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Seven-Day Practical Faith Blog: How the Holy Spirit Helps Us

Updated: 6 days ago

(Second in a three-part series on the Holy Spirit)

The Holy Spirit is the part of the Trinity that lives in us. What is the Spirit there to do? I've identified five main themes of the Holy Spirit's actions within us:

  • Counselor

  • Advocate

  • Truthful Guide

  • Sanctifier

  • Completer

As counselor, the Holy Spirit acts as both our conscience and healer. Romans 8:5-6 (NIV) tells us:

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

When we engage internally with the Holy Spirit, we may think of it as our conscience, but sometimes those ideas are not our own but are prompted by the Spirit.

In the role of advocate, the Holy Spirit teaches us and advocates on our behalf to the Father. Jesus said in John 14:26 (NIV):

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

The Spirit is our truthful guide. In some denominations, this is identified as the convicting aspect of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit wants to guide us into right behavior while also speaking truth to us about who we are, both the good and the bad, and where each kind of behavior leads. Jesus says in John 16:13 (NIV):

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

A fourth role of the Holy Spirit is sanctifier. This means the Spirit perfects our souls, always striving to reproduce the character of Jesus in us. We may never fully achieve that, but we can be in the process of sanctification. Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:13:

But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

The final of the five roles played by the Holy Spirit is completer. When we step out in faith, even just a little, the Holy Spirit works to complete our actions, shoring us up, bringing more resources to bear, multiplying our efforts. As one example, Paul writes in Romans 8:26 how the Spirit completes our prayers.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

The Spirit's completer aspect also builds out our training as faithful disciples of Christ.

The Renovare Bible sums up the Spirit's actions like this:

This means that the primary energy and influence in our spiritual formation is not our will or knowledge, not our determination or stamina, but the ever-present and active Spirit. The greater part of prayer is the active intercessory presence of the Spirit of God in our lives.

This is why one of the great creeds of the church, from the United Church of Canada, ends with this phrase:

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.

God is with us in the form of the Holy Spirit, actively working to help us and further train us.

In next week's final part of this series, I'll suggest how we can live daily with the Holy Spirit.

Have you yet picked up your free gift about the Holy Spirit? My new mini-guide, "Seven Ways the Holy Spirit Speaks to Us," sums up how we can listen for the Spirit's messages. You can receive an e-copy by signing up for the free Cecil Taylor Ministries monthly newsletter; just visit and register in the pop-up box, or use the orange box on the home page, or you can directly visit If you already receive the newsletter, you can find your copy in the May newsletter email.

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