Before He went to the cross, Jesus began to prepare His disciples for what was coming. John, chapters 14-16 capture some of this preparation. One of the very important ways Jesus prepared His disciples for the future was by talking to them about His replacement.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." /// John 14:15-18 (NKJV)
If you look at the entire conversation, you see Jesus foretelling these things:
I AM the revelation of the Father.
I AM going back to the Father.
I AM the way to the Father.
I AM sending to you another Helper.
The words translated “another Helper” partially describe the coming One:
“ÁLLOS PARÁKLĒTOS ”: A different One other than Me but of the same DNA. A legal advocate dwelling close with you Who gives evidence that will stand up under anything. Jesus went on to say that through this Helper, God would do the following:
- Make His home with you (Jn. 14:23)
- Reveal Jesus in you and through you (Jn. 15:26)
- Release the authority of the Father (Jn. 16:12)
- Reveal the future (Jn. 16:12)
Wow! Jesus’ leaving was a source of sorrow to the disciples but do you see what was promised? From this point on, the church would exist and minister as a body through the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is probably the least understood of the members of the Trinity. He is thought of as a force, a ghost, a symbol, and many other misconceptions. Who is this Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a Person
He has intentions, shows willfulness and discretion, loves, communicates, testifies, teaches and prays. These qualities distinguish Him as a person. Jesus also referred to Him as a person – remember the scripture we read at the beginning? He can also be resisted and blasphemed. Acts 13:2 says, “The Holy Spirit said”. Acts 7:51 says the Holy Spirit was resisted. Ephesians 4:30 says the Holy Spirit can be grieved. Romans 8:27 says the Holy Spirit intercedes. Romans 15:30 says the Spirit loves. 1 Corinthians 12:11 says the Holy Spirit releases gifts.
The Holy Spirit was present during the entire life of Jesus on earth
Luke 1:35 says Mary began pregnant with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s presence began Jesus’ earthly ministry. The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. The Holy Spirit filled Jesus with joy in Luke 10:21. Hebrews 9:14 says Jesus died through the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:11 says the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus said that the disciples were to welcome the Holy Spirit into their own lives. The book of Acts could be called “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”. A church without the Holy Spirit is an affront to NT Christianity. The Holy Spirit was the agent of creation in Genesis and is the agent of creation in the kingdom of God today.
The Holy Spirit is essential for evangelism
When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment. /// John 16:8
Without the power of the Spirit, the evangelistic work of the church will fail. Remember the teaching of the vine and branches? When a farmer grows crops, his desire is to receive its fruit, but his relationship is with the plant. It is the plant that the farmer sows, waters, and takes care of, even though he is waiting for the fruit. Without the plant, there will be no fruit. We as Christ’s disciples desire the fruit of the Spirit, but for that it is necessary to relate to the vine – Jesus. The Spirit lives to manifest Jesus and Jesus the Father. Through our relationship with Jesus, we receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is the norm in Christian life.
- John 14:15-18 (NKJV)
- John 14:23, 15:26, 16:12
- Acts 13:2
- Acts 7:51
- Ephesians 4:30
- Romans 8:27
- Romans 15:30
- 1 Corinthians 12:11
- Luke 1:35
- Luke 10:21
- Hebrews 9:14
- Romans 8:11
- John 16:8
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