Five Works of the Holy Spirit
2Co 5:17 does not say that if any man is in Christ he ought to become a new creature and old things ought to pass away. It does not say that if any man is in Christ, he feels like a new creature, or acts like a new creature. It does not say that old things will eventually pass away and new things will eventually come. It says, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” These are statements of absolute, accomplished fact; they refer to positional reality. When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit instantaneously performs five irrevocable works in us:
1. Baptism: New Position
By the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we are placed in Christ, becoming a part of His body forever (1Co 12:13). This gives us a new position spiritually. Before we believed, we were dead in Adam; now we are alive in Christ. We have been identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom 6:3–4) and have been seated with Him in heaven (Eph 2:4–7; Col 3:1–4).
2. Regeneration: New Life
Regeneration is the work by which God the Holy Spirit makes us spiritually alive (Tit 3:5; Eph 2:4–6). We are born again, this time as children of God (1Pe 1:23; Joh 3:3–7; Joh 1:12; Joh 1:18). Whereas before we were physically alive but spiritually dead, now we are spiritually alive in Christ and positionally dead to the flesh (Joh 5:21; Rom 6:13). Eternal life has been imputed to us; we have been transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of light (1Jo 5:12; Col 1:13).
3. Indwelling: New Power
At the moment of salvation, we are permanently indwelt by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9–11). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit supplies us with an inherent power that can be activated through the filling of the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18). Before salvation, our only source of motivation and power was the sin nature. After salvation, not only is the power of the sin nature broken, but we are now able to draw on the omnipotence of God (Joh 7:37–39; Joh 14:17–20; Joh 17:26).
4. Gifting: New Purpose
At salvation, the Holy Spirit gives each of us a unique spiritual gift (1Co 12:7; 1Co 12:11) and a unique work to accomplish (Mat 25:15; Mar 13:34). The purpose of our spiritual gifts is to manifest the power of the Spirit of God within us by edifying the Body of Christ in some way. The work chosen by God for us is something that no one else could ever accomplish and will remain undone for eternity if we do not do it. Only in the exercise of our gifts in the work God has chosen, can we fulfill the plan of God for our lives and achieve the eternal greatness for which we were designed.
5. Sealing: New Destiny
Sealing is the work by which the Holy Spirit assures our eternal destiny (Eph 1:13–14; Eph 4:30). In ancient times, the seal signified three things: ownership, security, and safe delivery. In Rom 15:28, Paul applies all three ideas when he says he has put his seal on money collected in Asia for the saints in Jerusalem: the money would be identified, kept secure, and delivered safely to its ultimate destination. In the same way, every believer is marked as God’s private and precious possession, with God’s own guarantee of safe delivery.

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