Living in the Spirit (Part 3) – Function of Holy Spirit
Why am I writing a series of devotions about Holy Spirit? I’m convicted, for that matter, deeply convicted that I need to write a series of devotions about Holy Spirit. Some of my motivation comes from teachings and practices that invoke the name of Holy Spirit but are inconsistent with the Bible. Holy Spirit often gets credit or blame for things that land outside of God’s will and His Word and, for that matter, beyond or inconsistent with the described nature and responsibility of Holy Spirit. Instead of dealing with the false claims and misunderstandings about Holy Spirit, we will deal with what is true and substantiated in the Bible.
Before proceeding, if you’d like to read the previous posts, click the following links: Living in the Spirit (Part 1) — Holy Spirit is God Living in the Spirit (Part 2) – Holy Spirit is a Person
As we’ve previously established, Holy Spirit is God and co-equal, co-eternal with Father and Son. To be clear, God is one, in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We call this the Trinity or Triune God Head. Further, we also discussed why we count Holy Spirit as a person. Now that we’ve recognized the deity and personage of Holy Spirit, we will examine the function of Holy Spirit.
Gives us spiritual life
JN 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit
TITUS 3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Being born ‘of the spirit’ is referring to the miracle which takes place when Holy Spirit spiritually re-makes a person. In other words, a person who receives Christ as Savior and Lord by faith is born all over again by the very Spirit of God.
Lives in us
1 CO 3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Holy Spirit is God’s presence in the lives of believers.
Seals and guarantees our inheritance in Christ
EPH 1:13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit is our mark of adoption as God’s children. Jesus sent Holy Spirit to His followers so that they could be confident in their salvation. Just as you might make a deposit or a down payment on a new car, Holy Spirit is a deposit in our lives confirming that we belong to Christ.
Source of revelation, wisdom, and power
1 CO 2:10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
AC 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
EPH 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
God gives His followers Holy Spirit so that we may know Him better. Since Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit, He knows the thoughts of God and reveals those thoughts to us as believers. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the inheritance we have in Christ.
Helps, comforts and counsels us
JN 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
The Spirit is called the Helper because He was going to function in the same way Jesus did when He was walking with His disciples on the earth. Jesus comforted them, counseled and helped them in every endeavor they faced for three and a half years, so He could model the Spirit-filled life they would lead after He departed from them. Also, in the context of being a Comforter, Jesus assured them that the Spirit’s coming would fill them with other-worldly peace (John 14:26-27), which is another role of the Comforter.
Bears witness about Jesus
JN 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
JN 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 
Since the role of Holy Spirit is to point to Jesus, He is humble and not self-seeking. Consequently, an obvious sign that someone is truly speaking as a messenger of God is when they lift up Jesus as Lord (1 Cor. 12:3). Furthermore, the words of the prophet never exalt the prophet but testifies and lifts up Jesus, or else it is not truly coming from Holy Spirit (Rev. 19:10).
Convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgment
JN 16:7 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 go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Lest we need reminded, it is not the job of the Christian or the church to convict people of sin, but to preach the gospel, the words of Christ, and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work of convicting.
Empowers and prays through us
JUDE 17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Praying in the Holy Spirit is praying under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit, even trusting him to intercede for us with “groans that words cannot express” (Rom. 8:26).
“In my many years of being in prayer gatherings, it is very easy for me to tell when a person is laboring to pray in the flesh or when their prayers flow out of the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps there is nothing more important in the life of the church than to have powerful, Spirit-led prayer meetings that alone can shake and shift the atmosphere (See Acts 4:24-31).” ~ Joseph Mattera, Charisma News
Teaches us all things
The greatest gift we have for understanding the Scriptures is the illumination of the Holy Spirit. As we read, study, memorize and meditate on scripture, and there is no short cut or substitute for that, Holy Spirit gives us insight.
This is why Jesus called Him “The Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17) and the person who not only teaches us all things but brings His words to our remembrance (14:26). As well, John stated in his first epistle, that one of the functions of the Spirit’s anointing upon the church is to teach us (1 John 2:27).
Administers grace gifts
EPH 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
1 CO 12:7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Everyone who is a born again Christian has been given a spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit to build up the body of Christ and for the common good, in other words, to benefit of others.
Enables us to walk in the Spirit
GAL 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
The apostle Paul teaches that Holy Spirit is grieved when we sin (Eph. 4:30). Consequently, through the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit, believers do not indulge the sinful acts of flesh.
Places leaders in the church
AC 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
The word “made” is this verse means “to place” or “set aside.” Thus we understand that Holy Spirit anoints overseers to shepherd the church.
You may still be discovering what the Bible says about Holy Spirit. As such, allow me to encourage you to come to grips with the deity, personage and function of Holy Spirit. The details may be confusing mainly due to a lot of false teaching and evil application in our world, however, as the evidence establishes, Holy Spirit is, first and foremost, God and is a person with a distinct personality and defined function. There are a lot of false claims, but instead of dealing with the false claims and misunderstandings about Holy Spirit, we will continue to focus on what is true and substantiated in the Bible. After all, Holy Spirit often gets credit or blame for things that land outside of God’s will and His Word and, for that matter, inconsistent with the described nature and responsibility of Holy Spirit.
Next week: Living in the Spirit (Part 4) – Fruit of the Spirit
A Work in Progress,