all the gifts given to mankind by God, there is none greater than the
presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has many functions, roles, and
activities. First, He does a work in the hearts of all people
everywhere. Jesus told the disciples that He would send the Spirit into
the world to “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and
righteousness and judgment” (John 16:7-11). Everyone has a “God
consciousness,” whether or not they admit it. The Spirit applies the
truths of God to minds of men to convince them by fair and sufficient
arguments that they are sinners. Responding to that conviction brings
men to salvation.
Once we are saved and belong to God, the Spirit takes up residence in
our hearts forever, sealing us with the confirming, certifying, and
assuring pledge of our eternal state as His children. Jesus said He
would send the Spirit to us to be our Helper, Comforter, and Guide.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be
with you forever” (John 14:16). The Greek word translated here
“Counselor” means “one who is called alongside” and has the idea of
someone who encourages and exhorts. The Holy Spirit takes up permanent
residence in the hearts of believers (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians
6:19-20, 12:13). Jesus gave the Spirit as a “compensation” for His
absence, to perform the functions toward us which He would have done if
He had remained personally with us.
Among those functions is that of revealer of truth. The Spirit’s
presence within us enables us to understand and interpret God’s Word.
Jesus told His disciples that “when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He
will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). He reveals to our
minds the whole counsel of God as it relates to worship, doctrine, and
Christian living. He is the ultimate guide, going before, leading the
way, removing obstructions, opening the understanding, and making all
things plain and clear. He leads in the way we should go in all
spiritual things. Without such a guide, we would be apt to fall into
error. A crucial part of the truth He reveals is that Jesus is who He
said He is (John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:3). The Spirit convinces
us of Christ’s deity and incarnation, His being the Messiah, His
suffering and death, His resurrection and ascension, His exaltation at
the right hand of God, and His role as the judge of all. He gives glory
to Christ in all things (John 16:14).
Another one of the Holy Spirit’s roles is that of gift-giver. First
Corinthians 12 describes the spiritual gifts given to believers in order
that we may function as the body of Christ on earth. All these gifts,
both great and small, are given by the Spirit so that we may be His
ambassadors to the world, showing forth His grace and glorifying Him.
The Spirit also functions as fruit-producer in our lives. When He
indwells us, He begins the work of harvesting His fruit in our
lives—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These are not
works of our flesh, which is incapable of producing such fruit, but they
are products of the Spirit’s presence in our lives.
The knowledge that the Holy Spirit of God has taken up residence in our
lives, that He performs all these miraculous functions, that He dwells
with us forever, and that He will never leave or forsake us is cause for
great joy and comfort. Thank God for this precious gift—the Holy Spirit
and His work in our lives!