Summary: Having just taught on the Spirit's work to reach the world, Jesus now speaks of the Spirit's influence within the church. The Paraclete not only convicts the world, He also enlightens believers in the truth of Christ.
JOHN 16: 12-15
OUR GUIDE INTO ALL TRUTH
A young mother requested her husband to take their two-year old baby out for a walk. The husband was busy with a project, but with a deep sigh, he got the baby carriage and started walking around the block in the hot sun.
“Honey, “ called his wife from the second story window.
“Leave me alone! He shouted back, “We’re fine.”
After a half-hour his wife once again shouted, “Honey.”
“Well, what is it this time? He answered gruffly. “Is there any problem in the house you need for me to handle?”
“Nothing honey,” replied his wife. “But you’ve been wheeling little Jennifer’s doll so far this afternoon. Don’t you think it’s time for the baby to have a turn?
Like that husband many of us think we know the truth, so when the Holy Spirit speaks to us we bully on in our own thoughts and ways when if we would just listen to Him, He would reveal truth to us.
Having just taught on the Spirit's work to reach the world, Jesus now speaks of the Spirit's influence within the church. The Paraclete not only convicts and convinces the world, He also enlightens believers in the truth of Christ. By revealing Jesus and His truth the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ (C.I.M.).
The truth that the Holy Spirit took and revealed to His disciple was of Christ. The Apostle’s teaching was not their own but was revealed to them by Jesus through the Holy Spirit. What we teach also must not originate in us but must be revealed to us in Scripture by the Holy Spirit.
I. GUIDED IN TRUTH, 12-13.
II. GLORIFY THROUGH DISCLOSURE, 14-15.
Verse 12 begins the fifth teaching on the Spirit in John’s gospel. I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
Jesus continues to tell them of the advantage of His return to the Father and the Holy Spirit’s inner abiding. Having just spoken of the Spirit's convicting work to reach the world, Jesus now speaks of the Spirit's guiding influence within the church. The Holy Spirit ministers through the believer’s life, words, and deeds to convict the world and through God’s Word to lead the believer into truth both intellectually and experientially.
This helping and convicting work of the Holy Spirit as well as many other things would become clearer after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. But there is still much on Jesus’ heart that He would like to speak to His disciples about yet He will not disclose them. The things of God are too much to bear unless we have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Though the weight is of greater value than gold without the indwelling Holy Spirit man cannot carry the treasure. (Is this why you cannot endure the clear teachings of Scripture because you have not the empowering strength of the Spirit?) The Holy Spirit's coming would strengthen and ignite these believers and those who were to follow down through the ages so that they could bear all things that Jesus would continue to reveal to them through the scriptural writings of His apostles.
The specific instructions that they could bear and do before they had the sustaining Spirit living in them are recorded in Acts through Revelations. [Notice in verse 13 that Jesus is the One who will speak these gloriously clarified and amplified truths. Jesus is going to come to them through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.]
The Spirit in verse 13 is titled the Spirit of Truth because He guides believes into and in the Truth of God. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into (eis) all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
The word for Spirit is neuter in Greek but the pronoun “He” which refers to this Spirit is masculine. From this and many other Scriptures it is clear that the Spirit is revealed as having the personality and characteristics of a person. The Spirit is a He and not an it. He experiences joy and sadness, He has intellect and reasoning like people do. He is the Spirit of Faith whose ministry is guiding into truth and He does it in a very personal way. He is not simply a force or a power He is personal with a separate consciousness from the other members of the Godhead.
The function of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers and the church is guiding. Guiding (‘ïäçãçóåé ) is literally "leading the way." He exerts His influence upon the regenerated consciousness and spirit of the child of God. The Spirit does not drive or compel nor does He force us or carry us. The wording suggests a loving hand placed upon us to lead us. We may refuse His leadership (and most often do) and if we would follow Him we must exert ourselves. But if we will exert ourselves the Spirit will guarantee that we do not miss our way and will secure us in the way from sin.