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The Role of the Holy Spirit in Salvation – Regeneration, Sanctification, and Christian Living

 The Role of the Holy Spirit in Salvation – Regeneration, Sanctification, and Christian Living

When Jesus died on the cross and arose after three days, His work on earth was done, and His followers across the globe waited for His second coming. Before finally ascending to the heavens, Jesus after appearing on earth over a forty-day period reassured His disciples that He would not leave them (and by extension anyone who later became a follower of Christ) without a Helper and Comforter; the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). What God the Father began as a work of redeeming man was fulfilled through Jesus Christ and is sustained by the Holy Spirit. This paper discusses the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation plan of man and how without Him, it is impossible to live the life that God the Father and Jesus Christ envisioned for man. Do you need urgent assignment help ? Get in touch with us at

Regeneration and Sanctification of the Holy Spirit

Regeneration is an English word that simply means a new birth, a new order, or a new beginning. In Ephesians 1:13-14, Paul says to the believers in Ephesus And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory. When an individual receives the gift of salvation, such a person also receives the Holy Spirit which is a seal indicating that such a person is heaven-bound and will be ruptured when Jesus Christ returns to redeem His own (Kuyper, 2007). The person no longer lives as their old self and is no longer bound to their emotions and any false convictions they had earlier, but instead, the Holy Spirit in such a person renews the person. The life of such a person begins new and follows a new order set out by the Father through the redemptive work of the cross. Hence, the Holy Spirit regenerates such a person.

After receiving the seal of the Holy Spirit, marking the beginning of a new life then comes sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Sanctification comes from the two Latin words ‘Sanctus and ‘ficare’ which means ‘holy’ and ‘make’ respectively. Hence, sanctification means to make holy. In Romans 15:15-16 Paul in his letter tells the Romans However, I have written you a bold reminder on some points, because of the grace God has given me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an acceptable offering to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.From these verses, it can be observed that Paul aims at sanctification as his primary mission. Paul viewing himself as a priest brings the gift of Gentiles to the Father. The Father deems the Gentiles as an acceptable gift because they are sanctified by the Holy Spirit (Dunn, 2010).

However, to get a clearer picture of what sanctification of the Gentiles means, in Romans 15:18, Paul states that I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done–‘ In this verse, Paul wants to win the Gentiles into obedience. This means that Christ through the missionary work of Paul through sanctification desired that the Gentiles lived a new life of obedience. Thus, the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification is manifested through obedience to His word and direction in a person’s life. It can then be concluded that when the Holy Spirit seals a person as a citizen of heaven, He desires that such a person while still on earth, lives a life of obedience to the Father (Hamilton, 2006). The Holy Spirit as a Counselor gives wisdom to the regenerated soul on how to a life that is pleasing to the Father.

The Fruit of the Spirit in Human Lifestyle

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23). When the Holy Spirit is at work in a person (who allows Him to work in him/her), then the aforementioned fruits begin to grow in him. Like typical fruit that requires time to nurture and develop, the fruit of the Holy Spirit begin to manifest in a person’s character and needs to be practiced, desired, and nurtured for them to become a person’s nature and character. A person needs to seek after, yearn, and deliberately desire and work on attaining and maintaining the fruit through the help of the Holy Spirit. Outside of the help of the Holy Spirit, this fruit will not last in a person (Stott, 2006).

When a person living a contemporary lifestyle attempts to mimic any of the fruit/characteristics mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23, it becomes a futile and tiring venture, and sooner rather than later, all attempts are forsaken (Asad, 2003). This is simply because the heart of a man is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) and no good can come from a person without the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Examples of how false fruit are borne in contemporary lifestyles is through sexual immorality (adultery, fornication, idolatry, among others) that is labeled as love; the false joy, cheer and merry that is expected from people during the Christmas holiday yet there are those who suffer from depression, poverty, and lack during that period but pretend to be joyous for a few days; and the United Nations that extends goodness and kindness to refugees rather than working at creating and maintaining real world peace.

