Role of the Holy Spirit

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John 1:32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Jesus Christ.

If there is one sin that our Lord Jesus Christ cannot forgive then it is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Mark 3:28-30 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”– because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead equal and one with God the Father and God the Son. While there are many passages in the Old Testament regarding the Holy Spirit, here we will look into the role of the Holy Spirit, as told by Jesus Christ.

Convict

John 16:7-11 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

The Holy Spirit convicts the world for the following reasons:

  • convicts concerning sin, so that we can believe in Jesus Christ to walk in His light and be holy.
  • concerning righteousness, because Christ is no longer with us to guide us in the path of righteousness.
  • concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged and reminds us of a coming judgment if we sin and do not walk in the path of righteousness.

Guide

John 16:12-15 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth.

Allocute

Mark 13:11 “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit will speak for us when we are persecuted for the sake of Christ or His gospel.

Testify

John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

The Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father, sent by Lord Jesus Christ will testify of Christ.

Abide

John 14:16-17 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever– 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.

The Holy Spirit will abide with us forever. He dwells with us and in us.

Holy Spirit: God’s Gift

Luke 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” .. John 7:38-39 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Holy Spirit is a gift of God given to all who ask Him. He convicts us, guides us, allocutes for us, testifies Christ to us and abides with us forever.

Warning: Can be taken away!

Rev 3:5-6 “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’

Ps 51:11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

The world does not know the Holy Spirit, and Christ was instructing the church of Sardis to hear what the Spirit says through the angel, which is a warning to not get blotted from the book of life. As we also see in Psalms from David, God can cast us away and take back His Holy Spirit if we sin against Him.

Warning: Can fight against us!

Isa 63:10 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, And He fought against them.

If we sin and grieve the Holy Spirit, He can turn Himself against us as an enemy and fight against us.

Lies to be aware of …

Rom 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Paul writes that we don’t have to love God but rather, the Holy Spirit will pour out the love of God in us, making us love God. This is a rejection of the requirement to love God and obey His commandments as preached by Jesus Christ (John 14:23-24).

1 Cor 12:7-11 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Jesus Christ mentions that the Holy Spirit is our gift from God. While it is God through the Holy Spirit guides us with His wisdom, knowledge and give prophecies (John 16:13), we need to be careful about certain things that are not told by Jesus or contrary of what Jesus taught.

Faith

Faith was never mentioned as a manifestation or a role of the Holy Spirit. It is an essential and mandatory thing we need to have. Let us look at what Jesus says about faith. Contrary to what Paul said about faith which is not of the law (Gal 3:12), Jesus declares the law contains faith (Matt 23:23). Hence, faith is not specific to the new covenant but an essential part of the law too.

Luke 17:5-10 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’

Faith is not a measure. Either you have faith or don’t. There is nothing like growing in faith as apostate Paul writes in 2Thess 1:3. When the apostles asked Jesus Christ to increase their faith, He replied two important points.

  • If we have faith in God, everything will obey us.
  • Just like everything obeys us because of our faith, having faith in God and obeying Him is our basic duty.

Didn’t Jesus say ‘little faith’ in below passages?

Matt 6:30 “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Matt 8:26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

Matt 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Matt 16:8 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?

All the references of the phrase ‘little faith’ which Jesus Christ spoke are used only to refer people having no faith and are in doubt.

Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

This is why James writes that we must ask in faith with no doubting. Hence, faith is not a manifestation of the Spirit nor mentioned as a gift of the Spirit as Paul writes, but our responsibility to have it.

Tongues & Interpretation of Tongues

Mark 16:17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

It is interesting and important to note that Jesus never mentions about tongues anytime. The only references we are are in the later added section of Mark 16.

Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 2:4-11 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs–we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

When Christ was referring to the day of Pentecost, He informs about the Holy Spirit who will be given to them for being witnesses to Him but never mentions anything about tongues or interpretation of tongues. Also on the day of Pentecost, the visitors from other parts of the world who came to Jerusalem heard the disciples speaking in their languages the wonderful works of God, exactly as Jesus Christ informed them – nothing less or nothing more.

Acts 10:46a For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

Acts 11:15 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.

In an another incident, when Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles and they were praising God in tongues. How does anyone know that they are praising God without understanding it? The simple answer is, they aren’t praising God in an unknown language but rather, in a language understood by the audience. Peter also clarified that the Holy Spirit fell upon the gentiles, as upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Here again, the gentiles are witnessing Christ in what they spoke in a language understood by the audience.

Interpretation of tongues was neither mentioned by Jesus Christ nor His disciples. The tongues mentioned in the book of Acts by His disciples were also known languages which were given by the Holy Spirit to be a witness to Christ among others who listened to it. Whenever someone spoke in tongues, there was always an audience who can understand him praising God. If someone spoke in tongues and no one can understand and explain, who are they witnessing to?

Conclusion

Jesus Christ mentions several roles of the Holy Spirit which include conviction, guidance, allocution, testifying or witnessing and abiding in us forever. However, giving us faith so that we can believe in Him or pouring the love of God in us to make us love Him is not of them.