In the last two weeks we have looked at the person we call the Holy Spirit. I love talking about God, but I’m especially intrigued with the third person of the Trinity.
The three persons of the Trinity are enigmatic, cloaked in a mantle of mystery slowly pulled back through the ages to reveal the face of God. When we learn about Father God, we incorporate what we know about Him from our experiences with out earthly fathers. His Son, Jesus Christ, is the central figure of the gospels, painting a vivid picture of the Deliverer.
The Spirit, on the other hand, often remains in the background. Though equal in power to the others, He points humanity upward to them instead of drawing attention to Himself. In a world clamoring “Look at me! Look at me,” He always inspires us to look heavenward.
The fact that He consents to live inside the cracked clay we call home never ceases to amaze me.
How do we wrap our minds around a Being who can be everywhere at once, whose power caused the universe to spring to life, who brought back the Savior Himself from the dead? How do we live with such a Being inside us? It’s a story more radical than anything dreamt up by Hollywood.
God in You, the Hope of Glory
In His person, the Holy Spirit is totally God. In His work and form, He functions as the “breath” of God. As such, He has a vital job to accomplish on earth:
- He convicts us of sin. John 16:8
Before we can come to Him, we first must realize our need. It is the Spirit’s job to make us understand how we’ve sinned against God and our need of a Deliverer. He’s the one who makes us feel guilty when we’ve done wrong.
- He frees us. 2 Corinthians 3:17
The Spirit is the One who breaks the chains of sin and walks us into liberty.
- He sanctifies and sets us apart as His own. 1 Peter 1:2
When we accept our need for God and receive the cleansing sacrifice made by Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our bodies. His indwelling sets us apart as His own and begins the lifelong process of preparing us for eternity.
- He transforms us. 2 Corinthians 3:18
When we become His, we are changed by the force of the same creative power that brought the universe into being.
- He intercedes for us. Romans 8:26
In our weakness, we often don’t even know ourselves how to pray for what we need. The Spirit steps in, bringing us to the throne of God. Romans 8:26 is often used for speaking in tongues, but the Scripture says that this intercession is “too deep for words.” It is the place where our spirit connects with His in a cry for help.
- He rebukes those who mock Him. Acts 5:9-11
The Spirit upholds the holiness of the Lord. He will not be mocked and must be treated with respect.
- He empowers us for His work. John 7:37-38; 16:7; 1 Corinthians 2:3-5; Galatians 5:25
We can’t live a holy life on our own. Our best intentions and efforts can’t come close to pleasing God. We fall on our face every time. It’s His power that accomplishes what we can only long for without Him.
- He directs us and gives us joy in the journey. Matthew 4:1; John 16:13; Luke 10:21; Acts 16:7
It’s not just about getting through this life. Jesus promised us abundance. When His Spirit is free to work within us, He fill us with joy. This is the incomprehensible place of peace Jesus’ disciples encounter through the darkest days of their lives. It rises above trials and smiles at the future.
- He provides for our every need. Philippians 1:29
He is the great provider. In His care, every need we have will be met.
- He reveals the future when necessary. Luke 2:26; Acts 1:16
Because He is all-knowing, nothing surprises Him. When it is necessary, He will reveal to His people future events. Usually, though, He counts on us to trust Him for our future.
This exquisite being, who dwelt in eternity in the highest heaven, has consented – even yearned- to live with us in our frail homes of flesh. He longs to be our protector and Lord. Only a mighty God could be powerful enough to be so tender, or strong enough to live with such weakness.
No wonder they call Him the Comforter.
Baptism photo courtesy Erik Thorson/ copyright 2013