I have been thinking a lot lately about the power of the Holy Spirit. Before His death, Jesus promised His disciples, and all believers who have come after them, that He would send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit to dwell in their hearts. John 15:26. Later, after the resurrection and before His ascension, Jesus told the believers to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come upon them, saying, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Acts 1:8. In Galatians, Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit, the power the Spirit gives us to exhibit “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23.
But last night I came across a passage that exemplifies my favorite gift of the Spirit. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church:
We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (NLT).
The Holy Spirit gives me, and all believers, “full assurance” that the Gospel of Christ is real and has the power to save us. Imagine that – “full assurance!”
I was reading an older post by a fellow blogger the other day about atheism and how the devout atheist Richard Dawkins has said that faith is believing without reason and evidence. Her response, which I loved, was that it wasn’t that Christians had faith without evidence, but that the evidence was something Richard Dawkins couldn’t see. She said, “For the Christian, however, faith is believing something will be in the future what it has been in the past based on its unwavering consistency.” It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability to see, evaluate, and understand the evidence of God’s unwavering consistency throughout the Old and New Testaments.
God was, is, and always will be a God of love and mercy, of justice and holiness. He has consistently tried to woo His creation back into a relationship with Him. By indwelling us with His wonderful Holy Spirit, He has succeeded in doing so in the hearts of all believers, giving us full assurance of His grace.