Does the Holy Spirit only work through the Word?

Question:

Hey brother,

I know God and Christ work today, I read an article from Truth Magazine in regards to the Spirit. They used scripture to defend the Spirit only works by the word. Does the Spirit only work by the Word? Is He active in regeneration, renewing, and divine intervention? I realize He does not dwell personally in me, but is He actively working today? Is it scriptural pray to the Spirit of God?


Answer:

It is always dangerous to try to pigeon-hole God. We have to examine is what God says He does. In regards to converting people (regenerating them or renewing them), God has made it clear that He uses the Word (the Bible) to change people. See: How Does the Holy Spirit Lead? Since these are God's words delivered by the Holy Spirit, having those words within us is having the Spirit dwelling in each of us. "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you" (Romans 8:9-11). Notice that it isn't just the Spirit who dwells us, but it is also Christ who is there. But that is because the Spirit delivered the words of Jesus. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you" (John 16:13-15).

While we know the Words of God are the medium through which the Spirit causes changes in people, that doesn't mean I necessarily understand how words cause a change in the human heart. Nor would it be correct to assume that the Spirit's only work was the delivery of the Gospel and now that it is done, He has nothing else to do. For example, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us: "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:26-27). This is something that is an on-going effort.