The Work of the Spirit, “What the Bible Teaches”

This the 26th installment of 52 reviewing RA Torrey’s 1898 publication What The Bible Teaches. See all of Lex’s posts here. A PDF copy of the book can be downloaded here. You are welcome and encouraged to join the discussion in your comments to these posts.


Next Torrey examines the role of the Holy Spirit in working in the world, in man, and specifically in the believer. This important stuff, for the new believer as well as for the experienced – especially as Torey gets into the meat of the power of the Spirit in the Christian.

God made all creation (Gen. 1:1), but all three Persons were used. By the Word the world was made. (John 1:1-3) But the Spirit of God moved over its surfaced in a creative process. (Gen. 1:2 ff.) The Spirit seems to be the effective energizing force of the Godhead in creation as well as in working within and through mankind.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit that convicts man of sin. It is by His power that men are awakened and their eyes are opened to the truth of the Gospel.

Then He works in the believer. He opens our eyes to understand His Word in the Scriptures. Whereas before the words and verses were pretty much just kind of fairy-tale-like, but now they are alive and active!

It by the power of the Spirit that we as believers are able to resist the Tempter, certainly not by our power, which is why we fail so often. It is by the life-giving power of the Spirit that we are energized to love God and Christ and the Spirit, to love the reading and studying of His word, and to enjoy the fellowship of the saints. It is by the power of the Spirit that we are able to focus on the things of the Spirit, and resist the delightful distractions of this world that tear the fabric of our sanctification, causing us to lose confidence in His grace and His glory. Without our active dependance on the power of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives we can’t help but let those distractions push aside more and more our sense of His presence, we ignore just a little more the still, small voice of our Lord in our ear telling us how much He loves us, telling us just how really big He is, and just how really small and unimportant so much of this world is, and if we would only let Him He’d show us a little more of His glory than we are currently letting Him.

These are some of the ways the Spirit works in the Believer, and Torrey discusses even more, which is why this particular chapter is so important.

The Spirit guides us, He helps us pray, He protects us. He never leaves our side. And then comes that day when we are favored with that face to face meeting with our Father and our cry “Abba, Father” takes on an even more heart-felt touch.

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