Two weeks ago, on the Equip course, Bally talked about “who is God?” And this was the first thing that God brought to my mind when I sat down to look at the passage for this week’s blog post: John 14:15-21.
Here, in v16-17 we have the Trinity in action. Jesus says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth.” Here is God in action, Father, Son and Holy Spirit acting in unity. Each of them is fully God, but each of them gives us a different perspective on God.
We’ve called this series on the Gospel of John ‘Follow Jesus’. But that’s easier said than done, right? And Jesus’ disciples discovered this for themselves the very next day, just as he said, “where I am going, you cannot come.” (John 13:33) So that’s why Jesus promised the Holy Spirit as our Counsellor or our Helper. “I will not leave you as orphans,” he said, “I will come to you.” (John 14:18) There’s the Trinity again – Jesus uses the word ‘I’ to refer to the Holy Spirit, and when we have the Holy Spirit, we are no longer orphans, because we have a loving Father.
Now, too much of the church in Britain today is in danger of belittling the Holy Spirit. He may be called ‘Helper’ or ‘Counsellor,’ but he is so much more than that word implies on its own. Let’s look at what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit in this passage in John:
- The Holy Spirit lives in you (14:17)
- The Holy Spirit will teach you all things (14:26)
- The Holy Spirit will testify (bear witness) about Jesus (15:26)
- The Holy Sprit will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and justice (16:8)
- The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth (16:13)
- The Holy Spirit will bring glory to Jesus (16:14)
That is so much more than just a ‘helper,’ isn’t it? The Holy Spirit is the full power of God, living in us, teaching and empowering us to be a witness for Jesus, to convict the world of guilt and to bring glory to God. And in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul adds some more specifics. There is one Holy Spirit, he says, but many different kinds of gifts given by the same Spirit. The one Holy Spirit gives each of us gifts for the good of the whole body of the church.
Look at all these gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us for serving other people (1 Cor 12:8-10):
- a word of wisdom
- a word of knowledge
- a gift of healing
- miraculous power
- distinguishing between spirits
- speaking in different tongues
- interpreting tongues
All of these are the work of one and the same Spirit (1 Cor 12:11). He gives them to each of us, just as he determines. And whatever gifts He has already given us, we should eagerly desire more. (1 Cor 12:31).
So we can see that when Jesus promised the Holy Spirit in John 14, he was promising us a lot! So ask yourself: are you allowing and expecting the Spirit to empower your life? Are you open to Him to teach you and guide you into the truth? Are you letting him witness to Jesus through you? Are you actively practising the gifts that the Spirit has given you? Are you eagerly desiring more of the gifts?
As a practical application for this week, why not ask the Holy Spirit to empower you today? First, be bold - ask him for a word of wisdom or knowledge or prophecy, or a gift of healing or miraculous power. Then, be brave – use the gift He gives you to serve and bless someone else in church on Sunday, in your Life Group, at home, at work, or just someone He brings to your attention during the day. Don’t hold back for fear it will go wrong – God will surely bless you and them, if you step out in faith.
Eagerly desire the Holy Spirit, and let him bring glory to Jesus!