Living the Christian Life – Chapter 4: The Work of the Holy Spirit

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries6 Minutes

The one person that distinguishes the Old Testament from the New—and Christianity from every other religion in the world—is the Holy Spirit. You’ll notice that we said “the one person.” It’s important to recognize that the Holy Spirit is a person. The Holy Spirit is not some sort of nameless force in the universe, but He is one person of the Trinity, along with the Father and the Son.

An interesting passage of Scripture in the book of Acts demonstrates the personhood of the Holy Spirit. Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, records in chapter 4 that the disciples were in the midst of worshiping the Lord and fasting. Suddenly the Holy Spirit spoke:

“One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the
Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work
to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2 NLT).

Once we understand that the Holy Spirit is a person who is loving, kind, and gentle, then we will no longer fear or misunderstand His work in our lives.

As we pointed out before, God’s intention was always to live with mankind and to have fellowship with His people. He does that through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah prophesied the coming of Immanuel:

“The Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will
conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him
Immanuel [which means God is with us]” (Isaiah 7:14 ESV).

A good way to look at the work of the Holy Spirit is to see that our Heavenly Father sent Jesus to save the world; then Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to fill us with power, to guide us, to give us wisdom and boldness, and to empower us to be His witnesses on earth. As you become sensitive to His leading, you will see that just as the Father sent the Son, and the Son sent the Holy Spirit, now the Holy Spirit will send you to demonstrate God’s love to other people.

It’s also wonderful to know that the Holy Spirit doesn’t only send you, but He goes with you. In fact, He is always with you. Jesus promised this in the 14th chapter of John’s Gospel:

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17 ESV).

As we shared in Chapter 2, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the “Paraclete.” In fact, the apostle John used the word Paraclete five times in the New Testament to describe the Holy Spirit. The word signifies to be “called to one’s side.” The word can also be used to describe a counsel for the defense, advocate, an intercessor, or a helper. The Holy Spirit is all these things at different times in the life of the believer.

John conveys the words of Jesus regarding the Holy Spirit as He is about to ascend to heaven in chapter 16 of John’s Gospel:

“It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I don’t go away, the Counselor [Paraclete] will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (v. 7 WEB).

God desires that we all follow in the footsteps of Jesus and live a life that is directed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would teach us and guide us into all truth.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send
in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your
remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26 NASB).

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into
all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but
whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose
to you what is to come” (John 16:13 NASB).

The apostle Paul called on the Ephesians to be led by the Spirit in prayer:

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and
with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and
petition for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18 NASB).

This is the Spirit-filled, Spirit-led life that God desires for each of us.