"But the average Christian, deep down, is in a complete fog as to what work the Holy Spirit does...many Christians have really no idea what difference it would make if there were no Holy Spirit in the world. Whether in that case they, or the church, would suffer in any way they just do not know."
Is this not soberingly, head in a thick foggednessly true?
We talk a lot about God the Father and certainly about Jesus Christ, but even in the age of charismatic churches on every corner, there seems to be such a lack of understanding and genuine experience of and with the Holy Spirit of God.
"Were it not for the work of the Holy Spirit there would be no gospel, no faith, no church, no Christianity in the world at all. Without the Holy Spirit there would be no gospel and no New Testament." -Chpt. 6 pg 69
Is this true?
Remember the 11 disciples? Judas miserably failed and killed himself and the others were not a whole lot better. Quitters, seeking their own glory, turning tale at the first sign of conflict. There were proud, selfish and ignorant unlearned men. This was after 3 years with God in human flesh instructing them.
Yet, they turned the world upside down. The new birth and faith are a work of the Holy Spirit. He empowered and taught the apostles what to say and made dead men live spiritually.
What hope have we of any success with the gospel message if not for the empowering of the Holy Spirit?
There is a powerful chapter in the book Preachers and Preaching by M.L. Jones that is worth the price of the book. I would commend it highly to any person seeking to learn more about the work of the Spirit in the gospel ministry.