The Holy Spirit - A promise kept
The Holy Spirit: A Promise Kept (John 14:15-26)
A singular promise dominated Jesus' final, private teaching to the twelve. He promised to send another Divine Personality like Himself. That Divine Personality would continue His work. He promised as His gift the Holy Spirit. He has indeed kept His promise. Every believer knows that for a fact. Have you had an experience with the Holy Spirit? You can learn from Jesus who He is and what He does in your life.
The Holy Spirit Responds to an Obedient Life
Love to Christ demonstrates itself in obedience: "If you love me, you will obey what I command." For three years, the disciples ministered to the physical needs of Christ as an expression of their love to Him. He would soon be physically absent. How do you express love to a physically absent Christ? You keep His commandments. The only way we can show love to a physically absent Christ is in obedience to His commands.
Obedience demonstrates itself in keeping His commandments. Jesus calls them "My commandments." The quality of those commands reflects those characteristics of Christ (John 13:34). The divinity of His commands is implied by this statement. He places His imperatives on a level with the Ten Commandments.
The Holy Spirit has an affinity for an obedient life. Verbal confession or spiritual emotion alone do not know the Spirit's presence. He resides and presides where there is obedience.
The Holy Spirit Comes at Christ's Request
The Holy Spirit comes as a gift, not an entitlement: "I will ask the Father and he will give you" (v. 16). The Holy Spirit would not have come in the natural order of things. He comes as a personal request of an ascended Lord. He further comes as a divine gift, not as a human entitlement. We do not deserve the personal presence of the Spirit of Almighty God. The Spirit is His best gift.
The Holy Spirit comes as a personal Advocate. The Holy Spirit is summoned to our side to plead, argue, convince, and instruct. As such, the Holy Spirit is a personality, not an impersonal force. The Holy Spirit possesses divinity. The Holy Spirit is the vehicle for the presence of both Father and Son in your life: "We will come to him and make our home with him" (v. 23). The Spirit comes with durability: "To be with you forever." The Lord Christ was physically present and then absent. The Spirit is present with the believer forever.
The Holy Spirit comes as a witness to the Truth. His name is "Spirit of Truth." He is the Spirit by whom truth finds expression and is brought to us. He will tell us truth about ourselves (16:13) and about Christ (15:26).
The Holy Spirit is unrecognized by and unavailable to unbelievers (14:17). The most powerful presence in the world is unrecognized by the world.
The Holy Spirit Comes to Continue Christ's Work
The Holy Spirit continues Christ's provision for us: "I will not leave you as orphans" (v. 18). In the Holy Spirit, Christ Himself comes to us as both Father (13:33) and Brother (20:17). Otherwise, we would be as bereft as orphans. He is our Provider and Protector.
The Holy Spirit continues Christ's revelation to us. He gives us a continuing vision of Christ: "you will see me" (v. 19). He gives us continuing instruction from Christ: "the Counselor will teach you all things." There are dark mysteries of the faith to which our eyes must become accustomed. There are bright lights of revelation to which only the Spirit can open our eyes. He gives us a continuing recollection about Christ: "the Counselor, . . . will remind you of everything I have said to you" (v. 26). In all of life's circumstances, He brings to mind the appropriate and timely word from the Lord.