The first thing we need to see is that the Holy Spirit has always been working right from the start. Genesis 1:2 in Creation “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”.

He came upon the craftsmen who were given the task to build the tabernacle. Exodus 31:3

He came upon Sampson and gave Him his great strength. Judges 14:6.

After he was found out for his sin against Uriah, David wrote in Psalm 51:11, “Take not your Spirit from me.”

David in Psalm139:7 also reminded himself that there was nowhere he could go to hide from the Spirit. These are just a few of the  references to the Spirit in the Old Testament.

In John 5:17. Jesus told the Pharisees, My Father is working until now, and I am working.”  He then goes onto tell them that the work he is doing is merely copying the Father. 5:19 Truly, truly  I say to you, The Son can do nothing on his own accord  (Off his own back as we would say) but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. All that we read about in the Bible that God does is done by Father, Son and Spirit. From our limited human understanding, so we can grasp this better, it is like God has “Three faces” Like a triangle. Think of an equilateral triangle.

And it is as if one of these three faces is focused on more in different parts of the Bible. So in the Old Testament it is chiefly the Father that is focused on. But because God is one whatever the Father did the Son and The Spirit were also involved. In the Gospels and most of the New Testament we see a focus on the Son, The Holy Spirit comes more in focus from the Book of Acts onwards. But even so all three persons are active in all things done by God. One good example of what I am saying is in the Cross. The Father and the Spirit did not die on the cross. The Son did, and even he found that possible only because he became flesh, became human. Yet all three persons of the Trinity were active in the Cross.  In 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Paul tells us that, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ. And where was the Spirit? He was there too. Hebrews 9:14, How much more, then will the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God.. Christ, The Son, offered himself up through the Spirit, to God, The Father.

But this does not leave the Father and the Son out of the picture. Jesus told us that he only did what he did to glorify the Father.  John 5:30. I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge and my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will but him who sent me. or John 14:10. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does His work.”

It is the same with the Holy Spirit, He comes to glorify the Father and The Son.

John 16:13-15. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak of his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”  When Jesus said he will guide you into all truth he was not saying we will know everything. The truth the Spirit will guide us into is that concerning Jesus. The truth we need to know is all about Jesus, for after all Jesus said I am the truth, the way and the life: John 14:6. These words of Jesus were spoken in answer to a request by Phillip, “Lord show us the Father.” So Jesus was saying, I am the truth about the Father, I am the way to the Father, I am the life of the Father. The work of the Spirit is, through Jesus, to take us to the Father.

What then is the Spirit’s work?

Simply, to bring Jesus to us. That is, all that Jesus did for us. To give us the forgiveness and cleansing that Jesus gained for us on the cross. The truth he teaches first of all is to convince us that we are sinners, deserving the wrath of God. Then to show us that Christ on the Cross has dealt with our sin and now offers us full forgiveness. John 16:8 And when he comes [The Spirit comes] he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement. He will convince those who are willing to listen that Jesus died for them and has taken their punishment for their sin. The Spirit will give us new Birth. John 3:1-5.  He is also given to us to teach us to Listen To Jesus about how we can/should live now that we are God’s children. It is in the Spirit’s power that we are able to live the life God now wants us to live.


  • Why did God have His Spirit take control of the work of Jesus? See John 16:5-17.
  • Why did Jesus have to go away before the Spirit could come? Where did Jesus go?
  • What did Jesus mean in John 16:16?
  • What then is the Spirit’s work? John 14:23-27


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Theology Holy SpiritTowards Maturity