The Person and the Functions of the Holy Spirit

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The Holy Spirit is a Person. He is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). Therefore, He is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. After His resurrection and before His ascension to Heaven, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to His disciples: “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you. (John 14:15-17)

What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit:

  1. Searches all things (1 Corinthians 2:10-11)

The Holy Spirit is given to believers so that we may know God better. He reveals to us the heart of God. He opens our eyes to the salvation and inheritance we have in Jesus.

“..these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:10-11, NIV)

  1. Lives in the believers (1 Corinthians 3:16)

The Holy Spirit lives in believers. He leads us and guides us in our daily living.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Cor. 3:16, NIV)

  1. Seals Us (Ephesians 1:13)

The Holy Spirit has sealed us as children of God. In the ancient world, a seal was a “legal signature” of ownership. The Holy Spirit has sealed believers so that that we are confident of our salvation and that we belong to God.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13, NIV),


  1. Gives gifts to believers (1 Corinthians 12:11)

Every believer has at least one spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit. We are to use the gifts to bless others, build up the church and to glorify God.

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” (1 Cor. 12:11). More gifts are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.

  1. Intercedes for us (Romans 8:26)

There are times when we are feeling weak and helpless and we don’t know what to do. That is when the Holy Spirit will pray for us to God the Father. What comfort it is to know that someone is interceding for us so that we will continue to journey on in our Christian faith!

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26)

  1. Teaches us all things which Jesus has taught us (John 14:26)

The Greek word “Parakletos” in this passage is translated as “Advocate” (in the New International Version). “Advocate” means “legal counsel.” The Holy Spirit gives believers wise counsel. He will remind us of the teachings of Jesus so that we can follow them.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26, NIV).


  1. Convicts us of sins (John 16:7-8)

Sin separates us from God. Sin will grieve the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit reveals to us of our sins so that we can confess them and ask for His help not to commit them again.

  1. Renews us and gives us eternal life (Romans 8:10-11)

The Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers to renew and sanctify us. He makes us holy. Just as the Holy Spirit raised Jesus Christ from the dead, the Holy Spirit gives eternal life to all who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.

  1. Enables the believers to bear fruits (Galatians 5:22-25)

The work of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life is an on-going process. Not only does He convicts us of sins (Galatians 5:16-21), He helps believers to bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25).

The passages above show that the Holy Spirit is active in teaching us to obey God. He reveals to us our sin, convicts us to confess them so that we can live a life that glorifies God. He is also praying for us as well as empowering us to do what God has entrusted to us. There are so many more passages about the Holy Spirit in the Bible. We shall look at them in future posts.

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