What You'll Discover in this Episode:

174: Pastor Jeff's Testimony

The Holy Spirit: Conviction and New Birth by the Spirit

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer? How does that work with each of us? In this episode, we are going to look at the Holy Spirit that gives life and sustains spiritual life in the ministry of the biblical counselor. Listen to this podcast to learn more and to hear Pastor Jeff's testimony about the Holy Spirit.

  • No distinction between the Holy Spirit coming upon the believer, being baptized and filled with the Spirit. For me, it is important to understand the Holy Spirit’s work as the Bible has set forth (in God’s order). The Holy Spirit comes upon and lives within the believer and empowers each of us to be a witness for God so that we can minister the love, mercy , grace and forgiveness of God to others (Living and empowering of the Holy Spirit).. The opposite of this is trying to live and minister in the flesh. Wrongly distinguishing between the Baptism, filling and the coming upon of the HS can lead to:
    1) a misunderstanding of the work of the Holy Spirit
    2) a hindrance of the Holy Spirit’s work and
    3) an emotional roller coaster in the life if the believer
    We cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit. We must be an open vessel for the Holy Spirit to live, move and work through us.

  • Thank you for including your testimony in this message, and boldly living in your freedom in Christ. I appreciated your reference to the fact that no one was around you, or influencing you, except the Holy Spirit at your moment of conversion. Often, I think it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that if we don’t see the impact of our words on a person’s heart in the moment, that the Holy Spirit must have failed to work. He speaks to our inner hearts, and does not rely upon any man or woman. I also often feel the tension of not knowing how to align myself in a room with reformed Calvinist’s on the one side, and charismatics on the other, but am thankful for the confidence we can have in Christ, who has called us each to Himself and purposed us each to serve Him in unique ways. Despite any differences in our backgrounds before Christ, we were all hopelessly lost and given to sin before the Holy Spirit called us out that darkness and into His marvelous light. Thanks for taking on this important topic, I look forward to seeing how God uses it to help me understand the Helper.

    • I like what you said about not knowing the impact of our words on others all the time. I am often ministering to people and praying for them and wondering if it’s helping. Sometimes they tell me but usually not. I may check in on them but I’ve found that if we are simply humble and open to being used by the Holy Spirit and we are being obedient to what He tells us that we can be assured it is making some impact but as the Word says, some plant the seed, some water, but only God can bring the increase. I’m always just excited and thankful to be a part of the process. Amazed that God would use me to bless someone else. Who are we, yet God delights in using us to further His Kingdom.

  • Just completed podcast #174- Pastor Jeff’s testimony. Thank you for sharing and the example of building a car engine. I believe if’s a great biblical example of the Holy Spirit, convicting you of your sin and then supernaturally, naturally empowering a believer daily to grow in faith, convection, discipline and all the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. He too guards our salvation & seals it until the day of redemption Eph 1:13; 4:30 so we never have to doubt our relationship with God, it’s irreversible! Sanctification is another work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. The Spirit sets Himself against the desires of the flesh and leads the believer into righteousness Gal 5:16-18. What a Good God we serve, who not only saves us but empowers us daily, filling us with all joy and peace as we trust God, causing believers to overflow with hope! Rom 15:13.

  • Thanks for sharing your testimony. We are celebrating a spiritual birthday that is very close. I too came to a true knowledge of Jesus in 92, around the end of the year. For me I was already in the military and was on temporary assignment to Saudi Arabia. Even though I had made a confession earlier in my life as a teenager, I never really understood the decision until I was made that new creation of 2 Corinthians 5:17. Funny enough I didn’t even realize this had happened during this moment. It was later on while I studied the Word that I realized this is what had happened. My salvation experience came at the same time as an encounter with the Holy Spirit so I became very surprised when people tried to tell me my experience wasn’t real even though I could back it with Scripture and the encounter bore the fruit of a deeper relationship and ongoing walk with God. As well as a deep love and understanding of the Word I had never had before. I certainly get being aware of the abuses, but they go both ways as you pointed out. If we say the Word alone is sufficient then we can’t throw away the work of the Holy Spirit because it’s uncomfortable to us. We should seek understanding in light of the Word and let Him have His perfect and complete work in us.

