Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jesus explains the role of the Holy Spirit

Read John 14.

The Gospel of John mentions the Holy Spirit in at least seven of the twenty-one chapters.
-In chapter 1, He visibly descended upon Jesus at His baptism in confirmation with the Father's voice.
-In chapter 3, Jesus said that a person must be born of the Spirit in order to see the kingdom of God.
-In chapter 4, Jesus stated that God is Spirit.
-In chapter 7, Jesus spoke of a day when the Holy Spirit would not only live in the believer but would use the believer to bless others with this new life, like a flowing river.
-In chapters 14, 15 and 16, Jesus referred to Him as the Spirit of truth.

As He continued speaking to the remaining eleven disciples in the upper room, Jesus prepared them for His departure.  Yes, He will come again (vv.3, 18) but in the meantime there is much ministry to be done to reach the world.  The followers of Jesus, however, are not left to live and serve on their own.  "I will not leave you as orphans" (v.18).  "God is with us" in the first coming of Christ (Immanuel, Matthew 1:23, John 1:14).  But here, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit.

1. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. (vv.18 and 26)
He will be "with you."  The word helper is variously translated as "intercessor, consoler, advocate, comforter."  Literally, He is One who has been sent by the Father to come alongside and enable believers in Jesus.  It is He who empowers the follower of Christ to share their faith with others.  (Acts 1:8).  Christians are commanded to be controlled by the Holy Spirit in order to live a godly life (Ephesians 5:18) (Galatians 5:16-25).  The Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our prayers (Romans 8:26-27).

2. The Holy Spirit is Truth.  (v.17a)
He maintains a teaching role in the life of those who follow Jesus (v.26).  His guidance into "all the truth" (16:13) is not His own but from the Word of God.  In fact, this was the Apostle Peter's own testimony concerning the Scriptures.  "...knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:20-21)

As the teacher and guide of all truth, the Holy Spirit does not draw attention to Himself.  Jesus is the truth personified (14:6).  Therefore, the Holy Spirit's ministry is to "bear witness about me" (15:26).   When Jesus is honored and worshiped, we know the Holy Spirit is at work.

3. The Holy Spirit indwells Believers. (v.17b)
Throughout the Old Testament and into the Gospels, the Holy Spirit would come upon people for a time to accomplish a God-given assignment.  But the Spirit could also leave a person due to sin, as with Samson.  Also, see David's prayer in Psalm 51:11.  For Jesus to say that the Holy Spirit would be "in you" was revolutionary.  That promise began its fulfillment in Acts 1:4-8.  Later, the Apostle Paul wrote, "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him." (Romans 8:9)

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