The church would not, and could not, exist without the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is interesting that the ministry of Jesus was inaugurated by the anointing of the Spirit at his baptism, and the church was inaugurated by a collective anointing of the Spirit of God. The church was birthed at Pentecost. It was established when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, as Jesus promised. As they preached over three thousand people came to faith in Christ on that day. That was the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s work as the replacement or representative of Christ on earth. He ushered in the Age of the Spirit in which we still live today.
The Spirit of God was sent to empower the church, to be the life of the church; therefore, the church that ignores the Holy Spirit brings about its own spiritual downfall. No church can dishonor or grieve the Holy Spirit, either through ignorance or intentionally, and expect blessing upon its ministry. Its message to the world will be weak and insipid. The message of regeneration and reconciliation to God would be missing because it is only revealed and applied to man by the Holy Spirit. This kind of church is powerless and restricted to operate in the flesh. It is left with nothing but a charade of going through cold, lifeless motions—an empty liturgy. What a sad scenario! The church can never operate effectively without the working of God’s Spirit.
The Spirit upholds, strengthens, and supports the church in its spiritual function. Without him we, as the church, are fruitlessly banging our heads on a wall!