What does the Holy Spirit do?
Let’s discover one of his important roles in our lives.
Let’s look at John 14:23-29 and see what loving Jesus means and what the Holy Spirit does.
John 14:23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
1. God Lives with the Obedient (vs 23-24)
The question was why Jesus showed himself to his disciples, but not the world. Jesus never feels constrained by our expectations to answer a question directly. Instead he promises that if we love him we will obey him, and he and the Father will dwell with us. Rather than wait until eternity to live with God, this is a promise that God will live with us now. The reverse is also true, somewhat answering the question. Those who do not obey Jesus are in the world. Anyone can claim piety, but if they do not obey Jesus, they do not love him and Jesus’ teachings come from the Father. Jesus’ loyalty to the Father underscores everything he says and does.
2. What does the Holy Spirit Do? (vs 25-26)
Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit is sent from the Father. He will also teach us all things. Now that seems rather limitless. The Roman Church claims that their dogmas not found in the Bible were taught by the Holy Spirit. Pentecostals, among others, claim the same thing. How can we tell what is genuinely from the Holy Spirit and what is not? It may not always be clear, but there is a clue in these words: he “will remind you of everything I have said to you.” If a teaching obviously contradicts or varies greatly from what Jesus taught, it is suspect. The Holy Spirit gets the blame for a lot of heresy. He teaches us emphasizing what Jesus taught.
A Personal Teacher
The word Advocate means that the Holy Spirit is on our side. He teaches and reminds us. He also makes choices (1 Corinthians 12:11), guides into truth (John 16:13), reveals Jesus (John 16:14), convicts of sin (John 16:8), can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), blasphemed (Matthew 12:31), possesses a rational mind (Romans 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13) and can be lied to (Acts 5:3-4). All that is suggestive of a personality not a mere divine force. He is also distinguished from yet related to the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14) suggesting a third personality also with divinity. This is a divine mystery that we call the Trinity.
3. Peace beyond Circumstances (vs 27)
When we become fearful of events outside of ourselves, we have no peace. We fear growing worldliness inside the church. We fear crime. We fear international and national politics. We fear whether or not there will be a meaningful job and we can pay back our college bills. We fear whether or not we can make ends meet in our old age. We fear whether or not our health insurance company will cancel coverage and leave us with bills we cannot pay. We fear that Christianity is becoming a minority religion and we may someday face persecution. And in the midst of this, Jesus promises a peace beyond what this world can give. God’s peace surpasses all our worldly distress.
Jesus was going and promised to come again. He is coming at his second coming, but he and the Father are also coming to us in the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who is on our side, teaching us all things and reminding us of what Jesus taught.