The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

David Norczyk
5 min readMay 6, 2024

In His farewell discourse in the upper room at Jerusalem, Jesus promised His disciples that He would ask for God the Father to send the Holy Spirit to them (Jn 14:17). The paraclete was sent to them at Pentecost (Acts 2). This “other Helper”, who came alongside the disciples in Christ’s church, is the third Person of the Trinity. His work continues in the world, today, especially in Christ’s body of diverse members from every nation, tribe, and tongue.

Along with God the Father and God the Son, God the Spirit shares the divine attributes in equal measure. The Holy Spirit is eternal, invisible, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immortal, etc. The Trinity is deity in community — a community of perfection. Together, the Triune Godhead is one in essence, while subsisting in three Persons.

The Holy Spirit is the active presence of God in the world, having been sent from the Father and the Son (Jn 14:26; 15:26). With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified. We believe in the Holy Spirit because of the very revelation He Himself has brought to us in the Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20–21). For it was the Holy Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles to write the Old and the New Testament. Thus, it is the Spirit of truth who testifies of Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God enfleshed (Jn 1:14). It is the Bible that speaks of Jesus Messiah, and it was the Son of God who affirmed the validity of the Scriptures (Jn 5:39–47).

The Holy Spirit has been at work from the beginning, from creation (Gen 1:2). He sustains both animal and human life. Throughout history, the Spirit has empowered, purified, revealed, and unified God’s chosen people. He gives new life to the elect, redeemed of the Lord. Our resurrection hope, of glorified bodies conjoined with our immortal souls (Rom 8:11), is a future grace of God’s Spirit, now indwelling those He has caused to be born again (Jn 3:1–8; 14:17).

The Bible reveals the indwelling Holy Spirit in Old Testament saints such as Joshua (Num 27:18; Deut 34:9); Ezekiel (Ezek 2:2; 3:24); Daniel (Dan 4:8–9,18; 5:11); and Micah (Mic 3:8). The prophet Isaiah foretold of the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus (Is 11:2–3; 42:1; 61:1). The prophets Joel and Ezekiel both prophesied of the Holy Spirit coming to God’s people under the new covenant (Ezek 36:26–27; 37:14; Joel 2:28–29). This later work would empower the expansion of the Gospel out from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

More power would accompany Christians in their witness; preaching; study of the Scriptures; spiritual gifting; prayer; discernment; and spiritual warfare. Before outward ministries of the indwelling Spirit are produced, the inward work must commence. It is the sanctifying work of the Spirit that breaks sin’s power and purifies each one made alive from spiritual deadness due to sin’s dominion (Rom 6:6; Eph 2:1, 5; Col 2:13; Heb 2:15; 1 Pet 1:2).

The Holy Spirit is poured out in our hearts like a river of living water or a rushing wind. The unseen power in these metaphors means that we are witness to the effects of the Spirit’s work. Just because the Holy Spirit is invisible does not mean He is quietly working behind the scenes. All the miraculous workings of God throughout Scripture are products of the Holy Spirit. Truly, the Spirit of God who is there…and here…and everywhere is at work among us.

The Spirit of Christ is Himself the intimacy we enjoy with the Person of Jesus. The world does not share this personal relationship because the world cannot receive the Spirit of God, who serves to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn 16:8). The very presence of the Spirit in the world is a testimony of the world’s wretched treatment of the King of heaven’s one and only Son. It is the Spirit who warns the world of the wrath of the Lamb of God (Rev 6:16; 14:10), at His coming to judge the world in righteousness (Ps 9:8; 96:13; 98:9; Acts 17:31). This warning is issued every time the Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly preached.

The flesh of sinners wages war with the Spirit (Rom 7:14; 8:4–13; Gal 5:16–26). It is only the mercy and grace of God that a man or woman is brought into subjection to Christ by His Spirit (Rom 9:15–16; Eph 2:8–9; Heb 2:8). The reprobate are left to themselves to suffer the consequences of their sinful rebellion against Almighty God (Rom 1:18; 9:22; Heb 9:27).

When the revelation of God arrives in the sinner’s heart and mind, the transformation is manifest because the Spirit abides with that one and is now in him (Jn 14:17). The life of the Christian is the Spirit of God living in him (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; Gal 2:20). It is a life led by the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 18, 25); who causes the saints to walk in God’s statutes (Ezek 36:27). Thus, it is a life of reliance leading to obedience. Because the adopted child of God depends on the Spirit for teaching; help; comfort; decision making; direction; constraint; and calling…it is a life of faith.

Christians pray in the Spirit for illumination regarding that which pleases God (2 Cor 5:9). The truth, which the Spirit guides us into (Jn 16:13), is that faith in God’s Son is our salvation (Rom 4:3; Gal 3:6; Jas 2:23). God is glorified in the work of Jesus Christ; and it is the Holy Spirit who testifies to the pleasure of God in His Son, now enthroned in glory because of His perfect work in life…and death upon His cross. The fragrance of His victory over sin, death, the devil, and the world is sweet to those who follow Jesus in His triumph. It is simultaneously the warning of death, judgment, and eternal punishment for those who do not believe in Him (Mt 25:41; Jn 10:26; Rom 6:23; Heb 9:27 Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).

Christian fellowship in the community of faith, hope, and love is in the Spirit (Acts 2:44–47; 2 Cor 13:14). Each Spirit-filled believer is a living stone in the Temple, the house of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:22; 1 Pet 2:5). He is in us; and we are in Him (1 Jn 4:13). Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus because He will never leave us nor forsake us (Rom 8:31–39; Heb 13:5). The Helper is with us, forever (Jn 14:16).

It is the love of God, in the Spirit, poured out in our hearts, that binds us together (Rom 5:5). If we love Jesus, it is because God first loved us (1 Jn 4:19). We follow in the steps of Jesus by loving God, our neighbors, one another, and even our enemies as we are commanded to do (Jn 13:35; 14:15). Where the Spirit is, harmony in community manifests in truth. Simply put, our union with Christ in the Spirit is the basis of our unity with one another. Jesus prayed for this blessing and benefit for us in John 17.

Therefore, let us be mindful not to grieve, quench, outrage, nor blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. To lose communion with the Spirit, Christ, and the Father is evident when we lose communion with Christ’s church. Behold Christ knocking at the door of His church (Rom 3:20); may we be so inclined in the Spirit to welcome Him in with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength…together in holy communion.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

May 5, 2024

John 14:15–17



David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher