Read John 14:15-17 (ESV)
“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 in you and will be with you.”
What two names does Jesus use to refer to the Holy Spirit?
Jesus had just told His disciples that He would be leaving them to return to the Father but that they were going to carry on His work here on earth. He even promised them that the work that they would do in His name would accomplish more than His earthly ministry had accomplished. But how in the world would these average joes be able to accomplish greater things than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself? Because Jesus would ask the Father to send them a Helper.
In today’s verses, Jesus said that the Helper they would receive is “the Spirit of truth” and that this Spirit would “dwell in you and be with you.” Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, the third person of Trinity. The disciples were not going to act on their own accord or in their own power. They were mere humans. God was going to empower them to do the work that He had called them to do by sending them His Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, it would have been impossible for the disciples to do the greater things that God had called them to do.
Coming up in John 14:26, Jesus will remind them that “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.” Up until this point, the disciples have been given a lot of information but they haven’t fully grasped all of it yet. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would help them understand the things that Jesus had taught them and guide them in the truth.
In Ephesians 3:16-19, Paul explained the ministry of the Holy Spirit: “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
John MacArthur notes in his Study Bible on Ephesians 3:16-20 that “When the conditions of vv. 16-19 are met, God’s power working in and through believers is unlimited and far beyond their comprehension.” The Holy Spirit strengthens us by filling us up completely with the fullness of God so that through His power at work in us, He can do far more than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Greater things.
In Romans 8:26-27, Paul mentioned another way that the Holy Spirit helps believers—through intercession: “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is in the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
But Jesus specified that the world cannot receive the Helper. Because the world failed to recognize God the Son, the world would not be able to recognize God the Spirit. When they rejected Christ, they rejected the Triune God. Only true followers of Christ will receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus specified who those true followers are—people who truly love Him keep His commandments. Obedience is also a work of the Spirit because true believers are born again of the Spirit. As new creations in Christ, the Spirit is continually at work transforming and conforming believers’ hearts and minds to be obedient to God. True believers will exhibit the “fruit of the Spirit” as evidence of their new life in Christ and of the Spirit’s sanctifying presence within them (Galatians 5:22-23).
As His followers and ambassadors to the world, God has given us a big job. It is an enormous responsibility to represent Him correctly. But we don’t have to do this on our own. We can’t dothis on our own. Praise God for sending us the Helper!
Father, thank You for sending us a Helper who empowers us, equips us, strengthens us, guides us, and even prays for us. What an incredible truth it is that the fullness of God lives in me. Help me to obey Your Word and obey Your commandments. Continue to sanctify me and guide me in Your truth. Amen.
Reveal: As a believer in Christ, you are filled with the Holy Spirit, equipped to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with an unbelieving world. Ask the Spirit to help you reveal Christ to someone apart from Him this week.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford