Every Christian, along with a hefty portion of non-Christians, knows who God is and who Jesus is. They could tell you that God is the Father and Jesus is His Son, and most could tell you that it is Jesus—through His incarnation, life, death and resurrection—who provides our salvation. The person, position, and work of the Holy Spirit, however, are much less widely known and understood.
His first job in the lives of Christians is to serve as God’s guarantee of our salvation. Talking about the Holy Spirit, Paul says in Ephesians 1:13 & 14:
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
At the moment of our salvation, the Holy Spirit is sealed inside each of us as the evidence of God’s promise that our names are in the Book of Life. A Christian doesn’t need to wonder whether or not he is going to heaven. That’s established when we accept Jesus as our Savior, and it’s guaranteed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us.
While this sealing is the Holy Spirit’s first job in dealing with Christians, it’s not our first exposure to Him. God knows who will and who won’t accept the gift of salvation He offers through His Son, and He sends His Holy Spirit to deal with those of us who can be drawn to Jesus. We accept Jesus as our Savior only after the Holy Spirit works in us to draw us to that point of acceptance.
Once we’re saved and He is sealed in us, He has other jobs that relate to us. He serves as both a transmitter and receiver between a Christian and God. Paul says in Romans 8:26:
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words
We don’t know how to communicate with a Holy God, but the Holy Spirit serves as our mediator in that communication. He knows what to say to God, and He helps us understand what God is saying to us.
Another important function of the Holy Spirit is to provide unity within the body of Christ. Left to our own devices, we establish sects and denominations and all sorts of divisions within the body, but the Holy Spirit cuts through the divisions to provide a level of unity.
Our unity is not perfect, because we are not perfect. We still wear these fleshly bodies, and we are at all times subject to our own desires and egos. But within that framework, the Holy Spirit provides a level of unity that can be surprising at times.
The lady who runs my mother’s assisted living home is a devout Christian. When she interviews potential caregivers to hire, the Holy Spirit in her identifies the presence or absence of the Holy Spirit in the interviewees. Relying on that, she has a very high batting average in identifying and hiring Christians to work there.
This post is not intended as an exhaustive study on the Holy Spirit. We’ve only touched on a few things He does in our lives. What other things can you think of the Holy Spirit does for you? What examples come to your mind of things He’s done for you?
If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
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