Importance of Spiritual Practices and Disciplines

Man was created to grow from a child to an adult, from ignorance to knowledge, and from weakness to strength. Any person that does not grow or refuses to grow withers eventually and dies in the body, in character, and in spirit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are what the spirit man requires to grow from childishness to maturity, from ignorance to knowledge, and from a personality that is easily tempted into sin and into one that can resist the wiles of the enemy. In attaining these fruits of the Spirit, there are spiritual practices and disciplines that need to be observed and these include but are not limited to reading of scripture, praying, congregating with other brethren to share the Word and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, praise and thanksgiving, and chastity, among others (Whitney, 2014).

Spiritual practices such as congregating of brethren allow persons to learn more about what God requires of them, the promises of God concerning their lives, and the plan of God toward their lives. Prayer is the channel that God chose to communicate with man; by praying, a person is able to talk with God as so too does God respond to a person. Prayer is also combined with fasting when one wants to seek interpretation over a matter or situation, overcome temptation or to gain wisdom on the direction to take regarding a specific query. Praise and thanksgiving are a form of worship that a person accords to God acknowledging His sovereignty, His power to enable a person to live a life that is pleasing to Him, and as a channel of expressing gratitude for the good that God has done in one’s life. Being lax in any of the disciplines often results in laxity as well in pursuing the fruit of the Spirit and in consequence, an indulgence into the contemporary lifestyle.

Atonement Through The Holy Spirit

As mentioned earlier, the Holy Spirit is given as a seal to a person that accepts the free gift of salvation. Once the Spirit of God in-dwells in such a person, then the fruit of the Holy Spirit begins to grow and manifest as the person in the new life, begins to walk in conformity with the Word of God, and to hearken to the voice of the Holy Spirit. In the previous verses of Romans 15:15-18, it can be seen that sanctification by the Holy Spirit is expressed through obedience to the Word (which is Jesus and which too is God). Hence, regeneration through the Spirit is followed by sanctification which is obedience to Jesus. During the second coming of Jesus, the elect shall be lifted to meet Him in the air. These elect are those that will bear the mark of the Holy Spirit and are currently living on earth waiting for the consummation of God’s Kingdom (Bruner, 1997). While on earth, the elect are to live lives that are a testament of the work of the Holy Spirit in them, make disciples by preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth, and rejoice at the hope of an everlasting life.

In conclusion, the Holy Spirit is He who enables a person who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour to live a life that is worthy of the calling. The Holy Spirit is the wisdom-giver and the power that enables the fruit to be manifested in a person until the fruit becomes the character of such a person. Finally, the seal of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of accessing heaven when the kingdom of God comes to consummation.


Asad, T. (2003). Formations of the secular: Christianity, Islam, modernity. Stanford University Press.

Bruner, F. D. (1997). A theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal experience and the New Testament witness. Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Dunn, J. D. (2010). Baptism in the Holy Spirit: A re-examination of the New Testament teaching on the gift of the Spirit in relation to Pentecostalism today. Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd.

Hamilton Jr, J. M. (2006). God’s Indwelling Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments (Vol. 1). B&H Publishing Group.

Kuyper, A. (2007). The work of the Holy Spirit. Cosimo, Inc..

Stott, J. (2006). Baptism and fullness: The work of the Holy Spirit today. InterVarsity Press.

Whitney, D. S. (2014). Spiritual disciplines for the Christian life. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..


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The work of the Holy Spirit is to regenerate and sanctify those who have been justified by faith in Christ. This work is manifest in the fruit of the Spirit. By these fruits, those who have faith in Christ are holy and set apart in contrast to the world, which is under the power of false spirits.

Being Good vs Being Holy

The Role of the Holy Spirit in Salvation – Regeneration, Sanctification, and Christian Living

In a paper of 1,000-1,300 words, contrast life in the Holy Spirit versus life according to worldly spirits and values and include the following:

Explain how a typical contemporary lifestyle can bear false fruit in everyday relationships and spirituality. Include examples of values and practices of false fruit in that typical contemporary lifestyle.
Explain why spiritual practices and disciplines are necessary to help a Christian grow in the Spirit and resist the false spirits of the world.
Explain how the Holy Spirit applies Christ’s atoning work to a person through his or her salvation, and how that person then participates in Christ’s establishing and consummating the kingdom of God.
Use three to five academic resources (preferably from the GCU Library) including the Bible and course material to support your explanations.

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