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The Roles of the Holy Spirit


This is a short document outlining the predominant roles of the Holy Spirit in relation to a believer's life.  No claims are made on comprehensiveness.  The basis for this outline was a class taught by Dr. Donald Fowler on Acts in 2006.  Dr. Fowler has recently put together a slideshow presentation which outlines many of these same features.



References: John 3:3-8, 6:63; Titus 3:5
  • This is the "moment" of salvation: *
  • No one can be regenerated without the Holy Spirit dragging them (John 6:44)
  • Anyone who has every received salvation must have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit


References: John 14:17; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19
  • This ministry begins immediately at regeneration and never ends: *→ → → →
  • Everyone who has ever been regenerated has had the indwelling of the Spirit
    • Old Testament saints
    • Luke 1-3


References: 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13
  • This ministry begins immediately at regeneration and never ends: *→ → → →
  • This is our promise and pledge, our salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit


References: Acts 1:5, 10:44-48, 11:15-16; 1 Corinthians 12:13
  • This ministry begins immediately at regeneration and never ends: *→ → → →
  • Could be alternate nomenclature for Indwelling ministry
  • If there is a difference it is in that the Holy Spirit baptizes all of us into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13)


References: Ephesians 5:18, Very common in the NT
  • This ministry begins immediately at regeneration and throughout a believer's life: *→*→*→*→*
  • This is where we experience the Holy Spirit in filling us
  • Acts 2 falls into this category – Holy Spirit enabling the disciples to evangelize (see Acts 1:8)
  • This typically happens in order to accomplish a divine task
  • OT: Saul was given the enabling the Spirit and then God took the enabling away - “Do not quench the Spirit”
  • The word “joy” always accompanies the task oriented filling of the Holy Spirit in Acts

John's Gospel

  • John 7:39 – Holy Spirit not given because Jesus is not glorified
  • John 14:17 – Holy Spirit is abiding in you and will
  • John 16:7 – Jesus must go away for Holy Spirit to come
  • John 20:22 – Jesus breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 24:49)
    • This is a filling of the Spirit
    • Probably to enable the disciples to get them from where they are to Pentecost when they receive the Holy Spirit to evangelize

Further reading