The term “trinity” is an essential part of orthodox Christianity. It is the term the Church uses to express the unity of three Persons in the one, true God. In a nutshell, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is this: (1) There is only one God; one divine nature and being. (2) This one divine Being is tri-personal, involving three distinct persons in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; all joint partakers of the same nature and majesty of God.
In talking with Christians, I find that nearly all are familiar with the trinity. Most Christians know God the Father as the creator of all things. They know Jesus, as God’s Son who was crucified, and rose again. Many, however, know little about the person of the Holy Spirit. A somewhat understandable position since most preaching and teaching center on God, the Father, and Jesus, the Son.
A majority of Christians would be unable to give you a clear answer to the question “what is the function of the Holy Spirit?” The good news is that God’s Word, the Holy Bible, has all the answers. Through reading and studying God’s Word, we can (and should) be as familiar with the Holy Spirit as we are with the Father and Son. We must not be ignorant about any person of the trinity.
One of the major functions of the Holy Spirit is to tell us about Jesus. Jesus told His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit would testify about Him. (John 15:26) Jesus also said “He will glorify Me…” (John 16:14) When Jesus walked on the earth as a man, He glorified the Father. In the same way, the Holy Spirit now glorifies Jesus. Just as Jesus testified about the Father, the Holy Spirit testifies about Jesus.
In John 16:7 Jesus makes and amazing statement. He said “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” As much as we think it would be good for Jesus to have stayed, He said it was good that He was going. Why? So He could send the Holy Spirit. This third person must be pretty important.
In the next sentence (John 16:8) Jesus reveals another crucial function of the Holy Spirit. “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin…” The Holy Spirit brings an awareness of our sin to us. Without an understanding our own sinful condition, we would never turn to a Savior.
Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would also be our teacher. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26) According to John 16:13 the Holy Spirit reveals all truth: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” Not only does the Holy Spirit remind us of what Jesus said (the past) and teaches us “all things” that we need to know now (the present), He will tell us of things that are yet to come (the future).
The Holy Spirit also empowers us for the work God has called us, His Church, to do; to go into all the world and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the first chapter of Acts Jesus told His disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit before beginning the task (Acts 1:4-5 & 8)
In the second chapter of Acts the power of Holy Spirit came. From then on the disciples walked “in the power of the Spirit” and turned the world upside-down. The world still needs to be turned upside-down for the cause of Christ. The Holy Spirit is still supplying the power to get the job done. To appropriate more of this “power” to work in your life, make a commitment to learn more about the mysterious third person of the trinity.