Today's message will conclude the portion of this sermon series dealing with the character and nature of God. We have studied the doctrine of the Trinity and considered some of the attributes of God. We have talked about God the Father and God the Son. This morning we will spend a few minutes discussing the third Person of the Godhead - God the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures.
Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of
righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment
of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character,
comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He
seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that
God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the
believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. - Baptist Faith & Message 2000
The Holy Spirit is distinct among the Trinity in that, while certainly omnipresent, His primary dwelling place is among men here on the Earth. He acts in many varied ways, but His primary works include affecting salvation in the hearts of man and unveiling the truth of God to men. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us a keen consciousness or awareness of God, and apart from His presence we could not recognize or understand God properly.
The Holy Spirit is a person, just like the Father and the Son. He is not some mystic force, but rather has a personality that thinks, feels, speaks, acts, and so on. We can get to know the Holy Spirit more deeply and intimately as we develop a relationship with Him. While He has several names ascribed to Him, Jesus' favorite seemed to be the "Helper". The Holy Spirit helps people in a number of ways as our Counselor, Comforter, and Advocate.
Since the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and in present times, the Holy Spirit resides within the hearts and lives of all born again believers. However, prior to Pentecost the Holy Spirit did not dwell within believers, but rather would come upon them from without. As far as nonbelievers are concerned, the Holy Spirit works to convict them of sin and to woo them toward repentance, but does not indwell those who are not born again.
There are several activities of the Holy Spirit that we read about in the Bible. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment thereby drawing the lost to salvation. He affects regeneration and applies it to the hearts of men. He baptizes or places believers in to the "body of Christ" - the church - and gives each of them one or more spiritual gifts. He illuminates the truths of God, allowing us to perceive and understand spiritual things which the world cannot. He cultivates Christian character producing fruit within our lives. He enables and empowers Christians to worship, to serve, and to witness effectively. And when needed, He comforts believers and intercedes on our behalf.
The Holy Spirit, though a person, is often described to be like the wind. He is blowing within the lives of all who've truly accepted Christ. We can ignore His presence and drift aimlessly through our existence, we can disregard Him and row the boats of our lives in our own direction and by our own strength, or we can hoist the sails of our lives and allow them to be filled with the Spirit wind. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will propel us forward in His strength and in the proper direction.
Individuals and churches today, by and large, have neglected and squelched the Holy Spirit. As a result, many are simply going through the motions - weak, powerless, and misguided. It is my prayer for you individually, for us at Calvary, and for believers everywhere that we come to know and appreciate our "Helper" - the Holy Spirit - anew and afresh, and that we will "hoist our sails" allowing Him to fill us up so that we might become the people that God desires for us to be.