The transforming work of the Holy Spirit impacts individuals by taking them from a life of sinful selfishness to a life where they are surrendered to Christ and led by the Holy Spirit. Martin Luther was striving to be right with God. He entered a monastery and became a monk. He underwent rigorous disciplines to live a holy life. He kept a whip over his bedroom door for flogging himself every time he sinned. Yet he kept sinning. He later said that if you had knocked at the door of his heart and it opened to you, there you would have found Martin Luther seated with his garment of hair, shaved crown of his head, and whip over his door. But after his conversion to Christ if you had knocked at the door of his heart and entered you would find none but Christ enthroned! How has Jesus Christ transformed your life?
The Holy Spirit transforms families. He elevates mothers and fathers to the sacred charge of caring for, leading, protecting, teaching and training their children so that they willingly volunteer themselves to be servants of Christ and His Church.
There is tale told of an English country church in the 1800s that had grown cold. The author calls it, “The Wesley Church”. Sin had pervaded the small congregation in two of its most insidious forms: worldliness, and self-righteousness. It’s new minister was a 25 year old man wise beyond his years. He began to teach on Second Corinthians 4:1-7. As he taught about the light of God, he showed that this light exposed worldliness, but he also noted that this light was displayed in “earthen vessels”. Those who had the light of God’s salvation, were not the light, they were simply the lantern (earthen vessel) of that light. The effect of this ministry was that those trapped in worldliness (drunkenness, fornication in particular) made a public confession to the church and repented. Those in the death-grip of self-righteousness were empowered to confess publicly their hypocrisy and repent while asking the church for forgiveness. The tale goes on to tell that the entire village was deeply impacted. No longer did they sense that the congregation of Wesley Church were looking down at them. One of the repentants said that he previously scorned the village atheist, but he now looked at him with compassion and understanding. It wasn’t too long before that atheist was in the Wesley Church Sunday by Sunday worshiping the God he had vainly protested against.