by Dr. Charles Stanley
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is fundamental to our Christian life. He is the one who creates a desire in our hearts first to be saved and then to live a life pleasing to the Lord. Let's look more closely at His role in making us part of God's family.
It begins with illumination. Prior to our salvation, we were all spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1-2). Dead people cannot desire spiritual things; nor do they have any deep interest in seeking God. In addition, our physical minds were blinded by Satan, leaving us unable to understand the truth of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). For the situation to be corrected, Christ's Spirit had to penetrate our minds and teach us spiritual truth. Apart from the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of divine matters (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Illumination is followed by conviction. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, Christ's righteousness, and the coming judgment. As our minds absorb some basic truths about our sinful tendencies, we begin to feel dissatisfied with our behavior. Guilt occurs as we realize our own rebellion and self-centeredness. Our self-assurance over the rightness of our actions and motives disappears, and we feel sorrow instead.
The enlightening and convicting work of the Spirit is followed by the gift of faith, which leads to new life (Ephesians 2:8). When we trust Christ as Savior, we will repent and turn away from ungodliness.
Each new life of faith is ushered into the Father's family through the mission work of the Holy Spirit. Praise God for the gift of His Spirit!