Holy Spirit: What is His role in our life today?
You will notice that I said, “His role,” not “Its role.” That’s because the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. God is what is called a trinity. That means we have God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit. God is One in essence, but three in His personality. This may at first seem strange to you, but we have similar things in other areas of life. For instance, with water there’s liquid, vapor, and ice. Which one is water? They all are! Another example is found with an egg. There is the yoke, the egg white, and the shell. Which is the egg? Answer: They are all essential parts of what we speak of as an egg. We ourselves as believers are also a trinity. The Bible tells us we are composed of a spirit, a soul, and a body.
I Thessalonians 5:23
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Emphasis added]
In this study, I simply want to point out what we are told about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers today. I say believers, meaning I’m assuming you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior. That means you’ve accepted the fact that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and raised from His grave on the third day for your justification [being credited with God’s righteousness] and salvation [being delivered from eternal condemnation and punishment].
I Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel [the good news] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]
It is believing these things apart from any works on our part at all that results in our salvation.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Emphasis added]
If you’ve accepted His work alone for your salvation, you are then what we speak of as a believer.
In this study, I speak of the Holy Spirit’s work today because His work has not always been the same as it is during this present period of history we speak of as the Dispensation of Grace. So, we’re simply going to look at some things the apostle Paul tells us have been provided for us through the Holy Spirit in our time. You’ll find that all these things make us a VERY blessed people. But obviously you can’t appreciate these provisions if you don’t know what they are. So, here’s a summary of each of them. We’ll note a few details about each of them as we go through this, but here’s the list we’ll be working from.
The Holy Spirit…
- Regenerates us
- Enlightens us
- Enables us
- Indwells us
- Seals us
- Baptizes us
- Transforms us
- Warns us
- Strengthens us
- Prays for us
- Is our earnest
- Is our revealer
Every one of these represent an expression of God’s grace. Apart from His grace, we’d be lost forever! It has always amazed me that so many people have not taken the time to learn about these things. You’ll now have a chance to be an exception to that. Although BOOKS have been written about each of these, we’ll just look at a summary of each one.
1-The Holy Spirit regenerates us.
This means it is the Holy Spirit Who gives us spiritual life. Until the moment of salvation we are all spiritually dead.
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened [SUZOOPOIEO = made alive] us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [Emphasis added]
We are born into this world with physical life, but not spiritual life. Not until we are “born again” do we gain spiritual life. This has been the case for man since the time when Adam and Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden. All people of every generation have a need for this spiritual life of God. It comes to us today by grace through faith alone in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration [PALINGENESIA = born again], and renewing [ANAKAINOO = make new] of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [Emphasis added]
2-The Holy Spirit enlightens us.
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, [Emphasis added]
Apart from this, we’d be completely ignorant, having no knowledge at all of spiritual truth and the things pertaining to the nature of God. Spiritual life alone is not enough. We must know God’s thinking, His way, and His will.
I Corinthians 2:9-16
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
This is telling us that knowledge of God and His provision for us does not come to us through our natural means of perception.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
By comparing the truths of Scripture, we as believers learn of the things He would have us know. It is then that we grow in our understanding of spiritual truths, namely, the things of God.
14 But the natural man [the unbeliever] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual [the believer who functions under the influence of God’s word] judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
Unbelievers do not understand us and the way we think about things. They have no comprehension of it because they are spiritually blind.
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ. [Emphasis added]
The “we” here speaks of believers who subject themselves to the teaching of God’s Word as given to us in the Bible, especially the revelation given through the apostle Paul. It is in this manner that God helps us refrain from sin and many errors in judgment. Ignorance, just not knowing, gets a lot of people in trouble. It is the Holy Spirit who navigates us through life as we move from one situation and one decision to another.
3-The Holy Spirit enables us.
All members of the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are a part of this. They all work together to enable us, giving us the power to live the manner of life He desires for us.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. [Emphasis added]
II Timothy 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. [Emphasis added]
I Timothy 1:12
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry [a position of service for Him]; [Emphasis added]
Only the Holy Spirit has the power to make the changes in us that are desired of God. Being unseen, it is hard for us to understand this. But the principles are to be believed.
4-The Holy Spirit indwells us.
Here, too, it is to enable us to live for Him. We actually have God, in this way, living in our bodies. Therefore, there’s a real sense in which our body is sacred and to be treated as such. As an example of this, we have the command to flee from [or avoid] fornication because our body serves as a “temple” [a sanctuary] for the Holy Spirit. We are to, therefore, treat it respectfully. Avoiding fornication is but one of many examples of how we are to do that.
I Corinthians 6:18-20
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19 What? know ye not that your body [not buildings] is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. [Emphasis added]
We are even told that if we don’t have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we are not even saved.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his [meaning unsaved]. [Emphasis added]
5-The Holy Spirit seals us.
In this case, the Holy Spirit secures us in our relationship with God. He makes our blessed relationship with Him a permanent one. Our saved status continues right on, regardless of any form of sinfulness on our part. We are told that it grieves God when we sin, but never does it cause Him to sever His relationship with us [I Corinthians 12:21].
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. [Emphasis added]
Nothing we ever do will break that seal of our salvation. This sealing of the Holy Spirit we received at salvation will withstand any and every spiritual failure on our part. Our security in our relationship with God is permanent. We should never forget that.
