How Does the Holy Spirit Work In Our Lives?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Every believer has the Holy Spirit inside, but how does the Holy Spirit work in the life of the Christian?

The Trinity

Every believer has the Holy Spirit inside, but how does the Holy Spirit work in the life of the Christian?  The Bible is full of references to the Three Persons of the Trinity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each is spoken of in distinct ways (Matt 28:18-20) and each Person of the Trinity is involved in our salvation, but also in the lives of believers. In the beginning of creation, God has said “Let us” (Gen 1:26-27), meaning, there are more than One in the Trinity and God created us in the image of God, so even in Genesis one and two, we see a God as “us” and “we.”

Who Is The Holy Spirit

“do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”

Grieving the Spirit

We might not think of God as grieving, but just like we do, God the Holy Spirit grieves. He grieves it when we sin. He is suppressed by us when we sin. Eventually, He can be silenced if suppressed for a long period of time (Rom 1:23-27; 2:1-7). The Apostle Paul wants us to “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30), meaning it is possible to grieve Him. The Holy Spirit’s symbol is the dove, meaning He is sensitive and it doesn’t take much to grieve Him and put Him to flight.

We Can Quench the Spirit

We can also quench the Holy Spirit, much like throwing water on a fire. Paul would never had commanded us to “not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess 5:19) if it were not possible to do so, and it is! How do you do that? When we ignore His voice and reject His counsel that we should not do this or we should do this, depending on the situation. Sometimes the Spirit prompts me to share Christ. At other times He tells me to help someone, but if I continue to ignore Him, I can quench Him and His voice is stilled or silenced inside me. We can easily quench the Spirit when we do what we know we’re not supposed to do or fail to act when God wants us to act.

Convicted by the Spirit

He will convict the world concerning sin.

When Jesus was preparing to go back to the Father, He told them to not be dismayed because He would send the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that “it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). Speaking specifically about the Holy Spirit, Jesus said that “when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). He tells us when we’re sinning. He tells us when we should help someone, but first of all, He reveals Who Jesus is and why we desperately need the Savior.

The Truth From the Spirit

Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit and that He would come only when Jesus’ went away. Our Lord told us that “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (John 16:13). Not only will the Holy Spirit bring to mind the things which Jesus taught, “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14). What is Jesus (mine) will be declared to us, through Jesus’ words, or through the written Word of God, the Bible. When it is necessary, the Holy Spirit will bring to mind things that Jesus wants us to know. Just as the Lord had said, He “will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:15).

The Seal of the Spirit

“he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit seals us for that day when Christ comes back for us or after we pass into glory. It was the Holy Spirit Who revealed Who Christ is and why we need Him as Savior. How? It was “when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” (Eph 1:13). It was the Holy Spirit’s sealing us for eternity but He is the One “who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Eph 1:14). What God seals by His Spirit remains sealed and cannot be broken. That’s security for the believer, brought about by the Holy Spirit Who also assures our hearts that we are Christ’s; now and forever.

Praying in the Spirit

Have you ever felt like your prayers are hitting the ceiling and then stopping? I have, but the Holy Spirit can help us pray even when words fail us as “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom 8:26). When we cannot put our desperate prayers before God in words, the Holy Spirit can help us as “he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom 8:27). I need the Spirit’s help in praying and He will help you too. That’s just part of what the Holy Spirit does in us and through us.


The Holy Spirit convicts of us sin, when we sin. He prompts us to do good when opportunity arises (Eph 2:10), He brings to light the things or teachings of Christ. He helps us pray when words fail us and He helps us stay in the Kingdom, preserving us until that day when Jesus Christ comes for us or after death (Heb 9:27). Nothing can separate us from God…nothing (Rom 8:37-39), and the Holy Spirit Who is God, stays with us, all the way into the kingdom, and as God, He too will never leave us nor forsake us, even when we forsake Him for a time.

Here is some related reading for you: Who is the Holy Spirit? A Bible Study

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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