Summary: Many of your ideas about the Holy Spirit are wrong. What is the real role and purpose of Jesus representative on earth in your life?
The Holy Spirit is the best kept secret in Christianity mostly because His purpose and role have been misunderstood. The Holy Spirit is not a grand show master who makes it possible for you to do really cool stuff, or at least appear really cool so people are impressed.
The Holy Spirit actually works in the background, like the bios of your computer. You never see it but you know it’s there and without that Basic Input Output System your computer wouldn’t be able to do anything. And the Holy Spirit works for one purpose, to bring glory to God, not to you.
The Holy Spirit is a foretaste of heaven. He is the beginning of what it is like to live in God and have God live in us. Verses 15 – 24 are what the Holy Spirit is to us. Verses 25 – 31 are what the Holy Spirit does in us.
The Spirit gives us assurance of belonging to God’s family, and assistance to live in God’s will.
It all starts with a relationship with Jesus. While this verse could sound like a rules based religion, that is not it at all. But loving Jesus means becoming like Jesus. Becoming like Jesus means thinking and acting like he thinks and acts.
John would later write about it in one of his epistles:
1 John 5:2-5 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
So to walk backwards through this: 1) believe in Jesus, that’s 2) faith which leads to 3) overcoming the world which is the result of being 4) born of God – that “overcoming” is not doing what the world wants and doing what God wants. In simple terms, that is loving God and obeying his commandments.
16 – 17
The Father would send another (another of the same sort, not “different” heteros) counselor, suggesting that Jesus was the first.
The Greek parakletos means “called to one’s side”. It was used in a court to mean a legal assistant or a counsel for the defense, an advocate. It denotes someone who comes alongside to care at the appropriate time.
The roles of the Spirit mentioned in this section:
• Advocate (16)
• Truth (16)
• Teacher (26)
• Reminder of Jesus (26)
The Spirit’s role and relationship in our lives:
• A gift (16)
• Always with us (16)
• Someone to be known (17) that the world (kosmos) cannot receive (see 23 for how you can know the Spirit)
• Dwells with and in us (“in” is future here) (17)
• Makes his home in us (23)
The Holy Spirit – Companion (vs 17), Confirmer (vs 26), Comforter, Counselor (vs 16)
18 – 21
Jesus in a sense is saying that he is not going to abandon them. Although he is going to the cross and will no longer show himself openly to the world, he will show himself, alive again, to his disciples and the resurrection life he possesses he will freely give to those that love him.