The Role of the Holy Spirit in Salvation: Part 7

True grievance of sin is a work of the Spirit.

“The man is now a spiritual man, and henceforth minds the things of the Spirit. This is the workmanship of God.”[1] The Christian now fosters different views concerning God and Christ, concerning sin and salvation than he did before his conversion (1 Cor. 2:10-15).

As L. Thomas Holdcraft puts it, The Holy Spirit, “provides the spiritual perceptions, understandings, and motivations that are necessary for a successful Christian life.”[2] We, with the Holy Spirit now begin a spiritual journey. The Holy Spirit dwells within, speaks to us, leads us onward, imparts to us spiritual gifts and molds us into new, holy beings (Gal. 5:16-26). This is an effort that requires the new believer and the Holy Spirit to work in harmony with each other to move forward in this new holy life. This is called Sanctification.

Three agents work together (i.e., synergize) to sanctify the believer: the Spirit, the Scriptures, and the saint. The saint cannot attain sanctification without the Spirit and the Scriptures. Those two agents are primary in the process of making the believer more and more holy.[3]

Therefore, it must be said that sanctification is not like salvation. It is not instantaneously accomplished the moment we accept Christ. It is a constant work in progress which involves our effort. As in salvation, all three persons of the Godhead act as agents of sanctification.

For when God designed the great and glorious work of recovering fallen man, and of saving sinners to the praise of the glory of his grace, he appointed in his infinite wisdom two great means thereof: The one was, the giving of his Son for them; and the other was, the giving of his Spirit to them. And hereby a way was opened for the manifestation of the glory of the whole blessed Trinity; which is the utmost end of all the works of God.[4]

Yes, the Trinity as a whole works in salvation and in sanctification—the Father as designer, the Son in obedience to the Father and Holy Spirit in enacting rebirth in our hearts and further holiness in our lives. The concept of the triune God working in harmony is not new, but is consistent throughout the entire Bible.


[1] Ibid. 139.

[2] Holdcraft, 66.

[3] William D. Barrick, Sanctification: The Work of the Holy Spirit and Scripture. http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=6bd73eba-ba49-4f4b-a513-80795c80b998%40sessionmgr113&hid=128 (accessed April 20, 2013).

[4] John Owen, The Holy Spirit: His Gifts and Power (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications), 21.

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One thought on “The Role of the Holy Spirit in Salvation: Part 7

  1. Pingback: Gift of Faith | Quality of Life Ministries

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