The Spirit of Truth

John 1613 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

John 16:5–15 (ESV)

5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Once again, Jesus encouraged his disciples concerning his pending departure. Jesus had to go in order for the Helper to come. Jesus’ death and resurrection was inaugurating the last days prophesied of in places like Joel 2:28, where the Spirit of God would be poured out on all of God’s people to empower them for God’s purposes in the world.

The Spirit’s activity in the world would lead people to conviction of sin and of righteousness and of judgement. This would happen as the Spirit-empowered disciples proclaimed the truth of the gospel to the world and as the power of the Spirit worked in the lives of those who heard. We see this happening in Acts 2, where the Spirit falls on the disciples and they immediately begin to preach. As they proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ, many of the hearers are converted.

The same Spirit empowers Jesus’ followers today. We have been called to go into the world and make disciples through preaching and teaching, but we are not called to do it alone or in our own power. We have been given the Holy Spirit who works in and through us for God’s purposes. Therefore, we need not go out in fear or feeling hopeless. We go to the world with the power of God at work with us. This truth makes all of the difference.

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