About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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The Work Of The Holy Spirit (ch. 16:5-16)

 

Once again, in verse 5 Jesus says that He is going to the one who sent Him but none of the eleven apostles are asking where are you gong?  Thomas, in chapter 14, verse 5, told Jesus that they did not know where He was going, so how could they know the way.  This was a statement, not a question.  Thomas technically did not ask Jesus where He was going.  On the other hand, if chapter 15, 16, and 17 are in a different location that the last verse of chapter 14 seems to imply, then these men might not have asked Jesus where He was going at this present time.       

 

In verse 6 Jesus acknowledges the fact these eleven men are filled with grief, and so they were.  Jesus is speaking of leaving them, and even though they are not quite sure where He is going, it sounds permanent.  Besides, this talk of being kicked out of the synagogue and being killed didnít help relieve any grief they had about Jesusí departure.  This was a very stressful time for these men.   

 

In verse 7 Jesus sounds fatherly, as when a youth is disciplined by a parent and told, "this is for your benefit."  Jesus tells the disciples that His leaving is for their benefit.  The reason for this is that when He leaves He will send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit.  Here we see that it is Jesus who sends the Counselor, although as we've seen before, there are other passages stating that the Father sends the Holy Spirit.  Jesus and the Father are one, so it's not hard to figure out that both send the Holy Spirit into the hearts of the believers. 

 

Jesus had to depart before the Holy Spirit could come to live in the lives of the believers.  We remember from John 7:39 that once Jesus was glorified, then the Spirit would come.  Here we see further proof that the glorification of Jesus was in fact totally realized when He departed, that is, the day He ascended into Heaven.

 

As I've said before, the Greek word translated into English here and elsewhere as "Counselor" is the word "paraklatos", meaning, one who is called to stand beside another.  This word was often used in Roman law for a lawyer, or an advocate.  This gives us a bit of a clue into the roll of the Holy Spirit in our lives.    

 

In the next few verses Jesus describes part of the work of the Holy Spirit, both in the lives of those in the world and in the lives of the believers. 

 

Jesus begins with the world in verse 5 by saying that the Holy Spirit will convict those in the world of "guilt in regard to their sin, of righteousness, and of judgment."

 

After Jesus makes this statement He explains it.  Concerning convicting those in the world of guilt in regard to sin Jesus explains it this way.  In verse 9 He says, "in regard to sin because they do not believe in me."  Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will convict, or pronounce people guilty, because of the sin of not believing in Him.  This is the sin of sins.  All other sins are forgivable.  Not trusting one's life to Jesus, or, rejecting Jesus, cannot be forgiven. The sin of unbelief is the sin that keeps people out of Heaven and apart from Jesus and salvation.  Murder, stealing, adultery are secondary to unbelief.  Before these sins can be convicted of, the sin of unbelief must be dealt with and that is what the Holy Spirit will do in the hearts of men and women.  Whether they respond positively to this conviction is their choice, but the need to trust in Jesus is what the Holy Spirit will speak to.  He will use us in this process.  In my thinking, we must first approach people about their unbelief.  There is little use in trying to stop people from sinning in these secondary areas when they havenít come to first believe in Jesus, which means, handing their lives over to Jesus.  

 

Concerning being convicted of righteousness, Jesus says in verse 10 that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of righteousness because He is going to His Father.  Once Jesus returns to Heaven His redemptive work is finished.  All has been completed to grant total righteousness to men and women who believe in Jesus.  This cannot happen until all things are fulfilled.  Jesus obeyed the Law of Moses and lived the perfect life for us.  That satisfied God.  When that perfect life was over, then and only then could God offer complete righteousness to us.  God demands that we live a righteousness life before Him.  We havenít lived such a life and canít.  That is why Jesus lived that righteous life on our behalf.  This is a misunderstood truth in Christian circles.  Salvation means more than getting our sins forgiven.  Jesus died to forgive our sins.  He lived the righteous life so we could be counted as righteous before the Lord God of this universe.  Jesus stands as our high priest forever, right now in Heaven as seen in the book of Hebrews.  When God looks on us, He sees Jesus representing us to Himself.  By seeing Jesus standing in our place, He views us as holy and righteous, just as He Himself is holy and righteous.  That beings said, those in the world are unrighteous and before they can be counted righteous by God they must be convicted of this unrighteousness and repent.  

 

Concerning judgement, in verse 12 Jesus says "because the prince of this world now stands condemned."  We must understand the cross to be a multi faceted event, meaning, that many things happened on the cross.  We already noted that forgiveness of sins was accomplished for us on the cross, but, the death, including the resurrection of Jesus was also a pronouncement of condemnation of the devil.  He was condemned before the whole universe to see.  Like a judge pronouncing an offender guilty and sentences him to certain punishment, so God condemned the devil by the resurrection of Jesus.  Although the pronouncement of guilt and condemnation was made at the cross, the actual sentencing of the devil will take place at a future date. 

