The Holy Spirit is a living being who has feelings, intellect, and a will. As indicated by numerous biblical prayers, the Holy Spirit exists as an eternal part of the Father and the Son. Thus He is considered the third person of the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit is described throughout Scripture utilizing characteristics attributable only to God Himself. The Holy Spirit is; omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and eternal It must also be understood that although the Trinity is of one nature, the function of each person remains biblically distinct. All three persons serve distinct and defined functions yet if separated would render God incomplete.


There are two distinct groups to whom the Holy Spirit ministers: among both the saved and unsaved he carries out His ‘universal ministries’, and among the saved the Spirit of God performs His ‘particular ministries’.

1. Universal (To the World)

John 16:8-11 defines the first essential ‘universal’ role of the Holy Spirit as the one who convicts the world of sin. Second, because Jesus Christ in his flesh no longer dwells upon earth, the Holy Spirit guides the world in the ways of righteousness . Finally, because Satan has already been judged and found guilty along with all those who chose him over the eternal God, the world is convicted of eternal judgement. An important concept to understand is that the role of the Holy Spirit in the world is not limited to simply making people realize that their lives are corrupt, but also to show man the Way in Christ Jesus.

2. Particular (To the Saved)

In the ‘particular’ sense, the Holy Spirit works in every Christian’s day to day life in countless ways. Some works of the Holy Spirit take place one time only, most continue on throughout the Christian life.

a. Baptism in the Holy Spirit

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the first function in the conversion of all believers. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a symbolic action, but one of necessary reality which occurs at the point of salvation. The essential characteristics of Baptism in the Holy Spirit are that the believer; is baptized into one body by the Spirit, crucified with Christ through the Holy Spirit, raised into newness of life through His Baptism, and now walks in the newness of life through the power of the Spirit. All of these actions define a baptism that takes place at salvation because the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the necessary reality to experiencing the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The reality of our sin demands the reality of Spirit Baptism.

b. Spiritual Renewal

Baptism in the Holy Spirit, however, is not the final work of God’s Spirit in the Christian life. Each person requires a means by which he can live the life that God has ordained. A fruitful and obedient life is accomplished through being filled by God’s Holy Spirit. Unlike the Baptism in the Holy Spirit which is a one time event, being filed by God’s Holy Spirit is a continual day to day process.

c. The Spirit Filled Walk

In living the spirit filled life there are two other functions which the Holy Spirit provides each Christian. The first is to give each member of the Body a meaningful role through the Giftings of the Holy Spirit. Second, the Holy Spirit helps to strengthen all Christians for confrontation with their enemies by equipping each believer with the Armor of God. The Spirit filled life is a life lived in opposition to the world. Therefore, without the Armor of God, a believer is defenseless against Satan and will not be able to live according to God’s purposes. Finally, the Holy Spirit helps each Christian to show others the wonderful possibilities of the Christian life through the Fruit of Faith. The fruit is what shows others and allows us to evaluate the quality of our lives. The Holy Spirit is the power and strength of the Christian life. Without Him directing and giving each believer the power to live each day, the abundant life would only be a dream and never a reality.

  1. Have you met the Spirit of God?
  2. Have you given Him your life?
  3. Why wait? Walk in obedience and experience His power today!

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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