As we read through the Bible, the Holy Spirit is often an elusive character in the story of God that we aren’t quite sure how to understand.
We clearly see God the Father at creation and God the son through his birth, life, death, and resurrection. But the references to the Holy Spirit can often seem abstract or confusing. So who exactly is the Holy Spirit and what is his role in our lives?
What is the Role of the Holy Spirit?
The Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and is fully God. He also manifests the active presence of God in the world. In addition, after the ascension of Jesus, he is now the primary manifestation of the Trinity in the world. The Holy Spirit is who is present with believers in the here and now.
Where do you See the Holy Spirit in Scripture?
The Spirit was present at creation and is seen completing and sustaining what God plans and what Jesus begins. In Genesis 1, the Spirit is “moving over the face of the waters” sustaining all God is creating. Then in the New Testament through the Pentecost in Acts 2, the Spirit grants power to the church to enable it to carry out what Christ began.
Why is the Holy Spirit Important for Believers?
The third member of the Trinity eternally seals the salvation of all believers. You were “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” when you accepted Christ as your Savior. This means the Spirit is who guarantees your eternal salvation. You are eternally secure.
In addition, the Spirit empowers, purifies, reveals, and unifies those who have put their faith in Christ. However, the Spirit “gives stronger or weaker evidence of the presence and blessing of God, according to our response to him.” (Grudem, Systematic Theology)
What Does the Holy Spirit Do in the Life of a Christ Follower?
The fruit of the Spirit in a believer’s life is the evidence of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. These are developed in one’s life as one learns to rely on the Holy Spirit and let him lead. The Spirit also gives spiritual gifts to believers to be used in the ministry of the church until Christ returns. These gifts can be both natural gifts and miraculous gifts, but all spiritual gifts must be empowered by the Spirit. While these gifts of the Spirit are seen sporadically throughout the Old Testament, the Old Testament prophecies of a time when there would be a greater empowering of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Spirit. This fulfillment of prophecy is seen through the teaching and acts of Jesus and the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost.
As you can see, the third person in the Trinity plays a vital role in our relationship with God. Learning to rely on the Spirit brings much spiritual blessing and fruit to our Christian life.
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