 

Note the NIV says that the prince of this world now stands judged.  The Greek verb is a perfect passive indicative verb.  Indicative means this is a certain fact.  Perfect means the judgment and condemnation of the devil is an accomplished fact.  For this reason some translations puts this verb in the past tense.  Passive means that God initiated judgment on the devil.  Sataan certainly didn't do this himself.    

 

Thus part of the work of the Spirit is to point out unbelief in men and women, show them their unrighteous life, and tell them of the righteousness that Jesus provides, as well as pronouncing judgment on the devil.  This pronouncement of judgement on the devil relates to the world in the sense that the Holy Spirit will convict our hearts not to follow a condemn prince, but rather, follow the One who has condemned him.

 

In verse 12 Jesus says to these eleven men that "He has much more to say, more than you can now bear."  What these things might be is uncertain.  They could have been things about their own life that might have scared them away from Jesus.  They might have been things of the cross that they could not understand at the moment due to the sorrow and confusion they were experiencing.  Whatever the case, this doesnít really matter because Jesus goes on to say that, "when the Spirit comes, He will guide you into all truth."  Once the Holy Spirit entered their lives at Pentecost then He would teach them the truth they needed to know.  We know this to be true.  These same men who were experiencing great confusion now became very knowledgeable of the things of God, all because of the Holy Spirit.   

 

The word "all" in this verse doesn't 
mean that the Holy Spirit will teach
you all things that ever could be known.  He's not saying the Holy Spirit will make you a great scientist.  The word "all" here applies to "all things we need to know about God in order to represent Jesus to the world."

 

We need to understand how the Holy Spirit teaches us all truth.  Some have taken this verse and a few others like it to promote the idea that they only learn from the Spirit within them.  They have no need for other human beings, other teachers.  The truth of the matter is that the Holy Spirit can speak to our hearts and teach us, yet He can also use men and women to teach us as well, or else their would not be teachers in the Body of Christ.  There needs to be a balance between what we perceive the Spirit is teaching us from within, and what He is teaching us through teachers. 

 

In verse 13 we see that the Holy Spirit is like Jesus.  Just as Jesus did not speak of Himself but about His Father, neither does the Holy Spirit speak of Himself.  The Spirit speaks of things concerning Jesus.  Thus, once again, we see the nature of the Godhead.  Each person in the Godhead does not exalt Himself, and so it should be with us.  We should not exalt ourselves but Jesus, the one who has sent us.

 

At this moment if divine history Jesus is the centre of all things until such time He hands all things back to His Father as seen in 1 Corinthians 15.  Remember the Great Commission of Matthew 28.  Jesus told His followers that all authority had been given unto Him.  Right now Jesus is in charge.  We need to focus our speech on Jesus, but that is not always the case.  Many times Christians speak more about God and hardly anything of Jesus.  In our one god fits all generic god world this is a mistake.  You talk about God and unless you specify what God you are talking about the world will misunderstand you.  Let's major on talking about Jesus so it will all be clear what God we serve.

 

I've been involved in Pentecostal Charismatic circles for decades.  Over the years, and from time to time, I've seen people magnify the Holy Spirit beyond what they should.  We magnify Jesus because that is who the Holy Spirit magnifies as Jesus says here.        

 

Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will tell these men, us too, about things yet to come.  This is the prophetic nature of the roll of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Some have taken this to an extreme and feel the Holy Spirit foretells them all sorts of things, but in fact these things are only from their imagination.  The Spirit does work through us and show us things to come.  For some this happens more than others due to the prophetic nature of their ministry.  Not all of us are prophets, yet on the other hand, the Holy Spirit can speak to our hearts concerning individual matters in our future. 

 

In verse 14 Jesus is clear concerning the Holy Spirit not speaking of Himself.  He says that He will "bring glory to me."   Again, whatever the Spirit sees and hears from Jesus He will pass along to us, just as whatever Jesus heard and saw from the Father, the Father passed on to His followers. 

 

In verse 15 Jesus says that "all that is of the Father is mine."  All that belongs to Father God belongs to Jesus and the Spirit as well.  The Spirit will take that which belongs to Jesus and make it known to the followers of Jesus when needed.  This shows us the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Where the Holy Spirit is inhibited, no work for Jesus can be done.

 

All that we have seen in the last few sentences shows us the triune nature of God.  All that belongs to one part of the Godhead belongs to the other parts.  Each part does not speak of Himself but brings glory to the other parts.  This is the nature of God and should be apart of our nature, although we often struggle with this.  The church is full of people who want to bring glory to themselves in the name of Jesus.  This is wrong.

 

This section ends in verse 17 where Jesus says, "in a little while you will see me no more, yet in a little while you will see me."  In a little while Jesus would depart from these men and hang on the cross and be buried, but, a little while after that He will rise from the dead and they will see Him for a little while a

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