“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 is real. The Holy Spirit is God. When I think of God the Father I get a picture of a loving father in my mind. I have a father so the concept of a heavenly Father is one that I can see and understand. When I think of God the Son, I imagine a loving son. Since many of us have been a son and now have a son, it’s pretty easy to grasp the concept of God the Son. My mind draws off of my experience to formulate my perception of God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is a little harder to understand, but that doesn’t change the importance of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians today and in Biblical times.
To make a point let’s do a quick look at the disciples. Jesus had some interesting if not challenging disciples. Look at a few of their not so great moments: John wanted to destroy a whole village for not welcoming them; Judas embezzled money and sold out Jesus; Peter denied that he even knew Jesus, hours after saying he would die for Him: They fought with each other over who was greatest; they often did not understand Jesus’ teachings.
They were not the smartest, talented, or most capable people to be sure. However, and this is a major however, In a matter of months, even weeks, after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, the disciples become on-fire, bold ambassadors and evangelists for Jesus. Listen to their resume post-Jesus: Peter preached and thousands believed in Jesus; Peter and John stood up to the most powerful Jewish council, the same one that condemned Jesus; they took the gospel to most of their known world. How did this group of ordinary, flawed, normal guys literally change the course of history?
The answer to that question can be found in one line in the Apostles Creed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” It was the Holy Spirit that transformed the disciples. The power of the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples of Christ to turn the world upside down with the powerful preaching of the gospel. They could not have accomplished this in their own power. Jesus promised that the Spirit would come, live within them, and empower them in a miraculous way. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). The day of Pentecost was the beginning of the indwelling power of the Spirit living within those He saves. “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” (John 14:17)
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, believers are saved and sanctified. The Holy Spirit reveals God’s thoughts, teaches, and guides believers into all truth, including knowledge of what is to come. The Holy Spirit also helps Christians in their weakness and intercedes for them.
- As the Spirit works to refine us, the Spirit reminds us of our new identity as God’s children. How does the Spirit’s voice impact my relationship with God?
- The presence of the Spirit can make you see things in a new light. What is the Spirit calling you to re-evaluate or remove from your life?