Holy Spirit

What Does the Holy Spirit Do

By Rob Holding

Who is the Holy Spirit? Where is Jesus? What exactly does the Holy Spirit do? Sadly these are questions that many Christians don’t know the answers to and end up putting them on the shelf.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was barren, with no form of life; it was under a roaring ocean covered with darkness. But the Spirit of God was moving over the water.

The word ‘God’ here is Elohim, and it’s a plural word. In fact, it’s a MALE plural word.

Verse 2 says, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the water.

It doesn’t say GOD was hovering over the water, it says the Spirit of God, recognising the Holy Spirit as a distinct individual.

Genesis 1:26, “God said, ‘Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures,’”

Genesis 11:6-7, “And the LORD said, ‘Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’

Now, we know there’s only one God, but here again He identifies Himself in the plural: “Let US go down”. So the first answer is, the Holy Spirit is God.

The Trinity

In the Christian world we talk about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, three in One. Kind of confusing, but I have some good news. I have been a Christian for a long time, nearly 50 years in fact, and I can tell you that after 50 years of being a Christian I still don’t know exactly what that means.

However it does mean that our Father God, The Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three unique and distinct individuals who make up the one being we call God.

Let’s do a little jump and ask the question: Where Is Jesus?

Hebrew 1:1-3, “Long ago in many ways and at many times God’s prophets spoke his message to our ancestors. But now at last, God sent his Son to bring his message to us. God created the universe by his Son, and everything will someday belong to the Son. God’s Son has all the brightness of God’s own glory and is like him in every way. By his own mighty word, he holds the universe together. After the Son had washed away our sins, he sat down at the right side of the glorious God in heaven.

Heb 10:12, “But Christ offered himself as a sacrifice that is good forever. Now he is sitting at God’s right side.

So according to these verses, Jesus is sitting in heaven at the right side of God the Father?

Here’s a little information that you might want to take notes on – if you take notes. Jesus is a human being. Human beings find it quite tricky to be in two places at one time. So again, where does the Bible say Jesus is?

So who dwells in our heart?

Rom 8:9-11, “You are no longer ruled by your desires, but by God’s Spirit, who lives in you. People who don’t have the Spirit of Christ in them don’t belong to him. But Christ lives in you. So you are alive because God has accepted you, even though your bodies must die because of your sins. Yet God raised Jesus to life! God’s Spirit now lives in you, and he will raise you to life by his Spirit.

It is the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God – i.e. the Holy Spirit, the Ruach Hakodesh – and He, the Holy Spirit is an individual. Not a human one, a God one.

Apart from one instance in Paul’s letter to the Romans, the Holy Spirit is always referred to as He which makes sense, as God identifies Himself all the way through the Bible as male and the Holy Spirit is God therefore He is male. This is sometimes lost in our modern translations.

John 16:14-15 (KJV), “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 16:14-15 (CEV), “The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.

What does the Holy Spirit do?

The Holy Spirit does a number of things. Firstly, as we just read, He convicts the world of their sin and of God’s righteousness. For some of you, that’s why you’re reading this article, because the Holy Spirit connected with your spirit and said, “Dude, we need to talk about your behaviour and some of your attitudes.”

Secondly the Holy Spirit gives us a unique power:

Acts 1:8, “But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.

He grows fruit in us:

Gal 5:22-23, “God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.

And He gives gifts:

1 Corinthians 12:4-11, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve the same Lord, and we can each do different things. Yet the same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do. The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. Some of us can speak with wisdom, while others can speak with knowledge, but these gifts come from the same Spirit. To others the Spirit has given great faith or the power to heal the sick or the power to work mighty miracles. Some of us are prophets, and some of us recognize when God’s Spirit is present. Others can speak different kinds of languages, and still others can tell what these languages mean. But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us.

The main thing you need to remember at this stage of your walk is that the Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you in your Christian walk. When you need stuff to help you in your faith, the Holy Spirit is there to provide it. When you need guidance and an encouraging word, the Holy Spirit is the one who will prompt scriptures to your mind. When you need to be brave and stand up for your faith, the Holy Spirit is the one who gives you that strength.

And as Christians, we rely on Him:

Romans 8:26, “In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words.

Rob Holding

Rob Holding

Rob Holding is a former pastor and Christian broadcaster with three decades of full-time ministry behind him. A gifted communicator and worship leader, Rob is the main speaker for Know My Faith and travels the country with an eye-opening multimedia presentation, encouraging believers to dig deeper into the Bible and giving them keys to understanding the scriptures in their original context.

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