JOHN 16:13-14: “Yet when the Spirit of Truth comes, he’ll guide you into all truth. He won’t speak on his own accord, but he’ll speak whatever he hears and will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
OBSERVATION: How do we know when the Holy Spirit is active in our lives? What does the Holy Spirit do? These are questions that we all should carefully consider! I grew up in church, always hearing about the Holy Spirit, and never really understanding who He was, or what He did. The Holy Spirit was simply the third member of the Trinity, and a name we sang about in our liturgy. Yet the Holy Spirit is so much more! We all need to understand His vital ministry in our lives. In fact, until we do, we will never enter into the fullness of what the Lord has for us!
I love the Gospel of John, especially chapters 14-16. In these three chapters Jesus teaches us so many wonderful aspects of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our lives, in the life of the church, and in the world. I would encourage everyone to frequently read these chapters and meditate upon the wonderful works of the one who is called – our Comforter, our Guide, and the Spirit of Truth.
It is the Spirit of Truth that I want to focus on in this reflection.
I want to walk in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit in my life. In my years as a pastor, I have witnessed both the wonderful power of the Spirit, and also the abuse of the gifts and ministries that the Spirit gives to the church. How can we discern whether what we are witnessing is truly the Holy Spirit working among us, or simply the overzealous manipulation of both our actions and emotions?
The answer is – we need to understand the ministry of the Spirit of Truth. As we do, we will be able to discern the true moving of the Holy Spirit – from its human, and at worst, its demonic imitation. The good news is, you don’t have to be a theologian to understand this. You simply need to read John 16:13-14 and listen to what Jesus said. Here again is the text,
- “Yet when the Spirit of Truth comes, he’ll guide you into all truth. He won’t speak on his own accord, but he’ll speak whatever he hears and will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
Here are the three key points that will help us understand the ministry of the Spirit of Truth:
1. The Holy Spirit will always guide us toward truth! This is what Paul refers to as the “whole counsel” of God’s Word! (Acts 20:25-27). If a doctrine or teaching is simple based on select “cut and paste” texts (which are out of context), and it does not reflect the entirety of God’s Word, it is not the Holy Spirit!
2. The Holy Spirit will always magnify what Jesus did and what He said! Jesus spoke only what the Father said, He did only what the Father did. The Holy Spirit will only speak and do what the Father has already said, through His son, Jesus Christ. If Jesus did not say it, if it is not reflected in His life and ministry, it is not the Holy Spirit!
3. The Holy Spirit will always point us, and others, to Jesus! The Holy Spirit will never seek His own glory, nor will He promote the glory of man. The Holy Spirit will always lift up, magnify, and give glory to Jesus Christ. If it does not point one to Jesus, if it does not result in giving glory to Jesus, it is not the Holy Spirit!
Think of the doctrinal errors that could have been avoided if the church would have simply applied these three simple guidelines. Think of the confusion that will be turned into clarity if we will simply follow the Spirit of Truth. Bottom line – we all need a guide! Left to ourselves we will become puffed up with pride, and easily led astray. The disciples floundered many times, even with Jesus right in their midst. We are no different than them. We all need the Spirit of Truth!
David prayed a very important closing prayer in Psalm 19. It is a prayer that we all should pray. And, I believe God’s answer to this prayer is – the Spirit of Truth. Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide our lives, in the “whole counsel” of His Word, in the transforming power of His life and teaching, and in the peace and joy that flow from His heart to ours – when we give Him all the glory!
- “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalms 19:12-14 NKJV
Lord, give us the Spirit of Truth!
In Jesus Name!