After the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and filled all those gathered together in that upper room in Jerusalem (Acts 1: 13-14), they were enabled to go forth and speak boldly about Jesus of Nazareth and how God raised him from the dead. They spoke in tongues and performed miraculous healings (Acts chapter 2).

Is the primary objective of the Holy Spirit to imbue believers with the miraculous gifts of speaking in tongues, or of healing, or of prophecy? Is the manifestation of those gifts of the Spirit in the believer proof that they are somehow superior to those who have never experienced such miraculous gifts?

What, according to Jesus, is the primary purpose and objective of sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost?

EDIT for clarity: I'm looking for the words of Jesus, as found in the New Testament, which relate specifically to the purpose of sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

  • 1
    +1 for highlighting superiority question in paragraph 2. But I have a feeling that the charismatic/pentecostal leaning groups will answer differently than the rest. That's why they use the term "full gospel" implying that the other groups are missing something. May 14, 2021 at 14:04

9 Answers 9


What, according to Jesus, is the primary purpose and objective . . . ?

What was achieved at Pentecost was the propagation of the gospel to many parts of the world, those hearing it in their own language taking it back to where they came from.

That achievement was what was originally purposed : the spread of the gospel world-wide.

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:14 KJV]

The Spirit does not speak of himself, nor act for himself. The activity of the Spirit is to glorify the Christ who is preached.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. [Acts 1:8 KJV]

For any individual to afterwards be joined to the body of Christ requires that they as individuals receive the Holy Spirit personally, by believing the same gospel as was originally preached by the apostles.

What occurred at Pentecost was not a general giving of the Holy Spirit to the world. It was an initial sign that the whole world was the theatre of operations.

Thereafter, each individual must receive the baptism of repentance and receive the preached Christ by their own faith.

Nor is it a 'general faith' it is a specific faith in that exact gospel that was delivered to the apostles by Christ, Himself.

  • 1
    How about Holy Spirit's other roles, such as 1) Baptism for new life (Matt 3:11, Luke 3:16), 2) Sanctification (1 Pet 1:2, 2 Thess 2:13, Rom 8:10-11, Gal 5:16-25), 3) Convicting of sin (John 16:7-8), 4) Helper / advocate / teacher / counselor (John 14:26), 5) Wisdom from God (1 Cor 2:10-11, Eph 1:17-20), 6) Spiritual gifts (Luke 11:13, 1 Cor 12:1) ? Didn't Jesus send the Holy Spirit for those purposes as well? May 14, 2021 at 16:20
  • 2
    @GratefulDisciple The question was specific to the sign demonstrated at Pentecost of which Jesus spoke specifically in Acts 1:8. There is no warrant to broaden the question when the OP was specific. As you state, those are 'other' roles than that demonstrated specifically on the event in question.
    – Nigel J
    May 14, 2021 at 17:12
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    Thank you for the clarification made in the Rev 4 edit. May 16, 2021 at 2:43

The very words of Jesus on that matter are clear and are repeated below:

John 15:26-27: “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me. And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning”.

John 16:8-14: “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged... when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all the truth, for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear shall he speak, and he will show you things to come. He shall glory me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine. Therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.”

The primary, foremost role of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was NOT to imbue believers with miraculous gifts of a more spectacular nature than 'mundane' gifts of hospitality, administration etc., as if that would prove that those with spectacular gifts were somehow superior to those with 'mundane' gifts. The words of Jesus show that the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself - he points to, and glorifies, Christ. Therefore, when the disciples at Pentecost found they could speak in other languages, they used that amazing gift to point thousands to the resurrected Christ. They preached Christ crucified and risen. They did not talk about themselves, but witnessed (testified to) having seen the resurrected Christ, and explaining how the prophecies about Messiah were fulfilled in Christ.

An illustration might be helpful. When thousands go to a sporting event in a huge outdoor stadium at night, and the flood-lights suddenly come on, does anybody turn around and admire the flood-lights? Of course not! The illumination is to enable them to see what is happening before their eyes. So at Pentecost. In that dark night of sin, when thousands gathered at Jerusalem to celebrate, the Holy Spirit suddenly flooded the city with the light of the gospel of Christ, so that all eyes were turned - not on the Holy Spirit - but on the disciples’ preaching, which was inspired by His power, for they could speak in other languages to reach those from other countries. They stood up and preached Christ crucified and risen in glory, and how the people could be delivered from their sin! They pointed to Christ, not to themselves or how wonderful their linguistic gifts were! All attention was drawn to the risen Christ.

