The Holy Spirit is the least understood member of the Trinity. We can read about the Spirit in the Bible and still come away scratching our heads. In Genesis 1 & 2, the Spirit is hovering over the unformed world. In John 3, Jesus compares the Spirit to wind. In Matthew 3, the Spirit attends Jesus’ baptism in some dove-like shape. We come away with the idea that the Spirit is pretty important, but we still don’t know what to make of Him.

I say “Him” because the Spirit is not this impersonal, mystical force. The Spirit is actually a person. As such, we can actually have a relationship with Him. As we’re “walking” with the Spirit, here’s what He does for us:

1.     He guides us into truth

Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will glorify Me” (John 16:13-14). We can think of “glorifying” as magnifying. We’re able to see something bigger and with more detail than usual. This is what the Spirit does with Jesus in our lives. Another way to say it is the Spirit makes Jesus famous. Practically, the Spirit does that by illuminating Scripture, which means He confirms the truth of Scripture and shows us how it all points to Jesus.

2.    He convicts us when we sin

One way you can be certain the Holy Spirit is with you is the fact that you can’t enjoy your sin. When I became a Christian, it was really easy to give up drugs and alcohol, but that was not the case with sex. I remember the Spirit speaking to me one time after sinning in that area (again). It wasn’t audible, but it was a clear, “This is not who you are anymore.” That conviction was so strong and powerful. “Okay, I get it!” That was the work of the Holy Spirit leading me into holiness. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen.

3.    He empowers us to overcome sin

Do you have anyone in your life who has this constant need to be right and loves pointing out all the ways you’re wrong? Maybe it’s a classmate, co-worker, or even a relative. We try to avoid them as best as we can, but somehow, they’re always there. Thankfully it’s not that way with the Spirit. Yes, He speaks the truth and shows us our sin, but He also helps us overcome it. We are not on our own in the fight against sin. The reason we sin is we love it. The Spirit works on our hearts and causes us to desire the things that God desires. He gives us a greater love.

The Spirit is a Divine person, so our knowledge of Him can never be exhausted. There will always be an element of mystery. But because the Spirit is a person, we can know Him. Like any relationship, our knowledge of Him can grow. If we make a habit of listening for His voice, we’ll find abundant life now, not just at some point in the future.

Originally published at

Enter to Win the Puritan Paperbacks This July!

Charles Spurgeon once said, “By all means read the Puritans, they are worth more than all the modern stuff put together.”

The Puritans offer their readers a comprehensive, gospel-centered view of the Christian life where all of Christ matters for all of life. In recent years, Banner of Truth has published a 49-volume set called the Puritan Paperbacks where Christians today can glean from the Puritans of the past.

During the month of July, we’re giving away the entire 49-volume Puritan Paperback series for free to one providentially favored participant who enters. Enter today for your chance to win!