The Holy Spirit and You
An American was showing an English gentleman the Niagara Falls one day. The American said to his English friend, “Come over here and I’ll show you the greatest unused power in the world!” Taking him to the foot of the Niagara Falls he said, “There it is: the greatest unused power in the world.” The Englishman watched in awe the mighty, thunderous falls for a moment, and then replied, “No my brother, not so! The greatest unused power in the world is the Holy Spirit of the living God.”
Christians argue till the cows come home about what exactly are the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which if any of them are not for today and which if any are still operable, and many other ancillary issues about spiritual gifts. What we can all agree with is that the Holy Spirit is important in believers’ lives.
What exactly does the Holy Spirit DO? Jesus promised that when He ascended to heaven, He would send another Comforter. But why? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers and even non-believers? What are His activities that affect our lives personally? Well, here are some the Bible tells us about…
• The Holy Spirit keeps us eternally saved.
In Ephesians 1:13 Paul tells us that believers are “sealed” by the Holy Spirit. This refers to the use of a ring or signet to make a seal with an impression into soft clay. When applied to the clay and attached to a contract and then hardened, it signified that the parties to the contract would fulfill the terms of the contract. Paul was teaching that when you put your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, that transaction “closes the deal” between you and God and you enter into a permanent partnership with God that cannot be dissolved. In other words, the deal is “DONE!” The matter of your eternal salvation is finished—settled—impossible to undo or reverse.
• The Holy Spirit teaches and guides us into truth. – John 16:13
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that God’s Word is “spiritually discerned,” meaning it cannot be understood without the illumination of the Holy Spirit. In John 16:13 Jesus promised that when the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) came, He would guide us into all truth. When we come to faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit, the author of the Bible, comes to indwell us and the Bible comes alive for us! We begin to understand more and more of what we read as the Spirit teaches us and guides our understanding.
The great preacher Charles Spurgeon made a wonderful analogy about the Holy Spirit’s role in leading us into God’s truth. He said,
Truth may be compared to a cave or grotto, with wondrous stalactites reaching from the roof, and others reaching from the floor, a cavern glittering with spar and abounding in marvels. Before entering the cavern, you enquire for a guide, who comes with his lighted torch. He conducts you down to a considerable depth, and you find yourself in the midst of the cave. He leads you through different chambers. Here he points you to a little stream rushing from amid the rocks and indicates its rise and progress. There he points to some peculiar rock and tells you its name, then takes you into a large natural hall, tells you how many persons once feasted in it, and so on.
Truth is a grand series of caverns, it is our glory to have so great and wise a conductor as the Holy Spirit. Imagine that we are coming to the darkness of it. He is a light shining in the midst of us to guide us. And by the light he shows us wonderful things. He teaches us by suggestion, direction, and illumination.
• The Holy Spirit comforts us in times of trouble.
Jesus was the Comforter for the disciples while He was on this earth. He certainly taught them, challenged them, and rebuked them. But He was also there to comfort and encourage them. But in John 14, Jesus reveals to them that He is going to leave them shortly. But He would send them another Comforter, He said in verses 16-17.
One of the most wonderful ministries of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers is His comforting ministry in our lives! How many times have you been distraught, and the Holy Spirit comforted your troubled soul? How often in the midst of fear and confusion has the Spirit calmed your fears? If you have experienced the Lord’s encouraging, comforting presence, you understand why Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as our “Comforter.”
• The Holy Spirit develops godly character in us.
Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruit of the Spirit. Fruit is the result of being attached to the root. It’s what grows out of a living process. When you come to faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into your life and He begins a process that theologians call “progressive sanctification.” This is just a fancy name for this ministry of the Holy Spirit—to work in your life to produce godly character in you. Each day, unless you allow sin to frustrate this process, the Holy Spirit is seeking to make you progressively more like His Son, who modeled the fruit of the Spirit in His life to perfection. As you submit to the Holy Spirit and as He transforms you and makes you more like Christ, you begin to show in your life the fruit of the Spirit too—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?
The human body is a most remarkable machine. It can maintain a constant temperature of about 98.6 degrees no matter what the weather is outside. Whether a person is at the Arctic Circle or the equator, his body temperature is about the same. There is an inner mechanism that makes the difference.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit dwells within you as a Christian to achieve this kind of stabilization in terms of spiritual health. Whether you face good times or bad, whether you are spiritually strong or undergoing temptation, the Holy Spirit keeps you stable within. How? By His various activities in your life…
• By keeping you eternally saved. Be sure to thank Him for that blessed fact today!
• By teaching you and guiding you into His truth. But remember—the Holy Spirit teaches us through God’s Word. So are you reading and applying God’s Word...so He can teach and guide you?
• The Holy Spirit is developing godly character—the character of Christ—in your life. But is it possible that you have let sin choke out the Holy Spirit’s power to change you? Do you need to confess and forsake that sin?
• Finally, the Holy Spirit comforts you in times of suffering, struggle, and trial. At no time is it more difficult to see the Lord than in the midst of trouble. Yet it is then, more than any other time in your life, that God wants to comfort you in His arms of love.
Praise God for the blessed Holy Spirit! Believer, let Him have full sway in your life, obey His voice, keep sin out of your life.