Today, there are some who seem obsessed with having "the spirit", including power of spiritual gifts. But if any such ones promote self as exhibiting "the spirit", they cannot be denying self and pointing others to Christ. They have not learned the vital lesson of the Spirit bestowed at Pentecost - to work through saved believers to explain the gospel of Christ to others, so that those others might then be saved and experience the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, realising their sin and the need to repent and put all their faith in the risen Christ.

  • 3
    @jongricafort - My understanding is that comments are designed to seek clarification from an answer. Your views can be read in your answer below. I agree with the first sentence in your answer, but comments is not the place to present your own opinion. To delve into suggestions that "Mary again was pregnant, as She conceived in Her sorrows the Mystical Body of Jesus, the Church" is to go off-topic.
    – Lesley
    May 16, 2021 at 9:38

OP: What, according to Jesus, is the primary purpose and objective of sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost?

For the initial start of the church, the purpose of sending the Spirit was to birth the leaders (witnesses of life, death, burial, resurrection) to go forth with power to prove the fulfillment of the prophecies about Christ Jesus.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

Acts 10:39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,

Thereafter, it was similar, but they also wrote and compiled the New Testament as a sure witness after the deaths of James and John, sons of Zebedee, sons of Thunder.

  • 1
    I like this answer. John the Baptist I think verifies this when he said in Matthew 3:11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me will come One more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." The Day of Pentecost event was a fulfillment of the prophecy foretold by John the Baptist.
    – Adam
    May 15, 2021 at 23:55

John 16:12-14 New International Version

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.

This is the greatest mystery, since the beginning of the earth. Lucifer who is cleverer than all of us put together (Gen 3:1 & Ezekiel 28:11) did not foresee this for if he did, he would not have crucified the lord of hosts (1 Cor 2:7-8). When Jesus walked the earth, he gave Lucifer a headache as promised in front of Eve in Gen. Because of that promise Lucifer had been hell-bent on destroying this promised seed (Jesus) from then on throughout history as we can see through Cain and Abel. So why the sudden turnaround for Lucifer. Although Jesus was giving Lucifer a headache, Jesus was in one place at any given time. But now Jesus can be everywhere which made it much worse for Lucifer. This is why it says God in Christ in you!

If you have a loved one that lives on the other side of the earth and they decide to call you by phone, do they say to themselves, "I should go to college and fully understand how the telephone system works before I use the phone"? No, they do not, they probably say to themselves, "if I speak to the phone here then I know the phone at your end will speak with you." Also, even though you cannot see them with the most powerful telescope in the world, how do you feel whilst they are talking with you? Do you feel that they are right next to you? It seems that Jesus is saying exactly the same thing in the most simplistic way to understand.


The Jewish tradition is that Pentecost commemorates the day that God established his covenant with the physical nation of Israel, making them his chosen people by giving the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Similarly, Pentecost is when God established his new covenant with the spirtitual nation of Israel, making them his chosen people. Jesus foretold this event:

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” — Acts 1:8

The Israelites were chosen to set a physical example to the world of the blessings and curses that accompany obedience to, and neglect of, God's physical law (action). Following this event, God's physical blessings were available to all Israelites, if they would accept them.

Similarly, Christians were chosen to set a spiritual example to the world with respect to God's spiritual laws (intent). Following this event, God's spiritual blessings were available to all mankind, if they would accept them. It was only after the Day of Pentacost that anyone that wanted it could choose to receive God's holy spirit, to guide and comfort them, and to combine with their own human spirit to grow develop perfect character, like their elder brother, Jesus.

Pentecost was the day when the Christian church of God was founded.

It's also worth noting that Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Firstfruits. For the Israelites, it was a harvest festival. For Christians, it symbolizes God's harvest of the firstfruits of the saved, those that will be resurrected or converted at Christ's return.

