On the last night of His earthly life, our Lord Jesus promised His disciples a Helper, Counselor, or Comforter, “even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness…” John 15:26, 27 (KJV). A major work of the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christians to preach the Gospel. But there is much more.
The Holy Spirit is the mighty power by which God works in our lives. This divine force transforms us into the image of Jesus and prepares believers to be priests and to reign with Him in the next age. (Revelation 1:6; 5:10)
But the transformation is not instantaneous. The Bible speaks of “the sanctifying work of the Spirit” (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2) Paul stresses the importance of the “fruit of the Spirit” and reminds us to walk according to the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24). As we sincerely study God’s word, the Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds to more fully “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2, KJV) “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10, NIV). This lifelong process continues until the Christian’s earthly life is over, and he is born in heaven.
Christians have many reasons to rejoice, but their way is often difficult. They not only suffer tribulations “common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13), but they can expect persecution as they seek to live righteously (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus’s promise of a Comforter was to encourage them, even as He warned them of the difficult times ahead (John 15:18-25). Without the mighty, holy power of God’s Spirit, how would Christians become “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37)?
Our Heavenly Father gives us reason to trust Him; we learn to believe He will accomplish all He has promised. “Now it is God who… put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21,22)
Ultimately, when the church