Holy SpiritMuch is said about the activity of the Holy Spirit today. In fact, in some Christian religious groups, the primary emphasis of their message is the Holy Spirit – it is the “lure” and attraction for converts to their faith.

Indeed, the combination ofpowerandmysterycan be intoxicating. On the one hand, who can resist the promise of power in a world where we can often feel beaten down physically and emotionally? And on the other, the mysterious nature of a spirit that moves without conscious awareness gives people nearly limitless interpretations of how, when, and where they may be affected by it.

There’s no doubt there is great power accredited to the Holy Spirit in Scripture. We can see that with the instances of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. We can also see the power of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that were imparted to and by the apostles. In fact, in Scripture, we can see many different ways in which the Holy Spirit interacts with mankind in powerful ways throughout the Old and New Testaments.

But for this question, what does scripture explicitly tell us about what the Holy Spirit does for the Christian today?

How Scripture answers "What does the Holy Spirit do for the Christian today?"

The Holy Spirit is dwelling in the born again Christian5,7,8 and was given as a down payment and seal5,6,9 for their salvation5,9 and inheritance6 in heaven. Throughout a Christian’s walk, they are being renewed7 and helped in their prayers to God1 by the Holy Spirit.  This promise of His dwelling should be a source of comfort and rejoicing8. Finally, the Holy Spirit is testifying and bearing witness to the Christian through the Word of God2 — it is through God’s word that He speaks to us.

Answer built on scripture-blocks below

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

We [Christians] do not know how to pray as we ought.  Therefore, the Holy Spirit helps in this weakness by amending our prayers with “inexpressible groanings” that are deeper than [human] words. God, the Father, searches all hearts/minds of course knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit is doing this intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Paul emphasizes the Christian’s relationship to the Holy Spirit throughout the entire chapter for those who are “in Christ Jesus” (vs 1). Contrasting with the flesh, some of the points made about this relationship include:

  • the law of the life-giving Spirit set us free,
  • we are to walk according to the Spirit,
  • outlook should be shaped by the Spirit — an outlook that is life and peace and submitting to the law of God,
  • made alive by the Spirit living in us,
  • those led by the Spirit are sons of God.
Scripture-block application to this question

The Holy Spirit intercedes in our prayers to express needs we are unable to express ourselves. We also find many facts about the Holy Spirit, not necessarily answering the question of what He is doing today, but important facts nonetheless.

For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy. And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,” then he says, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.”

The offering of Jesus perfected (completed) once and for all making holy [those that believe]. This new covenant is written on their hearts and their sins are remembered no more.

A letter emphasizing Jewish Christians to hold fast in their faith remembering all of the better things through Jesus Christ.  The writer here is linking the sacrifice of Christ to the words spoken by Jeremiah the prophet (

Jeremiah 31:33-34
).

Scripture-block application to this question

The Holy Spirit “witnesses” (or testifies) truths for us through Scripture. The citations are from Jeremiah 31 but effectively they are the Holy Spirit witnessing to us.

These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 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.

These things I [Jesus] am telling you [Apostles] while in your presence. But, God the Father will send you the Holy Spirit in My name, who will teach you all things and cause you to remember everything I have said to you.

This entire section of Scripture (John 13-17) is Jesus in the upper room with the twelve apostles. He is speaking to them directly and giving them instruction about his coming death and what will follow.

Scripture-block application to this question

It doesn’t. Jesus is speaking directly to the apostles regarding their special office and the role of God’s messenger that they will play after He is gone (note: it’s repeated a little later4).

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
I [Jesus] have many other things to teach you [apostles], but you are not ready for them yet.  But when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, not speaking from His own authority, but what He hears He will speak, declaring to you the things to come.

This entire section of Scripture (John 13-17) is Jesus in the upper room with the twelve apostles. He speaks to them directly and gives them instructions about his coming death and what will follow.

The “Spirit of truth” is the Holy Spirit, also referred to by Jesus in the “upper room” exchange with the apostles as the Helper (vs 14:26 & 15:26).

Scripture-block application to this question

Continuing from the last passage3, Jesus expands on the same thought regarding the apostles’ special office and the role of God’s messenger that they will play after He is gone. Therefore, this has no bearing on Christians today.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

God established a fellowship of the saints through Jesus and sealed it by the Holy Spirit, who was given in our hearts as a down payment.

Actually Paul’s third letter (13:1) to the church at Corinth, writing to them defending his apostleship and also rejoicing in their handling of the some of the issues/sin he dealt with in 1 Corinthians (his second letter).

Scripture-block application to this question

The Holy Spirit has sealed the Christian and is in the Christian’s heart as a down payment.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
When you [Gentiles] heard the word and believed, you were marked and sealed with the Holy Spirit who had been promised – the believer’s down payment to the eventual inheritance and full redemption.

The opening of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus ends with a long list of spiritual blessings they have in Christ. The culmination of his list of blessings “in Christ” applies to both Jews (vs 12) as well as Gentiles (“you also”).

Scripture-block application to this question

The Holy Spirit is a seal and down payment to the Christian’s reward.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 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, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

God appeared in the form of Jesus and saved us, not based on our merit but by His mercy, by the “washing of regeneration” and by renewal of the Holy Spirit, poured out fully through Christ.

Paul’s letter of encouragement to a young preacher Titus. Much like his letters to Timothy, Paul instructs Titus regarding the different churches “in every town” (1:5) to which he was ministering. Also, like Timothy, he encourages Titus to “let no one [in the church] disregard” him (2:15).

Scripture-block application to this question

The Holy Spirit renews or refreshes the baptized Christian. Presumably, an ongoing process after they are washed and reborn.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Christian’s should rejoice in suffering since it fosters endurance, and subsequently character and finally hope. Ultimately, rejoicing is due to God’s love for us represented by the deposit of the Holy Spirit in our heart.

Paul is drawing conclusions based on the fact that Christians are justified (made right) by their faith in Jesus.

Scripture-block application to this question

The Holy Spirit’s dwelling in the Christian’s heart should be a source of comfort and rejoicing regardless of physical circumstances.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
The Holy Spirit, who has sealed us for the day of redemption, can be grieved (distressed, sorrowful). Therefore, don’t engage in bitterness, wrath, anger, screaming, and backbiting, along with all hatred. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted and forgiving, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Paul is in the midst of instructing against various things like corrupt speech, bitterness, anger, slander, etc.  Instead, he is encouraging the saints to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving (vs 32).

Scripture-block application to this question

While the Holy Spirit has been given as a seal for the Christian, He is grieved and sorrowful when that Christian engages in sinful acts.

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