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    The 'founding' of the Christian Church had already occurred. 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.' and 'Thou art Peter'. A relationship : the knowledge of Christ personally. Person to Person. Then . . . . . on this rock will I build my church. This is the foundation of the Christian Church. And Peter has the keys. That is to say, in this particular aspect, the key is the personal knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
    – Nigel J
    May 15, 2021 at 15:25
  • @NigelJ, that's a denominational interpretation. Jesus could instead have been saying something like "You are nicknamed 'Rocky'. On this rock (myself) I'll build my church …". But either way, notice that it is "I will build" and "I will give", so the event hadn't happened yet; it didn't happen until the famous Pentecost. May 15, 2021 at 16:57
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    Since I do not belong to a 'denomination' and do not subscribe to any, I cannot see how I am able to express a 'denominational interpretation'. And I note that a future building requires a present foundation, which is what I thought we were discussing.
    – Nigel J
    May 16, 2021 at 14:34

What, according to Jesus, is the primary purpose and objective of sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost?

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. John 14:15-31

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. -John 14:16-17

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” - Acts 1:8

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” - John 20:21-23

Thus, as we can see, the primary reason and objective of the Paraclete descending upon the New Born Church on that first day of Pentecost was to help sanctify, guide, strengthen and support Her in spreading the Gospel with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, both on an individual and communal level.

They are also known as the sanctifying gifts of the Spirit, because they serve the purpose of rendering their recipients docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in their lives, helping them to grow in holiness and making them fit for heaven.

List of gifts

The seven gifts are enumerated in Isaiah 11:2-3 and conform to the Latin Vulgate, which takes the list from the Septuagint. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and descriptions outlined by St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica, the seven gifts are as follows:

Wisdom: Also,the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the whole image of God. We see God as our Father and other people with dignity. Lastly being able to see God in everyone and everything everywhere.

Understanding: In understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live. The gift of understanding perfects a person's speculative reason in the apprehension of truth. It is the gift whereby self-evident principles are known, Aquinas writes.

Counsel (Right Judgment): With the gift of counsel/right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus. The gift of truth that allows the person to respond prudently, and happily to believe our Christ the Lord • Fortitude (Courage): With the gift of fortitude/courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death. The gift of courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil, especially with regard to goods or evils that are difficult, just like Joan of Arc did.

Knowledge: With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God. The gift of knowledge is more than an accumulation of facts.

Piety (Reverence): With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. Piety is the gift whereby, at the Holy Spirit's instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father, Aquinas writes.

Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe): With the gift of fear of the Lord we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This gift is described by Aquinas as a fear of separating oneself from God. He describes the gift as a "filial fear," like a child's fear of offending his father, rather than a "servile fear," that is, a fear of punishment. Also known as knowing God is all powerful. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7) because it puts our mindset in its correct location with respect to God: we are the finite, dependent creatures, and He is the infinite, all-powerful Creator.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are there to help Christians in a variety ways and understandings.

The Spiritual Gifts

The Spiritual gifts are powerful instruments of the work of the Spirit in the Church. St. Paul wrote, "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except in the Holy Spirit. There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one the Spirit gives wisdom in discourse, to another power to express knowledge. Through the Spirit one receives faith; by the same Spirit another is given the gift of healing, and still another miraculous powers. Prophecy is given to one; to another power to distinguish one spirit from another. One receives the gift of tongues another that of interpreting the tongues." St. Paul goes on to say, "We all drink of the same Spirit . . . we don't all have the gift of tongues, set your hearts on the greater gifts . . ." (1 Corinthians 12: 3-11). What Paul was referring to he makes clear, namely love. Love is the greatest gift of all. But what about the gift of tongues? Must I speak in tongues to be Christian? Paul says, "If I speak in human tongues and angelic as well, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and, with full knowledge, comprehend all mysteries, if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing" (1 Cor 13: 1-2). As to tongues, Paul notes that a man speaking in tongues "is talking not to men but to God. No one understands him because he utters mysteries in the Spirit. The prophet on the other hand, speaks to men for their upbuilding . . . He who speaks in tongues builds up himself, but he who prophesies builds up the church" (1 Cor 14: 2-4). Those with the gift of tongues are counseled to pray for the "gift of interpretation" so that others might benefit. St. Paul concludes, "but in the church I would rather say five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. . . . The gift of tongues is a sign, not for those who believe but for those who do not believe, while prophecy is not for those who are without faith but for those who have faith" (1 Cor 14:18, 22).


What, according to Jesus, is the primary purpose and objective of sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost?

If we restrict ourselves only to passages in which Jesus explicitly addresses the event that was about to take place at Pentecost, we then need to pay attention to Luke 24:46-49 and Acts 1:4-8:

46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” [Luke 24:46-48, ESV]

4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:4-8, ESV]

Notice that in both passages Jesus is stressing two key concepts: power (from on high) and witnessing to the rest of the world (i.e. preaching the gospel). So, based on Jesus' own words, the primary purpose of the Holy Spirit is to empower believers in order to be effective witnesses of Christ to the nations. In other words, if a Christian wants to be an effective witness of Jesus and a truthful representative of the kingdom of God here on earth, they need this power.

This naturally leads us to ask the question: what exactly does it mean to receive power from on high? Simply put, it means that Christians would be enabled by this power to do things for the kingdom of God that otherwise they wouldn't.

At Pentecost, this power manifested in two ways:

  1. the disciples were given the supernatural ability to speak in unknown foreign languages as a sign for unbelievers (Acts 2:1-13)
  2. Peter was given the ability to preach the gospel to the astonished Jewish multitude with boldness and effectiveness, winning over 3000 souls on that single occasion (Acts 2:14-41).

Of course, those were specific manifestations of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and they are certainly good illustrative examples of what the Spirit of God is capable of, through willing and cooperative vessels. That said, we shouldn't consider these events as prescriptive (all Christians should replicate this) or exhaustive (this is all there is to the Holy Spirit). The rest of Scripture shows us there is plenty more to the Spirit of God than what transpired at Pentecost.

What are other functions of the Holy Spirit in a Christian's life?

  • To enable Christians to do the same works that Jesus did:

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. [Acts 10:38, ESV]

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. [John 14:12, ESV]

  • To be a Helper for the Christian throughout their entire life:

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. [John 14:15-17, ESV]

  • To enable Christians to preach the gospel with boldness:

29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. [Acts 4:29-31, ESV]

  • To produce fruit (aka sanctification):

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. [Galatians 5:22-26, ESV]

2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. [1 Peter 1:2, ESV]

13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. [2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, ESV]

  • To give spiritual gifts for the common good:

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. [1 Corinthians 12:4-11, ESV]

Answers to specific sub-questions:

Is the primary objective of the Holy Spirit to imbue believers with the miraculous gifts of speaking in tongues, or of healing, or of prophecy?

I wouldn't say that's the primary objective. It definitely is one of the several functions of the Holy Spirit, and therefore it's useful, important and it is there for a reason. But if I had to single out one specific function of the Holy Spirit which I consider to be the most important, that would be the fruit of love. Love is the first one in the list of fruits of the Spirit according to Paul in Galatians 5:16-26. Also, we all know what Jesus' response was when he was asked to point out the most important commandment in God's law. Paraphrasing him, he basically said that everything boils down to love: love for God and love for our neighbors. I think 1 Cor 13 is the chapter that best explains this point:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Is the manifestation of those gifts of the Spirit in the believer proof that they are somehow superior to those who have never experienced such miraculous gifts?

I know no biblical basis to answer this question with a "yes". On the contrary, I see every reason to think that someone who has been perfected in the fruit of love is in a much more admirable position than someone who has many spiritual gifts but is lacking in love (see 1 Cor 13 quoted above). That said, love and spiritual gifts are not mutually exclusive. In fact, Jesus had both, and I see no reason why a Christian would not want to enjoy the best of both worlds, following Jesus' example. So the optimal situation for a Christian would be (1) to have been perfected in love and (2) to be anointed by God's Spirit in order to have gifts and be a powerful witness for Christ.

  • 1
    Very well said, upvoted +1. I cannot help but wonder how many of the commandments wouldn't even need to be explicitly stated if we yielded to the Spirit's influence for love (instead of our natural desires which are often so contrary). It was Jesus after all who said the 2 great commandments were both about love. May 15, 2021 at 3:56
  • 3
    The OP question was not as you state at the head of your answer viz : What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit in a Christian's Life ? You have no warrant to alter a question as you see fit.
    – Nigel J
    May 15, 2021 at 7:15
  • 1
    @NigelJ - good point, answer edited accordingly.
    – user50422
    May 15, 2021 at 11:20
  • I would like to know the reason for the second down-vote, given that @NigelJ's reason for the first down-vote has already been addressed.
    – user50422
    May 15, 2021 at 18:37
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator I did not say I had down-voted. There is no obligation on any user to give a reason for their voting preferences.
    – Nigel J
    May 16, 2021 at 14:31

The last words Jesus said just before his ascension to heaven and before Pentecost are clear and brief about this in Acts 1:5-9:

5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized withb the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

The Holy Spirit at Pentecost was a helper for Jesus followers to witness about Jesus to others in all the world.


What, according to Jesus, is the primary purpose and objective of sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost?

Primary task assigned to the Apostle by Jesus Christ in the Great Commission.

The Great Commission …18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”…

Baptizing, preaching & witnessing are the primary task assigned by Jesus to the Apostles in the Great Commission. But, it is not the primary purpose of sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is a "sanctifier".

In the birth of Jesus the Head of the Church, the Holy Spirit came down to sanctify the pure womb of Mary.

Gabriel Foretells Jesus' Birth …34“How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.

Now, in the Upper Room, Mary again was pregnant, She is the Mother of the Church, as She conceived in Her sorrows the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church. Mary is the New Eve, and the punishment of Eve was reverse by Mary as the Church Fathers teaches.

What is the passage how Mary conceived in Her heart all the redeemed by Christ?

To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband's power, and he shall have dominion over thee

Jesus introduces "A Woman in labor"

Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.

This the primary purpose of sending the Holy Spirit, the Woman is in labor, She is about to give birth to the Church the Mystical Body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier must come down again just like when She come down in the mystery of the incarnation of Jesus the Head of the Church.


The Holy Spirit need to descend to sanctify the "Immaculate Heart of Mary" to give birth to the Church. This is the primary purpose of sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Other purposes

The secondary purpose is to finish Jesus work on the souls of the Apostles and Disciples, as written in this prayer.enter image description here

Jesus also promised the Holy Spirit to all the Apostles because He knew after His redemptive mission is over, Jesus the Advocate to the Apostles will need "another Advocate" to continue to guide and console the Apostles in their mission. Since Jesus, is the Truth, the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth must be send to guide and teach all the Apostles on the Truth about who Jesus is, so that in their assigned mission of baptizing and proclaiming the gospel, the Spirit of Truth is an assurance that they will not err in teaching the faith.

Jesus’ Departure; Coming of the Advocate.* “I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me,* ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.

The Third Purpose of the Holy Spirit is to complete the works done by Christ thru His Church on every Christian.

Philippians 1:6; “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

In closing, the Holy Spirit sanctifies the Woman, giving birth to the Church is the primary purpose of sending the Holy Spirit. Next, the Holy Spirit sanctifies the Apostles and Disciples to finish the work done by Christ on them, and to empower them in their mission. Lastly, the Holy Spirit sanctifies all the baptized Christian empowering them to finish the work started by God for them to finish the race and receive the crown that all awaits them in Heaven.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day— and not only to me, but to all who crave His appearing.-2Timothy4:7-8

  • Two points need to be addressed here. You need to add linked sources to quotes. And secondly, you need a primary, (yet clearly provable) valid source for your conclusions that the ”primary reason why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit is for the chosen Woman to quasi-incarnate the Holy Spirit by offering Her Seven Sorrows like Proverbs 9:1, and offering Her Immaculate Heart as a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit to rest like in Sirach 24:12, and to fulfill the salvific mission of the Apostles and Disciples of Christ in proclaiming the Gospel of Truth.” This runs like a unique personal opinion.
    – Ken Graham
    May 14, 2021 at 19:19
  • @KenGraham I already edited my answer to a more specific one. Your question no longer fit in. May 17, 2021 at 5:50
  • Sorry, but it does fit in! I have edited some of my own answers at least a dozen times!
    – Ken Graham
    May 17, 2021 at 6:33
  • @KenGraham A Protestant and Christian answer are here were simply referencing scriptures, no one is asking to substantiate it.. I put in all scriptures in that statement. What can you say about the numerous answer above, all scriptures? May 17, 2021 at 8:47

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