The Holy Spirit
A primary role of the Holy Spirit is to teach the saints of God. Jesus said of Him in John 14:26, “He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.”
What does He teach us? He gives us knowledge of God’s ways and character, instructs us in how to live a life pleasing to the Lord, guides us in our decisions, makes known to us our personal destinies and how to walk those out, helps us to know when we are in need of repentance, and shows us how to pray (Romans 8:26, 27). We see Him already teaching God’s people under the Old Covenant (“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go; I will guide you with my eye.” — Psalm 32:8), but now that He indwells us, He fulfills that role to an even greater degree.
He teaches us in a variety of ways, such as speaking into our hearts through the inner voice, visions, and dreams. But over and above all other means, He teaches us by enlightening the Scriptures for us. Our natural minds are not capable of understanding the Bible adequately without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, but when we invite Him to read the Word with us, amazing truths unfold.
He is called the Spirit of Truth, and, as such, He guides us into truth. In John 16:13-15, Jesus said of Him, “When he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth. For he shall not speak on his own, but whatever he hears [from the Father] he shall speak, and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive what is mine, and shall show it to you. All things that the Father has are mine: therefore I said that he shall take of what is mine, and shall show it to you.”
As the Teacher, He is also the source of ongoing revelation to us. Jesus said He will “show us things to come.” Prophetic revelation of what is yet to happen is available to us through the Holy Spirit, Who reveals to us the plans of the Father for our lives and for the world we live in.
Through prophetic revelation He is able to guide our steps in detail. Expecting the Holy Spirit to give them specific direction was a normal part of the New Testament believers’ experience. One of many examples is found in Acts 16:6-10. There we see that Paul and his companions were “forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.” They then attempted to preach in other provinces in the area, “but the Spirit did not permit them to.” Finally, He sent Paul a vision, in which Paul was directed to go to Macedonia.
The Holy Spirit also fulfills His role as Comforter by revelation, which we will discuss in the next post.