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What Is the Purpose of the Holy Spirit?

Is it a ghost, a god, or something else? What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit, and how can we get a better understanding?

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If you’ve spent any time in or around Christianity, you’ve probably heard mention of the Holy Spirit. Christians talk a lot about the “trinity,” or refer to people being “filled with the Spirit.” There’s no denying the Holy Spirit is essential to the Christian faith. 

But it’s also an easily misunderstood subject! While God the Father and Jesus the Son are more straightforward to understand, the Holy Spirit tends to be more mysterious.  

Is the Holy Spirit God, or something else? How do we know if the Spirit is working in our lives – or if he’s even there at all? What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit? 

The Holy Spirit has an important role, and the more we understand the way the Spirit works, the better we can recognize that work in our lives.  

What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit? 

There’s a misconception that the Holy Spirit serves as a sort of “hall monitor” for our lives, giving us a figurative slap on the wrist any time we mess up. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! The Holy Spirit isn’t out to get us. The Holy Spirit exists to equip us and empower us to live the life he knows is best for us.  

The Holy Spirit can be a powerful aid in our lives, serving as a bridge between God in Heaven and our existence here on earth. The Holy Spirit comforts us during hard times, leads us to make better choices and do the right thing, and empowers us to take on the challenges of life. It’s our two-way connection with God! 

Is the Holy Spirit God? 

Christians will often talk about God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit – but they aren’t three separate entities. God, Jesus, and the Spirit all make up what’s known as the Trinity.  

The Trinity is often referred to as “God in three persons.” They are all God, yet separate, yet one. (So yes, the Holy Spirit is God!) And because the Holy Spirit is a person of God, we actually refer to him as “he,” just like we would with God and Jesus.  

All three persons of God are seen throughout the Bible. God the Father was the main character in the Old Testament. God the Son, Jesus, was the main character in the Gospels. And the Holy Spirit is the main character in and through us until Jesus comes back. 

Bible verses about the Holy Spirit 

The Holy Spirit may be one of the more mysterious topics in Christianity, but the Bible is a great source of information that helps us understand him better. These are just a few of many Bible verses about the Holy Spirit that teach us more about the power of the Spirit in our lives: 

The Holy Spirit was there from the beginning 

The book of Genesis shows us that the Holy Spirit has been present since the creation of the world: "The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters." Genesis 1:2

The Holy Spirit helps us 

In times of weakness, the Holy Spirit is a source of strength to us: "And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words." Romans 8:26

The Holy Spirit makes us more like Jesus 

The Holy Spirit doesn’t just teach us right from wrong – it actually transforms us over time to help us become more like Jesus: "Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:11 

The Holy Spirit helps us align with God’s will 

Jesus described the Holy Spirit as a teacher and guide, helping us stay in alignment with God’s will: "But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you." John 14:26 

The Holy Spirit gives us gifts that encourage others 

When we receive the Holy Spirit, we also receive a unique gift that helps us encourage others and point more people to Jesus: "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other." 1 Corinthians 12:7 

The Holy Spirit protects us 

Ephesians shows us that the Holy Spirit has the power to protect us so that nothing can steal our salvation and our eternity with God: "Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30

The Holy Spirit makes us new 

The Holy Spirit gives us a fresh start in life, wiping away our past and giving us new life: "He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit." Titus 3:5 

The Holy Spirit lives within us 

There’s some truth to the phrase “your body is as temple” after all: "Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 

Experience the purpose of the Holy Spirit in your life 

Understanding the purpose of the Holy Spirit will only take you so far. The God of the universe can live in you through the Holy Spirit and give you the power to live differently, but that’s only possible when you receive the Holy Spirit.  

How do you receive the Holy Spirit? 

The Holy Spirit is available to all, but not everyone will seek him out. There’s only one way to experience the full power of the Holy Spirit in your life, and that’s through trusting Jesus. To trust Jesus, you must: 

  • Admit that you have sinned (Romans 3:23) 
  • Believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8) 
  • Choose the gift of forgiveness and new life (Romans 10:9) 

Part of this new life is receiving the Holy Spirit. When you put your faith in Jesus and commit to following him, the Holy Spirit will live in you (Ephesians 1:13-14). All you need to do is accept what Jesus has done for you and invite the Holy Spirit in! 

If you’re curious about trusting Jesus, let us know! We’d love to talk more with you about that decision!  


LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you!

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