What does the Holy Spirit do?
What does the Holy Spirit do for us? Anything of eternal value in this life and in eternity comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If we want to follow Jesus and see that we need help to do so, God gives us His Holy Spirit. We need simply to ask for it, and be obedient. (Luke 11:9-13; Acts 5:32) Once we become disciples and have received the Holy Spirit, He begins a work in us, to transform us into the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29) Disciples set their minds on the things of the Spirit, and they will be led into life and peace.
The Holy Spirit gives power
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8.
What is this power from the Holy Spirit for? Paul testified that it was his “earnest expectation and hope” that by life or death Jesus would be magnified in his body. (Philippians 1:20) What greater task does the Holy Spirit have than to empower His disciples to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus, and that His life would be manifested as we bear in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus? (2 Corinthians 4:10-11) We bear witness to Jesus Christ in this way. We absolutely cannot do this in our own strength, only through the power the Holy Spirit gives us.
Jesus opened a new and living way through His flesh, through the Eternal Spirit, and offered Himself without spot to God, so that we too could serve the living God in those works that God intended for us. (Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:20) The Holy Spirit will lead and empower us in a development to learn obedience to the Word of God in our sufferings, and be led to perfection, just as Jesus was. (Hebrews 5:7-9)
Jesus said that His Father is glorified when His disciples bear much fruit. Those who bear fruit will get a further training so that they bear more fruit. (John 15:2,8) This is the process of sanctification through the Holy Spirit, which leads us to partake of Jesus’ glory (His virtues). (2 Thessalonians 2:14) The power of the Holy Spirit strengthens our will to endure in this process so that we do not lose heart, but can stand firm until the end!
The Holy Spirit is the Helper
Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Helper. (John 15:26) The Helper will guide us into all the truth, convicting us of sin, of righteousness, and judgement. (John 16:8-15) We will get to see ourselves, what dwells in our flesh, through the Spirit in the light of God’s Word.
The Holy Spirit gives us power for victory over conscious sin. It is written, if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16) If we live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit, we won’t become high-minded, provoking and envying one another. (Galatians 5:25-26) Think of the fellowship that grows out of this work of the Spirit, as the fruits of the Spirit grow in us more and more!
The Holy Spirit is our intercessor
Another task of the Holy Spirit is that of an intercessor. (Romans 8:26) He will take what is from Jesus and declare it to us. (John 16:13-15) We don’t know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit does. He leads us into many various situations in our daily life which will cause our flesh to react. These situations bring to light the sin in our flesh. We react in different ways, whether by word or action. As we think about what we’ve said or done, we get to see that sin was present. It wasn’t the virtues that came forth, but our human nature. We get to see that we did what we hated, just as Paul saw in Romans 7:18-25.
These involuntary reactions from the flesh that we get light over are referred to as the “deeds of the body,” and can take the form of thoughts, words and even actions. There is no condemnation for these, because we didn’t consciously agree to sin. Yet, through the Spirit, we can still overcome these deeds of the body after they have come out of our bodies by loving and acknowledging the truth about what happened, and consciously choosing to disagree with them and hate them. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13) When the Spirit is my guide and strength, then I continue to walk in the light and can overcome in the future before it happens again.
The Holy Spirit gives gifts
Jesus gave diversities of gifts to His disciples through the Holy Spirit; gifts of healing, prophecy, tongues and interpretation, the Word of knowledge, the Word of wisdom, working of miracles, discerning of spirits, etc. The Holy Spirit works these gifts in us for the profit of all. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) They are used by His disciples to build and edify Christ’s earthly body. “… till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12-13.
Paul exhorted to desire the best gifts but spoke about a more excellent way. He went on to describe the qualities of love, and to say that without them, we are nothing. “Love suffers long, and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own; is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Let us measure ourselves against these divine qualities, and let the Holy Spirit work with us, that we can come to them in truth.
“… to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge ; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19.
An amazing calling, an amazing glory, through the work of the Holy Spirit. Let us humble ourselves deeply under God’s mighty hand, through the leading of His Spirit, so grace comes over us, so that we actually come to this fullness. So let us do as Paul exhorted Timothy, meditate on these things, give ourselves entirely to them, that our progress may be evident to all. (1 Timothy 4:15).
You can read more about what the Holy Spirit does on our topic page about the Holy Spirit here, or in the recommended articles below: