The Activities of the Holy Spirit

1. Changing the human heart. Scripture repeatedly describes the work of the Holy Spirit in very personal terms; it is evident that He knows individuals intimately and influences them at the deepest level. In His encounter with Nicodemus, Jesus emphasized the role of the Holy Spirit in changing the human heart:

“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is BORN OF water and THE SPIRIT.’”
—John 3:5.

The Spirit of God once moved on the waters at creation; He now moves in us to bring about our re-creation. To be “born of the Spirit” means that the Spirit gives us a new beginning. It's more than a matter of modifying our behavior a bit. The Spirit changes us from the inside out, fulfilling the promise: “I will give you a new heart” (Ezekiel 36:26).

2. Making us aware of wrongdoing and giving us a desire for holiness. What enables people to acknowledge their sins and take responsibility for them?

“When he [the Holy Spirit] comes, HE WILL CONVICT the world of guilt in regard to SIN and RIGHTEOUSNESS and judgment.”
—John 16:8.

If it weren't for the convicting power of the Spirit, we could easily drift along oblivious to the destructive consequences of our behavior. In a world full of dysfunctional individuals it's sometimes hard to know what “normal” and “healthy” really are. But the Spirit makes us more deeply aware of the truly “good life” that God designed for His children.

When you hear the dramatic story of a drug addict finding deliverance in Christ, or of someone turning from an immoral lifestyle to God and becoming a faithful spouse and nurturing parent, remember that every step toward wholeness came as a result of the prompting of the Holy Spirit.