Let’s be honest: The Holy Spirit often gets overlooked and misunderstood. For whatever reason, we're generally less sure about the third member of our Three-in-One God.
But the Holy Spirit is not an unknowable force we must painstakingly decipher. He is a Person, sent to do real work in our lives.
Here are five things the Holy Spirit does:
The Holy Spirit applies salvation.
Each member of the Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – is involved in the Gospel of salvation. God the Father planned it, Jesus the Son executed it, and the Holy Spirit applies it to us.
That means it's the Spirit who convicts of sin and reveals the saving work of Jesus to us and does the work of resurrecting dead hearts (Titus 3:5). The Spirit awakens us to new life (John 6:63).
The Holy Spirit lives in believers.
The Holy Spirit is not “out there” somewhere, just waiting to be invited to our worship services or accessed through some complex meditation.
The Spirit takes up residence in believers! We are His dwelling place, which means where we go, the Spirit goes (I Corinthians 3:16). The Spirit’s presence is not something we conjure, it’s something we carry. God is now pleased to reside in His people (Ezekiel 37:27).
The Holy Spirit directs believers to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit has a "spotlight" ministry, continually directing us to the Good News of our salvation. Part of the reason the Holy Spirit is seemingly the “quiet” member of the Trinity is because His work is to put our attention elsewhere, namely on the Gospel.
The Spirit’s task in the life of a believer is primarily to speak about Jesus (John 14:26, 16:13-14)! He wants us to look at Jesus, to behold our great sin and His greater salvation, so God the Father might receive glory.
The Holy Spirit speaks through the Bible.
The Holy Spirit speaks through the already-spoken Word of God, the 66 books of the Bible. It’s the Holy Spirit, after all, who inspired the Word of God (II Peter 1:21).
That means the Holy Spirit won't ever contradict what your Bible says. He won’t add to it with new doctrine. He won’t change it or overlook any part of it. He won’t speak a better word than what already has been revealed in Scripture.
The Word and the Spirit, working together, is God’s primary way of speaking to and transforming His people. Want to hear the Spirit? Open the Bible.
The Holy Spirit empowers believers for mission.
The Holy Spirit is the fuel for all of our evangelism. In fact, Jesus told His disciples they shouldn’t even attempt to carry out His missionary assignment without the Holy Spirit. Why? They would certainly fail. (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8). So will we. We need a continually increasing awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence and authority in our lives as we go out to speak the Gospel.
The Spirit enables us to be on mission — and He empowers us for every other effective work done for God's glory. We are useless in the Kingdom apart from the Holy Spirit.