13In whom [speaking of Christ] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, [Emphasis added]
6-The Holy Spirit baptizes us.
The word baptism [BAPTISMA in the Greek] simply means to identify one thing with another. In this case believers are once and for all identified with Jesus Christ, as well as fellow believers of our time, both Jews and Gentiles. All these people are made to become a part of this mystical Body of Christ. Once it occurs there’s never anything that can happen that’ll separate us from this union we then have with Jesus Christ and other believers of our time. Often people tend to think of water when they hear or read the word baptism. But there are many forms of baptism discussed in the Bible. This baptism involves only the Holy Spirit and the believer with no water involved at all.
I Corinthians 12:13
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. [Emphasis added]
This baptism is not to be confused with the baptism IN the Spirit that is discussed in other Bible passages that relate strictly to regenerate Israel [Matthew 3:11].
7-The Holy Spirit transforms us.
This is all to do with the transformation of the believer’s thinking as he matures in his understanding of God’s Word. This ends up affecting every area of his life. He goes through a transformation from always thinking what we might call human viewpoint to divine viewpoint. He gains a new set of norms and standards that serve to govern his way of thinking in every area of life. Step by step the believer can become the person Christ would have him be. As this next verse clearly shows, this is not automatic in coming about. The believer can either live the way the world of mankind would have him live or he can live God’s way.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. [Emphasis added]
There are numerous passages that speak of this transformation from one way of life to another.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. [Emphasis added]
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [Emphasis added]
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do [with perfect consistency] the things that ye would [desire].
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. [Emphasis added]
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth😉
10 Proving [DOKIMAZO = finding out] what is acceptable unto the Lord. [Emphasis added]
8-The Holy Spirit warns us.
I Thessalonians 5:19
19 Quench not the Spirit. [Emphasis added]
I’ve seen this happen many times. A person is saved, excited, and “on fire,” wanting to serve the Lord who saved him. But there will always be elements in the person’s life that will work to “put out the fire.” This is the meaning of quenching the Spirit. We can all make choices. We can choose who we will serve, even in our relationship with God. In this, the most important of all strategic decisions, we must not allow the work of the Spirit of God in our lives to be quenched. As believers with the Spirit of God residing in us, we must be sensitive to any uneasiness that makes us question the choices we are making. And we must be determined to live for Him no matter what the temporal cost.
9-The Holy Spirit strengthens us.
The Holy Spirit is our power source. Without His work in our lives, we are powerless. Our human efforts prove meaningless.
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; [Emphasis added]
This “inner man” is the new person we are because of our salvation. We still have “the old man,” the sinful nature, but we must feed the new man with truth so as to be able to overpower the pull of the old man. It is when we are getting well-balanced meals of the Word of God that we grow strong and able to resist those things that are contrary to God’s will for us. It is much like the story of the man who hosted dogfights. He always knew which dog to bet on because he knew that the dog he’d fed that week would always win.
I Thessalonians 2:13
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. [Emphasis added]
10-The Holy Spirit prays for us.
Isn’t it comforting to know that we have God, the Holy Spirit, who actually prays for us? Certainly, He knows our life situation and our real needs more than we do. And being God, doesn’t He have the power to address them adequately?
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. [Emphasis added]
What a wonderful blessing it is that we have God the Holy Spirit interceding [or praying] for us daily with God the Father. This is a part of His service to us in working things out in our lives for our good no matter how things may appear to be otherwise.
11-The Holy Spirit is our earnest.
Our possession of the Holy Sprit dwelling in us assures us of the certainly of what we have to look forward to in eternity. As with the purchase of some property, earnest money deposited serves to guarantee that the transaction will be fully carried out. Such is the case with our salvation. This is one more thing we’re told to assure us that all that we have coming to us because of our entrance into salvation will be ultimately provided for us. We have that “down payment” with the Spirit of God dwelling in us.
II Corinthians 1:22
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. [Emphasis added]
II Corinthians 5:5
5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. [Emphasis added]
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. [Emphasis added]
There are other passages that relate to this which has been promised to us.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: [Emphasis added]
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. [Emphasis added]
12-The Holy Spirit is our revealer.
It is God, the Holy Spirit, who is not only our enlightener of spiritual truth in the general sense, but our revealer of the mystery [secret] truths that have been provided through the teachings of the apostle Paul. Because of its extreme importance, I find it difficult to do this study without making a special point of that. I have found that it is one thing to study the Bible, but it is quite another thing to focus in on those truths that have been especially directed to us in our time.
1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery [MUSTERION = secret]; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, [Emphasis added]
We cannot live the Christian life God intends for us apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is essential! The unbeliever cannot do anything that pleases God except receive by faith the Savior He has provided. But the believer can’t either if he does not submit himself to the authority of God’s Word and the Spirit of God working in him. All this is to do with a positive attitude we’re to have toward God that we must choose to maintain daily. The degree of our love for God is manifested by our love for His Word and its application in our lives. God has equipped us as members of the Church, the Body of Christ, to handle life and all its accompanying troubles. Through Christ, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit working in us, there’s not one thing that we can’t handle well.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. [Emphasis added]
Because God never works independently of the other members of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is a part of His work in providing for us the strength we need at any given time.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? [Emphasis added]
We can always rest assured that whatever God has begun to accomplish through us will be completed.
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: [Emphasis added]