12 Gifts of ChristX – The Holy Spirit
I am still in awe of the fact that by simply tapping a small, wireless, handheld device we can talk to someone hundreds, or even thousands of miles away, reaching them in seconds. How can this be? Or that we can witness in real time events happening on the other side of the globe. It’s like magic! I don’t think it would make much of a difference if I completely understood the natural phenomena and the technology that harnesses them to enable us to connect over such great distances. The fact that we can is so incredible as to be almost unbelievable.
But we experience it every day, so we believe it. And largely take it for granted. So it is with this fourth gift given us when we believe in Jesus. It is immeasurably more phenomenal than anything modern technology allows, but we Christians affirm it and then largely, for many anyway, disregard it. But should we not be constantly in awe of the fact that when we believe, God himself comes to live within us?
God is a trinity – one God, three persons. I’ll leave the exposition of that truth for another post…or someone else’s post. It’s a hard concept to understand. But the Bible clearly teaches it, and I believe it. The Holy Spirit is God as much as the Father and the Son, and when we believe and trust in Christ he actually comes to reside in us. I’ll ask again…how can this be? The God of the universe who spoke it into being, who creates life from non-life and raises the dead, living inside this frail, decaying body prone to sin? It’s more than amazing, but very true.
I referenced the Holy Spirit in my last two posts because this great gift enables us to experience many of the others. He is our power source. Through and because of him we can understand God’s Word; share it with others; contribute to the edification and building up of the church; experience hope, encouragement, and strength in times of difficulty; receive guidance in decision-making; avoid sin; and know that we belong to God. Among other things.
But the most wondrous blessing that the gift of the Holy Spirit provides is making us a new creation. His is the life we receive when we are born again. This reality of the Spirit of Christ within us is why we should expect to see a change in the new believer. If the life you are now living is the life of God himself, how can we ever be the same? When I became a believer my desires changed, my understanding increased, my awareness of sin grew a hundredfold. I am not the same person I was before.
With new desires and a radical shift in one’s attitude towards sin, there are often some in your circle who will be unhappy with the change. The Holy Spirit empowers us to continue to love them even when they reject us. But we become part of a worldwide family of strangers who are actually siblings. It’s a cool experience to meet someone for the first time, discover that they’re a Christian, and instantly feel a genuine connection.
The indwelling Holy Spirit, though often and sadly ignored, is a gift whose worth is beyond measure. What great love the Father must have for those who believe to come and make his home with us.
Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.