What is the Role of the Holy Spirit?

➤ by Pastor Andy Fulson

The Role of the Holy Spirit

The role of the Holy Spirit, as outlined throughout the Scriptures, can be summarized in the following 12 points:

  1. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment (Jn 16:8)
  2. The Holy Spirit indwells believers (1Cor 3:16)
  3. The Holy Spirit teaches us and leads us into all truth (Jn 16:13), imparting knowledge (1Jn 2:20; 1Jn 2:27) 
  4. The Holy Spirit seals us with the guarantee of our inheritance (Eph 1:13)
  5. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts (1Cor 12:7-11)
  6. The Holy Spirit helps us pray and intercede (Rom 8:26-27)
  7. The Holy Spirit works in us and is the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Rom 8:11)
  8. The Holy Spirit fills us with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)
  9. The Holy Spirit gives us power to minister and serve (Acts1:8)
  10. The Holy Spirit comforts us (Jn 14:16; Jn 14:26)
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 1:8

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit (called the Holy Ghost in the King James Version) is the third person of the trinity of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There are ample scriptural references from Genesis to Revelation to point this out. It is important that He, Holy Spirit, is recognized as God.

He brings about the conviction of sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment (Jn 16:8) and comes as the counselor to every human being who professes Jesus Christ.

  1. Through Him, every born-again believer (Jn 3:7) is enabled to be led into the fullness of God's truth (Jn 16:13).
  2. The empowerment of the Spirit (1Cor 12:7-11; Phil 2:13) is available for every born-again believer to be enabled to carry out the works of Jesus: the works that I do shall he do also, John 14:12

These two points, being led and being empowered, are crucial to understanding God’s Word and representing the power of the Kingdom of God in the name of Jesus Christ.

It is our choice if we allow Holy Spirit to impact our lives because: If a man love me, he will keep my words, John 14:23. Without the empowerment of God’s Spirit, it is impossible to carry out the commands of Jesus (Jn 14:12).

And why?

Jesus, Himself, received empowerment after His water baptism in the Jordan River (Lk 4:1).

Before his crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples that he would not leave them orphans, but send them the promised Holy Spirit, saying: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you, John 14:16-17.

Man, created in the likeness of God, is a spiritual being and has a soul just like God, Himself. The spirit and the soul are invisible. The moment man dies, whether believer or unbeliever, the spirit and soul leave the mortal bodies that will decay.

Exactly how the connection between spirit and soul works is not clearly laid out in the Bible. Significant, though, is that a person's spirit and soul are indestructible. What is laid out, is that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:19-20) and it is our responsibility to have our spirit and soul conform to God through the available reconciliation to Jesus Christ.

Born of the Spirit

The rebirth (Jn 3:7) through salvation (Rom 10:9-11) renews the spirit of man and brings eternal life: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, Ephesians 4:22-24.

This inner invisible part of a believer longs to unite with God. (Jn 3:5) This happens through the renewing of the mind (Rom 12:2) through the teaching of the indwelling Holy Spirit with understanding and wisdom from the Word of God (Jn 14:26).

Filled with the Spirit

The Holy Spirit’s ministry leads, guides, encourages, strengthens, warns, protects, exhorts, and declares the fullness of God's truth (Jn 14:26). The presence of Holy Spirit also produces the fruit of righteousness in the Christian’s life (Gal 5:22-25).

The decision to allow the Spirit to do this is up to each person. God does not impose Himself on anyone. God seeks the love of people who long for Him and willingly carry out His commands in the semblance of Christ Jesus.

Guided by the Spirit

As an example for us and to fulfill Scripture (Mat 3:13-16), Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit of God descended upon Him and affirmed Him to carry out His coming works and deeds. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God, Romans 8:14.

Jesus, when He came out of the wilderness after forty days, was empowered by the Holy Spirit to resist Satan's temptations (Lk 4:1)

The disciples of Christ had to wait until the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon them (Acts 2:2-4). Only then did they begin to proclaim their message with the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) and spiritual gifts (1Cor 12:7-11).

This power of the Spirit is available to every born-again believer to do the deeds of Christ: the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, John 14:12, until the day of the upward call (1 Thes 4:16-17).

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father, John 14:12

Names of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit has different names that uniformly characterize the plural name of God in connection with God the Father Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ.

He is:

  • the Holy Spirit (Mk 13:11)
  • the Spirit of God (Eph 4:30)
  • the Spirit of Christ (1Pet 1:11)
  • the Spirit of the Lord (2Chron 20:14)
  • the Spirit of Truth (Jn 14:17)
  • the Spirit of His Son (Gal 4:6)
  • the Spirit of Glory (1Pet 4:14)

Without Him, no man can say that Jesus Christ is Lord (1Cor 12:3). This inner certainty is revealed only through the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit’s Role in Our Lives

Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we are saved, filled, sealed, and sanctified. 

Through this indwelling of the person of the Holy Spirit, God’s people are taught and guided into all truth and the deep things of God are revealed to us in the Scriptures. 

Jesus said: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you, John 14:26. The word 'comforter' is the Greek word, paraklētos, which means intercessor, advocate, comforter.

The word 'comfort' itself comes from two Latin words, 'com' meaning 'together' or 'with' and 'forte' meaning 'strength'. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter ... comes 'with strength' in the life of the believer!

We, as the body of Christ, are to live our lives empowered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, drawing upon His divine help in every area of our everyday lives. The manifestation of the Spirit should be evident in us, through our conduct, our new nature, and our Christian life expression as we share the greatest gift, the Gospel, with the world today.


The Holy Spirit help is available to everyone with two kinds of endowments. 

1 - As Teacher and Comforter 

  • The Holy Spirit indwells every person who is reconciled to God through their confession (Rom 10:9-10) as their new birth (Jn 3:3). 
  • Reconciliation brings the Holy Spirit into the life of the born-again believer, to lead them into all the truth (Jn 16:13).
  • Permit the Holy Spirit to do His work. Restricting Him allows unbelief and error to dominate one's life, (Hos 4:6; Heb 4:2).
  • Unbelief limits the acceptance of God's truth and hinders the access to God's promises (Jam 1:6-7) revealed by the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13).

2 - God's Empowerment 

Holy Spirit empowerment is the working power with which Jesus proclaimed his Gospel by healing the sick, releasing the possessed, opening eyes and ears, and raising the dead (Lk 4:14).

Every born-again believer can receive this working power with the evidence of speaking in new tongues to reveal the authority and works of Jesus (Jn 14:12). 

  • either after the water baptism  
  • or by the laying on of hands (Acts 19:6) where the evidence of the power of the name of Jesus Christ is demonstrated, Mk 16:17-18. 
  • or by asking in prayer for this spiritual endowment with the proof of speaking in tongues: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, Luke 11:13. Both the empowerment and anointing are dependent on personal faith. Without faith, nothing is received (Jam 1:6-8) 
  • The empowerment and the evidence of speaking in tongues are only effective with use. 

Whether the empowerment is used or not remains a personal decision. The more it is applied, the more certain the confidence of that empowerment and the effectiveness of speaking in tongues (Rom 8:26).

In all this, the born-again believer remains dependent on his personal faith. 

3 - Empowerment Application 

The application of power and authority is clear in Mk 11:23-24:

  1. Speak to the mountain (the burden) with authority in Jesus' name 
  2. Command the mountain (the burden) to move with authority in Jesus' name
  3. Do not doubt your verdict declaration
  4. Be confident that what you've declared will happen

In all things, the born-again believer bears the final responsibility himself. Nothing is more fundamental than getting to know the content of the New Testament and applying it in faith (Jos 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 1:8

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible passages quoted in blue are from the KJV translation.

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