God’s solution and it’s benefits can never be fully understood or experienced without knowing who the Holy Spirit is, and how the Holy Spirit works. The Bible teaches that there is one God, manifested in three persons (Matt. 28:19, 1 Cor. 12:4-6, 2 Cor. 13:14, Eph. 4:4-7, 1 Pet. 1:2 Jude 20-21). Three “persons” doesn’t mean three different individuals, beings, or that God has three bodies. God does not have a “body”, He is spirit (John 4:24). Some have used the term “entities” instead of persons. But God is not an “It”. He is a relational “being” who loves us. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all fully God, one in unity, purpose, and essence. Yet, there are three distinct aspects of God. Some have used the analogy of H2O (water) and its three components to describe God. It is beyond human comprehesion to understand how great and marvelous our God is. For example, God can be in heaven and simultaneously be everywhere (Psalms 139:7-10). God is a big God, so to speak. And Hebrews 9:14 tells us that the Holy Spirit, who is God, is eternal. We can not fathom time without having a beginning and an ending. But God always was, God always is and always will be. Any term we use to describe God fails to fully describe who He is. And, using the term “person”, is not to demean the Father, Son or Holy Spirit in any way. I believe using the term person, helps our finite minds understand more fully who God is. The Holy Spirit is God and is the Spirit of God and has individual and personal characteristics.
The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit speaks (Matt. 10:20, Acts 13:2, Rev. 2:7). He feels and can be grieved (Isaiah 63:10, Eph. 4:30) He can be lied to (Acts 5:3). If rebelled against, the Holy Spirit can fight against us (Isaiah 63:10). He desires that we know and Believe the truth (John 15:26). He is the One who reveals (helps our souls understand more fully) Jesus Christ to Believers more and more if they will allow Him to (Eph. 1:17). He prays for us (Rom. 8:26-27). He is the Spirit of Wisdom (Ex. 28:3, Deut. 34:9). All true knowledge is held and dispensed by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2). If He doesn’t lead you into truth, you will not know truth (John 16:13-15). He, and His gifts, are the edification (what builds up our Faith) of the church (1 Cor. 12:7-11). He is to be the “guide” of life (John 16:13, 1 John 4:6). As well, the Holy Spirit provides conviction of sin to unbelievers and Believers alike (John 16:8-11). So without the help of the Holy Spirit, no man or woman would be “drawn” to salvation. You cannot be a Christian unless the Spirit of God lives within you (1 Cor. 6:19, Gal. 3:2, 1 John 3:24). And as a Christian, you cannot live a victorious life over the sin nature and powers of darkness without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. If He doesn’t keep you from being dominated by the sin nature, you will be dominated by the sin nature (Rom. 8:2). That is why when we talk about living for God, it can never be discussed, or thought of, in any other way than having a relationship with our Heavenly Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, initiated AND enabled by the person of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is our “helper”. It is His role in the Godhead to furnish us with whatever we need in order to follow, serve and keep the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:16-18). We are to keep Christ’s commandments. But, we must know that the only Way available to any of us is through the inner working of the Holy Spirit in our heart. He doesn’t have to give you the strength to abstain from sin if He has taken away the ardent desire to sin. The Greek word in John 14:16 that is often translated “Comforter” is “Parakletos”. That word means “One who is called to the side of another to help”. The Holy Spirit is our helper in time of need. And, we need help everyday on a continual basis whether we realize it or not. God knows that it is imperative we have His help to “live out” His redemption plan.
