Jesus spoke about the promise of the Holy Spirit, the Helper (John 7: 37-39; 14:16-18; Luke 24:49) He would ask His Father to send in His Name (John 15:26, 27). Jesus said that if He doesn’t go away the Helper would not come (John 16:7).
It is important to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit who is the third person of the Trinity or Godhead, the Spirit of God. The Godhead was present, responsible for and each one was individually ascribed the events of creation and the resurrection of Jesus – God the Father (Genesis 1:1; Acts 2:31, 32; Romans 6:4; Galatians 1:1), God the Son (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1: 15-17; John 2:18, 19; 10:18), and God the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2; Romans 8:11; 1 Peter 3:18).
The Triune God is the one true God revealed in three persons with individual characteristics, responsibilities and operations; yet they are equal and work in total unity and harmony (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16, 17; 1 John 5:7). The three are one! There is no jealousy, division or competition between them. There is unity.
A way to help visualize this is to think of a man who is a husband, a father and a teacher; one man but three persons in one; or like water which can be solid, liquid or vapor. All plans come from the Father (He initiates), through Jesus (He proclaims because He is the Word and reveals the Father; John 1:14; 14:10, 11) and are carried out by the Holy Spirit and His power.
A person has a soul which is made up of a mind, will and emotions all of which we can see God has throughout the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit who is God, is a person and He has the mind of God, knows the will of God, knows what God is feeling and He displays emotions; He has an intellect and He speaks (1 Corinthians 2:10, 11; 12:11; Romans 8:26, 27; 15:30; John 14:26; 16:12-15; Acts 13:2, 4; 20:28; Galatians 4:6; Revelation 2:7; Hebrews 3:7; Ephesians 4:30).
The Holy Spirit possesses all the attributes that God has i.e. omnipresent; omniscient; omnipotent; eternal. Holy Spirit has many different names: the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Glory, etc. (Isaiah 11:2; 1 Corinthians 2:11; Romans 8:9; John 16:13; 1 Peter 4:14; Revelation 1:4; 4:5; 5:6).
When we ask Jesus to come into our hearts to be our Lord and Savior, it is the Holy Spirit that comes to make His home in us when we are born again and causes our spirit to be re-born with the Spirit of God (John 3:3-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 3:3; Jeremiah 31:33; Titus 3:5). He fills us or dwells within us with His presence and power at salvation and dwells with us forever (John 14:16; Ephesians 1:13, 14). The world can’t receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:17). Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit when He said that whoever drinks of the water that He would give would never thirst again because the water that He gives will become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4: 13, 14)!
After Jesus died and was raised from the dead, He breathed on His disciples and said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:21, 22) thus fulfilling the promise He spoke about in John 14:16, 17. That is when His disciples were born again by the Spirit of God. We see the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at salvation in other scriptures as well (John 14:16, 17; Acts 2:38, 39; Romans 8:9, 11, 15, 16). We see in 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19 that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God no longer dwells in buildings but He makes His tabernacle in us as individuals which make up His body, the church.
The Holy Spirit who now dwells inside the believer helps us to grow from the inside out. This process is called sanctification (which means to set apart or declare holy; to consecrate). We are to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in this process. Once we are born again, we have the ability to hear His voice as He speaks to our spirit because we are His sheep and follow Him and will not follow another (John 10:4, 5, 27). Jesus tells us to ask and it will be given to us, seek and we shall find and knock and it will be opened (Matthew 7:7, 8). The Holy Spirit is just waiting for us to come to Him so He can reveal things to us (Jeremiah 29:13)! Sometimes He speaks through the written Word and other times by the inward witness.
God’s written Word and the inward witness are two different things; however, they never contradict each other. Romans 8:16 says; the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit. This means that God’s directions come from inside of us not from the outside of us. The Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit and our spirit translates it into a thought. A thought might come to your mind and you may even wonder: was that me, Lord, or was that you? The inward witness is that quiet knowing, urging, or prompting and leading arising within you as your spirit is being influenced by the Spirit of God (which occurs after you are born again).
When we spend time in His Word, in prayer and worship with Him every day we grow in learning to hear His voice. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13) and we should heed His promptings by following after peace which is where He leads us into (John 14:26, 27). He will let us know if someone is operating from a wrong spirit or their preaching or teaching is in error to the truth.
The Holy Spirit’s job is to transform or conform us into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Titus 3:5). We cooperate with Him by renewing our mind with the Word of God (Romans 12:2) which brings about spiritual transformation and manifests in outward actions and by following His leading by walking and living in the Spirit instead of giving place to our fleshly desires (Romans 8:1-11; Galatians 5:16-25). Only our spirit was re-born so we must bring our soul (mind, will and emotions) and our flesh (bodies) under the control of the Holy Spirit who lives and dwells in us (Romans 12:1; Ephesians 4:22-24).
The role of the Holy Spirit inside us reproduces the life of Jesus in us through nine fruit (His Divine Nature) of our re-created born again spirit i.e. love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23). They are present at salvation but need to be developed through our cooperation with Him. Another purpose of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us is to bear good fruit. The key to bearing fruit is to stay connected or tapped into Jesus and obeying what He says (John 15:5). We don’t have to strive to bear fruit. Bearing fruit is the result of abiding in Jesus and His Words abiding in us! The secret to abundant life is fruit bearing or being others oriented (Genesis 49:22).
He is our Helper and our power source. We have His power, resurrection power, the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11) to help us walk in victory over the devil and the world. He is the greater one than lives inside of us (1 John 4:4). He is the Comforter; He testifies of Jesus; teaches us all things and brings everything Jesus has said to our remembrance; He is the Spirit of Truth; our guide; speaks of things to come and our intercessor who helps us to pray and intercede (Psalm 119:11; John 14:17, 26; 15:26; 16:13-15; Romans 8:26, 27; 1 John 2:27).
The Holy Spirit’s work in the world is to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement (John 16: 8-11).
Real friendship with the Holy Spirit can change your life. Get to know Him better by meditating on the scriptures referenced above, listening for His voice and obeying what He says. He will lead and guide you into all truth which will make you free; which is abundant life indeed (John 8:31, 32, 36)! Next week we will look at the Holy Spirit’s infilling power that comes upon us and is available to all believers.