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What is the role of the Holy Spirit?

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Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters

Genesis 1:2

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Hebrew word for the Holy Spirit is Ruakh, which means ‘wind or breath’, and He is the third member of the Trinity (Triune God), first mentioned in Genesis 1:2. The Word of God is often described as “God-breathed”, inspired and lead by the Holy Spirit 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and so knowing the Hebrew meaning gives context to that scripture.

The same Holy Spirit descended onto Jesus like a dove when He was baptised by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22 and John 1:29-34) and it was from this point that Jesus’ full ministry started. What is interesting is that baptism of the Spirit translates the wind of the Spirit to water, outwardly there is a physical purification by water but at the same time there is a purification of the human spirit through the power of the Holy Spirit, and we are made new. Hence why people may outwardly ‘look the same’ but often say they ‘feel differently inside’.

Before Jesus ascended to heaven to join the Father, He said “but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you,” John 14:26. Now in Acts 2 we read about the Day of Pentecost when the disciples along with other followers of Christ were filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time “suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting,” Acts 2:2. The Holy Spirit was present at the beginning of creation, was prophesied about by prophets and then was made available to us to live with.  

What is the role of the Holy Spirit today?

  • To Empower Us
    • It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to do the work of God, to live a blameless life, once we stop relying on the Holy Spirit we lose the battle. As humans we are weak, we are flawed and so we need the help of the Holy Spirit to empower us to live this life for the glory of God, Zechariah 4:6.
  • To Reveals The Will Of God
    • It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the heart of God and brings into remembrance His Word to enable us to fulfil the purposes of God, Philippians 2:13.
  • To Intercede On Our Behalf
    • When we don’t have the words to say, the Holy Spirit stands in the gap for us and intercedes before God, Romans 8: 26-27.
    • We are encouraged to frequently pray in the spirit to God, in our heavenly language which cannot be intercepted by the devil. In this way we come against any spiritual warfare trigger by the enemy, Ephesians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 14:2.

Resources

The Holy Spirit Archives – Bible Christian Resources – Audio, Video, Bible Studies, Christian Mobile Applications (bibleresources.info)

The Holy Spirit in the Hebrew Bible and Its Connections to the New Testament | Bible.org

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Chinedu Agwu
Chinedu is from London, and currently works as a teaching-focused university lecturer and freelance medical writer. She is passionate about social justice and community impact projects, empowering young people and reading books in the book club she co-founded with her friend. She likes to use her gifting in written and oral communication to share the gospel and build faith in others.