Among some Christians, the Holy Spirit is treated as the Cinderella of the Godhead. He is relegated to a dusty corner of their theology and he is brought out only on the festival of Pentecost. Some fringe groups do not even dignify him with having the characteristics of God but instead refer to him as the inanimate power by which Jesus and the Father works.
The Bible, on the other hand, paints a picture of this third person of the Godhead who is actively involved in the daily activity of the church and the life of the individual Christian. His work is comprehensive and essential in achieving God’s purposes here on earth. He works in tandem with the Father and with Christ in the process designed to bring man from sin to conforming him to the image of Christ, to bringing mankind to his ultimate destination in the glorious Kingdom when Christ returns.
The Holy Spirit’s Work
The Spirit convicts that world of sin (John16:8-11). Without this ministry, persons would never realize their sinful condition and their desperate need for the saving grace of Jesus.
He regenerates us. The Spirit imparts eternal life through the new birth and this, in turn, implants the divine nature in the child of God. Tit.3:5; 2Pet.1:4; Eph.2:1-6; 2Cor.5:17; Rom.6:3-11.
The Holy Spirit baptizes us. By the Spirit, all believers in Christ have been baptized into one body(the church) 1Cor.12:13; Rom.8:9,15; Eph.1:5.
We are sealed by Him. The promise and gift of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance. Eph.1:13-14; 4:30; 2Cor.1:22.
He lives in the Christian. The Holy Spirit takes up his residence in us. The body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit.(1Cor.6:19). With him living in us, we can be lights and salt in this sinful world
He fills the Christian for a life of service to God and fellowman (Eph.5:18). We are God’s workmanship created to do good works. The Holy Spirit gives the believer the heart and mind of Christ that exemplifies the good Christ did; so we too can have good works.
He empowers the Christian in order to accomplish the work of the kingdom. Acts 4:8,31;13:9-10. He empowers us in our daily lives to follow His leading. He produces the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. He enables us to crucify the sinful nature and clothes us with the new man which is the life of Christ.
The Holy Spirit assures us of our standing in Christ. He testifies to our spirit that we are children of God (Rom.8:16; 1John 3:24; 5:7-8). He reassures us in times of testing that nothing can pluck us out of the Father’s grip. No wonder the Apostle Paul could say “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteousJudge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2Tim.4:7-8
The Holy Spirit who inspired the scriptures(2Pet.1:21) also illuminates the scriptures so that Christians may know the things given to them by God (1Cor.2:10-16). The things of God cannot be understood or discerned by the unaided human mind. The Spirit gives believers needed insight into the meaning and the application of God’s word for everyday situations.
The Holy Spirit teaches, reinforces and reminds us of God’s word (1John 2:27). He leads us into all truth and helps us to discern error from truth (John 16:13).
The Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Rom.8:26-27). In times when we are overwhelmed with pain, sorrow, and hurt, and we find it hard to pray, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and prays on our behalf. When we cannot express our deep feelings to the Father, the Holy Spirit reads our intentions and conveys them to the Father.
The Holy Spirit gives gifts to members of the body of Christ (1Cor.12:7-11) for the edification and encouragement of all believers. Every believer is given a gift or gifts that should be used to build up the church as well as to glorify God.
The Holy Spirit plays an active role in the call and in the sanctification of the believer. He is God, sent by Jesus Christ on his ascent to the Father. He abides with us and is in us. Let us recognize how important He is in our lives, yield to him, walk in step with him and depend on his guidance daily.
A retired special education teacher with a Masters Degree in Education from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and professional certificates in Educational Management and Teaching Deaf Children from the University of the West Indies. Possess many years experience supervising teachers and instructing children in a church setting, planning and supervising day camps for children.
My ambition is to proclaim Jesus Christ to all and especially to those who have fallen into error. My hope is that they may see the light and be saved from those who prey on their souls.