The Holy Spirit’s Ministry Throughout the Believer’s Life
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Notes compiled by Marty Zide and Steve McAtee
After salvation, the Holy Spirit continues to play a major role in the lives of believers. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our Helper and the Word of God gives many examples of His ministry to us.
It doesn’t take too long for a believer to discover that the life that we are called upon to live is way beyond us. It is supernatural and it is something that we cannot do by ourselves. That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. Even though we do not always obey, He enables us to withstand the temptations that come our way. He gives us the power to obey the commands of our Savior. Without His ministry in our lives, we would live no differently than we did prior to our salvation.
What are some specific ways in which the Holy Spirit helps us?
This is very important for all believers to understand. The Holy Spirit desires to accomplish many things through us so that much fruit will be the result of the glory of God.
1. The Holy Spirit prays for us
This takes place in such a way that we may not even be totally aware of the fact that it is happening or what is being prayed for. However, that has nothing to do with its effectiveness. The Holy Spirit and the Father are in total agreement for the Father knows the mind of the Holy Spirit.
Rom 8:26-27 - In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
2. The Holy Spirit bears witness
The Holy Spirit bears witness with the spirit of a believer about their personal salvation. This helps produce the assurance that God desires all true believers to have. This witness will become more evident as the individual grows in their faith and begins to develop a better understanding of the Word of God.
Rom 8:16 - The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.
3. The Holy Spirit teaches us
Whenever we learn something as we hear the Word of God preached or when we read it, it is because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He illuminates our minds with the truth. He is the true teacher, not the humans who teach. Bible teachers are simply tools in His hands. He is the one who enables people to understand the Bible.
1 John 2:27 - As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
1 Cor 2:10, 12 - For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.
1 Cor 2:14 - But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
This does not mean that we must conclude that the gifted teachers that were given to the church are not important, it simply means that without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, no one would be able to understand the Bible no matter how skilled and eloquent the teacher may be.
4. The Holy Spirit leads us
It is so helpful to know that we have the recourse of asking the Holy Spirit to lead us in the will of God. However, it is not a guarantee that we will follow His directions just because we ask. Unfortunately, sometimes we ask and our emotions get in the way and they lead us into concluding that what we are asking must be the will of God. We must be sensitive and use discernment.
Rom 8:14 - For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
One thing we can be sure of, He will never lead us contrary to the revealed Word of God. The members of the Trinity do not contradict each other. The Word will not say one thing and then expect that the Holy Spirit leads us in another direction. When that happens it is the result of us getting in the way.
5. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us
Sanctification in the life of a believer is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit. He uses the Word of God to bring about a transformation that is beyond the ability of the individual. It is true that man does cooperate in this process but we are not saying that we have equal roles. We are simply saying that we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in ways that are appropriate to our status as believers.
The very fact that the Scriptures contain so many exhortations and commands lend proof that we cooperate in this endeavor of sanctification. After all, who are the commands in Scripture written to, the Holy Spirit or to believers? It’s obvious they are written to believers.
After saying this, you should know that there are some Bible teachers who do not prefer using the word “cooperate,” but I believe that word best describes the process. We cooperate in the sense that we desire to obey the commands that are given to us in Scripture. The moment we have that desire, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to obey them. We could not obey them without His enabling power.
All that being said, we much keep in mind that there was no cooperation on our part for our initial salvation because we must remember, we were spiritually dead and totally incapable of cooperating.