Earlier this year, the Southern Baptist Convention reported a massive increase in the number of members through its international missions. The denomination saw a 62% increase in 2020 compared to its data in 2019. More importantly, the number of baptisms have grown 81%, while the number of new churches rose to 33% from the previous year.

International Mission Board's (IMB) 2020 Annual Statistical Report reported these figures and attributed these changes to the work of the Holy Spirit amidst the global pandemic, as well as effective methodology by leaders of the church. The methodology that appeared to work is called church planting movements or CPM, which former IMB leader in South Asia David Garrison said was the reason for the increase in that region.

This increase in the number of Christian believers is a stark contrast to the findings of the American Worldview Inventory, an effort by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University. In 2021, the study revealed that more than half of American self-identifying Christians don't believe in key Biblical doctrines and tenets, such as the Holy Spirit.

The survey was conducted in February 2021 among 2,000 respondents across America. Results showed that 62% of professing Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is not an actual living Person but rather a manifestation of God's "power, presence, or purity."

The disbelief of some in the Holy Spirit can be attributed to the believer's religious upbringing. Some Christians value Scripture more than anything else, while others emphasize the Holy Spirit in faith. However, California preacher and revivalist Mario Murillo explained that "the Holy Spirit and the Bible exist in unbreakable agreement. The Spirit will take you to the Bible, and the Bible will take you to the Holy Spirit."

Also Read: More New Believers, Baptisms Recorded Globally As Holy Spirit Moves: Southern Baptist Missionaries

What is the essence of the Holy Spirit?

In Christian faith, the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Holy Trinity with God the Father and Jesus Christ being the first and second. The Acts of Apostles have numerous stories about the Holy Spirit, involving healing, prophecies, exorcisms, and speaking in tongues. As per Britannica, the word "ruah," which translates to "spirit," is often found in texts that refer to the "free and unhindered activity of God, either in creating or in revitalizing creation, especially in connection with the prophetic word or messianic expectation." Thus the Holy Spirit is defined as God's power in action or God in action.

What are the incredible effects of the Holy Spirit on Christian believers?

Because the Holy Spirit is God at work, there are several incredible effects the Holy Ghost has on Christian believers. Here are some more common effects of the Holy Spirit on true Christian believers, as reported by Christianity.com.

1. The Holy Spirit bestows knowledge, wisdom, and discipline among Christians. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 says that the Holy Spirit "searches all things, even the deep things of God." After all, the only one that knows their own thoughts is the spirit inside of them, just like how only the Holy Spirit can know the thoughts of God. Thus, God sent the Holy Spirit to bestow Christian believers with knowledge of God so that they could know Him better. Because the Holy Spirit is God's own Spirit, the Holy Ghost knows God's thoughts and then reveals those thoughts to Christian believers.

2. The Holy Spirit leads Christian believers to the truth and gives insight into the future. Another of many incredible effects of the Holy Spirit on Christian believers is that it guides believers to the truth. As per John 16:13, when the Holy Spirit comes, it will guide people "into all the truth" and even foresee the future by telling believers "what is yet to come."

3. The Holy Spirit helps crush Christians' weakness by giving them more confidence in the spirit. Scripture says that the Holy Spirit "helps us in our weakness," especially in moments when a believer does not know what to pray for or how to cry out for help. But it is in times like these that the Holy Spirit searches the believer's heart and then intercedes for them to God. Alternately, the Holy Spirit gives believers confidence, just like it gave Peter the confidence to stand up for the truth that is Jesus Christ.

4. The Holy Spirit provides good counsel to Christian believers. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, He knew He was leaving the world and his disciples and followers behind. That's why the Holy Spirit was sent to provide Jesus' followers good counsel and a reminder of all the teachings He had imparted when He walked on this Earth. This remains true today, as many Christians strive to keep in mind Jesus' teachings, they are able to do so with the help of the Holy Spirit.

5. The Holy Spirit enables Christian believers to act in the goodness of God. The Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. is God Himself indwelling believers and empowering them to live Godly lives. When Christian believers accept the Holy Spirit, they are filled with God's goodness and are able to carry out missions such as spreading the Gospel or doing good acts. This is God's power in action through Christian believers themselves. In 1 Corinthians 3:16, Scripture says that Christian believers are "God's temple" and that God's Spirit, the Holy Spirit, "dwells" in them.

Related Article: Most American Christians Don't Believe The Holy Spirit Is Real, Study Finds