You may want to start with the first post in the Empowered series, Do You Know Who The Holy Spirit Is?
“Lord, please be with me.”
Sometimes I catch myself praying these words. But the truth is, I know God is with me all the time. I don’t have to ask him to be with me.
My prayer reflects my longing to feel the Lord’s presence in my daily life.
Perhaps what I really mean is:
“Lord please help me believe and trust that you are always with me, even when I don’t feel you.”
Christians have the gift of the Holy Spirit!
When Jesus told his disciples that he would no longer be with them, they were afraid and filled with grief. What would they do without being able to see him and witness his miracles in person, to touch him, and listen to his words of wisdom? If I picture myself in their position, I would be sad too!
“When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.”And the disciples were filled with grief. Matthew 17:22-23 NIV
Jesus comforted the disciples with words that hold true for us today.
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7 ESV
I imagine Jesus saw every person who would one day receive him as Lord and Savior and accept the free gift of eternal life. He knew this eternal life would be available to them if they believed in what he was about to do—die on a cross and take on the sins of the world. And Jesus knew how much we would need His presence with us every day.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The Holy Spirit is a gift given by God to every believer—the very presence of God living inside of us, giving the assurance of God’s constant presence with us.
The Holy Spirit is our “Helper” and the third person of the trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
There is one God. Each person in the Trinity is fully God and equal in all their attributes. Each has differing primary functions. (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology p. 239)
During this series, we will explore the function of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The Holy Spirit helps us! But do we know how? What part do we play?
When we seek to know and understand the power available to us, we can experience the abundant lives we were meant to have.
Why does God give Christians the gift of the Holy Spirit?
1. So all believers can have Christ’s presence with them at all times.
Christ’s physical presence on earth was limited to one place at a time. But now we have the blessing of his presence with us at all times! Christ’s death on the cross made it possible for us to have a personal relationship with God. We can confess our sins directly to our Father in Heaven because Jesus delivered us from the judgment our sins deserved.
Ephesians tells us that our moment of salvation (when we confess our belief in Jesus), we are “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” and guaranteed eternal life in heaven.
2. To glorify God, magnify Jesus, and proclaim the gospel.
The Holy Spirit helps us understand who God is and how the Bible applies to our life. Our purpose on earth is to give glory to God, magnify Jesus, and proclaim the gospel. The Holy Spirit empowers us to glorify God with our lives and proclaim the good news of salvation.
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. (John 15:26)
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine, and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore, I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16: 13-15)
3. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee into heaven.
“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14
4. God knew we would need help.
Jesus told the disciples,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The Holy Spirit is our comforter. Our counselor. Our peace.
5. The Holy Spirit brings God’s blessings to His children.
God blesses his children with the Holy Spirit to help them do His work in order to spread the gospel.
What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit?
According to Wayne Grudem, author of Systematic Theology:
“The work of the Holy Spirit is to manifest the active presence of God in the world, and especially in the church.” (p.634)
Basically, that means God gave us the Holy Spirit so others could see Jesus in us—his power in our weakness, his grace that covers our sin. His joy. His peace. This gives him glory. The Holy Spirit enables us to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.
“The Holy Spirit was given to glorify Jesus in our hearts, minds, and actions; in our homes and relationships; in our service, fellowship, and worship in His church.” Transforming Presence: How the Holy Spirit Changes Everything-From the Inside Out
The Holy Spirit works in our lives in several ways. His work can be categorized into four aspects that bring evidence of God’s presence in our lives to others.
Four Key Ways the Holy Spirit works in our lives
The Holy Spirit empowers us.
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The Holy Spirit purifies us.
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13 ESV
The Holy Spirit reveals.
The Holy Spirit helps us know that we are children of God and that God abides in us and we in Him. Not only does he guide and direct us, but he helps us learn about who God is.
“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
The Holy Spirit also reveals himself through the spiritual gifts he gives each believer. 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11
The Holy Spirit unifies.
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2
When we understand the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we’ll want to “fan the flame” as Paul told Timothy.
Once we fan the flame, the work of God begins to empower us, purify us, and unify us. His presence is revealed to us when we learn to recognize his voice guiding and leading us.
In the last four years of my life, I’ve been “fanning the flame” so to speak.
As I’ve faced my fears I’ve experienced a power that I know does not come from me but from the Holy Spirit. This caused me to want to research what the Bible says about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Stay tuned for future posts this series that will explore how the Holy Spirit empowers us, purifies us, reveals, and unifies. I can’t wait to share with you how I have felt the Holy Spirit work in my life by empowering me when I have been weak.
I’m linking up with Grace & Truth.