Taken from a message by Billy Graham
It is impossible to understand the Bible, Christian living, the structure of the church or our own relationship with God without understanding the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an “it.” The Holy Spirit is a person. The Bible says that He is not something. He is Someone. He is God.
To understand this better, let’s talk about the Trinity. There are three persons in the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Christians do not worship multiple gods; they worship one God who takes on different forms. God the Son, or Jesus Christ, was God in human form. The Holy Spirit lives inside us when we accept Christ and helps us grow closer to God.
The moment we receive Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is all-powerful and present everywhere. The Holy Spirit teaches us and takes us deeper into God’s truth as we go along in our Christian life.
There is not a person anywhere who can be a Christian without the Holy Spirit. There is not a person who can follow Christ without the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sees everything that goes on. He knows what goes on in our hearts. He knows what goes on in our minds. Nothing is hidden from Him.
The Holy Spirit is also called holy. The Bible says, “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). One of the Holy Spirit’s ministries is to help make us holy—to become more like Christ.
How does the Holy Spirit work?
First, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8, NKJV). He uses a mother’s prayers, or a tragic experience, or a pastor’s sermon, or some other experience to convict us of sin and of our need to give our lives to Jesus Christ. He points to us and says, “You are a sinner. You need to repent.”
We don’t like to hear that, but without conviction, we could never have our sins forgiven, we could never be saved and we could never go to Heaven.
Second, the Holy Spirit gives new life. The Bible says that we are dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1). Our spirit within us, made in the image of God, is dead toward God. Mankind needs life. Yet, we have all sinned and, therefore, are dead toward God. The Holy Spirit, however, gives us new life in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “No one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again”(John 3:3).
But how is someone born again? What does that mean? The Holy Spirit is the one who makes you born again; it is a supernatural act. It isn’t the good things we’ve done, but God’s mercy through the Holy Spirit that saves us (Titus 3:5). All we have to do is accept the free gift of salvation by accepting Christ.
Third, the Holy Spirit lives in us. As you read this, you may realize that you are spiritually dead, but God says, “I will put my Spirit in you. I will come to live in you.” That’s the reason we should never take anything unclean into our bodies. That’s the reason we should discipline our bodies. God loves your body. He doesn’t want it polluted by fleshly lusts or harmful substances. The Bible says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Fourth, The Holy Spirit gives you power to serve Christ. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). Christ is coming back again, and He is ready to come into your heart by the Holy Spirit and make you a new person. Will you accept Christ as your Savior?