How the Holy Spirit Bolsters Healthy Christian Relationships.

A lack of healthy Christian relationships grieves the Holy Spirit. When He is grieved, He won't do much with us to reach lost people. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 tells us 4 specific ways the Holy Spirit bolsters our activity inside and outside of the local church.

We continue our outline from last week with Paul's affirmation.


The Holy Spirit places us into Christ and then compels us to be conformed to Christ-likeness. The Greek word "establish" means to compel to believe and was often used in the commercial and business world. It describes the persuasion of a confident salesman.

This is a daily work that the Spirit keeps up for our entire lives (Philippians 1:6, 2 Thessalonians 5:23). This work is permanent and progressive, dependable and reliable.

This truth needs to be at the forefront of our minds when in conflict with another believer. The only terminal reality for a believer is the reality that they are "in Christ."

"By penetrating such superficial realities to the very heart of the matter, namely, the believer's dynamic status in Christ, [Paul] makes it plain that his concern is not simply with the opinion which others may hold of him personally. He does not lay claim to integrity as a personal achievement. All is attributed to the redeeming and recreative activity of the Holy Trinity." – Philip Hue


The next 3 works are ones that the Holy Spirit does one time at salvation. To anoint means to commission, to set apart for service.

"To all whom He chooses and commissions to be his witnesses and servants, God grants the unction of the Spirit." – Philip Hue

The Christian's commission is to proclaim Christ and His Gospel. See Acts 1:8, James 3, 2 Timothy 4:1-2, Romans 12:1-2, and 1 Peter 2:9. While there is only one Mediator, Christians serve as "little Christs" or "little Messiahs."


An ancient seal showed a document's authorship and authority. It protected a message's contents for the intended audience. The Holy Spirit is our safekeeping. He keeps us secure for eternity (Ephesians 4:30). We become a letter showing Christ to those around us (2 Corinthians 3:3). This brings confidence in Christian relationships.

"The sealing itself, however, is neither metaphorical nor external, as the sealing with the Holy Spirit of God is a stamping of the divine character on the human personality, a fresh and indestructible communication to the believer of the image of God, which was defaced through the Fall. He who carries the impress of the Spirit of truth is not faithless and insincere." – Philip Hue

Maintaining healthy relationships sometimes requires conversations for both sides to grow. Remember all these works of the Spirit are realities in the other person's life when you are having those conversations! We can have a confident expectation of growth for every believer.


The Holy Spirit is our earnest of all eternal riches. This deposit has been paid for by Christ.

We can all assume these things together in the body of Christ. God promises to keep growing us in these ways. If you avoid hard conversations, God will compel you to grow anyway!

Application Points

  • Have you made anyone an excuse for a lack of faithfulness or commitment to your local church body? If you are being kept from worshipping or serving with joy because of conflict with a brother or sister in Christ, your spiritual growth has been halted. Satan has taken your eyes off of Christ and put them on humans and their frailty. How can you address this? Assume the best: remember that the Spirit is growing them to be more like Christ too. Ask to have a conversation about the offense you have perceived.
  • Don't avoid hard conversations when relational conflict is restricting your spiritual growth. We all have blind spots and need each other's help to grow together. The Holy Spirit will help all parties grow through the process. That should be an exciting prospect!
  • When you have conflict with another person, learn from Jesus how to forgive lavishly.
  • Parents, don't restrict the Spirit's work in your child's life. Help them have conversations to resolve conflict appropriately, with a spiritual mindset, when they are offended.
  • Ask yourself: is there proof that God has done transformative work in my heart and continues to grow me? Praise God for His work in your life and others'!

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Luke 4:18, Acts 26:17, Psalm 105:15 – Anointing of Christ, Paul, and believers.
  • Revelation 1:6, Romans 6:12-14 – Believers are presently kings over sin.
  • Revelation 20:6, 2 Timothy 2:12 – Believers' future rulership.
  • 2 Timothy 2:19, Ephesians 1:13 – The Spirit's sealing.
  • Ephesians 1:14, Romans 8:23, 2 Corinthians 5:1-5, 2 Peter 1:4-11 – The Holy Spirit's guarantee.