  • Thanks, Pastor Jeff for your testimony. I too am from Calif. And my dad was also a muscle car man who formed his own car club with his buddies back in the 50’s and 60’s.
    Briefly, my childhood was not the greatest and as a result I had a lot of anger, hatred, feelings of rejection, not feeling loved or wanted, etc. I would flip people off all the time for the way they treated me, and I cussed like a sailor as well. If it wasn’t for a girl at school who approached me at lunch time to ask me what was wrong and invite me to her church, when I was by myself seething over some person treating me badly again, I would not have heard of how much about Jesus loved me, etc. Because of her obedience to the Holy Spirit to ask me to her church, I would have been on a fast track to a horrible life I know. At that church I heard the Gospel. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin and the path I was heading down. It was HIS love that drew me to HIM. And when I finally gave in to the Holy Spirit and trusted Christ as my Savior, He immediately cleaned up my mouth and hand gestures. He put a love in my heart, and I wanted to tell everyone about it and what Jesus did for me. I couldn’t get enough of reading and studying the Bible (I hated reading because I struggle with so much and read so slow). I believe the Holy Spirit knows the uniqueness God created in us for HIS purpose and pleasure and that the Holy Spirit is continually developing that through the gifting that HE has given us. Yes, it is ongoing through our whole walk with HIM as He transforms us into our supernatural natural Savoir. From glory to glory, hallelujah!
    I am looking forward to the rest of these podcasts about the Holy Spirit.

    • So blessed to see Gods faithfulness in your life Lorna.
      And for the example that no matter what we struggle with in the past Jesus is greater.

    • I always love to hear stories of amazing transformation but I’m always convicted when I hear that someone reached out to help you because I always wonder am I passing folks by that may need help. We get busy and we’re out running but am I being sensitive enough to the Holy Spirit in those moments. Her obedience changed your life and it’s a reminder to me to never be in such a rush that I can’t take a bit of time to listen closely to where the Holy Spirit may lead.

  • Thank you for sharing your story with us. In the words of Paul, by the grace of God I am what I am. Within a short time, I was brutally convicted by God’s Spirit because of my continuous fornication. I experienced an internal conflict, a pain I can only say is that of the wrath of God and the closest I might ever get to hell – and I was 100% convinced that if I didn’t stop, I would physically die. That’s when it was made ever so clear to me that I needed to tell someone and get help. God uses His Holy Spirit in so many ways, and I thank Him for not letting me get away with my sin. Even now, He uses His Spirit to convict me where I am wrong. There really is no recovering when His Holy Spirit infects you, because He truly does give you a new transformed soul. Something I may never be able to explain fully, but His Work is evident.

  • The Holy Spirit: Conviction and New Birth by the Spirit
    Receiving the Holy Spirit at our new birth and being adopted into the family of Christ is the power-changing experience we come to as we allow the work of the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. We are born again by washing of his blood through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I especially like how you explain your passion for classic muscle cars. In a sense, this passion God has had for us once we confess our sins because the Spirit convicts us and shows us our continued need for Jesus. God knows our every in and out of all the working parts, using the spirit in correcting, replacing, and fine-tuning us to keep in top running performance for the Lord’s work through us, giving Him all glory. We are an important part of the body of Christ. When we rely on the Spirit to convict, correct and fine-tune our relationship with the Father, we grow into a loving relationship that is in harmony with our purpose and calling. I have seen this change as I reflect on my journey with Christ. I have developed a hunger to study, learn and practice in all as He keeps refining, teaching me to walk in the word and stepping out in faith to hear as the Holy Spirit prompts, leading others to Christ and being an example and walking testimony.

    • I think that is one of the evidences of a changed heart by the Holy Spirit: Wanting to learn more about God through His Word. I definitely wanted to read my Bible more and more when I finally came under the power of the Holy Spirit, and through Calvery Chapel University, they taught me so many wonderful things about God’s Word that I will always treasure.

    • Receiving the Holy Spirit is power-changing. I agree! And there are so many people, even Christians, who don’t walk in that power. (2Tim 3:5) Oh that we through the Holy Spirit would be able to help direct people to experience and live in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. That they would see His transforming power in us.

  • It’s awesome to hear your testimony and to see where the Lord has brought you from compared to the man I knew as my bible college teacher never would have guessed that was the life you lived.
    What a blessing the conviction of the Holy Spirit so faithful to shows us our sin and to grow us from that place and move on from glory to glory.

    Also I loved the thought of how Jesus was fully man and fully God. So to should we act like Him as His followers not pious and looking down our noses , or just being a fluttering out there spiritually nut. But naturally supernatural walking on this earth eating with people and being led by the spirit to encourage others around us. Just like Jesus did.

    • So true – I never would have guessed he was a rock lover, street racer since I know him to be such a faithful follower of God’s Word! I love how Christ uses His Holy Spirit to totally transform anyone’s life no matter how dark or brutal or even subtle or passive.

      I also like your comment on being naturally supernatural. I think of Paul and how, at one point reading through one of his letters, I realized “He is so heavenly minded and focused on Christ above rather than the earth around him!” God’s Spirit dwells within us, our body a temple for the living Spirit.

