Theology | Holy Spirit: Old Testament vs. New Testament

Theology Holy Spirit Old versus New Testament

We, as believers in Jesus, have so greatly been lavished with the promised Holy Spirit.

Because of Jesus, we have been given the splendid gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling in us. Martin Lloyd Jones, a great Theologian, magnifies it this way,

The coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ into the world made a vital difference in this whole question of the work and operation of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, we must go further, and say that His death, and especially His resurrection and ascension, made a still more vital difference. [1]

We are living in the age in which the Old Testament Prophets eagerly awaited.

Many prophets proclaimed that the coming Messiah would be the One whom would send the promised Holy Spirit.[2] Therefore, “the coming of the Holy Spirit is proof positive and final that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God and Saviour of the world.[3]” Also, the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost signified that God fully accepted Jesus’s sacrifice as our justification, and that Satan was defeated and under judgment.[4] Praise God!

In the Old Testament Era, the Holy Spirit was given transiently to a select few people

Instead of the Holy Spirit only being given transiently to a select few people (Moses, 70 elders, Elijah, Elisha, David, Bezalel, Oholiab, etc.) to deliver prophetic messages or be equipped for leadership[5], all true believers of Jesus become living Temples of the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?[6]” John Rea remarks, “Herein lies one of the major differences between the Spirit’s manifestation before and after Pentecost. Then it was occasional, sporadic, temporary, now, since Pentecost, it is continuously available.” We now, as believers of Jesus, have the indwelling Spirit of God abiding permanently in us to cultivate fellowship with God, to provide and nourish our spiritual life[7], to guide, counsel, comfort, and point us to Jesus.

The privilege of the Holy Spirit in us

This is beyond a privilege, and one that I often fail to fully comprehend. Daily I have to ask the Holy Spirit to guide my heart, mind, and soul to listen, to be still, to think on things above, and to help me become more like Jesus. I am so thankful that He indwells me to empower and guide my ever-weary and ever-wandering heart. I’m learning to rely on He who is in me[8] constantly.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”


[1] D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God the Holy Spirit (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1997) 33.

[2] Lloyd-Jones, 46.

[3] Lloyd-Jones, 46.

[4] Lloyd- Jones, 48-49.

[5] [5] John Rea, Charisma's Bible Handbook On the Holy Spirit (Orlando, FL: Creation House, 1998), 37.

[6] 1 Corinthians 6:19, NIV.

[7] Rea, 56.

[8] 1 John 4:4