7 ways God’s Spirit works in a Christian’s life
With respect to the areas of authority that affect our lives as believers, the Holy Spirit operates in the following seven “Offices.” The first four reveal His work in creating the life of God in us; the other three reveal the power He gives us as He governs our lives and develops Jesus’ character in us.
1. Spirit of Life. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. ... And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:2, 10, NKJV). The Holy Spirit makes us alive to God by creating the life of Jesus in us. He births the Word of God in us, baptizes us into the body of Christ, seals us, works resurrection power in and through us, and bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God.
2. Spirit of Truth. “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). We cannot know God without knowing the Spirit of truth. He inspires, reveals and corrects. He speaks expressly (preaches), speaks mysteries (prophesies), searches, counsels and instructs. He also demonstrates the Word, brings things to our remembrance, convicts, makes God’s promises alive to us, renews the spirit of our mind and shows us things to come.
3. Spirit of Adoption. “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom. 8:15). In Bible culture, adoption did not refer to people receiving an infant into their home to raise as their child. Adoption was recognition of mature sonship (see Gal. 4:1-2). The declaration of adoption took place at maturity; it signified heirship and throneship, rulership and joint ownership. It had nothing to do with “babyship,” as we understand adoption in our Western culture.
4. Spirit of Holiness. “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was ... declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:3-4). The Holy Spirit brings judgment, fire and burning into our lives. He searches out and condemns sin, destroying all the impurities of the soul and spirit (see Is. 10:16-18). Yet He deals with us gently, according to His nature, and gives us grace to walk in His holiness. He also imparts His righteousness into our hearts so holiness becomes a way of life for us.
5. Spirit of Grace. “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has ... insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:29). The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us the divine enabling to do all the Scriptures required of us, to obey God fully. We need divine grace to be able to give up bad habits, return good for evil and turn the other cheek. We need the Spirit of grace to help us in the mundane things of daily life, and not just the hard situations and difficult relationships.
6. Spirit of Supplication. “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication” (Zech. 12:10). Supplication means “an entreaty, a humble earnest prayer in worship, a petition.” In its broadest meaning, the word embraces the entire realm of prayer. The Holy Spirit comes to establish us in a prayer relationship with God so we can commune freely with Him.
7. Spirit of Glory. “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Pet. 4:14). We don’t often hear the word glory in conversation. In the Bible, it implies more than God’s disclosure of who He is; it implies an expression of God’s active presence among His people, showing us Himself by His actions in our world. When God’s glory is unveiled and recognized, all those things in which human beings take pride fade to nothingness.