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Helpless Without the Holy Spirit

by Stephen Davey Scripture Reference:

Through faith in Christ, we receive the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit. His presence within us equips and empowers us to walk with God and serve Him. He is the constant Helper we all need.


As we set sail back into Romans chapter 5, for the first time in this letter, the apostle Paul mentions the Holy Spirit. He writes in verse 5, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

The Holy Spirit is another gift given to those who believe. So far, Paul has informed us that we have been given the gifts of peace, grace, assurance, and even suffering. Now, he says we have been given the Holy Spirit.

And beloved, without the Holy Spirit, we would never experience an amazing waterfall of gifts. The New Testament is clear that without the Holy Spirit, there would be:

            No gospel message,

            No conviction of sin,

            No witness for Christ,

            No illumination of Scripture,

No unity in the church,

No spiritual gifts at work,

No ability to effectively pray.

Without the Holy Spirit, there would be no such thing as Christianity.

One author wrote that the problem in the life of the average Christian today is not that he thinks too little of the Holy Spirit; it’s that he does not think about the Holy Spirit at all![1]

Again, Paul writes here in verse 5 that the love of God “has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” That means by the agency, by the action, of the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit is the connecting agent between God the Father’s love and the believer.

Back in January of 1930, the most far-reaching radio broadcast up to that time was about to take place. King George of England was to deliver a speech, and everyone listening by radio almost missed it. Just seconds before the king was to speak, a member of the control room staff tripped over a wire and broke it, severing the connection. One of the operators quickly grabbed each end of that wire, restoring the circuit through himself. Though 220 volts of electricity coursed through his body, he held on long enough for the king’s message to be heard.[2]

Well let me tell you, beloved, the King of Kings has a message for the world, and the Holy Spirit is the agent in that message being heard. The Spirit connects the wires, so to speak, empowering us to transmit the gospel throughout the world (Acts 1:8).

But what do we really know about this third member of the Trinity? Let me give you four important truths about the Holy Spirit.

First, while the Holy Spirit does not have a physical body, He certainly has a mind. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:11, “No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” The Holy Spirit is divinely brilliant—He is equally omniscient, or all-knowing, with God the Father and God the Son.

Second, the Holy Spirit has a will. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:11, “All these [spiritual gifts] are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”

Third, the Holy Spirit not only has a will, but He also has emotions. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” The word for grieve (lupeō) means to cause sorrow. When we disobey the Lord, the Spirit of God is filled with sorrow.

Fourth, the Holy Spirit has a place of residence. While He is omnipresent (present everywhere), in the uniqueness that only God can arrange, the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in every believer. Paul writes that “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

If you are a believer, you never have to ask God to give you the Holy Spirit because He already did. You do not have to pray for the Holy Spirit to come into you. He already has.

Many people think of the Holy Spirit like gasoline in a believer’s tank. You fill up with the gas of the Spirit on Sunday, but after a few days, you run out of gas; so, you go back to church and get refueled.

You say, “But Stephen, doesn’t the Bible say, ‘Be filled with the Spirit’?” Yes, it does. In Ephesians 5:18 Paul writes, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” That word “filled” can be translated “under the control of.” Paul is saying, “Do not be under the control of wine. Be under the control of the Holy Spirit. You have all of Him; now every day, let Him have all of you.”

There are at least three responses we ought to have toward this gift of the Person of the Holy Spirit.

First, we ought to listen to Him. He speaks through the word of Christ that resonates in our minds (Colossians 3:15). His voice is heard in our hearts, as it were, when we honor Him and follow Him (Galatians 4:6). He does not use audible sounds but inner impressions that align with the written Word of God.

Second, we ought to learn from Him. Jesus said back in John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”

We need to learn from Him—He illuminates the Word of God in our hearts! So, do not be shy; ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you study and worship and pray and sing your praise to God.

Third, we ought to lean on Him. Jesus promised His disciples in John 16:7, “If I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” That is a nice way of saying, “You are going to need help! And I am going to send you the Holy Spirit to help you along the journey.”

I will never forget my first day in the Raleigh area many years ago. My wife and I had decided to plant a church; and while she stayed in Atlanta with our newborn twin sons, I drove a twenty-foot rental truck to Raleigh with everything we owned inside. It was my mission for the next thirty days to find a place to live and a place to rent where we could begin holding church services. After I arrived and unloaded our belongings in a storage unit, I headed to Goldsboro to spend the night with missionaries we knew.

It soon began growing dark, and eventually I was completely lost. The road I was driving on suddenly became a gravel road—I was out in the country. There was a cornfield on my right and a farmhouse on my left. I turned into the driveway of that farmhouse to turn around, but I backed up too far, and the back wheels of that big truck went into the ditch off the side of the road.

The nose of the truck was pointing upward, and I sat there looking upward, asking the Lord to help me. I climbed down from the truck and then noticed a farmer walking down the long dirt lane from his home toward me. He was wearing overalls and a straw hat, and he came over to where I was, looked at the truck, looked at me, and then quietly said, “Do you need some help?”

My answer was, “Oh yes, I sure do!” He called a friend with a tow truck. They pulled me out, and I was soon on my way again.

Beloved, the Spirit of God walks alongside you throughout your day, asking you, “Do you need My help? Do you want My help?” And the only answer every believer should give, every single day is, “Oh yes, I sure do. Holy Spirit, I need your help. In fact, without You, I am absolutely helpless.” Let’s tell Him that today, as we ask Him to help us live for Christ.

[1] J. I. Packer, Knowing God (InterVarsity, 1973), 60.

[2] “National Affairs: Tingling Task,” Time magazine, February 3, 1930,

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