“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
In the Church, we talk quite a lot about God the Father and about His Son, Jesus Christ. But what about the third member of the Trinity?
The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in God’s perfect plan for our redemption. He – not it – is a living, active being, not just an abstract concept.
He is just as worthy of our praise and attention as the other two members of the godhead.
He is a critical resource in the life of every believer. So who, exactly, is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is God’s Gift to All Believers
“Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:38:
When Jesus ascended into heaven, His followers were saddened that God would no longer be walking among them in physical form. But Jesus informed that something better was coming – the Holy Spirit.
Although the disciples would no longer have Jesus beside them, they would have the Holy Spirit within them.
And in some ways, that was even more beneficial.
God’s presence was no longer limited to a single person – it now lived in the heart of every believer. There is no special ritual or requirement to receive the Holy Spirit, except for saving faith in Jesus Christ.
If you have declared Jesus as Lord over your life, you have the most powerful force in the world living inside of you.
The Holy Spirit Convicts People of Their Sin
“And when [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16:8
The Holy Spirit also plays a key role even in the lives of nonbelievers. He is responsible for convicting people of their sin, reminding them of their status before a holy God.
Even nonbelievers, on some level, have some basic idea of right and wrong.
As humans, we sometimes feel guilty for the wrongdoing that we do; but this is not exactly the same thing as conviction.
Conviction gives hope.
Conviction not only exposes sin but also reveals the cure. Every time a sinner repents, that is the Holy Spirit in action.
Only the Holy Spirit is able to show us the error of our ways and how to receive forgiveness in Christ.
The Holy Spirit Reminds Us of Jesus’ Commands
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
Jesus’ words in scripture are crucially important, and as Christians we are called not only to memorize them, but to inscribe them on our heart of hearts.
When we read the Bible, we are not reading for mere information, as from a textbook. We are reading to absorb life and truth. We are reading to know our Creator and Savior more.
Whenever Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, he fought back with scripture that he had memorized and treasured on a deep, personal level.
The Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s Word in situations such as these. He shows us how to obey God’s will and teaches us how to grow in areas of weakness.
This is one of the many reasons Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as “The Helper.”
The Holy Spirit Searches the Depths of Our Hearts
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
We can all relate to the feeling of sometimes not knowing quite how to express how we feel.
At times, we feel so overwhelmed that we can’t even put it into words.
Thankfully, the Triune God knows us better than we know ourselves. The Holy Spirit searches our hearts, identifies all the unspeakable emotions we’re feeling, and places them before the throne of God.
What a priceless gift, that God is willing to help us even before we can articulate what we need. The Holy Spirit, like God the Father, is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving.
The Holy Spirit Helps Us Become Like Christ
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
The Christian life is not just about avoiding sin. It is about becoming more like Jesus each day and bearing good fruit for His glory.
As we grow in our walk with Christ, the Holy Spirit produces in us desires and attitudes that we would never develop on our own.
Our natural tendencies are the opposite of all the qualities named in Galatians. Left to our own devices, we are angry, spiteful, bitter, malicious, lazy, greedy, and every other vice you could imagine.
It is by the redeeming power of the Holy Spirit that we can turn from these old ways and embrace the righteousness of God.
There is far more to the Holy Spirit than we are able to discuss, but hopefully learning about these essential roles can give us a new appreciation.
Here’s a quick summary of the Trinity:
- God the Father created us to be in a relationship with Him; our sin separates us from God.
- God the Son came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, giving eternal life to all who believe in Him.
- God the Holy Spirit helps us to walk in a new life with Christ and seal us for the day of redemption.
It might be hard to wrap our heads around it, but that’s the beauty of it. God’s plan is more intricate and beautiful than we could possibly imagine.