“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 14:15-17 ESV
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper (the helper has a 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 14:25-26 ESV
“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 15:26 ESV
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
John 16:1-4a ESV
There would be persecution, but Jesus comforted His followers with the promise that they would not be alone; He would send them the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth. John highlighted five important tasks of the Holy Spirit: (1) to convict the world of its sin and call it to repentance, (2) to reveal the standard of God’s righteousness to anyone who believes, because Christ would no longer be physically present on earth, (3) to demonstrate Christ’s judgment over Satan, (4) to direct believers into all truth, and (5) to reveal even more about Jesus Christ.
John 16:4b-15 (ESV)
“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 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. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me (if they did believe in Him they would not have any sin – it would all be paid for!); 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father (If I didn’t go no one would be – 2 Cor. 5:21), and you will see me no longer (now you will have a righteous Counselor within and always with you); 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged (and so will those who join his rebellion). 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 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. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine (Truth, hope, peace, life, understanding – all that the Father has) and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
For three years, Jesus had been with them to protect them from attack; but now He was about to leave them. He had told them this earlier in the evening
John 13:33-35 (ESV)
Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Peter had asked Him where He was going:
John 13:36 (ESV)
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”
Peter’s question revealed more concern about himself than about the Lord Jesus! Also, his question centered on the immediate, not the ultimate. It was necessary for Jesus to explain why it was important for them that He return to the Father.
The major reason, of course, is that the Holy Spirit might come to empower the church for life and witness. Also, the ascended Savior would be able to intercede for His people at the heavenly throne of grace. With all of their faults, the disciples dearly loved their Master; and it was difficult for them to grasp these new truths.
The Spirit comes to the church and not to the world. This means that He works in and through the church. The Holy Spirit does not minister in a vacuum. Just as the Son of God had to have a body in order to do His work on earth, so the Spirit of God needs a body to accomplish His ministries; and that body is the bride/church.
#1. Our bodies are His tools and temples, and He wants to use us to glorify Christ, love and serve His bride and to witness to a lost world.
?When Jesus wants to love, save, care and answer someone’s prayers who does He use?
The Holy Spirit works through the people in whom He lives.
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, He empowered Peter to preach; and the preaching of the Word brought conviction to those who heard.
The key word here is convict – reprove (16:8). It is a legal word that means “to bring to light, to expose, to refute, to convict or convince.” It could be translated “pronounce the verdict.”
Believers are the witnesses, the Holy Spirit is the “prosecuting attorney,” and the unsaved are the guilty prisoners. However, the purpose of this indictment is not to condemn but to bring salvation.
**The Holy Spirit convicts the world of one particular sin, the sin of unbelief. The law of God and the conscience of man will convict the sinner of his sins (plural) specifically; but it is the work of the Spirit, through the witness of the believers, to expose the unbelief of the lost world. After all, it is unbelief that condemns the lost sinner, not the committing of individual sins.
John 3:18-21 (ESV)
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
A person could “clean up his life” and quit his or her bad habits and still be lost and go to hell.
The Spirit also convicts the sinner of righteousness, not unrighteousness. Whose righteousness? The righteousness of Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God.
The Spirit also reveals Christ in the lives of believers. The world cannot receive or see the Spirit of God, but they can see what He does and who He is as they watch the lives of Spirit filled believers.
The Spirit convicts the lost sinner of judgment – Jesus was referring to His judgment of Satan that was effected by His death on the cross.
John 12:31 (ESV)
Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
Satan is the prince of this world, but he is a defeated prince. Satan has already been judged and the verdict announced. All that must take place is the executing of the sentence, and that will occur when Jesus returns.
When a lost sinner is truly under conviction, he/she will see their folly and the evil of unbelief; they will confess that they do not measure up to the righteousness of Christ; and they will realize that they are under condemnation because they belong to the world and the devil.
Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV)
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
The only person who can rescue from such a horrible situation is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There can be no conversion without conviction, and there can be no conviction apart from the Spirit of God using the Word of God and the witness of the child of God.
Witnessing is a great privilege, but it is also a serious responsibility. It is a matter of life or death!
We need to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us to the right persons, give us the right words, and enable us patiently to glorify Jesus Christ.
John 16:12-15 (ESV)
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 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. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Our Lord was always careful to give His disciples the right amount of truth at the best time. This is always the mark of a great teacher. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher today, and He follows that same principle: He teaches us the truths we need to know, when we need them, and when we are ready to receive them.
The Spirit would remind the disciples of what Jesus had taught them; this gives us the four Gospels. The Spirit would also “guide” them into all truth; and this would result in the epistles. “He will show you things to come” refers to the prophetic Scriptures, especially the Book of Revelation.
It is essential that we see that the work of the Spirit of God is never divorced from Jesus Christ or the Word of God. “He shall testify of Me” (John 15:26); “He shall glorify Me” (John 16:14). People who claim that the Spirit of God led them to do things contrary to the example of Christ or the teaching of the Word are mistaken and are being led astray.
The phrase “He [the Spirit] shall not speak of Himself” (16:13) does not mean that the Spirit never refers to Himself, for when He wrote the Bible, the Spirit often mentioned Himself. Rather, it means that He does not speak apart from the Father and the Son; He does not “manufacture” a different message. You have the entire Godhead mentioned in vs. 13, because the Spirit of God does not ignore either the Father or the Son. They work harmoniously together.
The teaching of the Spirit through the Apostles was not different from the teaching of the Spirit through Jesus Christ. The same Holy Spirit communicated the truths found in the four Gospels, the epistles, and the Book of Revelation; and He also wrote the history and doctrine found in Acts. It’s the same Spirit work in and through us.
It is the ministry of the Spirit to enrich us with the treasures of God’s truth. What a joy it is to have the Spirit illumine His Word. – Go to Him first!
We do not study the Word of God in order to “argue religion” with people, or to show off our grasp of spiritual things. We study the Word to see Jesus Christ, to know Him, to glorify Him in our lives. As we witness in this hostile world, the Spirit uses the Word He has taught us; and we share Jesus Christ with others.
It is our job to witness; it is the Spirit’s job to convict.
Perhaps some of us need to quit acting like prosecuting attorneys—or judges—so that the Spirit can use us as faithful witnesses.
Gospel – Ryan Stevenson