The Holy Spirit’s main purpose is to point to Jesus and to lead his followers into all truth. On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus said this to his disciples, “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit came to enable us to know Jesus through the miracle of the new birth and to give us the power to live an abundant life which Jesus promised to all who trust and follow him.
On one occasion Jesus told a devoutly religious man named Nicodemus that he had to be reborn in order to see and enter the Kingdom of heaven — he had to start all over again (John 3:1-15). The basis of this rebirth was the work of God’s Spirit. Jesus said the Spirit would work in a person’s life like the wind. We cannot see the wind itself when it is blowing, but we can note the effects:
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
In this way Jesus gave us a guide for how the Holy Spirit works in the disciple. The Spirit will be known more by its influence in our lives, than by a direct and tangible experience. The Spirit is the invisible presence of Jesus that turns our hearts to Jesus and inspires us to trust and follow him.
Think about this for a moment: The Holy Spirit reveals the reality of Jesus’ presence. The Spirit gives us access to the same eternal quality of life that Jesus lived on earth. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came as the Spirit of the incarnate, crucified, and exalted Jesus. Note that the risen Jesus didn’t become the Holy Spirit. He rather came through the Spirit. Today, Jesus is present with us through the Spirit.
“The Spirit is not a passive power that we can wield as we choose. The Spirit is God, a Being who requires that we submit ourselves to be led by Him.” Francis Chan