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


References: Acts 1:5, 10:44-48, 11:15-16; 1 Corinthians 12:13

  • This ministry begins immediately at regeneration and never ends: *→ → → →

  • This is our promise and pledge, our salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit

  • 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

Wood, Leon. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.