  • Thank you for sharing your testimony. It is a wonderful reminder to me that no one is out of reach from the Lord, and I should never count someone as a lost cause. I just spoke with two friends last night at dinner, who grew up in the Catholic Church and really want nothing to do with religion but believe in God. After speaking with them last night and hearing this podcast today I am filled with so much hope for these two women. I know I need to continue to share with them, love them and pray for them, that the Holy Spirit would soften their hearts and convict them.

    • Hi Angela I can totally relate to your post. I was raised catholic and took a 7 year break from church early in my life. I returned to faith because of people like you praying and loving me. Those people were used by Jesus to build a relationship with Him that I never had while attending a Catholic Church. Never give up hope in anyone stay in prayer and love. God bless you sister.

      • Mike, so Glad you returned to faith. We have had similar experiences with family members who have walked away from their faith in Christ. But because of prayer and loving those ones, the Holy Spirit drew them back to a deeper relationship with HIM. Glory to God!

  • Pastor Jeff, I so enjoyed your testimony. Such a beautiful transformation. Happy birthday!

    I loved the ‘supernatural is natural’. Makes great sense. Like common grace and God’s grace. Jesus walked this earth naturally, with all things common to man, but was supernatural with the Lord and the Holy Spirit with all things supernatural in the spirit.

    Sorrow turning to joy. In our sin, we don’t even know how sorrowful we are until God reveals Himself and His joy in our life. In our sinful state we are walking despair and we don’t even know the depth of that, until Jesus. Joyful is HE that brings the good news to us.

    BTW, I use to own a 69′ Chevelle. It was a beauty.

  • It’s beautiful to listen to people’s testimonies & the uniqueness of how the Holy Spirit draws us to God through Christ unto salvation. So thank you Pastor Jeff for sharing your testimony with such honesty. This series regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit is so good & vital in the ministry to counsel & disciple others. I appreciate how you explained the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He is the source of our salvation by convicting us of sin & our need for God. But, He doesn’t stop there He sustains us & convicts of righteousness. This is where we grow, bear fruit, serve, and walk out our calling. He gives us new life, sustains this new life by sanctification. And then He walks us right into Heaven where our glorification is realized. He does the stirring of our hearts. We can’t be born again & give ourself a new spirit without the Holy Spirit’s ministry. I’ve heard it said by Pastor Andy Woods that we’ve been saved (justified), are being saved (sanctified) & will be saved (glorified) all through the work of the Holy Spirit.

    I agree with you regarding the two extreme perspectives of the Holy Spirit. There is not a formula for transformation. I like to think of it as the Holy Spirit customizes the transformation process for each person. He knows how to draw us. Stir us. Convict us so we come to an acknowledgment of our sin & need for salvation. 2 Corinthians 7:10 ‘For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.’ The Holy Spirit causes our hearts to grieve & have a godly sorrow over our sin. Without that conviction upon our hearts we would remain in our unbelief. How precious is His work upon our hearts & His tender loving care towards us. Intimate relationship with God is what separates Christianity from religiosity.

    Lastly, I liked how you described the Holy Spirit’s ministry works ‘supernaturally natural’ in our lives. I believe we can all share of different times in life when we go through a trial & we know that we know the only way we walked through it & made it through was because of the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I look forward to the next teaching.

  • Thanks for sharing your testimony Pastor Jeff You have taught us that the Word of God through the Holy Spirit bringing conviction in your heart brought you salvation and changed your life forever.No preaching no altar call just the power of the Holy Spirit. Like Saul on your Damascus road God sent light from heaven to open your eyes. The Lord knew that there would be students who needed to be prepared as Biblical Counselors and he chose you Pastor Jeff. Glad that you answered the call of God.

  • I appreciated listening to your testimony today of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in your life. It was an encouragement as I can easily relate to other believers wanting to label me. I like to think of myself as one who has been justified by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, is being sanctified daily by the work of the Holy Spirit and has expectation of glorification one day by Lord God almighty.
    I spent too much of my life trying to fit in denominational boxes. I knew about God, loved Jesus and invited him as a young teen to save me. The work of the Holy Spirit to save me was something I understood, but I was missing an understanding of His daily salvation.
    My life was changed radically when I got on my knees decades ago and said God, I don’t want you to fit into my theology I want to know who you are.
    Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

  • Thank you Jeff for sharing your testimony. Our testimonies are a very powerful tool that God will use greatly when we are vulnerable in sharing them. The work of the Holy Spirit in my life has transformed me into a man after Gods own heart. He continues to do work in me to renew my heart and mind to be the man God created me to be. I am very thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit and also yearn to walk with the guidance of Him.

  • Thank you Pastor Jeff for sharing this short version of your story. I am blessed to hear the testament of older and more mature believers. It is always an encouragement for me, and gives a such hope; know what others have been through and how God and His Spirit redeemed them (you) to himself.

