The Holy Spirit’s Ministry to All Saved People
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Notes compiled by Marty Zide and Steve McAtee
The Holy Spirit plays a major role in the lives of believers, not only at the time of their salvation but also throughout their lifetime as a Christian. He empowers them to serve and preserves them until it is their time to enter their eternal home.
There are four ministries of the Holy Spirit which take place for all believers right at the time of salvation.
Regeneration of the Holy Spirit, Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Sealing of the Holy Spirit
First, we will look at some of the things that the Holy Spirit does for each believer at the time of our salvation. Each of these ministries is a one-time event never to be repeated. If you are not saved, none of these apply to you.
Never are we told that we must do anything to receive these ministries of the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to seek, pray, or even obey certain commands in order to receive them. They all come to the repenting sinner as gracious gifts of God at the time of their salvation.
1. The Holy Spirit regenerates us
Regeneration is the act of God whereby He imparts new spiritual life to us. It takes in all that is represented by eternal life in a human being. Regeneration is a one time event that all saved people experience. At the time of regeneration, the Holy Spirit re-creates the sinner, imparts unto him eternal life, and gives him the nature of God. Just as we were passive in our physical birth, we are passive in the act of regeneration. It is something that the Holy Spirit does.
Titus 3:5 - He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.
James 1:18 - In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
John 3:3-7 - Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he? Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, You must be born again.
Regeneration takes place in the life of an individual when they are taken from spiritual death to life. It requires the work of God for this to take place. As we read these verses, we will clearly see that all the members of the Trinity had a part in the process, but the Holy Spirit is especially emphasized in regard to regeneration.
Eph 2:4-7 - But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Messiah (by grace you have been saved),... so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Jesus.
Col 2:13-14 - When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
The fact that Jesus expected Nicodemus to have known about the concept of regeneration shows that it was not a new teaching. All who are truly saved at any age are regenerated. It took place in the OT and will take place in the tribulation period as well as the Millennium.
Jer 32:37 - Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them.
Ezek 11:19 - And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.
Ezek 36:25-28 - Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.
Just as a side note, when true regeneration takes place, there is always a change in the lifestyle of the individual. No one’s life can remain the same after true salvation. Notice that these verses emphasize walking in God’s ways after salvation takes place.
Coming Next – The Characteristics of Regeneration