Have you ever thought how wonderful it would have been to have lived when Jesus walked on this earth? How grand and glorious would it have been to have lived back in the "good old days"? But I want to tell you it's better to live right now than back then. These are the good old days! Let me explain why.
Jesus said in John 16:7, "It is expedient for you that I go away." And in John 14:12, He promised, "...He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father" (John 14:12). He explains in verses 16-17 that it would be better when He left because He would send the Holy Spirit in His place: "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Let me tell you four ministries of the Holy Spirit that make it better that He is here and Jesus is in heaven.
The Holy Spirit Resides in Us
One definition of the Holy Spirit is that He is Christ in the Christian. If you're a born-again child of God, the Holy Spirit of God is in you. In the Old Testament, and even when Jesus was walking this earth, the Holy Spirit was a presence with men; now He is in men. The Holy Spirit resides in us that He might restore the presence of Jesus in us.
The Holy Spirit Reveals Jesus to Us
Not only is He the residing Spirit, but He is the revealing Spirit. John 16:13 says, "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth...He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you." The Holy Spirit is the way I can know Jesus. Apart from the Holy Spirit, we can only know about Jesus.
The Holy Spirit Reminds Us
The Holy Spirit is also the reminding Spirit: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit quickens our minds not only to learn the truth, but to recall it. He opens our understanding, speaks to us, and gives us recall.
The Holy Spirit Reproves Us
Finally, our Lord gives us another wonderful promise concerning the Holy Spirit in John 16:7-8: "...if I depart, I will send Him [the Holy Spirit] unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." I can't convict of sin, but the Holy Spirit of God in me, works to convict and reprove. Without the Holy Spirit, it would be impossible for me win anyone to the Lord.
Charles Finney was a preacher greatly anointed of God. He traveled around the country leading revivals. It is told that once, as he visited a factory, a woman made a sort of a caustic, half-way funny remark about the man of God and about revivals. Finney walked over but never uttered a word. He just looked at that woman. The power of the Spirit in the presence of that man brought her under great conviction. She broke down and began to weep, and conviction began to spread through that factory. Finney had not even preached, but the Spirit of God worked powerfully and almost every one there gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ that day.
This story illustrates the power of the Holy Spirit working through us. If Jesus were in His earthly body, He could be at one place at one time and with only a limited number of people. But through the Spirit, He is everywhere and available to all of us at all times. It is better for us right now to have the Holy Spirit in us than to have Jesus in literal bodily form walking side by side with us. He is in us; He teaches us about Jesus; He gives us what to say; and He brings men to salvation. Thank God for His Holy Spirit. Yield your heart and life to Him today. Welcome to the good old days!
When we come to Him in repentance and faith, we are empowered-and expected-to live the Christian life not by trying, but by trusting. Faith is not only how we receive salvation, it is how we walk, day by day, in grace. Only by faith can we extend forgiveness to others, share God's truth, and leave a godly legacy. As the tapestry of your life unfolds, may you begin to see the wonders of living each day, moment by moment, a life of faith and forgiveness.