The Purpose of the Holy Spirit

What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit?  What do we gain by having a relationship with God?

John 16:8-15

And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11  and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15  All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. 

We usually view “conviction” as a negative word.  The original text indicates that “convict” means to reveal, to give revelation to, which can be either negative or positive depending which side you are on.  Even though we might refer to guilty persons (as decided by the courts) as a convict, we should be careful to note that a “conviction” can carry either a guilty or not guilty charge.  Sometimes we have to get past our colloquial language to understand the true meaning of what the Scriptures say.  The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the truth of these three things to the world, both believer and unbeliever.

Sin: the Spirit will write God’s law of love upon the heart of the believer.  The law reveals the sinfulness of man.  It is not in reference to the list of laws the Israelites received from God at Mt. Sinai, but rather what pure and true love really is.  The opposite of which is sin: selfishness.  We can see a description of this love in 1 Corinthians 13 as well as 1 John 4.  We should note that just because this is written upon our hearts does not mean that we perfectly embody this.  We can see the actions of believers all over the world violating this very law.  It isn’t that they are following it, just that they know better.

Righteousness: just as Christ was righteous because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, so too are believers considered righteous as a result of receiving him.  Jesus was previously saying that it is better that He went away so we can have access to the Holy Spirit in this way.  The Spirit is our source of living a righteous life, however we must access it.  Even though we are saved by faith, it doesn’t mean we are suddenly perfect in this world and that we can do no wrong.  In fact we see the very opposite of that.  Just as the Spirit writes the law of love on our hearts, He also gives us the power to live it out.  What we (mankind) couldn’t do by the letter of the law (earning righteousness) He gives us righteousness so we can embody it.

Judgment: because Satan is judged.  We generally don’t pay attention to Satan as the ruler of this world, but if we look back, we see that a result of original sin was mankind giving up the title deed of this world to him.  It is through the Holy Spirit that we take it back.  Jesus upheld the law and died innocently for all.  He fulfilled that which could not be fulfilled and thus won it back for us.  The kingdom of God grows as we continue to claim the authority He won back for us.  The Spirit in us reveals that judgment and helps us to realize that authority has been returned to us.  As we realize this, we get to expand the kingdom on earth so that others will be able to have the same realization.

If this all wasn’t enough, we see in verse 13-15 that this isn’t everything!  There is much more that God has in store for us!  As if understanding God’s love, the embodiment of righteousness, and reclaiming that which was ours in the first place isn’t awesome on its own, God has even more to share with us!  Our God is truly a loving God.  We get to not only have a relationship with Him, but as a result He blesses us beyond measure because He loves us that much.  We don’t become His servant; we become His son (or daughter).  Why wouldn’t you want this?

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