What Does The Holy Spirit Do?

 

In this study, we’re going to cover four things the Holy Spirit does:

1) The Holy Spirit Reveals God’s Will
2) The Holy Spirit Applies Salvation
3) The Holy Spirit Indwells Us
4) The Holy Spirit Give Us Spiritual Gifts

And along the way we’re going to contrast how the Spirit did these works in the Old Testament and how He does these works in the New Testament and today.

1) The Holy Spirit Reveals God’s Will

Specifically He reveals God’s command of Acts 17:30 that “all men everywhere repent.”

The Holy Spirit “convicts the world of sin, and righteousness, and judgment,” in John 16:8. In other word the Spirit show us that we are sinners, separated from God, and that forgiveness is found through Christ.

In the Old Testament He convicts through the prophets who 2 Peter 1:21 tells us “spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

In the New Testament He convicts through the apostles who in John 14:26 the Sprit, “taught them all things, and brought to their remembrance all things that Jesus said to them.”

And in Ephesians 4:11 we see that He convicts through us today by given gifts to some to become “evangelists, pastors and teachers.”

1 Corinthians 2 show us that another aspect of the Spirit revealing of God’s will comes by opening our hearts to spiritual truths. This gives us the ability to both understand and respond to God’s calling.

So the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will to Man by using messengers who faithfully proclaim His Word and by giving him the ability to understand their message.

2) The Holy Spirit Applies Salvation

The Holy Spirit applied salvation to both Old and New Testament believers. The difference being that in the Old Testament believers looked forward to what Christ would do whereas in the New Testament and today we look back on what He has done.

Now 1 Corinthians 6:11 tells us that we were “washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

So once the Spirit has convicted us of our sin, and has given us the ability to understand the gospel, He washes us of our sin once we respond. He does this by sanctifying us, which means He sets us apart from the world and unto God to receive salvation and become more like Him.

Then we’re justified, or declared innocent of sin. This is done when the Spirit takes Christ’s perfect sacrifice and credits it to our account. This means that when God looks upon us He sees Christ’s perfection and not our imperfection.

3) The Holy Spirit Indwells Us

This is the area where we see a fascinating difference between how the Spirit worked in the Old and New Testament.

In the Old Testament the Spirit didn’t dwell “in” the believer He dwelt “with” the believer. We see this in Exodus 25:8 when God says, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Again in Deuteronomy 12:5, “You shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go.”

And again in 1 Kings 8:13 where Solomon, after building the Temple, says, “I have surely built You an exalted house, and a place for You to dwell in forever.”

Now compare that to the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Jesus says in John 14:17-18, “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

Again in 2 Cor 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

And again Ephesians 1:13-14, “You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance.”

The hope of the Old Testament believer lay in the fact that God was “over there” in the Temple. But he could only get so close because of the restrictions of the Law and His presence was limited to Israel. But the hope of the New Testament believer and for us today lays in the fact that God dwells “in us”.

We are “part of the body of Christ” which is made up of people of nations, tribes and tongues. The Old Testament believer was limited to how close he got to God. But through Christ we can “come boldly to the throne of grace.” He has promised to never “leave us or forsake us” and His continual presence guarantees our salvation.

4) The Holy Spirit Give Us Spiritual Gifts

This is another area where we see an interesting difference between the Spirit’s Old and New Testament work.

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit indwelled believers and gave them gifts only on special occasions. But the indwelling wasn’t always permanent as we see in 1 Samuel 16:14 when “the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul” and again in Judges 16:20 when Samson “did not know that the LORD had departed from him.”

Additionally the Holy Spirit only gave gifts to certain people for specific tasks. For example in Numbers 11 Moses and the seventy elders are given the Holy Spirit to rule the people. Or in Genesis 41 where Joseph is said to have the Spirit of God within him because of his ability to interpret dreams.

Now let’s compare this to how the Holy Spirit gives gifts in the New Testament and today.

We’re blessed with “every spiritual blessing” Ephesians 1:3 tells us. Those blessings come by the will of the Father, through the work of the Son and are applied by the power of the Holy Spirit.

All believers now have the Holy Spirit, Eph1:13 tells us, when “having believed in Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

Each person has a purpose and has been given whatever gift is necessary to complete that purpose. These gifts enable us to perform the “good works, which God prepared for us beforehand” and produce the fruits of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The Holy Spirit lives within the believer in 1 Corinthians 6:19, causes our sinful nature to be born again in Titus 3:5) baptizes us into the family of God in 1 Corinthians 12:13, helps us to understand the Bible in 1 Corinthians 2:9-13, guides us in Romans 8:14, strengthens our faith in Ephesians 3:16-19, and serves as the guarantee of our salvation in Ephesians 1:13-14.