What Is the Holy Spirit’s Purpose?
by Chris Hodges
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.
To understand the Holy Spirit‘s place in our lives, we must realize that the Holy Spirit is an actual person—not human, but what we think of as personality. The Bible never refers to the Spirit as “it” but always as “him.” If we don’t see the Spirit as someone we can relate to and get to know, then it remains tough for us to have an intimate relationship with him. Consider Jesus’ words to his disciples about the Spirit of truth in John 14:17. Don’t miss it: the Holy Spirit is a person who wants to relate to us personally—in fact, he should be our best friend.
In John 14:16, Jesus introduces us to the Spirit and reveals how his presence enriches our lives in every way. Jesus says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” The Greek word here for “Counselor” is parakaleo, literally “one called alongside to help.” Some Bible commentaries point out that the same word refers to someone who picks up the other end of the log you’re carrying. I love this image of the Spirit being a very practical helper and co-laborer in our lives.
Parakaleo can also be translated as “comforter,” one who lightens your burdens through encouragement. If you’ve ever had a very close friend, you know how comfortable it is to be able to relax and be yourself around him or her. That’s what the Holy Spirit wants us to do around him. He’s an encourager and a comforter, a protector and an up-lifter unlike any other we’ll ever have. He knows and wants what is best for us.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible, who inspired and directed the writing of each book, and knows how to bring each verse into our everyday lives. “But 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). He helps us share the Good News of Christ with those around us. “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me” (John 15:26). He convicts us of sin in our lives, stirring our consciences and making us aware of what is true and what will please our Father. “Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world” (John 16:7-8). And he is our guide through the many twists and turns of our lives, always reminding us of God’s wisdom. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
So if you’re stuck in the doldrums, remember that the Holy Spirit is the ultimate wind in your sails. He’s God’s blast of breath inside you, empowering you and guiding you to your truest self and your most abundant life. If you want fresh air in your life, let him be your friend. It’s that simple.