The promise of God was to give men a Messiah (a Savior), one who would deliver us from all our sins and give us an inheritance in the kingdom of God. However, this was not all that God promised men. God also made a solemn promise to send His own Spirit to dwell with and in all they that would accept His only Son, Jesus, as a mark and a seal of their salvation.
God promised, saying:
“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
- Joel 2:28-29 NKJV
There is clearly no controversy here as to who and who have the privilege of enjoying the outpouring of God’s Spirit. In verse 28, it says, “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh”, so there is no doubt as to whether some receive Him or not.
Knowing this truth can further help us in our quest to know and understand Who this Spirit is, His importance to us as believers, and the roles He plays in our lives.
The Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit was given to men as God had promised. Before the death of Jesus and departure into the heavens, He however made some things clear, as to what and what the disciples should expect from His Spirit which was to come upon the earth, and by extension, the present-day believer as well.
In the book of John, chapter sixteen, we see the most expatiated discussion on the subject of the Holy Spirit by Jesus Himself.
He highlighted some roles that the Holy Spirit would play in the life of the believer and importance of having Him.
Some things to note below:
- The first thing Jesus says is that the Holy Spirit will be a Helper. (John 16:7)
What does it mean to be a helper?
Just what the word means. The Holy Spirit is a vital advantage to a believer. He helps him not only in the things that are pertinent to spiritual growth, but believe it or not, He is also available in our physical dealings.
We have seen all through Scriptures, examples of men who were helped by the presence of the Spirit of God. David was assisted by the Spirit that he was able to defeat Goliath with such boldness and courage. He was also skilled to fight, this was not ordinary. He also was assisted in his music and the psalms which we have come to know, all because of the presence of the Spirit.
It was the Spirit of God that was upon Samson that gave him such strength as was not common to mere men.
Daniel had the spirit of excellence which was a product of the Holy Spirit, and it gave him advantage in wisdom and government.
Many other examples we can find scattered all through the bible.
He gives us spiritual assistance, so that Paul says:
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
- Romans 8:26 NKJV
The Spirit helps believers in their prayer lives. When we do not know how or what words to use, the Spirit helps us unburden what we feel by praying in the will of God.
- Jesus also said the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. (John 16:13)
Jesus speaks of the prophetic dimension that the Holy Spirit will introduce to the lives of believers. The truth that He hears from God, is what He will reveal to us. We know that God’s word is truth, and everything that He speaks is truth and will happen either now or in the future. The Spirit also helps us in our study of the Word of God, revealing knowledge and truth to us.
Paul also teaches us that one of the gifts of the Spirit is prophecy, therefore, confirming the words of Jesus.
“To another the working of miracles, to another prophecy…”
- 1 Corinthians 12:10 NKJV
- The Holy Spirit gives gifts to the believers for the work of the kingdom. Gifts that help the believer be sufficient in every good work unto salvation. These gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12.
These gifts are empowerments that we need to effectively serve God and carry the message of the gospel to the ends of the earth. Some of these gifts help us in the church and the body of Christ, while others are for the mission to the unbelievers.
- Another thing that the Spirit does for the believer is that He transforms us by the fruit that He bears in us. The book of Galatians has them noted:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
- Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
The fruit of the Spirit is the personality of God expressed through the believer. This is the expression of God, and the biggest and most important element that marks the presence of God in the life of a man. It is superior to the gifts of prophecy, speaking in tongues, miracles and every other gift, because the fruit brings love and all these other beautiful characters to a man’s heart. We know that God is love, so this must be greater than any other thing. Remember it says in 1 Corinthians 13:13, that love excels above faith and hope. Love is the ultimate mark of our seal. It is the life of God itself that the Spirit of God brings to us.
The Spirit of God is God Himself dwelling in us. He gives us many advantages over the natural man and the wiles of the devil.
He is important to our existence and our salvation. He continually works in and through us by diverse ways listed above, and is not only limited to the gifts that are listed in the bible, but is as limitless as we can imagine.