Sometimes new believers think their lives will be easier now that they’re saved, but this is not usually the case. In fact, we may experience even more challenges and problems. That’s when we could start wondering where God is or why He isn’t answering our prayers as we hoped. If we don’t know which way to turn, we might begin to feel overwhelmed and alone. But if we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we are never truly alone because we have been promised a Helper to dwell within us—the Holy Spirit.
Before Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples that He would send them a Helper. The Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity along with the Father and the Son. Yet some believers may not understand that God in the person of His Spirit has taken up residence in them. Instead of living in the Spirit’s power and provisions, they simply do the best they can in their own strength and wait for the day they can finally go to heaven. The result is a dissatisfied life filled with disappointment in God.
However, the problem is not God but ignorance of the Holy Spirit’s presence and guidance in their lives. All we need to live the Christian life has been deposited within us. If we are willing to yield ourselves to Him, we may freely draw on the resources of God’s Spirit. Our divine Helper is always there to attend to us in our need. At no point since trusting Jesus as our Savior have we ever been alone or helpless, even if that was how we felt. He is always present and actively working in our lives.
What is the work of the Holy Spirit?
Convicts Us of Sin. “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). First of all, He makes us realize that we are sinners in need of salvation so that we will repent and turn to Christ in faith and receive forgiveness for our sins. And even after salvation, He continues to convict us when we fail to live as we should by reminding us that sin no longer fits us since we are followers of Jesus.
Seals Us. “In Him (Christ), 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”
(Eph. 1:13). In those days a seal was used to authenticate, show ownership, and protect. The Holy Spirit seals us in Christ as children of God who are now under His divine protection. This seal can never be broken—not by God, the devil, or us. However, this doesn’t mean we can sin without consequence. God’s conviction will continue, and His discipline will follow.
Indwells Us. “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11). The Holy Spirit is an eternal gift sent to live in us, and we are under His divine leadership and empowered to do whatever He requires of us.
Teaches Us. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things” (John 14:26). Because He is God, the Spirit is a teacher who surpasses all others. He guides us as we read God’s Word and helps us interpret it accurately. The Bible is an amazing treasure God has given us, and as we faithfully read it, asking the Spirit to teach us, He
will help us comprehend it.
Reveals Truth to Us. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2:12). What is promised here is divine knowledge, which reaches far beyond ourselves and this world, and it is found in God’s Word. We may not understand immediately what a passage means or how to apply it, but if we’ll keep seeking and searching God’s Word, the Spirit will give us understanding. However, if we give up reading the Word, we’ll lack the wisdom that comes only
Guides Us. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). Our Helper is also our Guide. He helps us discern what is true and guides us in making right decisions. Instead of seeking other people’s advice, we should first ask the Holy Spirit to direct us.
Bears Fruit Through Us. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Often the way these character qualities are grown in us is through circumstances that might otherwise cause us to respond in an opposite manner. For instance, if we are having trouble loving someone, the Holy Spirit can change our attitude if we will ask Him for help and genuinely desire to walk in obedience to Him.
Reminds Us. “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). Although Christ’s disciples had been with Him and heard Him teach for three years, they only had their memories after He was gone. To teach others about Jesus, they needed the Holy Spirit to help them remember. And even today, we need His help to bring to mind passages that apply to particular situations. If we’ll be faithful to read the Bible, the Spirit will help us remember it.
Equips Us With Spiritual Gifts. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit”
(1 Cor. 12:4). The Spirit gives us special abilities, enabling us to serve one another in the manner He desires.
Empowers Us. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses” (Acts 1:8). His strength enables us to accomplish whatever He calls us to do and equips us to serve in our areas of giftedness.
Fills Us. “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). This is a life governed and guided by the Holy Spirit and ever conscious of His indwelling presence. No believer has a legitimate excuse for not obeying God because the Spirit has equipped each of us to do whatever He desires or commands.
How dependent are you upon the Holy Spirit? Much of the Spirit’s work in us is accomplished through God’s Word. Be sure to spend time meditating on it and trust Him to use it to produce spiritual fruit in your life.
This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message “The Holy Spirit—Our Helper” which airs this weekend on TV.