What is the role of the Holy Spirit?
For many people, the person of the Holy Spirit raises many questions. Who is the Holy Spirit? What is the role of the Holy Spirit? Why do I need the Holy Spirit?
The Bible clearly explains who the Holy Spirit is and what role He can play in our lives.
The Holy Spirit wants to speak to us, especially by God’s Word
When Jesus took leave of His disciples, He said that he would pray that the Father would send them the Holy Spirit. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:25-26. So the disciples needed the Holy Spirit to be reminded of what Jesus had said to them when He was on earth. Now the role of the Holy Spirit is to speak to us through the Bible—the Word of God—in exactly the same way. That’s why it is so important to read the Bible. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand what we read. And later, in many situations, the Holy Spirit will teach us and give us light, especially by reminding us of those very words from the Bible.
The Holy Spirit wants to teach us who Jesus really is
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth … He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:12-14.
When Jesus was on earth, a huge work of salvation took place in Him. He opened up a new and living way for us. He is our High Priest, our forerunner, who is able to understand and help us in our struggle. You can read about this in the letter to the Hebrews; take time to read this and pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to you and explain what you are reading. The Holy Spirit has many things to say to us about who Jesus is and what it means that He lived here on earth as a man.
The role of the Holy Spirit: to give us strength and help in our fight against sin
Before He returned to heaven, Jesus said, “…you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit … But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:5-8.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit …” Ephesians 4:30. In our flesh (our human nature) there are forces that are much stronger than ourselves. Paul says: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh … those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5: 16-25. The Holy Spirit will strengthen us, so that every time we are tempted, we do not yield to the lusts of the flesh.
The Holy Spirit is a person who wants to live in our hearts. He wants to speak to us through the Bible. But who reads the Bible with a genuine longing? The Holy Spirit wants to empower us, but who wants to use that power to fight against the flesh with its passions and desires? The role of the Holy Spirit is to help us, so let us not grieve Him, but listen to Him and obey Him.
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You might also be interested in our theme page about Overcoming sin.