Why We Need the Spirit, Pt. 1
By Brenda Kuseski
Jesus prepared His followers through three years of discipleship, and then they witnessed His death and resurrection. They surely were ready to tell the world about Him,, but He told them NOT to begin their ministry until the Holy Spirit came upon them—only then would they be fully equipped to do His work. Today’s disciples are no less needful of the Spirit’s power. J. Lee Grady reminds us of the Spirit’s work:
1. He is the Spirit of the Lord. He is not a force (as in Star Wars), a magical power or an "it." The Holy Spirit is God, and we should revere Him as God. The concept of the Trinity doesn't make sense to the human mind. Yet Scripture reveals God as a triune being. As theologian Norman Geisler writes: "God is one ‘what’ (nature) with three ‘who’s’ (persons). This is a mystery but not a contradiction." It is through the Spirit that Jesus is now with us.
2. He is our Regenerator. Jesus told Nicodemus that we are born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5). True conversion is the most supernatural thing we will ever experience! When a person puts his faith in Christ for salvation, it is the Spirit who opens the heart and quickens divine life. He then indwells us. While this is an invisible process, it is no less miraculous. When we are converted our hearts cry out, "Abba! Father" because the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of adoption" (Romans 8:15); He gives us confidence that we are now children of God.
3. He is our Empowerer. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit we are "clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49, NASB). The Spirit who already indwells us fills us to the point of overflowing. Jesus said the Holy Spirit's power would flow out of us like "rivers of living water" from our innermost being (John 7:38). This overflow releases supernatural boldness (Acts 4:31) as well various gifts of the Spirit.
4. He is our Refiner. The Spirit took the form of a dove at Christ's baptism, but He is often portrayed in Scripture as a fire. He is the "refiner's fire" (Mal. 3:2-3) who purifies us of selfishness, pride and wrong motives. The Holy Spirit is indeed the fire of blazing holiness, and He can be both grieved (Eph. 4:30) and quenched (1 Thess. 5:19) when we disobey Him.
Too often we are “binitarians” rather than Trinitarians. Our worship, our services, and our conversation focus on the Father and the Son, and the Bible, but we effectively ignore the Holy Spirit, except to include Him in the benediction. The truth is, however, that the Spirit is the very means by which God works in the world, and in us. This week, invite the Holy Spirit to show you more of His presence in your life, and rely on His provision.