Work of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit


There are many who sit in churches and wonder about the Trinity. People talk about Jesus and the Holy Spirit and God the Father, why does it matter?

In the process of salvation these have gotten confused. Often it is said in children’s church the children need to ask Jesus into their hearts. The issue here is Jesus is a man and in Heaven. What is the role of Jesus and the Holy Spirit when it comes to salvation?

Jesus Christ has a significant role to play in the salvation of mankind. Because, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV). Jesus must have been the atonement for that sin so that salvation is possible.[1] The reason this was not possible is that God is perfect and Holy; He cannot have sin or sinful people near him.[2] There needed to be a way to remove sin from people to be able to be near God. Jesus as the Second Person of the Trinity was able to make the way for this salvation to the Father. It was also important that Jesus became human, because without His humanity He would not have been able to atone for the sins of humanity. Jesus was not under the Law of Moses until He became human was entered the law covenant with humanity.[3] Here is the idea that Jesus needed to experience and fulfill the law in order to be a substitution for mankind who were also under the law.[4] The way He accomplished this was through a life without sin and the sacrifice on the cross.[5] Another important aspect of Jesus’ sacrifice is reconciliation. This is the end of tension between God and man; God can draw all men unto Him without the repulsive sin nature. Jesus bridged the gap between God the Father and the sinful humanity.

Jesus was the catalyst to the salvation process, but it is the Holy Spirit that continues the process now that Jesus has ascended into Heaven. Jesus said the Holy Spirit “will convict the world of guilt” (John 16:8). The first aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work in salvation is conviction of sin.[6] The Holy Spirit also is the key to regeneration. The Holy Spirit is the person who miraculously transforms and places a new spirit within a person. Jesus said, “Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3: 6). This is the working of the Holy Spirit in salvation; when a person is convicted of sin they repent of their sins then have faith in the work of Christ. At this point the Holy Spirit regenerates the person’s spirit.

I hope this helps to clear up so misunderstandings you may have had regarding the role and work of the Holy Spirit and Jesus in salvation.

If you are not a believer I hope you will find someone you can talk to more about a faith in Christ.

God Bless!


[1] Millard J Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 2007) 799.

[2] Ibid., (820).

[3] Ibid., (822).

[4] Ibid., (830).

[5] Ibid., (829).

[6] Ibid., (888).

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