A buddy of mine asked, “I hear so much about the Holy Spirit: Who is He and what can I expect if He comes to me?” The first answer is the Holy Spirit is God. He is the form in which God lives inside humans, enabling us to know God and respond to God. That’s the second answer. It’s kind of like this: Satellites send an invisible, wave of energy to your GPS device, that enables it to be a GPS, to become more than just a dead box of hardware and software. When the GPS gets the signal, it becomes fully alive, which means it is now able to operate the way it was designed to operate. God sends His Holy Spirit to those who will receive Him, so that we can operate the way we were designed to operate.
This is not some new change of plans for God; He has always had it in mind to do this. 700 years before Jesus, He told Ezekiel about His plan:
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. … (Ezekiel 36:28)
God’s plan is to to put His Spirit in us and make us fully alive. Religion tells us to try harder to obey the rules. God tells us, “I will put My Spirit in you and cause you to live as I have designed you to live” (my paraphrase of Ezekiel 36:27-28). When we operate as we were designed to operate, we become fully alive. In other words, God’s Spirit is our life.
Jesus once shocked and startled people by saying:
“I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. (John 6:53b)
But then He explained what He meant. He said:
“Does this offend you? … The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. (John 6:61-63 – excerpts)
The Spirit of God, living in us – guiding us, empowering us, connecting us to God in real time – is our life. With Him installed, we become fully alive. With that idea in mind, chew on these other quotes from Jesus:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“…I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. … Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:16b-20 excerpts)
Obviously, my friend needed more of an answer than those short tidbits. And we will go into it further in future posts. But, if this is new to you, chew on it. It is the essence of the fresh bread of life. Perhaps if you chew on it, one day you will be ready to swallow it.