It was the work of the Holy Spirit that “baptized” us into Christ at initial salvation (Rom. 6:3-4, 1 Cor.12:12-13). It is the Holy Spirit who can continually transform us into the image of the Son of God more and more everyday, if we allow Him to. God, giving His Spirit to dwell within us, would provide the help necessary to no longer be dominated by the sin nature and powers of spiritual darkness. ln fact, having the Holy Spirit’s help is better than if Jesus Christ was still here on Earth! Jesus said so in John 16:7. Because Jesus has ascended to the Father to be the continual intercessor (He mediates between God and man) for sinful mankind (both Believers and unbelievers), the Holy Spirit could be sent to indwell the hearts of those who God had declared righteous because of their Faith. He is the sanctifier (Rom. 15:16).The Holy Spirit is given the “title” in Romans 1:4 as the “Spirit of holiness”. Holiness is NOT a set of rules, regulations and standards imposed on God’s people. “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:6). Holiness is a positive thing! It is the way Believers can live a life free from sin and Satan’s domination. It is a good thing when our heart and mind is not compelled to desire things contrary to God’s Law. No longer trying to act “holy”, when we know inside we aren’t. But, not to be ruled in our minds by what the sin nature desires is liberating! To actually be able to forgive someone when they have wronged you. To love others, not because you know you are supposed to, but because God has given you His love for them! This is the freedom of holiness, not bondage to more rules!
Ultimately, a Believer should come to realize that the Holy Spirit is LIFE (Rom. 8:2). He is the power source we rely on to experience the continual benefits of redemption. Knowing God through the working of the Holy Spirit, is literally being spiritually raised from the dead (Rom. 6:13). He is what makes this life in Jesus Christ worth living. We can live a completely new type of life compared to unbelievers. Not because we are better people, but because of our obedience to The Faith! (Rom. 16:26). We can only brag about how good and wonderful is the God we know and serve. There are many who claim to be serving the God of the Bible, but aren’t serving Him His Way. They have heard His Word, misunderstood it, and thought being a christian is something that it is not. They haven’t done it intentionally. But the result is the same as if they had. Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the only Way to God (1 Cor. 1:17-18). And the only Way for anyone to receive this Way is by grace through Faith alone (Rom. 3:21-22). Anything else is law, and will not be rewarded with right standing with God, or gain His grace and empowerment to live in newness of life (Rom. 3:27-28, 6:3-5, 8:11, Gal. 6:15).
Israel “followed after the law of righteousness” but never received righteousness (Rom. 9:31). You and I may have looked at Israel’s zeal for morality and passion for God and thought they were righteous. They were sincere, but sincerely wrong. Righteousness doesn’t come by what you do (Rom. 10:2-4). “They sought it not by Faith, but as it were by the works of the Law. For they stumbled at the stumblingstone; as it is written, behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever BELIEVES ON HIM shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 9:32-33). It is offensive to some moral religious people to tell them that their law keeping and religious efforts don’t make them righteous. And, trying to keep the moral law and doing religious things aren’t wrong unless you Believe they make you right with God (before or after salvation). They aren’t wrong unless you think your striving and efforts make you holy. That is when they are not just wrong, but sinful. You have either replaced or are attempting to add to the righteousness of Christ with your own righteousness. You probably don’t think of it that way, of course. However, only by His righteous life and death are we made holy before God at initial salvation. Only Faith in His righteous life and death can make us holy after we have been saved. Only the Spirit of God can change you on the inside. Only His Spirit can set your heart and mind apart from the sin nature. No amount of spiritual disciplines or self-denial can accomplish this. And yes, holiness on the inside will reflect in your outward behavior! But, when the Holy Spirit does the changing, you can’t take any of the glory! You understand that you, didn’t change you. God changed you! That is why the apostle Paul said, “But God forbid that I should glory (boast), save in The Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). The ONLY WAY to live a victorious life is by Faith and grace, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Not just once, but EVERYDAY!
As well, it must be realized that God’s Solution for sin is UNIVERSAL. He died for the sin of the whole world (1 John 2:2). It is the solution for every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet. Everyone’s problem is sin, no matter the culture or country they live in. We all are born under the control of the sin nature, and remain under it’s control until we accept God’s redemption plan. Jesus Christ came and died so that ALL might live a more abundant life (John 10:10).