The Holy Spirit isn’t reserved for the super-Christian or the professional clergy. If you are a Christian, if you have been born-again, if your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then the Spirit of the living God is active in your life, indwelling and empowering.
The Holy Spirit begins working in the life of every Christian in the process of salvation. Paul wrote to Titus saying, “When the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly...” (Titus 3:4–8, CSB). The Spirit of God is an active participant in the work of “regenerating and renewing” believers.
When “by grace through faith” one becomes a Christ-follower, the Spirit establishes permanent residency in that new life. Because Paul wanted the Corinthians to grasp this great truth, he wrote, “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16, CSB) and “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20, CSB).
Before His crucifixion, Jesus comforted His followers with the promise of His indwelling presence. “If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you” (John 14:15–17, CSB).
He saves. He indwells. And He guarantees an eternal salvation. When Carla and I were engaged, I gave her a ring to seal the deal. The ring declared my love, her acceptance of that love, and our unbreakable covenant. So it is with the Holy Spirit. God gave His Spirit as the down-payment, the earnest, the guarantee of our eternal salvation. “In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13–14, CSB). “You were sealed by him for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30, CSB).
He doesn’t just save and seal believers, He equips and empowers. At His ascension, Jesus promised, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you” (Acts 1:8, CSB). Power! In Greek that’s “dunimus”, from which we get the English word dynamite. The powerful Spirit of the Almighty, Omnipotent, Sovereign, King of kings lives with and within every Christian.
So, let’s ponder this. If, as the Bible clearly teaches, the Spirit of Jesus really does live in us, doesn’t that change everything? We don’t have to meet minimum religious requirements. We don’t have to check-off all the boxes. We don’t have to do, do, do...in order to be acceptable. In 2021 would you resolve to simply be filled daily with the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit and actively live under His gracious guidance in 2021?