I’m pretty certain that most Christians if asked to choose between the physical presence of Jesus Christ on a daily basis and the indwelling presence of The Holy Spirit will choose the physical presence of Jesus. Yet, before sacrificing his life on the cross, Jesus said these profound words to his disciples:
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7
In his own words Jesus stated that it is to our benefit that he goes away so that we can have The Holy Spirit. Therefore, a Christian who lives his life without engaging the power and the presence of The Holy Spirit is living a sub-optimal life. If Jesus gave such high priority to him, it simply means we cannot live a full Christian life by ignoring him or being ignorant of his ministry.
Over the last few months, God has been teaching me about the ministry of The Holy Spirit and I have been learning to move beyond knowing God intellectually or even theologically to knowing Him as MY GOD through the help of The Holy Spirit. To read my last post on the person of The Holy Spirit, click here.
Today’s post focuses on the role of The Holy Spirit in salvation and my prayer is that it will be a blessing to you.
The Holy Spirit and Salvation
Because of His love for the whole world and His desire that none will perish, God draws us into a personal relationship with Himself through The Holy Spirit. Without the pull of God through The Holy Spirit when we hear the message of salvation, none of us will be saved.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. John 6:44
He is the one who convinces us of our sin of not believing in Jesus Christ and helps us realize how utterly helpless and hopeless we are without God. When a sinner responds to God’s call, accepts the saving grace of the cross of Jesus Christ by faith, declares with his mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believes in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead; he becomes saved, born again and a new creature in Christ Jesus (Romans 10:9, 2 Corinthians 5:17).
And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. John 16:8 (NLT)
Spiritual re-birth by The Holy Spirit
Getting born again is not a physical thing. Instead, it is a spiritual rebirth by the Spirit of God. God takes away a sinner’s old sinful spirit and gives him His own Spirit so that he becomes God’s child and direct offspring. The Holy Spirit gives birth to us and makes his dwelling within us thereafter. It is through The Holy Spirit that we are made new creatures in Christ Jesus and adopted into the family of God by His grace.
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:5-7
He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3:5-6 (NLT)
So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? Galatians 3:5
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Galatians 3:14
Adoption as children of God
Once we are saved, The Holy Spirit assures us of our salvation in Christ and lets us know with a certainty that we have been adopted into the family of God as His children.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6
And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:24b
The Seal of The Holy Spirit
Finally, God seals us with His own Spirit, The Holy Spirit showcasing us as as His most priced possession, demonstrating that we belong to Him and guaranteeing our eternal inheritance with Him in heaven. To read my post on the seal of The Holy Spirit, click here.
Without the third person of the Godhead, it is impossible to be born again. He convicts of sin, of God’s righteousness and God’s coming judgement. When we accept Christ’s sacrifice, The Holy Spirit by his own power gives us a new spiritual nature, comes to dwell in us and helps us grow and mature spiritually.
In light of this, I pray that you will fully comprehend and appreciate the role of The Holy Spirit in our salvation experience and that this knowledge will birth in you a desire to engage his power and presence. Furthermore, I pray that you will become more aware of his desire to lead us into God’s truth and be fully yielded to him on a daily basis.
Except where indicated, Scriptures are taken from the NIV.