Sapphire Sky

August 24, 2015

The Holy Spirit

Filed under: encouragement, theology — Tags: , , , — Steve Knaus @ 9:22 pm

john-14-16
The New Testament says a lot about the Holy Spirit. In the book of Ephesians, we are told to be filled with (literally, “dominated by”) the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-21). The book of Galatians contains the famous passage about living in the Spirit and the fruit (effects) of The Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

But what did Jesus say about the Holy Spirit? Up to this point, Jesus has taught extensively about God the Father and God the Son. As seen in John 5, the Father and the Son are totally equal and abide together in total intimacy.

But Jesus has not taught directly about God the Holy Spirit until now. He alluded to the Holy Spirit in John 3 and John 7, but he did not directly teach about the Holy Spirit until he was ready to leave.

Jesus’ entire ministry was a living demonstration of the Holy Spirit. Jesus surrendered the use of his divine attributes when he came to earth. This included his omnipotence (being all-powerful) and omniscience (being all-knowing) (see here). He lived on earth with the same limitations of humanity, except that he had no sin (see here). He totally relied on the Holy Spirit for direction, knowledge, and power to perform miracles.

The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus Christ when he was baptized by John (see here). The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan (see here). He gave him supernatural knowledge about the Samaritan woman (see here). Most notably, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of doing miracles by the power of the devil, Jesus condemned them for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (see here and here). The miracles of Jesus were done through the Holy Spirit.

But now Jesus is leaving. He promises to send the Holy Spirit, the same person who enabled him through his ministry on earth. The Holy Spirit will come as a helper, one who will come alongside believers in this world.

 

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Jesus also refers to Him as the Helper (also translated “comforter”) and  the “Spirit of Truth”.

The Holy Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force. The world does not know him, he dwells with you. He will teach you. …

The Holy Spirit is God. Jesus promises to send another helper, literally, “one who is exactly like me”. He will come from the Father.

The Holy Spirit will be with us forever. Old Testament saints knew that the Spirit of God would come upon people for a short time, but now he promises to stay with us forever!

The Holy Spirit will lead us to the truth. He is the Spirit of Truth. He is our divine teacher who will bring God’s Word to our mind, and will illuminate His Word so that we can understand it.

The Holy Spirit is unknowable to the unbelieving world. Those without Christ cannot see or know the Holy Spirit. By contrast, he will show himself to those who believe.

The Holy Spirit is in complete unity with God the Father and God the Son. The Father sends the Holy Spirit in the name of the Son.

The Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals Him to those who believe. His ministry always points back to Jesus Christ.

“And he is the comforter. We often believe that the comforter is like a warm fuzzy blanket, but he is the strength that will give us the ability to stand against evil. He fortifies us with supernatural strength.” – Stephen Davey [2]

 

The role of the Holy Spirit with the unbelieving world

The Holy Spirit shows Jesus Christ, even to those who do not believe. He is the voice behind the persecuted Christians who tell of Jesus, even when it leads them to torture or death. The Spirit of Truth will bear witness of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit will either convince or convict those who do not know Jesus. If He does not convince you to believe in Jesus, He will be the one to convict you. If he cannot persuade you, he will pronounce the sentence of eternal punishment.

He shows you your sin. If you do not believe in him, your unbelief will be the one sin that condemns you (John 3:18).

“… the outstanding sin which will separate you from God forever will be that you rejected the Savior whom He has provided.” – H.A. Ironside [6]

He shows you the standard of what it means to be “righteous”. There was only one perfect person — Jesus Christ! Jesus defeated death and is now with God the Father. He sits with the Father in complete perfection.

He shows you your ultimate destiny if you do not believe. Satan, the ruler of the world, is already judged. Those who refuse Jesus Christ will face judgement with him.

“If Jesus Christ swung the death blow at Satan and hit dead center, you don’t think that someone less than Satan is going to get away. When Satan was judged, every man and every angel that ever attached himself to Satan was damned with him.” – John MacArthur [5]

 

The role of the Holy Spirit with believers

Jesus tells his 11 terrified companions that this is to their advantage that he leave them. Why?

What could be better than living with God himself? They had spent over three years with him!

How can this be an advantage?

Jesus was limited by his human body. While Jesus was in one place on earth, the Holy Spirit can be everywhere. While Jesus was with some believers on earth, the Holy Spirit will be in all believers.

The Holy Spirit teaches wherever God’s Word is present. When Jesus taught in one city, the next city was not able to hear the Word of God. Without the Holy Spirit, the Gospel could never spread across the entire world.

The Holy Spirit gives understanding. The disciples could not understand what Jesus did and what He taught. They needed the Holy Spirit to give them understanding (John 12:16).

Below is just a sampling of the many ways that the Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers [4]:

“He opens up the riches of grace and love, and gives us to know the wealth of the realm over which Christ is set and which we are to share with Him.” – H.A. Ironside [6]

 

Previous Post: I Am Returning to the Father


John 14:15-17

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 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 14:25-26
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

 

John 15:26
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

 

John 16:7-11
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

 

John 16:12-15
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.


 

John 14:15-17
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 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.

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, the same person who enabled him through his ministry on earth. He will come as a helper (paraklētos, παράκλητος), or literally, one who will come along side to help believers.

