holy spirit

What Does the Holy Spirit Do?

The true God breaks into our deception-filled world to reveal himself to us in the person of his Son. In and of itself, however, this doesn’t lift the deception of the flesh from our hearts and eyes. We are yet dead in sin, blind, and lovers of “darkness rather than light” (Jn 3:19). As long as the god of this age blinds us (2 Cor 4:4), we inevitably and habitually suppress the truth. Thus the light of God’s revelation in Jesus would fall on blind eyes and never benefit us if God’s plan of salvation stopped there.

Yet God didn’t stop there. God knew that if we were ever to enter into a saving relationship with him, he not only would have to be revealed to us, he would have to be revealed in us. So God didn’t stop with sending his Son to dwell among us; he also sent his Spirit to reside within us. God not only speaks to us and lives the truth for us in his Son, he also opens our eyes and ears to see and hear this truth by the sending of the Spirit.

The main work of the Holy Spirit, then, is not to supplement what the Son did but to apply what the Son did to the lives of God’s people. He glorifies Christ by revealing him to his children (Jn 16;14). He does not speak of himself (Jn 16:13) but rather causes people to behold the glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus Christ, thereby transforming them into this glory (2 Cor 3:17-18).

Whereas Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers, the Holy Spirit opens our minds and causes us to see the truth—the truth of who God is and the truth of who we are. The Holy Spirit manifests the truth of our fallen condition and thereby produces conviction and repentance in our lives. The Holy Spirit opens the hearts and minds of people so we are able to receive the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord and in him become children of God. The Holy Spirit also infuses people with the love of Christ so that we may live in the truth.

In doing all of this, the Spirit of truth is simply pointing people to the one who is truth, Jesus Christ. He is confronting and reversing the deceptive assumptions of the flesh in our lives. He is unveiling the true God for us, revealed in Jesus Christ, so that he might reveal our true identity as people who are loved by God.

—Adapted from Seeing is Believing, pages 56-57.

Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

Category:
Tags: , ,

Related Reading

The Idolatrous Devotion to Inerrancy

Luca Rossato via Compfight Ed Cyzewski posted some thoughts on his blog on why he hates the word “inerrancy”. He agrees with something Greg has been saying for a while now that seems shocking to many: fighting for the idea of inerrancy can devolve into a kind of idolatry. This is well worth the read if…

Can You Believe It?

The origin of human sin and the world’s oppression goes back to a deceptive, untruthful picture of God given to Eve by Satan. Jesus came, in part, to finally reveal the absolute truth about God. He is the way and the truth (alethia) and the life (Jn 14:6). The word “truth,” literally means “uncovered.” And…

Does the Doctrine of the Trinity Matter?

Jesus reveals the greatest, most beautiful, and mysterious aspect of God when he, despite being himself God Incarnate, relates to God as his “Father” and refers to God as “the Holy Spirit.” There is, of course, only one God (1 Cor 8:6). Yet Jesus reveals that God somehow exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.…

Topics:

Greg and N.T. Wright at the Missio Alliance Gathering!

The Missio Alliance North American Gathering will be held April 27-29 in Alexandria, Virginia. The theme this year is Awakenings: The Mission of the Spirit as the Life of the Church. Featured speakers this year include Jorge Acevedo, Greg Boyd, Ruth Padilla Deborst, Tammy Dunahoo, Todd Hunter, Dr. Charles A. Montgomery, Jr., Cherith Nordling, Rev. Dr. Howard-John…

The Risk of Love

The most basic and yet most profound teaching of the Bible is that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8; 16). He is revealed to be a God who is triune—Father, Son and Holy Spirit (See Mt 3:16; 28:19, Jn 14:26; 15:26)—who’s very essence is an eternal, loving relationship. He created the world out of love…

How to Produce the Fruit of the Spirit

When the New Testament tells us to be loving, joyful, peaceful, kind and so on, it is not giving us a new set of behaviors that we are to strive to accomplish. Striving to attain them means nothing if they are sought as ethical ideals or to meet a set of religious rules. They have…