These weekly posts show the Triad teachings. Starting at week 1 and progressing through the weeks will help you see the logic of the series.
Grace and Works
Many Protestants teach that since we receive the indwelling Spirit at conversion then there is nothing further that we need to do in order to gain the Holy Spirit.
Note below, in Paul’s prayers, that he is praying for Christians. These people had already been converted and had thus already received the indwelling Spirit:
Ephesians 1:15-21. 15 “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
Would you like a Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God? Then you must seek it.
Ephesians 3:14-19. 14 “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
It would help your journey of purification and illumination if you were strengthened with power in your inner man.
Colossians 1:9-12. 9 “For this reason also, since the day we heard of your conversion, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”
How does that sound? Filled with the knowledge of His will? Able to walk worthy of the Lord? Pleasing Him in all things? Bearing fruit for Him?
If you want these things you must seek them. Yes, they are contained in the finished work of Christ, and they are inherent in your new birth. But you must seek them in order to release them within you.
Many Evangelicals quote Hebrews 11:6 in order to teach that it is by faith and not by works that we are saved: 6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is,”
But they only quote the first half of the verse. Here is the second half: “and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Your initial conversion is by faith alone. But your progress in the kingdom involves you working. One of the most important places to apply effort is in seeking God, and persistently asking to be filled with His Spirit within you.
Next week we begin a transition from these considerations of basic doctrine to the deeper aspects of sanctification.