The 7 roles of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Is Our Uniter
The Book of Acts tells us that after the first disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit, they were “continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, emphasis added). The Greek word used for fellowship, koinonia, appears here for the first time in the Bible and then is used 18 times throughout the New Testament.

Koinonia, which also can be translated as “partnership,” is a supernatural grace that causes Christians to love one another deeply. It was not possible before Pentecost because it is a manifestation of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Just as the Spirit’s dunamis power enables us to heal the sick or work miracles, His koinonia knits our hearts and binds us together.

After the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2, koinonia caused the early disciples to share their possessions unselfishly (vv. 44–45) and to share meals often (v. 46). Many people decided to become Christians when they witnessed this loving community (v. 47).

Koinonia was an essential ingredient in the New Testament church. It is what connected Paul, Timothy, Luke, Titus, and Priscilla and Aquila as a team. It is what held the early Christians together in the face of persecution and caused them to lay down their lives for one another.

We must return to koinonia—but you can’t download it or fake it. We will have to scrap artificial, event-driven programs if we want to have the relational Christianity of the Book of Acts. And we will have to invite the Holy Spirit to do His work of connecting us with our brothers and sisters in Christ with His supernatural bond.

The 7 roles of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Is Our Guide
The Spirit has access to all the wisdom and knowledge of God. When we abide in Him, He leads us continually into truth—causing us to grow and mature spiritually. He is our teacher (1 John 2:27), and those who depend on Him will know where to go and what to do because they are following His heavenly directions.

Romans 8:14 tells us: “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” If you are a child of God, you have access to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

He is the best guide ever because He has all the information you need from the past, the present, and the future. I am old enough to remember when people did not have GPS software on their phones (or on anything else!). We actually had to keep maps in the glove boxes of our cars—folded maps made of paper! We’d use them to figure out how to get to a new address. Looking back on those old days of studying maps (and asking for directions at gas stations), I wonder how any of us found our destinations.

The Holy Spirit is like your internal GPS, except that He never gets confused or offers wrong information. But if you want to know the Holy Spirit’s guidance, you must learn to discern His voice and His subtle nudgings.

The 7 role of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Is Our Guide
The Spirit has access to all the wisdom and knowledge of God. When we abide in Him, He leads us continually into truth—causing us to grow and mature spiritually. He is our teacher (1 John 2:27), and those who depend on Him will know where to go and what to do because they are following His heavenly directions.

Romans 8:14 tells us: “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” If you are a child of God, you have access to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

He is the best guide ever because He has all the information you need from the past, the present, and the future. I am old enough to remember when people did not have GPS software on their phones (or on anything else!). We actually had to keep maps in the glove boxes of our cars—folded maps made of paper! We’d use them to figure out how to get to a new address. Looking back on those old days of studying maps (and asking for directions at gas stations), I wonder how any of us found our destinations.

The Holy Spirit is like your internal GPS, except that He never gets confused or offers wrong information. But if you want to know the Holy Spirit’s guidance, you must learn to discern His voice and His subtle nudgings.

The 7 roles of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Is Our Empowerer
Jesus told His early followers that when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, they would be “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). That sounds noisy and disruptive. It sounds like something that would shake the world! Wherever the Spirit goes, He changes people into radicals. He gives them the power to preach boldly, heal sick people, even raise the dead.

Hundreds of years before the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the early church on the Day of Pentecost, the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, newly anointed as a priest, got a free preview of how God would send the Holy Spirit to empower His people.

The preview came in the form of a Technicolor-like vision that included a stormy wind; a cloud that glowed with fire; flashes of lightning; and strange, four-faced cherubim empowered by God’s divine energy.

What God was sharing with Ezekiel was the miracle of Pentecost, when God would clothe His people with power from on high. The early disciples would not only hear the sound of a rushing wind and see flames of fire descend on every believer’s head but also be infused with untamable qualities: supernatural strength, fierce courage, uncanny boldness, and an unusual ability to see into the invisible realm of God’s mysteries.

I am not suggesting that He brings disorder or chaos. God is not the author of confusion. But too often the American church has tried to confine the Holy Spirit, muzzle Him, constrain Him, or shoot Him with a tranquilizer gun so we can maintain control.

I fear that in some cases we have begged this wild Spirit of God to stay away from us so we can play our tame version of church without His unexpected interruptions. If we are honest, we will admit that the church has become so weak, timid, and compromised with the world that we do not even remotely resemble the powerful Christians in the first century who bravely preached the gospel, worked miracles, and even gave their lives in martyrdom to serve Christ.

Yet the promise remains for us: any Christian daring enough to invite the Spirit to empower him can experience all the manifestations of power that operated in the early church.