The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to guide and accomplish the Father’s will in the life of the people of God. One of the most critical ways to recognize the Spirit’s guidance in the Christian life is to be in the Word of God. Scripture is the ultimate source of wisdom that instructs us in the ways of God (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Word of God is the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17) through which the Holy Spirit speaks to the people of God. It’s been said if you want to hear God speak, read the Word and if you want to hear Him speak, audibly read the Word of God. Scripture reveals the will of God. The Holy Spirit brings to mind Scripture when Christians need it the most (John 14:26).
Knowledge of Scripture helps the people of God to discern whether their desires come from the Holy Spirit or not. Every Christian must test all things by the Word of God because the Holy Spirit will never lead us away from biblical truth.
Scripture: The Holy Spirit’s Primary Means
"Of all the gifts given to mankind by God, there is none greater than the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has many functions, roles, and activities. He works in the hearts of all people everywhere. Jesus told the disciples that He would send the Spirit into the world to 'convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment'” (John 16:7-11). The Holy Spirit applies the truths of God to the minds of men to convince them by fair and sufficient arguments that they are sinners. Responding to that conviction brings men to salvation.
The Holy Spirit is the revealer of biblical truth, which enables Christians to understand and interpret the Word of God rightly. In John 16:13, Jesus told His disciples, “when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, and He will guide you into all truth.”
The Holy Spirit has revealed the whole counsel of God in Scripture to instruct the people of God in matters of doctrine, worship, and Christian living. The Holy Spirit helps Christians by going before them, leading the way, removing any obstacles in their walk with God, and opens their understanding to the truth of God’s Word.
The Holy Spirit gives Christians wisdom so they can understand the Lord and His ways. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 says,
The Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So, also, no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit helps Christians to understand and rightly interpret the wisdom of the Lord in the Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:12-13).
Before the Lord Jesus ascended to the right hand of God in heaven, He told His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide all those who believe in Christ alone (John 14:26; 16:7; Acts 1:5). The promise of Jesus was fulfilled less than two weeks ago at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon, indwelt, and empowered the people of God.
The Holy Spirit is vital in the Christian life because, without the Spirit, Christians would fall into error. The Holy Spirit reveals who Jesus is who He said He is to His people (John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:3). The Holy Spirit convinces people of the deity of Jesus and the Incarnation of Christ, His being the rightful Messiah, suffering, and death.
Additionally, the Holy Spirit convinces the people of God of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, His exaltation at the right hand of God, His role as the judge of all, and gives glory to Christ in all things (John 16:14).
The Holy Spirit and the Christian
The Holy Spirit, at the moment of salvation, takes up residence in the hearts of the people of God and seals them with the assuring pledge of their eternal state as the children of God. John 14:16 says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.”
The Greek word translated counselor means one who comes alongside and who encourages another. The Holy Spirit indwells the people of God and takes up residence in them (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 12:13). One of the Holy Spirit’s main aims in the life of the Christian is to produce fruit in their lives.
Since the Holy Spirit indwells in the people of God, He begins to produce fruit in our lives at the moment of salvation: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Paul makes clear that these fruits of the Spirit are not works of the flesh, but products of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the lives of the people of God.
The Holy Spirit Is Active in the World
The Book of Acts, also known as the “Acts of the Apostles,” could easily be known as “The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.” The Holy Spirit, since the close of the 66 books of Scripture, does not inspire further Scripture but does continue to operate in the world through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit is the helper of the Christian (John 14:26). He not only indwells in the people of God but seals them until the Day of Lord, which highlights how the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives is irreversible.
The Holy Spirit also guards and guarantees the salvation of the people of God (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). The Holy Spirit additionally assists Christians in prayer (Jude 1:20) and “intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
The Holy Spirit regenerates sinners and renews Christians (Titus 3:5). At the moment of conversion, the Holy Spirit baptizes the believer into the Body of Christ (Romans 6:3). Sinners receive the new birth by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-8).
The Holy Spirit comforts Christians with fellowship and joy in a hostile world by calling them to be part of local churches (2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Thessalonians 1:6). The Holy Spirit fills His people with “all joy and peace” as they trust in the Lord, causing them to “overflow with hope” (Romans 15:13).
Growth in Grace and the Holy Spirit
Growth in the grace of God is another marker of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the Christian. The Holy Spirit is against the flesh’s desires and leads the Christian into righteousness (Galatians 5:16-18). As the flesh’s works become less and less evident in their lives, the Holy Spirit becomes more evident (Galatians 5:19-26).
The Holy Spirit gives gifts to the people of God (1 Corinthians 12:4). The Holy Spirit is also a gift-giver. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” These spiritual gifts are given to Christians as He determines in His wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:11).
The Holy Spirit is active in the conversion of non-Christians. Jesus promised in John 16:8 He would send the Holy Spirit to “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ (John 15:26), which is why He points them to the finished and sufficient work of Christ, alone.
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Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon.