John 14:16-18 says, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (intercessor, advocate, helper, one called to one's side to give aid) that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (fatherless, orphaned): I will come to you.” Last week we began our series by looking at general facts about the Holy Spirit such as: He is a person with a personality; He is divine, being the third member of the Godhead; He possesses the attributes of God, such as being eternal, being truth, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and holy; He is called by many different names, and symbolized by fire, water, wind, oil, and dove. He works in the unbelieving world to restrain evil and to illuminate the unconverted soul concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. This week we will look at what He does in the life of a Believer.
Several immediate and permanent things happen at the moment of true conversion in the Believer’s life. You do not have to ask for them to be done – The Bible assures us that God supernaturally does them upon conversion. Some of these things are: regeneration, sanctification, baptism by the Holy Spirit, sealing, indwelling, becoming our earnest and our Paraclete. Upon hearing the Gospel, we simply repent (Act 26:18), believe and confess (Rom 10:9-10) Jesus as our Lord and Savior – God does the rest. We can by no means regenerate ourselves, or seal ourselves, or try to be indwelt, etc. We believe and receive.
Regeneration speaks of rebirth, recreation, the born again experience. At conversion, the Holy Spirit recreates our spirit. We become reborn into God’s family (Titus 3:5, 2Cor 5:17, Jn 1:12-13, 3:5). We cannot feel this happen, although there may be sensations of joy, peace, etc. We know this happens because God’s Word tells us so.
He sanctifies us, which means we are set apart as holy unto God (2Thess 2:13, 1Pt 1:2, 1Cor 6:11). We are sanctified at salvation (positional), we are being sanctified (progressively), and we will be sanctified (glorification – spirit, soul, and body) at the resurrection.
Upon conversion, the Holy Spirit baptizes (fully immerses, submerges so as to take on the nature of) our spirit into the body of Christ (1Cor 12:13, Eph 4:4, Gal 3:26-28, 1Pt 3:21). This inward truth is symbolized by the outward act of water baptism. We are immersed into Christ, and take on His nature. This is distinct from the filling of the Holy Spirit, which we will talk about next week.
The Holy Spirit seals us, which means we are stamped, marked, enclosed, hid in and sealed up – like a letter in an envelope (2Cor 1:21-22, Eph 1:13, 4:30, Col 3:3). Our spirit is secure in Christ. We are marked “Property of Jesus”, and sin is not generated in our spirit, nor does sin touch our spirit any longer. We are, on a practical level, one third redeemed. The fullness of our redemption (spirit, soul, and body) will be realized at the resurrection.
The Holy Spirit Himself becomes our earnest (security, pledge, down payment); guaranteeing our full redemption (2Cor 1:22, 5:5, Eph 1:13-14). We have the down payment for our full salvation dwelling on the inside of us! What a wonderful thought!
Upon conversion, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of us forever (Jn 14:16-17, Rom 8:9-11, 1Cor 6:19, 2Cor 6:16, Gal 4:6, 2Tim 1:14, 1Jn 4:4). We are His temple. To indwell means to reside in, inhabit, and occupy. The Christian becomes the walking house of God. Since He abides in us forever, we know for a fact He will never leave us or forsake us. He will not come and go – He comes to stay.
Finally, upon conversion, the Holy Spirit becomes our Paraclete (advocate, intercessor, helper, aid giver, comforter, consoler). He is our Friend. He teaches us all the things of God. He brings the Word to our remembrance. He guides us into all truth. He shows us things to come. He shows us the things freely given to us by God. He pours out God’s love in our hearts. He comforts us (Jn 14:26, 16:13-14, Rom 5:5, 1Cor 2:12-13, 2Cor 1:3-4, 1Jn 2:27).
The Holy Spirit is our dear Friend. He loves us immensely. He is for us. To have the greatest of Friends living within us is such a glorious truth. Cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit today. Love Him. Talk to Him. Rely on Him. Trust Him. We will continue this study next week. Until then, rejoice in The Lord!