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 Cross and The Trinity

Out of love for humankind, Scripture tells us, Jesus emptied himself of his divine prerogatives, set aside the glory he had with the Father from before the foundation of the world, became a human being and bore our sin as he died a God-forsaken death on Calvary (Phil 2:5-7). Though Jesus remained fully God, he…

Responding to Von Balthasar on the Trinity and Suffering

Recently in his blog, The Dish, Andrew Sullivan pointed to an interesting article from The Other Journal called “Evil, the New Atheism, and the God of the Trinity,” written by Jacob H. Friesenhahn.  One of the reasons I love Sullivan’s blog is that he dares to include meaty theological pieces like this right alongside of…

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…

N.T. Wright: Truth Happens

N.T. Wright talks about the relationship between truth and beauty. Lovely.

Podcast: Did Jesus Experience Genuine God-Forsakenness? (parts 1 and 2)

Greg discusses Jesus’ experience of God-Forsakenness, and looks at possible implications for the perfection of the trinity. Part One: http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0178.mp3 Part Two: http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0179.mp3

What “God Loves You” Actually Means

From the beginning, God chose to have a people who would be the object of his eternal love, just as Christ is the object of his eternal love. God sought to acquire a “bride” for Christ who would receive and reflect the love of the triune community (Eph 5:25-32). And the only qualification for being…