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Why do I need the Holy Spirit?

First and foremost, the answer is power.
Why do I need the Holy Spirit in my life? What does it do?

(Click to listen to an audio recording of this article, read by the author: Why do I need the Holy Spirit?)

Our own limits

It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are; it’s impossible to come to the life the Scriptures speak about on your own. You can have a good desire. You can have the best desire in the world. But you are limited, really. There are limits to what you can manage on your own.

You can gain a sense of what is right and wrong, according to your upbringing or surroundings. Your conscience can help you to a certain point. And you can manage a good bit of self-control over what people see, or that which is outward. But there’s one commandment that has to do with the inner life, and nobody can see if you’re transgressing it or not: “You shall not covet.” Covetousness is an inward desire, and since nobody can see what happens in your thoughts, not even the law can “arrest” you for that.

And, there, it’s like you hit a wall.

Power for the impossible

When you face the desires that arise from inside and the thoughts that come in the time of temptation, your own human abilities, your character traits and your best intentions can only help so much, regardless of how “good” they are.

Just consider someone like King David. He was described as a man after God’s own heart, and even he couldn’t manage a life of complete victory over sin“Victory over sin” means that you do not commit conscious sin – that which you know would be sin at that time when you are tempted. It doesn’t mean that you are without sin, but that temptation is overcome before it can become sin. (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Revelation 2:7)... More. When it came to his own desires, covetousness and lust of the eyes, he simply couldn’t overcome. These lusts and desiresThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More led him into physical transgression. (2 Samuel 11-12) And David was a good, good man; we’re not talking about just anybody. In Psalm 51 we read that he sorrowed over his sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More and repented from it, but he didn’t have the power necessary to overcome it.

The fact of the matter is that we all have a corrupt human nature, full of lustsThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More and desires that strive against God’s will. In the Bible we can read that these lusts must not only be denied, but “crucified,” or “put to deathIs to overcome the temptations to sin that arise when our lusts and desires draw us to react in ways we know to be evil (i.e. pride, hatred, evil-speaking, envy etc.) It is the act of denying those thoughts and refusing to agree with them. The lust to sin is not only suppressed, but it actually dies. (Romans 8:13; Colossians... More.” (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:24; Colossians 3:5) But we are simply not capable of completely overcoming these destructive lusts and desires in our own strength. We need help!

When Jesus was on earth, He promised that after His departure, He would send the Helper, The Holy Spirit. He also said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …” Acts 1:8. And that is the primary purpose of the Holy Spirit: to give us power and help to totally overcome sin, something that is impossible by human nature! (Romans 8:1-17)

Unlimited help and guidance

There is nobody who knows everything, right from the start. But, the Holy Spirit does know, because He was together with Jesus throughout His entire life. He knows Jesus’ footsteps, who, when He was a man like us, never sinned, despite being tempted in all things. (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21-22)

So the Holy Spirit can be a guide for you, showing you your own sin and giving you power to overcome the sin you are conscious of. He can also show you things that you need to be cleansed from, unconscious sin: things that you weren’t necessarily aware of. He is called the Spirit of Truth, The Helper and the Teacher, and He can train you in righteousness and give you all the power you need to live a victorious life!

If you have the Holy Spirit, He can actually make things very clear for you. It’s not something mystical, where you sit and meditate and hear this “mystical voice” telling you what to do. But, the Spirit will guide you in the right direction. And you can learn to hear His voice. By being obedient to God’s Word and what He works in your heart, you can tune your ear, so that you can hear more and more clearly. The Spirit can guide you through all things, which is a tremendous comfort, and a good reason why He is also called the Comforter.

Jesus described the Spirit that would come after He left. He said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26.

The Holy Spirit has many things to tell you. He can give you strength, help, comfort and guidance. By obeying Him, you can live the faithful life that you have longed for. You can have communion with God, and always be in tune with His voice. You can become an heir with Christ, an overcomer, someone with a future, not only here on earth, but in all eternity! Have you asked to receive the Holy Spirit?

You may be interested in reading more on our topic page about the Holy Spirit, or in the articles below.

What does the Holy Spirit do for us?

What it means to walk in the Spirit

Key teachings

Explore how God’s Word challenges and empowers us to live 100% according to His will, so we no longer need to fall in sin, but can come to a life of victory.

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The Grace that is in Christ Jesus

“When people think about grace, they usually think about the forgiveness of sins; and since we have all sinned, we all need grace.” Sigurd Bratlie opens this booklet about grace with these words. However, he goes on to describe in-depth that the grace that is in Christ Jesus means so much more than forgiveness. It also means truth and help. It teaches us not to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More, so that we can be completely free to live a life of victory that leads to perfection.

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