As Christians, we are given the Spirit of God to live within us. Romans 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” I believe that all true Christians desire to belong to Christ and to receive the blessings in Him. As a result, we should also desire to have His Spirit dwelling within us; if we do not have His Spirit within us, we are told that we are not Christ’s.
We receive the Spirit when we are baptized, according to the apostle Peter. Act 2:38-39 “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.’” The apostles also told us that the Spirit is given to those who obey God. Acts 5:32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” As a Christian, you are the temple of God with the Spirit dwelling in you. 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” The conclusion is that we need to have the Holy Spirit within each of us as Christians.
There are multiple blessings we receive through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and intercedes for us to the Father. Romans 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” We all need help with our weaknesses. What a great blessing that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and intercedes for us!
Through the Spirit, we can put to death the sinful deeds of the body. Romans 8:12-13 “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” I understand that the Spirit helps us put to death the sinful deeds of the body.
But the apostle continues in Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Can we really be led by the Spirit today? I believe we must, if we are to be the true children of God. The Holy Spirit was given to the Apostles to teach them and remind them of what Jesus had taught them. Jesus said in John 14:25-26 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” Just as the Holy Spirit taught the apostles and reminded them of the things that Jesus said, I believe that the Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us of things revealed to us in the Bible.
Since as sons (and daughters) of God we are to be led by the Spirit, you may ask how does the spirit lead me? In the past, God has provided leading to mankind through dreams or visions (Acts 16:9) and visits from angels (Acts 27:23). The priests used the Urim and the Thummim to make decisions (Exodus 28:30). Today, the Spirit may give you some sign. He may open a door of opportunity for you. He may speak to your through your conscience. Since one function of the Spirit is to remind us, He may remind you of a scripture that will provide you leading and direction. You are promised that God will give you wisdom if you ask Him. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Since the Bible was inspired by the Spirit of God, any leading from the Spirit you may receive will not be contrary to what the Bible teaches; the Holy Spirit would not contradict Himself. I do not know how the Holy Spirit will lead you. But I encourage you to pray for His leading in your life. Sometimes I forget to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit about a problem or situation. Then my wife asks me “Have you prayed about it?” My encouragement to you is to seek to be led by the Holy Spirit; pray for His leading.
We are encouraged not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” We are not told how we might grieve the Holy Spirit, but this is the picture I get. The Holy Spirit is within us, seeking to help us and lead us in our lives. When we do not listen to the Spirit but follow our fleshly desires, the Holy Spirit is grieved. He wants the best for us, but we are going a different way. Listen and follow the Holy Spirit and do not grieve Him by following the flesh.
We are given a list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” I understand the fruit of the Spirit to be the result of having the Holy Spirit living within a believer and the believer being led by that Holy Spirit. Of course, that means that we must crucify or put to death the flesh with its passions and desires. The flesh and the Spirit are contrary to each other. Galatians 5:16-17 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” One cannot walk in the Spirit and fulfill the lust of the flesh. When we walk in the Spirit, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit.
I encourage you to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit within you as a Christian. Crucify the flesh and walk in the Spirit.