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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Holy Spirit and Us

Don Stewart :: In What Ways Does the Holy Spirit Give Life?

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In What Ways Does the Holy Spirit Give Life?

The Holy Spirit and Us – Question 4

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit gives “life.” From a study of the Scripture, we find that the Holy Spirit gave life to humanity in the beginning, presently gives spiritual life to believers, and will give life to lifeless bodies in the future. We need to make the following observations.

The Holy Spirit Gave Life in the Beginning

The Holy Spirit gave life in the very beginning. The Bible says that God breathed life into Adam, the first man, and he became a living being. We read the following words in Genesis.

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature (Genesis 2:7 ESV).

Therefore, God formed the physical body of Adam from the ground and then breathed His breath of life into Adam so that he could become a living being.

All Life Depends upon the Spirit of God

If God would take back His life-giving Spirit, then all life would cease. We read about this in the Book of Job.

If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all mankind would perish together and man would return to the dust (Job 34:14, 15 NIV).

Life was given by God’s Spirit in the beginning. It is His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, which also sustains all life.

The Holy Spirit Gives Spiritual Life to Those Who Believe

In the same manner, it is God the Holy Spirit who gives spiritual life to the believer. Jesus said to the religious leader Nicodemus.

Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. So don’t be surprised at my statement that you must be born again (John 3:6, 7 NLT).

Only the Spirit of God gives new life, spiritual life. No other personage can grant this. We cannot give ourselves life and nobody else can give it to us.

The Spirit Gives Life, the Old Nature Does Not

In another place, Jesus compared the Spirit and the flesh. He said the Spirit is life but the flesh, our sinful human nature, is unprofitable. We read.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63 NKJV)

What a comparison! The flesh, or old nature, profits nothings while the Spirit of God gives us life. The contrast is between life and death.

Paul also wrote about the importance of the Spirit as compared to the letter of the law. He explained it in this manner.

Who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6 ESV).

Again, we find that it is the letter of the law which kills, but, in contrast, the Spirit of God which gives us life.

The Holy Spirit Gave Life to the Gentiles

We find the Spirit of God giving life to people in historical situations. The Bible says the Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles, non-Jews, as Peter was preaching to them. We read the following account in the Book of Acts.

While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (Acts 10:44-47 ESV).

This work of the Holy Spirit was the beginning of their spiritual life in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit Will Give Life to Lifeless Bodies

There is one more thing we must mention. When Jesus Christ returns to the earth, the Holy Spirit will finish His life-giving work when He raises the dead. We read the following in the Book of Romans.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you (Romans 8:11 ESV).

The Spirit of God will be involved in the resurrection of the dead. Thus, He will give life to believers even after our existence on earth is over.

Therefore the Holy Spirit was involved in the creation of human life, is the one who gives spiritual life, and will be the one who raises the dead and gives eternal life. It is no wonder that the Scripture calls Him the “life-giving” Spirit.

Summary – Question 4
in What Ways Does the Holy Spirit Give Life?

The Scripture says that the Holy Spirit Himself gives life. Indeed, He is described as the “life-giving Spirit.” We find this to be true in a number of ways.

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit gave life to the first human – Adam. Indeed, after the body of Adam was formed from the ground it was the Spirit of God who came into his lifeless body and made him a living being. Furthermore, we are told that the Holy Spirit gives life to all things. Consequently, without the Spirit of God there would be no life on this planet.

Just as the Spirit of God gives life to all things, we also find Him giving spiritual life to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is the Spirit of God who convicts people of their sin and their need for Christ. He then indwells that person who trusts Christ as their Savior.

There is a third way in which the Holy Spirit gives life. The Bible says that the Spirit of God will raise the lifeless bodies of the dead. Those who have believed in Christ will be raised to life by the Spirit. Consequently, His life-giving work goes beyond our existence here upon the earth.

In sum, we see that the Spirit of God has worked in the past by giving physical life, is presently working in our world by giving spiritual life to those who believe in Jesus Christ, and He will someday raise to life those who have believed in Jesus.

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