament covenant.
Don’t look for “weird and wonderful” signs of the Holy Spirit’s presence in your church. Look for people coming to know Jesus and then for them growing in grace and maturity.
Lord, increase the work of the Holy Spirit in our congregation.