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Marvelous Functions of the Holy Spirit

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Marvelous Functions of the Holy Spirit

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The Bible explains that the Holy Spirit is central to everything God is and does. The Holy Spirit is not a person but is the very essence of God’s perfect nature, character, power, influence and authority. For example, God’s Spirit was instrumental in the creation of the entire universe—including the earth and all life on it (Job 26:13 Job 26:13By his spirit he has garnished the heavens; his hand has formed the crooked serpent.
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; Job 33:4 Job 33:4The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life.
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; Genesis 1:2 Genesis 1:2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.
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; Psalms 104:30 Psalms 104:30You send forth your spirit, they are created: and you renew the face of the earth.
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). Quoting Isaiah 61, during His earthly ministry Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18 Luke 4:18The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
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, emphasis added throughout).

Also, when the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples on the first New Testament Pentecost in A.D. 31, they were filled with spiritual drive and fortitude. By employing the power, courage and wisdom of God’s Spirit they became intrepid witnesses of Jesus Christ and fearlessly spread the good news of His future government on earth (Acts 1:8 Acts 1:8But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
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; Mark 16:15 Mark 16:15And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
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; Acts 4:31 Acts 4:31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
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). As we prepare to observe the Holy Day of Pentecost, let’s examine three of the many vital functions of the Holy Spirit. By doing so we can better appreciate God’s divine gift while supporting His Church as it resolutely disseminates the true message of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God throughout the earth today (1 Corinthians 1:23 1 Corinthians 1:23But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness;
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; Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
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).

1) The Holy Spirit as God’s begettal power

Similar to how a human father imparts part of his nature to his offspring through the reproduction process, God begets His own spiritual attributes to those He calls when they repent, are baptized and receive His Spirit by the laying on of hands by God’s true ministers (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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; Hebrews 6:2 Hebrews 6:2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
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). The apostle Peter explained that these actions result in His people becoming “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4 2 Peter 1:4Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
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).

All of this was made possible because Jesus Christ lived a flawless life, faced and endured His sacrificial death and was resurrected to spirit life. Consequently, God’s faithful people become a new creation and heirs of God in His divine family (2 Corinthians 5:17 2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
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; Galatians 4:7 Galatians 4:7Why you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
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) As Peter also wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4 1 Peter 1:3-4 [3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you,
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).

So, through spiritual begettal you and I can not only become inheritors of everlasting life but we can develop the very mind of God (1 Corinthians 2:16 1 Corinthians 2:16For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
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; Philippians 2:5 Philippians 2:5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
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). Plus, the Holy Spirit infuses converted Christians with God’s incomparable divine love (Romans 5:5 Romans 5:5And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
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).

Besides this, the begettal of the Holy Spirit shows that we belong to God. “And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, [which] he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people” (Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 1:13-14 [13] In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, [14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
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, New Living Translation). These wonderful passages should leave us in sublime awe as to what God has promised to those who love and obey Him.

2) God imparts spiritual powers and capabilities by His Spirit

Through His Holy Spirit, God imparts divine gifts to His blessed people so that they can accomplish His work in the world and grow in godly righteousness (Acts 2:7-8 Acts 2:7-8 [7] And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? [8] And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
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; 2 Corinthians 5:21 2 Corinthians 5:21For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
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). For example, in the Old Testament we read how God provided His Spirit to certain individuals—including kings, judges and prophets—so that they could accomplish special missions. The prophet Micah wrote, “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8 Micah 3:8But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
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). Also, God gave King David the Holy Spirit to implement His divine purposes for ancient Israel as their God-inspired human leader. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13 1 Samuel 16:13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the middle of his brothers: and the Spirit of the LORD came on David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
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).

Furthermore, through His Spirit, God grants splendid divine gifts to individual members of His Church. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 [4] Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. [5] And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. [6] And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all.
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). Through the Holy Spirit, God bequeaths to us the capability and strength we individually need, just as He did for Jesus during His earthy ministry (Isaiah 11:2 Isaiah 11:2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
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). As God’s people, we must actively employ the divine abilities He has given us to support the Church and personally grow to spiritual maturity (Ephesians 2:19-22 Ephesians 2:19-22 [19] Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; [20] And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; [21] In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to an holy temple in the Lord: [22] In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
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; 2 Peter 3:18 2 Peter 3:18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
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).

3) God teaches, leads and guides through the Holy Spirit

It is by the Holy Spirit that called, repentant individuals are able to grasp “the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-11 1 Corinthians 2:9-11 [9] But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. [10] But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. [11] For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.
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). By contrast, “the person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14 1 Corinthians 2:14But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
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, New International Version). Again, human beings absolutely need God and His Spirit in their lives to even begin comprehending spiritual things.

It is through His Spirit that God enables those He calls to fully comprehend what He is doing and what He wants them to accomplish (John 14:26 John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
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). The apostle Paul wrote, “We don’t speak about these things using teachings that are based on intellectual arguments like people do. Instead, we use the Spirit’s teachings. We explain spiritual things to those who have the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:13 1 Corinthians 2:13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
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, God’s Word Translation). Moreover, the Holy Spirit helps us draw ever closer to God so we can “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 Matthew 5:48Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
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).

Besides teaching spiritual truth through His Spirit, God diligently leads and guides His people. For example, Acts 13:2-3 Acts 13:2-3 [2] As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. [3] And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
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describes how Paul and Barnabas were meeting in Jerusalem with brethren and teachers of God’s Church. The result was that the Holy Spirit led them to send Paul and Barnabas to the gentiles to teach them about Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. The vibrant force of God’s Spirit guided the disciples and apostles in their efforts to accomplish the work of preaching the Gospel with tremendous conviction, commitment and courage. In another instance the apostle Paul explained how God, through His Spirit, inspired him to preach the gospel, “not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4 1 Corinthians 2:4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
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, NIV).

Finally, as we prepare to observe the Holy Day of Pentecost, let’s be deeply grateful to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for the wonderful gifts and benefits of the Holy Spirit. It is through its many marvelous roles and functions that extraordinary blessings are conferred upon His deeply loved people so that they can steadfastly support the Church and personally grow in profound spiritual understanding.