In the beginning, my parents got together and (accidentally) created me. It took 2 parents working together with separate tasks to create me, just as it was for you. It wouldn’t have worked if there was just 1 person. With God, there are 3 persons, or beings of the Godhead that created life, our world, and each of us. Yet He is one. Each “person” has a role, or their own characteristics, that are used and shared with each other to form the perfect union of one God.
Just as it is with a marriage of 2 people coming together and becoming one: we are one family, but we are individuals. We are Drew and Kari, but together we are the Wisemans. We share one address, one house, and one bank account, but Drew’s job is to manage the money, and my job is to be the housewife. We help and support each other, growing older and hopefully wiser together. (This analogy is not the best in explaining the Trinity, but hopefully it gets the basic point across.)
With God, He is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each separate member is a part of the whole. Yes, to understand Him is a little more complicated than that, but if we put faith first and trust in how He describes Himself as 3, then when we do finally meet Him face to face, it will all make complete sense. Until then…
Today we will learn more about this 3rd equal and individual member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. He is a masculine character, as are each member. He has many, many functions, which we will explore here.
We learned yesterday that the Spirit is the breath of God. He gives us life. That means from our conception and birth onward, He is a part of our lives. But there is a difference in how He manifests Himself in our lives depending on whether or not we believe and serve the Lord.
As an unbeliever, the Spirit of God is at work. He is busy trying to bring about conviction, which leads to confession, eventually redemption. For this, He works in and with others to help bring that person to the Lord.
As a new believer, we need help to understand and grow in our faith. This is done through the Spirit. He enters our heart, and makes our body his temple, dwelling within us. This is both symbolic and actual.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
1 Corinthians 6:19
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ˜You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
As believers, He teaches us all things of God. He brings the Word back to our remembrance when we need it. He guides us in all truth. He highlights what we need to read when we study in the Bible. He seals us for the day of redemption. He speaks and declares things to come. He glorifies Jesus. He gives us the power to overcome temptation. He is the power of God through us in healing, in speaking in tongues, in spiritual gifts, in loving others.
Without the Holy Spirit in our lives, we would be in trouble! We wouldn’t have assurance of salvation, we wouldn’t have the presence of God dwelling in us, we couldn’t understand the Scriptures, we wouldn’t be comforted, there would be no intercessor for us, we would be powerless against the wiles of the devil, and there would be no conviction of sin. What a mess! We would essentially be without the greatest resource and connection to God. We would be hopelessly alone.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
2 Corinthians 3:17
“…because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Romans 8:2, 5-6
For me, I am getting better about recognizing the urging and voice of the Holy Spirit in my life. It’s a moment of conviction about something said or about to be said, like a check in my spirit. Sometimes its a quiet whisper. Other times it is a positive reinforcement. He opens my eyes to something in Scripture that I’ve read a hundred times but missed each time. He helps guide me in decisions through faith. He helps me desire to know God more. When He wakes me up night, its a dream or thought that causes me to pray for someone. He is the power behind my prayers. He heals! He encourages me to make the right decisions, though I admittedly don’t always do so. He doesn’t give up on me when I fail and let God down. He reveals that Satan tries to defeat me in my thoughts, that Satan attempts to make issues look grey when in fact they are black or white, and that Satan wants so badly to cause me to stumble.
We have this amazing Holy Spirit on our side!
In the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He gave John the Baptist the instruction to baptize Him with water. When he did so, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in bodily form, like a dove, and it remained on Him. Then the Spirit led and drove Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted for 40 days.
At the end of Jesus’ ministry, He said,
“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.”
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The Holy Spirit essentially replaced Jesus. He could not fully come to us until Jesus was gone. Then…
“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
“We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
If the Holy Spirit is “the promise of the Father, the Counselor”, as Jesus said, and we are to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit is ALIVE and well, as it has always been, moving among people yesterday, today and tomorrow, seeking those to impart power and wisdom? Why would the Holy Spirit be for just a few (the disciples) after Jesus’ ascension? That would be like saying Jesus’ death was for just a few! The Holy Spirit, as Jesus the Son and God the Father are, is eternal, alive, ready and willing to be involved in our everyday lives!
This is the promise, the Helper that Jesus spoke of. Thank you, Lord God for sending to us your Holy Spirit, that we might know more of you and your power, your grace, your mercy, and your will. Please fill us this day that we go out into this world with confidence and love and power through you, that You receive the glory due.
Food for thought: “And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
Matthew 12: 31-32
Fun facts: The Holy Spirit is often identified as: like a dove, like a tongue of fire, wind, water, clouds, and anointing with oil. That’s like identifying me as wife, daughter, mother, sister, friend, co-worker, and neighbor. Each role and perspective as such is different, but I am the same person.
Photo by: Awmleer of Unsplash – Dove