    I relate to the idea of being in the center between reformed and charismatic. I have seen and experienced several of the more “extreme” or “Charismatic” gifts of the spirit, but also recognize the gross misuse and over emphasizing of “gifts” that are not shown in the Word, and the people that claim them to be of the Spirit. We should be actively recognizing the Spirit, his work in and through our lives; but must make sure that they are works of the Spirit as we hold them to the light of scripture.

    • Timothy, it is so true that we need to make sure it is the Holy Spirit at work. We do not need to be afraid of what is of Him and what is not. We can earnestly seek Him in humility and trust Him to reveal what we need to know. I John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

  • Thank you for the reminder of how crucial the Holy Spirit is not only to salvation, but to sanctification. That we are dependent on him in our own lives and that we cannot affect change in the lives of others. We rely on him to do that as we minister to others. So wonderful.
    Thank you for going through John 16 8-11. So very important that we remember the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict us [me] of these things and those who the Lord allows me to work with. What a terrific promise that the Holy Spirit will always be there to convict us of our sin and need for righteousness and He becomes the model in ministry as he continues to convict me and others of sin and need for further and constant sanctification as we learn to walk by the Spirit!
    I’m really looking forward to this series – this is such a vital subject.
    Thank you so such for sharing your testimony. It’s an encouragement to me to stop fearing the negative judgement of others and rather to share the wonderful redeeming work of Jesus Christ in our lives.

  • Thank you Pastor Jeff for sharing your vulnerable and transparent testimony. I definitely enjoyed the parallel between cars and how the Holy Spirit works on us! My favorite pastors have always seemed to be those that are known as “gutter snipes.” Why? Because they have tasted and experienced the love and the presence of Holy Spirit!

    • I Agree with the parallel between cars and the Holy Spirit. Knowing all the inside parts and how they all work together just as the Holy Spirit works within us keeps us in tune, entirely relying on the Spirit in the body of Christ’s church.

    • Yes Laura the illustration of the cars surely is a good parallel for the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit becomes our engine, our power source to keep our spiritual lives blazing and being effective. Being the car mechanic as well illustrates the transforming power of what the Holy Spirit does in a life after salvation.

    • I agree, there is much power and wisdom in a gutter snipes testimony. They are able to relate to the majority of people who are in or out of relationship with Christ

  • Thank you for sharing your testimony Pastor Jeff, and Happy Spiritual Birthday to you! I am often in awe of God’s amazing grace toward us. He not only gave us His only begotten Son that we may have eternal life through faith in Him, but he continues to shower us with the abundant blessings through His Holy Spirit. I am also one taken from the guttermost to the uttermost, and am so thankful for the Holy Spirit’s convincing and convicting!

    • Dear Ilene, I resonate with your “guttermost to the uttermost” comment. It was also one of my favorite phrases Pastor Jeff used. It’s humbling that the Lord loves to search the trash pile for his treasure!

    • Thank you for being vulnerable too! I love the fact that the Lord has seen all of my past and yet He finds me righteous in His son. What Joy! And what an opportunity to share the beautiful mercy and grace of God with others who feel unworthy.

    • I join with you as well Ilene to congratulate Pastor Jeff on his 30th spiritual birthday and praying for Gods continued mercy and goodness to rest on him. As you Ilene too have a testimony of being saved to the uttermost may you also be a witness and instrument that God will use.

  • Encouraging to hear your testimony! It encourages me for my son. I was saved in 2002 and celebrating 20 years in Christ. Thank God for taking us from the guttermost to the uttermost!

  • Pastor Jeff, first I want to say thank you for sharing your testimony and bringing into it, the salvation in which you received through our Lord Jesus Christ, but with that, there was deep conviction and I too was found in the gutter, I have gone to the depths of sin. But God, But HIS Grace, Love and Mercy saved me and you! And all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I agree that the Spirit of God convicts and that’s what stores us to come to HIM, many times we are so hungry and thirsty, we sit to long dining on the the junk of the world, instead of feasting and being full of HIS Word and transforming by HIS Words and Love. Blessed to know that we as Believers have walked many walks but the one that will remain for eternity is our walk with God.

    • I agree Serena, how amazing that the Lord rescues us from ourselves and our sin. I am eternally grateful that He did that in my life. I have grieved and great deal over my past sins. But I am reminded of the verse in Luke 7:47 that those who are forgiven much – will love much. And arguably that’s what Biblical counselling allows us to do. Praise God.

  • Thanks Jeff for sharing your testimony. So often in our witness we forget that the Holy Spirit is the convicting force that brings a non-believer to his knees at the foot of the cross. In our counseling we need to pray that the Holy Spirit moves in the lives of those He puts in our path and we rely on His power in our lives as we go about His business. In my own ministry I will at times take on a burden that isn’t mine. Thanks for the reminder that the Holy Spirit brings about conviction and rebirth.

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