What is the Holy Spirit's role in salvation?


Can you briefly explain the Holy Spirit's role in salvation?


There is much about the Holy Spirit we do not know. However, when we speak of salvation, we can make some brief but definitive statements. While this is in no way a complete study on the Holy Spirit and regeneration, what follows can be said.

The Holy Spirit sovereignly draws one to Christ (Psa. 115:3; John 6:37; 15:26; 16:13-14; 1 John 5:6). Indeed, the third person of the Trinity draws individuals because no man can come to Christ without him (John 6:44, 65). He draws the elect by making spiritually dead individuals alive (Eph. 2:5; Col.2:13). He makes new creations by giving them a new heart to respond in faith and repentance (2 Tim. 2:25-26; cf. Deut. 30;6; Jer. 17:9; Ezek. 36:26; Luke 8:15; 2 Cor. 5:17). This is called being "born again” (John 1:12-13; 3:7; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:3; 3:21; Tit. 3:5).

Having done the above, the Holy Spirit makes men “born again” so they can hear the voice of God and see and enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5; 5:24-25; 8:47; 10:25-27; Acts16:14; 2 Cor. 4:6). He makes his own “born again” so that they may believe in Christ alone for salvation (John 3:3; Acts 15:11; Eph. 2:8; 1 John 5:1).

Lastly, the Holy Spirit cleanses his people (Ezek. 26:25-27; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Thess. 2:13-14). He helps them to overcome sin, even habitual sins (Rom. 6:22; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 5:4, 18). Ultimately, the Holy Spirit works in his people to conform them to the likeness of Christ and give them his gifts (Rom. 8:29; cf. Rom. 8:5; Eph. 4:24; 5:9; Col. 3:12-13; Gal. 5:22; 2 Pet. 1:3-4).

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Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).