The Holy Spirit is often a topic that causes confusion among believers. Even though Scripture teaches the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity, he is the least understood and the most neglected person of the Godhead.
Believers can easily identify with God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ. However, the Holy Spirit seems too distant and aloof — something that’s detached and unrelatable, probably because he’s without a body or a personal name. And yet all believers know, without a doubt, that the Holy Spirit dwells inside each and every person who accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior.
So what or who is the Holy Spirit? Simply put, the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; Psalm 139:7-8; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11). He is perfect, all-loving, forgiving, merciful, just, eternal, omnipotent, truth, and free from all sin. The Holy Spirit also has a mind, emotions, and a will (Romans 8:27; Ephesians 4:30; Acts 16:6-11).
There are at least four ways in which the Holy Spirit is active—
1) He convicts the world of sin.
2) He always directs people to Jesus.
3) He adopts newly born followers into the family of God.
4) He seals our salvation.
So let’s take a look at how the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin. Listen to what Jesus says in the book of John:
“When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:8-11 NIV).
In this passage, Jesus is telling us that the Holy Spirit makes us aware of our sin so that we acknowledge our guilt. Although this can be done in many different ways. Through a Sunday preacher, through someone’s saving testimony, or even through worship music — the Spirit leads us to agree that we justly deserve God’s wrath.
Once a person has been made aware of their sin, of Jesus’ righteousness, and of their upcoming judgment, the heart is now able to see and hear more clearly the truth of God in a new way. The Holy Spirit points the person to Christ and the gift of salvation is now eagerly sought after because the heart has been changed (Psalm 146:8; 2 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 5:8).
Each one of us, regardless of how long we’ve been a follower of Christ, was first made aware of our sin by the Holy Spirit. We were actively sought out and pointed in the direction of truth. And by responding to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, we received salvation.
But that’s not all; we now have the Holy Spirit who resides in us forever. Knowing that we will never go through this life alone should bring comfort to all believers (John 14:16).
So as we go along our week, why not depend on the Holy Spirit of God? After all, we have total access to his peace, his joy, and his love (John 14:27-15:11). Maybe it’s time more of us tapped into the power of the Holy Spirit and take advantage of this glorious gift in our lives.
Remember, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
Donna Hughey is an award winning Christian author and columnist. She lives in Crescent City.