The Role of the Holy Spirit
“When the Spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all the truth…” John 16:13 (ESV)
Today we have the Holy Spirit in us that has been sent to restore our life. He will not be still. He was sent to care for us. He will work in us to restore our life to the soul level of our mind, will, and emotions broken down by sin. The Holy Spirit plays a significant role in us as Christians. What are some of these roles that we need to understand?
First, the Holy Spirit comes and lives in us when we are born again. Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:3 (ESV), "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." This statement was beyond anything Nicodemus had ever heard or could ever understand. What Jesus said is beyond us also. This is the work of God and not man. When we believe the gospel and believe in Jesus' atoning work for our lives by accepting His death and resurrection for our salvation, we are born again. The result of the new birth is just the beginning. We have the Holy Spirit that comes to us to begin the work of rebuilding. Yet the presence of the Holy Spirit is Someone who brings comfort. When the Holy Spirit comes to us, His presence is welcoming and comforting as He speaks and works in us. He also brings comfort in our new birth experience and begins to show us all that God has in store for our lives in restoring us in this journey. The Holy Spirit will share His vision to give us hope, a purpose, and a hunger for more possibilities that await us. The gentleness of our Comforter, the Holy Spirit, leads us into all the possibilities for us as Christians. We must give the Holy Spirit room, remain open to Him, and look to what He can do as we grow in our new birth.
Second, the Holy Spirit gives meaning to what is a Christian. Knowing what a Christian is in this life and the world we live in daily is most important. Can you answer the question of what is a Christian? Too often in our culture, people have all kinds of answers. These answers come from what they see, instead of what the Bible says, what a Christian is today. Let's begin by saying what a Christian is not. A Christian is not just a good moral person, a giving person, a person who goes to church, or someone who supports missions and gives money to the church. To begin with, a Christian has the Holy Spirit, and others see that. I say "see" because a Christian person is seen differently in this world. They have the Holy Spirit in them, which makes them spiritual. Christians have the Spirit of God in them, not the world's spirit. That is what Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 2:12,15. A Christian has a new nature, a divine nature that can partake in all the fullness of God. Peter speaks of this in 2 Peter 1:4 (ESV), saying, "By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." To be a Christian is to have escaped the world and the sin in the world. We are no longer a part of the world; we are in a new kingdom, God's kingdom, and we can take in all God has for us in our new nature. Our new divine nature allows us to abide with Jesus Christ and feed off of Him, enjoying Him, loving Him, and serving Him in freedom. With our new nature, we have a new identity. We are a new people with a new identity as Christians. A Christian, most of all, is a saint.
Paul addressed the early beliefs in several of his letters to the churches. He called the people saints because a saint is someone who is set apart. The Old Testament Israelites were set apart by God and for God as His people. We see this in the book of Ezra when other outsiders and people groups came and wanted to help rebuild the temple for the Israelites. Zerubbabel and the leaders said no, we do not need your help; we will do this rebuilding ourselves (see Ezra 4:2-3). This may come across today as prideful, arrogant, and even racist in our culture, but Christianity is focused on one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the way to life, the way to truth, and the way to the Father. So, a Christian is focused solely on Jesus and the life of Jesus in Him by the work of the Holy Spirit.
[As adapted from The Bondage Breaker and Stomping Out The Darkness by Dr. Neil Anderson and Dr. Dave Park.]