Of all the gifts given to mankind by God, there is none  greater than the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has many functions,  roles, and activities. First, He does a work in the hearts of all people  everywhere. Jesus told the disciples that He would send the Spirit into the  world to “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and  judgment” (John  16:7-11). Everyone has a “God consciousness,” whether or not they admit it.  The Spirit applies the truths of God to minds of men to convince them by fair  and sufficient arguments that they are sinners. Responding to that conviction  brings men to salvation.

Once we are saved and belong to God, the Spirit  takes up residence in our hearts forever, sealing us with the confirming,  certifying, and assuring pledge of our eternal state as His children. Jesus said  He would send the Spirit to us to be our Helper, Comforter, and Guide. “And I  will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you  forever” (John 14:16).  The Greek word translated here “Counselor” means “one who is called alongside”  and has the idea of someone who encourages and exhorts. The Holy Spirit takes up  permanent residence in the hearts of believers (Romans 8:91  Corinthians 6:19-20, 12:13). Jesus gave the Spirit as a “compensation” for His  absence, to perform the functions toward us which He would have done if He had  remained personally with us.

Among those functions is that of revealer  of truth. The Spirit’s presence within us enables us to understand and interpret  God’s Word. Jesus told His disciples that “when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes,  He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).  He reveals to our minds the whole counsel of God as it relates to worship,  doctrine, and Christian living. He is the ultimate guide, going before, leading  the way, removing obstructions, opening the understanding, and making all things  plain and clear. He leads in the way we should go in all spiritual things.  Without such a guide, we would be apt to fall into error. A crucial part of the  truth He reveals is that Jesus is who He said He is (John 15:26; 1  Corinthians 12:3). The Spirit convinces us of Christ’s deity and  incarnation, His being the Messiah, His suffering and death, His resurrection  and ascension, His exaltation at the right hand of God, and His role as the  judge of all. He gives glory to Christ in all things (John 16:14).

Another one of the Holy Spirit’s  roles is that of gift-giver. First Corinthians 12 describes the spiritual gifts  given to believers in order that we may function as the body of Christ on earth.  All these gifts, both great and small, are given by the Spirit so that we may be  His ambassadors to the world, showing forth His grace and glorifying  Him.

The Spirit also functions as fruit-producer in our lives. When He  indwells us, He begins the work of harvesting His fruit in our lives—love, joy,  peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control  (Galatians  5:22-23). These are not works of our flesh, which is incapable of producing  such fruit, but they are products of the Spirit’s presence in our lives.

The knowledge that the Holy Spirit of God has taken up residence in our lives,  that He performs all these miraculous functions, that He dwells with us forever,  and that He will never leave or forsake us is cause for great joy and comfort.  Thank God for this precious gift—the Holy Spirit and His work in our  lives!