2. How the Bible Portrays the Holy Spirit’s Ministry

To fully portray the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the New Testament employs several terms or concepts in addition to baptism, such as: anoint, seal, the earnest, enduement, and filled.


Three of the seven New Testament references to the “anointing” of the Spirit (Luke 4:18, Acts 4:27, 10:38) are used in relating the work of the Holy Spirit to Jesus. It is thought that the word “anoint” is used in the sense of “apply” and was closely related, in the Old Testament, to the office of the “priest” (Leviticus 8:12), the “king” (1 Samuel 16:13), and the “prophet” (1 Kings 19:16). In relation to the Christian, the use of the word “anoint” with the Spirit implies the initial act of indwelling. The presence of the Spirit is the result of the anointing and has the purpose of providing the believer with spiritual discernment and wisdom (1 John 2:20,27).


“Sealing” is used in the sense of ownership and/or approval. Christ was given divine approval by the Father (Matthew 3:17) and was sealed (John 6:27). References that teach the sealing of the Christian are 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30, and 2 Timothy 2:19. The seal is the Holy Spirit, himself, and this ministry of the Spirit is God’s “amen” to the Christian’s consecration.

The Earnest

“The earnest” of the Spirit is referred to in 2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5 and Ephesians 1:14, and signifies a token or initial payment on a purchase. It stands as a guarantee that the full amount will be paid later. The indwelling Holy Spirit himself is “the earnest.” This is the pledge that all future blessings which God has promised will be fulfilled. He has guaranteed our complete salvation, our glorification, our likeness to Christ, and our freedom from sin and its evils.


“Enduement” of the Spirit is sometimes interpreted to mean the composite of the ministries enumerated thus far. Its use in Luke 24:49 indicates being clothed with power from on high. Thus, enduement refers to being equipped for service.


The “infilling” of the Spirit is continuous as the believer is fully yielded to the indwelling Holy Spirit. A fresh infilling of the Spirit is available for each crisis that the Christian faces in the line of duty. The exhortation of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:18 indicates that the status of the fullness of the Spirit is to be the normal state of each Christian, so that he may be able to serve more effectively. The book of Acts records that Christians were filled more times than one (Acts 2:14, 4:8, 4:31, 6:3, 7:55, 9:17, 11:24, 13:9,52). Through the fullness of the Spirit all the ministries of the gift of the Spirit are intensified so that the spiritual life of the believer becomes more effective in the church and her ministries.

The above-stated ministries associated with the gift of the Spirit are sovereignly and universally bestowed on all believers by God. Frequently the believer is not aware of these ministries of the Spirit until he is guided by the Holy Spirit into a study of the Word of God where they are revealed.

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