In this passage, Jesus teaches the following about the Holy Spirit:

  • The Holy Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force. Just like the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is described with the masculine pronouns, “him” and “he”. Ephesians 4:30  shows the Holy Spirit possessing emotions and being grieved.
  • The Holy Spirit is God. John 14:16 says that He will give another helper. The word for “another” here is allos (ἄλλος), which means “another of the exact same kind” [1]. Jesus is not a different helper, but one who exactly like him. The Holy Spirit possesses the exact same attributes as God the Father and God the Son. Other scripture also shows that the Holy Spirit is God: Acts 5:3-4 (equates the Holy Spirit with God); 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 (he knows the mind of God); Matthew 28:19 (equated with the Father and the Son).
  • The Holy Spirit will be with us forever. He was with believers in the Old Testament, but His presence was only temporary (see Psalm 51:11). Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will never leave us.
  • The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. He will lead us into truth (see John 16:13 below).
  • The Holy Spirit is not visible to the world. The world is not capable of understanding the Holy Spirit.

The disciples knew the Holy Spirit because He already was living with them in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived WITH them, but he would be IN them.

 

John 14:25-26
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

The Holy Spirit will be our amazing, illuminating teacher.  [2]

Note the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father sends the Holy Spirit in the name of the Son.

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will “teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have sent to you”.

Jesus was leaving and the disciples still had a lot to learn (John 16:12-13). His promise to them was that they would continue to be taught the Holy Spirit. How could Jesus leave the Gospel in the hands of 11 terrified followers? The Holy Spirit would teach them all they needed to know. Likewise, the Holy Spirit will teach us all that we need to know.

There are two parts to this promise. The first part of the promise is to the eleven disciples. They will be writing the words of Jesus as they write pages of the New Testament. How did they remember the exact words of Jesus when they wrote them down many years later? The Holy Spirit brought his words back to their memory.

But this promise is also for all who believe. The Holy Spirit will also teach us the truth from God and bring what he said to our memory.

 

John 15:26
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

The context of John 15 is that the world will hate Jesus and all who follow him. But in the face of those who hate Him, the Holy Spirit will bear witness about Jesus through us.

In contrast to the hatred and lies, He will be the Spirit of Truth.

 

John 16:7-11
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

One ministry of the Holy Spirit is that he will convict the world. The word for “convict” is elegchō (ἐλέγχω), which has two meanings. The first meaning is to pass sentence (i.e. convict), and the second meaning is to convince. Both meanings apply here. If the Holy Spirit does not convince you, then he will convict you. [5]

How does the Holy Spirit convict the world?

He shows us our sin. Singular. There are many sins, but only one sin leaves you eternally separated from God — the sin of not believing in Him (John 3:18).

“Oh, hear me, my friend, if you stand, at last, condemned before the Almighty God and hear Christ say, ‘I never knew you: depart from me’ (Matt. 7:23), it will not be simply because of the sins of your daily life, many of which you declare you are overtaken in and are powerless to resist, but the outstanding sin which will separate you from God forever will be that you rejected the Savior whom He has provided.” – H.A. Ironside [6]

He shows us our standard. Jesus is completely perfect. He has proved his righteousness by defeating death. He is now seated with God the Father. Jesus is the standard, and this is what he offers us if we believe in Him.

He shows us our destiny if we do not believe. Satan is the ruler of this world and he is already judged.

 

John 16:12-15
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Jesus was leaving and they were not ready. The promise of Jesus was that the Holy Spirit would teach them.

This promise is primarily for the eleven disciples in the room. They will be led by the Holy Spirit to write the scriptures of the New Testament. But he is also the teacher of every believer. He will reveal God’s truth to us.

Note that the ministry of the Holy Spirit always points back to Jesus Christ. He will glorify the Son.

 


 

[1] John MacArthur, The Promise of the Holy Spirit, Part 1, John 14:15-19

 

[2] Stephen Davey, Introducing the Holy Spirit, John 14:16-31, John 16:5-7

 

[3] H.A. Ironside, Address 47, THE PROMISED COMFORTER, John 14:15-26

 

[4] The role of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Sources:

John MacArthur, MacArthur Study Bible Notes, (c) 1997, Thomas Nelson, Inc.

The New Open Bible, Study Edition, (c) 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.

 

[5] John MacArthur, The Holy Spirit Convicts the World, Part 2, John 16:8-11

 

[6] H.A. Ironside, Address 52, THE MISSION OF THE COMFORTER, John 16:1-16

 

5 Comments »

  1. […] Previous Post: The Holy Spirit […]

    Pingback by The Vine and the Branches | Sapphire Sky — September 8, 2015 @ 12:06 am

  2. […] He will send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will teach us, guide us, and will never leave us (see here). […]

    Pingback by Just a little while longer | Sapphire Sky — September 16, 2015 @ 10:44 pm

  3. […] Spirit is to set us apart, to make us holy, and to bring us into conformity with God himself (see here). God uses His word, the truth, to set us […]

    Pingback by The Lord’s Prayer | Sapphire Sky — October 1, 2015 @ 11:19 pm

  4. […] could not stay. Jesus was about to ascend to the Father so that He could send the Holy Spirit (see here). […]

    Pingback by He is Risen! | Sapphire Sky — January 2, 2016 @ 1:01 am

  5. […] “The Father will send the Holy Spirit” (John 14:15-26; John 16:7-15) […]

    Pingback by Events of the Passion Week | Sapphire Sky — March 26, 2016 @ 1:49 am


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