John 1:32, 33

This topic will be divided into two messages. In the first one we will study what the special connection of the Holy Spirit was with the Son of God throughout Christ’s ministry here on earth; then, in the next sermon we will study the role of the Holy Spirit as He works in perfect harmony and identity with Christ in connection with our salvation.

The overall objective of this message is to show what the role of the Holy Spirit is—Christ’s personal representative. In illustrating this through Scripture, we shall notice the perfect interaction between Christ and the Helper that He promised. This interaction was and is so perfect that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are often referred to interchangeably or synonymously; however, this is not to suggest that they are the same person, but rather to show their perfect harmony. We will specifically study Jesus’ earthly dependency on this divine member of the Godhead. And finally, we will see that our dependency on the Holy Spirit is synonymous with dependency on Jesus Himself. It is Christ’s way of making Himself present in us.


As we begin this topic, the following important point will be kept in mind. During His earthly mission, Jesus chose to be completely dependent on the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit; yet this dependency did not in any way exclude or shut out the Father. Instead, the Holy Spirit was the means or the agency by which the Father worked for and through His Son. Let’s keep this relationship in mind.


One of the most difficult areas in comprehending the virgin birth of Jesus was the role that the Holy Spirit played. Matthew 1:18, 20 clearly states that the Holy Spirit played a key role. We cannot, of course, understand these details, but when remembering the Holy Spirit’s active role in the creation of the world, that He “moved on the face of the waters,” then it would follow that the Holy Spirit must have also been the active agent in the creation of the human form of Jesus. And so, even at birth, Jesus was dependent on the divine power of the Holy Spirit.


According to Scripture, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were shown as being in very close relationship at His baptism. And thus, it was at this central event that the Holy Spirit descended in full measure upon Jesus. Notice John 1:32, 33. Here the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father to guide the Saviour in His earthly sojourn—to enable Jesus in His humanity by making available to Him the very same divine power that is now also available to each one of us!


Turn and read both Mark 1:12 and Luke 4:1. Notice here the specific leading of the Holy Spirit in the wilderness temptation experience. It is clear from these passages that the Holy Spirit was directing the activities of the Saviour day by day. Why need this be? Because Jesus knew that human nature was not capable of depending solely on its own wisdom and power. And if one so holy, so perfect, so pure, so wise as Jesus, was so submissive to this divine leading, should not we who are so less than all these attributes, recognize that we must cherish the same submission to the divine leading of God the Holy Spirit?


The Scriptures record that Jesus “went about doing good.” In other words, in His life there was daily evidence that divinity was shining through Him. He healed the sick, the lame, the blind; He brought comfort to the sorrowing; spoke truth to the searching; he was always kind, courteous, and tenderhearted; even the scathing rebuke that He sometimes found it necessary to give, He gave with tears in His voice. Truly, Jesus went about doing good. Have you ever wished that every thought you thought, every word you spoke, every action, every expression on your face were like Jesus? Have you ever felt a longing desire that you could respond in all situations just like Jesus would? The key is the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We can, we can, fellow traveler. That’s exactly why Jesus came—to make it possible. And He not only came to show that it is possible, but He also wants us to become acquainted with the “how,” or in other words, the “Who.” Notice Acts 10:38 where it says, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him.”

Can you see then that it was specifically because of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was enabled as a human being to do these things? Our “doing good,” our radiating the love of Jesus in every facet of our lives, is not the result of more determined effort on our part to “try harder” to do good; rather it is the result of being consciously dependent on our Helper, the Holy Spirit, who works in us to “will and to do of His good pleasure.”


In conclusion, the Holy Spirit is Christ’s representative commissioned to bring to us the presence and experience of Jesus. In John 16:14, 15 Jesus spoke clearly what the role of the Holy Spirit was to be. This assurance of the Helper was given by Jesus to His disciples for all time in order to assure us that He would not leave us as helpless orphans but, rather, through the indwelling of His Spirit, Jesus was promised to dwell in each one of us. And in reality this would make Him closer to each one than if He had remained bodily here on earth. Notice the following three quotations which illustrate how completely the Holy Spirit brings Jesus’ presence to us:

“Christ is represented by His Holy Spirit today in every part of His great moral vineyard. He will give the inspiration of His Holy Spirit to all those who are of a contrite spirit” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 215).

“The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ” (The Desire of Ages, p. 805).

“To Jesus, who emptied Himself for the salvation of lost humanity, the Holy Spirit was given without measure. So it will be given to every follower of Christ, when the whole heart is surrendered for His indwelling” (Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 21).

Do you want this kind of relationship? Do you desire to have an experience with the Saviour that, through His Spirit, He will actually imbue or live out within you the very attributes of Christ? You can experience this day by day as you continue to claim the promise found in Luke 11:13. Turn there now and read this verse as we bring this topic to a close. Remember, the Holy Spirit is there for the asking!

David Wolkwitz is a retired ordained minister who served as pastor, chaplain, evangelist, administrator, and departmental director. As a speaker, he challenged his audiences to pray daily at 6:15 a.m. for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This sermon is used by permission from the General Conference Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department.