Introduction to the Holy Spirit: Romans 5:5
“and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans‬ ‭5:5‬
Justification happens the moment we place saving faith in Jesus Christ. At that instant we are born-again. We become a child of God. But it is not a cold or static event. It is more like tipping the first domino that starts a chain reaction in our lives.
Everything Paul talked about in Romans 5:1-5 begins to unfold immediately… and much more. Why? Because at the moment of salvation we are both sealed and filled with the Holy Spirit. This is a New Testament phenomenon that does not come through the Law or in the Old Testament. This is the promise Jesus made to His disciples. (See John 14:16-21)
From the moment of salvation forward, the Holy Spirit is active in the life of the believer. He begins the process of changing them from the inside out. This is often referred to as the doctrine of sanctification. He works to bring our character and conduct into harmony with our justification.
Romans 5:5 says that this includes pouring out the love of God within our hearts. The word “love” in this verse is “agape.” I simply call this “the God kind of love.” Both 1 John 4:8 and 16 say that “God is love.” This kind of love is connected to the very character and nature of God. It is part of His essence.
In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul talked about the fruit of the Spirit; “22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” This is a broader panoramic view of Romans 5:8. It is also a character portrait of Jesus Himself.
As the sanctification process unfolds, each believer should begin to reflect this image of Christ. Paul hints at this in Romans 8:29-30. God predestines us to become conformed to the image of His Son.
A common mistake many young Christians make is focusing more on the power of the Holy Spirit “through them” rather than the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit “in them” producing personal holiness and Christ likeness. I am learning that the “through them” is intimately connected to the “in them.”
Let me be candid, God can work through a dumb mule to accomplish a given work, but He doesn’t ordain mules into full time fruitful ministries. In the same way, the Holy Spirit can do amazing things through anyone, but a life of fruitfulness comes from abiding in Jesus and His Word on a daily basis. Read the full context of John 14-16 and the promised ministry of the Holy Spirit. Notice the emphasis Jesus made in John 15. He wants us to abide in Him. He wants us to bear much fruit.
If you are a new Christian, I encourage you to start an extended biblical study of the ministry of the Holy Spirit as soon as possible. If Satan cannot stop a person from becoming a Christian, he will work overtime to keep them ignorant, timid or confused about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Make walking in the Spirit a life long pursuit.
Read and listen to what others have to say about the Holy Spirit, but make this subject a life long study of your own. As you read your Bible over and over again, be diligent to underline, highlight, take notes and compare everything the Bible says about the Holy Spirit.
I have been a believer since 1973 and this subject is more meaningful, precious and insightful for me than ever before. God is constantly coloring in the picture with compounded new understanding. I am confident He will do the same for you as well.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global