The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity. We have to realize when we are talking about the Holy Spirit we are not talking about an it or a thing, but about a person. The Holy Spirit thinks, wills, and feels. He is an intelligent individual who teaches and guides us. The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible. He illuminates our minds to understand the Word as we read or hear it, and helps us apply it to our lives.
The Power of the Holy Spirt
Can the Holy Spirit help us do more than is otherwise humanly possible? Yes, that’s why He came. It is humanly impossible to live the Christian life. But the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do it.
- He helps us pray. (Romans 8:26)
- He helps us witness for Christ and know what to say. (Mark 13:11)
- He helps us love. (Galatians 5:22)
- He helps us do what is right. (1 John 2:27)
To mention a few.
Tasks of the Holy Spirit
In John 16:13, Jesus defines the specific tasks that the Holy Spirit will do.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come” – John 16:13
- THE FIRST TASK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TEACHING.One of His major tasks is to guide Christians into all truth by reminding us of the things Christ has said. This guidance is personal and developmental in each of our lives. The Holy Spirit is vitally involved in our growth process; He teaches us the truth so we can live out this truth.
- THE SECOND TASK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS CONVICTING. “When He [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement” – John 16:8. Jesus goes on to explain in more detail. The Holy Spirit will convict of guilt “in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me [Jesus Christ] – John 16:9. The Holy Spirit is the goad, the spiritual conscience, bringing sin to conscious awareness.
The Holy Spirit will also convict of guilt “in regard to righteousness, because I [Jesus] am going to be the Father, where you can see me no longer” – John 16:10. This is the positive side of the task, constantly convicting us that, righteousness is always reflected in the person of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit convicts of guilt “in regard to judgement, because the Prince of this world now stands condemned” – John 16:11. The Holy Spirit keeps before us the fact that the world and all its works are under God’s judgement. This does not excuse us from doing God’s work in the world; we work to redeem, but we must not take ourselves too seriously, because the salvation of the world is not exclusively in our hands. We work, but always under the control of the Holy Spirit.
- THE THIRD TASK IS THE HOLY SPIRIT“will tell you what is yet to come” – John 16:13. Besides being the Teacherand the Convictor, the Holy Spirit is also the Futurist, showing us the big picture and long-term will of God. When the Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to the exiles in Babylon, He said, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11.
Steps to Being Filled with the Holy Spirit
Once we come to know Christ personally, and He takes up His presence within us, how can we be sure we are filled with the Holy Spirit? Here are four helpful steps:
- Let’s desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit.Jesus said that “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled” – Matthew 5:6. We must desire to be controlled or empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- 2. Let’s not allow unconfessed sin to remain in our lives.In 1 John 1:9we read, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – past, present and future. By faith we can thank God that He has forgiven us our sins.
- Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to fill us. This is a request God will honour, because it is according to His will. In 1 John 5:14,15we find this promise: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
- Let’s thank God for filling us with the Holy Spirit.Then walk by faith, moment by moment, thanking Him that we have been filled.
Dear Heavenly Father, I need you. I acknowledge that I have been in control of my life, that I have sinned against you; and I thank you that you have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as you have commanded me to be filled, and as you promised in your Word that you would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. As an expression of my faith, I now thank you for taking control of my life and filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.
HOLY SPIIRT, TRUTH DIVINE – MHB 288
1 Holy Spirit, Truth divine,
Dawn upon this soul of mine.
Word of God, and inward Light,
Wake my spirit, clear my sight.
2 Holy Spirit, Love divine,
Glow within this heart of mine.
Kindle every high desire,
Perish self in Thy pure fire.
3 Holy Spirit, Power divine,
Fill and nerve this will of mine.
By Thee may I strongly live,
Bravely bear, and nobly strive.
4 Holy Spirit, right divine,
King within my conscience reign.
Be my Lord I shall be
Firmly bound, forever free.
5 Holy Spirit, Peace divine,
still this restless heart of mine.
Speak to calm this tossing sea,
Stayed in Thy tranquility.
6 Holy Spirit, Joy divine,
Gladden Thou this heart of mine.
In the desert ways I’ll sing,
Spring, O Well, for ever spring!
Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892)
Culled from the book Practical Christianity.
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