So much confusion and controversy surround the topic of the Holy Spirit. Most people don’t understand who He is. Yet the Word of God describes the Christian’s new best friend as the Holy Spirit of God. In John 14, Jesus told His disciples that He would be leaving the world to go to the Father, but that the Father would give them “another Comforter” who would abide with them forever. Jesus explained that the Comforter would teach them all things and bring to their minds all that He had said to them (see John 14:16, 26).
What does the Holy Spirit want to do for you and me?
Listen to how one Bible commentator describes the Holy Spirit’s ministry to us…
“He longs to empower us with His dynamic presence, change our attitudes, warm our hearts, show us how and where to walk, comfort us in our struggles and our sorrows, strengthen us in the weak places in our lives, and literally transform our journey from this planet to paradise.”
The Holy Spirit came, not to be studied but to be experienced. Every Christian can experience the presence and power of God’s Spirit in his or her life. I’m sad to say that, in the past five decades, fringe groups have monopolized much of Christian television, leading millions to misunderstand the Holy Spirit.
Who is the Holy Spirit of God?
The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity, which consists of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God living inside of us. We need to remember that the most powerful force in the world is something we cannot even see. His work is so powerful that we are eternally secured by Him until Christ returns; at that moment the Spirit of God turns our destiny into reality. And until that time He works within us and moves among us in such a powerful way that He literally transforms who we are. Because of God’s Spirit in us, we are becoming someone different: someone godly, someone godlike, and someone who is Christ-like.
In John 3, Jesus described the Person of the Holy Spirit like the wind – invisible, yet powerful. Never think that because something is invisible it is therefore weak or unimportant. You may be surprised to discover that the Bible talks a lot about air. The Old Testament calls it “ruach” (pronounced “roo-ock”). The New Testament calls it “pneuma” (pronounced “new-mah”). We get our English word “pneumatic” from it. We usually find the term translated “breath,” as in the Creation account in Genesis 2, where we read in verse 7 that “…God…breathed into [humankind’s] nostrils the breath of life….” The term also is translated “wind,” as in Acts 2:2, where we read about “…a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind….” It’s also often translated “spirit,” as in the “spirit of man” mentioned in Ecclesiastes 3:21 or the “Holy Spirit” in Luke 11:13.
What can the Holy Spirit of God do for me?
The Holy Spirit is described in the Bible as our Helper, our Advocate, our Comforter, Convicter, Restrainer, and Reprover. He is portrayed by symbols such as a dove at Jesus’ baptism, fire at Pentecost, wind, and even water. His power is called “living water” in John 7.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given;…)” John 7:37–39
Jesus is explaining that from inside your heart will be a Person of enormous power, like a pool of water. This power will gush forth like a torrential river that causes rapids and waterfalls. Jesus is not picturing some passive force. The Spirit of God is a Person with energy and power. Like air, the Spirit may be invisible; but like the wind, He is not powerless.
How can we become empowered by the Holy Spirit of God?
The key to becoming empowered by God’s Spirit is to surrender our will to God’s Will and God’s Word. You don’t have to be a biblical scholar, just a humble servant who loves God with all your heart and soul. By faith, you can believe and obey God’s Word. Like a sailboat that’s moved across the water by a gentle breeze, you and I can experience the Holy Spirit’s wonderful power to fill our lives and carry us along with God’s peace and strength to empower us.
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:15–17
Author: Scott Wendal
Scott Wendal is the founding and lead Pastor of Valley Forge Baptist in Collegeville, PA. He attained his Bachelor of Arts degree at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, in 1981. After completing a three-year internship in Fairfax, Virginia, Pastor Wendal came to the Valley Forge area in July 1984 to begin Valley Forge Baptist. Pastor Wendal and his wife, Jodie, have five children.