Wednesday, June 8, 2022

            As Christians, we believe in the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  We believe that God has chosen to reveal Himself in three ways.  There is one God but this one God is known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Often, the most overlooked member of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit.  The ancient prophet Joel calls our attention to the Holy Spirit about 800 years before the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on believers in Acts 2.  Joel 2:28 says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29).  Those words from Joel come as a promise.  Twice, the Lord promised “I will.”  No hesitation or doubt—I will.  And these words are comprehensive.  God will pour out His Spirit on all of His people—young and old, men and women.  The Holy Spirit plays several roles in the life of the individual Christian and the Church of Jesus Christ.
            First, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and shows us our need for a Savior.  The Spirit is able to take Scripture, which is God’s yardstick or standard for our lives, and show us where we stand relative to that standard.  God’s Word shows us how and where we have sinned.  The Holy Spirit’s work keeps us from being comfortable with or stuck in our sins.  He keeps us from languishing in rebellion, resistance, defiance and stubbornness. 
            Second, the Spirit helps us to grow in the likeness of Jesus Christ.  Sanctification is becoming more like Jesus every day in every way.  The Spirit uses Scripture, prayer, worship, situations and His power to help us grow in Christ.  After we have come to faith in Christ, the next step is to grow in Christ.  We do not want to remain babes in the faith or in discipleship.  We want to grow in our relationship with Christ and the way we serve Him.
            Third, the Spirit blesses and equips us for service in the local church and beyond.  Most believers have three basic ways they can serve.  They can serve in the church, through the church and beyond the church.  The Holy Spirit provides gifts and blessings to enable us to serve the cause of the gospel.  Not every Christian possesses every spiritual gift but every Christian has at least one spiritual gift that they can use and employ to serve Christ, the Church and the mission of the gospel.  You can learn more about spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12 and Romans 12:3-8. 
            Fourth, the Holy Spirit comforts and consoles us.  He directly ministers to us during times of distress, despair and anxiousness.  He brings a peace that passes all understanding to us and encourages us with His grace and love.  People who go through difficult times often speak of the calm and peace that wash over them even in the midst of such a trying time.  This experience is the Holy Spirit at work in us and around us.  He is faithful to the task of comforting us. 
            And fifth, the Holy Spirit empowers us.  He gives us boldness and courage to speak the gospel, to live righteously and to resist sin and temptation.  We cannot live the Christian life by ourselves.  We must possess His power and grace to live as followers of Jesus.  The Spirit is often depicted by the symbol of fire—and understandably so.  He lights a fire within us and under us so that we may declare the gospel and live that gospel-centered life.  The same Spirit that Joel saw and prophesied about nearly three thousand years ago remains with us today.  We are never alone.  Christ remains with us through the presence of His Holy Spirit.  Thanks be to God for this extraordinary and supernatural gift!  Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

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