If you have prayed the prayer of commitment, and trusted in
Jesus and His sacrifice for you on the Cross, you have just become
a child of God. This is one of the reasons why Jesus taught His
disciples to call God "Our Father" when they prayed. The Bible
speaks about God "adopting us into His family", but this is not the
end of the story.
When we respond to God's invitation, and commit ourselves to
following Jesus, God commits Himself to us by sending His Holy
Spirit to live within our hearts. Although there are lots of things
that the Holy Spirit does for us, I would like to focus on just three.
Firstly, although God adopts us into His family, having
"adopted" children is never enough for God - He wants
real sons and daughters. If my wife and I adopted a child
we would love it and provide for all its needs, but we could
never make that child our "actual" son or daughter because
it would be impossible to give it our DNA. This is why God
gives us His Spirit, to change the nature of our spiritual DNA
and make us His "actual" sons and daughters. We are God's
children, and you are a child of God.
Secondly, as well as sealing our adoption into God's family as his children, the Spirit acts
as a deposit guaranteeing our eternal life. There have been several occasions where I
have had to purchase a new car; the old one has got beyond repair and it's been time for
a change. Having decided what I needed I've gone through various dealers until I found
the right one. I don't generally carry such large amounts of money with me so I have left
a deposit on the car, which has guaranteed it would be mine when I returned with the full
amount and paid for it.
God's Spirit, living in our hearts, works in a similar way. He is God's deposit guaranteeing
that we belong to Him until such a time as we go to meet Him in His heaven.
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit equips us to work in God's "family business", the "business" of
telling others about Jesus. God does not draw people to Himself so that they can simply go
to church and sit in a pew. He wants everyone to know about His Son and so He has a part
for us all to play in sharing the Good News, and He gives us His Spirit to help us play that
part. If we ask Him, God will give us opportunities to speak about Jesus and, when those
opportunities arise, the Holy Spirit will give us the right words to say.
There is much more that God's Spirit does, including giving us all a special gift, talents we
can use to build up the Church. Discovering what gift you have is one of the keys to living
the rich, abundant life that Jesus offers. We will look at this later: for now, welcome to