“When the Spirit of Truth comes… He will Glorify Me (Jesus)” – John 16:13-14)
Greetings to you Friends!
To say that the work of the Holy Spirit is an indispensable part of the Christian life, is a gross understatement to say the least. For the Christian life has no legs to stand on without the Holy Spirit, plain and simple. (Rom.8:9) Yet, about half (49%) of all who say they are Christian do not believe the Holy Spirit is real, according to the research group called “Barna Group” (https://www.barna.org). It also found that “Americans are constantly trying to figure out how to make sense of biblical teachings in light of their daily experiences,” without realizing it’s the absence of the Holy Spirit which leaves this vacuum in their Christian life. Let’s discuss this vital aspect and see what exactly is the work of the Spirit in the Christian’s daily journey. There are many facets of His work, but we’ll discuss His basic foundational role in this post.
The Holy Spirit is given to those who believe and trust in Jesus as the prophesied Messiah because He is the Son of God sent by the Father to be mankind’s Savior. (Act.2:38-39) Through faith in Jesus the Holy Spirit is given as a gift where He comes and dwells in the heart of the believer, and man becomes His temple: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16; also John 7:37-39; 1 John 4:13; 1 Cor.6:19, NLT). The work of the Spirit is to sanctify and bring the Love and life of God to man. A temple is a place of worship where God and man meet. The Bible says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9). This tells us that God is Trinitarian, so, you cannot have the Holy Spirit without Christ, and you cannot have Christ without the the Holy Spirit, for the purpose of the Spirit is to unify you to Jesus, who in turn unifies you to the Father.
Dove – Symbol of The Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)
Shortly before Jesus was taken to be crucified, He told the disciples about the role of the Spirit, “I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you” (John 16:12-15). Yes, the Spirit’s sole purpose is to reveal Jesus, for Jesus is the revelation of God’s glory in humans. His purpose is to reveal all that Jesus means to you as a person in God’s purpose and destiny for you.
Jesus told the disciples He was about to leave them, but He would was not abandoning them. He did not want them to feel lost and forsaken. He said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you… The one who Loves Me will be Loved by My Father, and I too will Love them and show Myself to them… I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-18).
The role of the Spirit is to mentor people to become true believers of Jesus and becoming like Him. Jesus said, “The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace!” (John 14:26-27, MSG). The operative words are to “make everything plain to you.” So, if you are a believer and things like the work of the Spirit is not plainly understood, it may be that you are not letting the Spirit guide you. Many times we let others explain things to us, but we are still left with questions.
Recall what one of the New Covenant provision affords us, “And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already” (Heb.8:11, NLT). John reinforces the work of the Spirit in this regard, “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true–it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ” (1 John 2:27, NLT). Look, can a human reveal what your personal calling in God’s plan for you? No human can do that, only the Spirit will do it for it is His work to reveal your gift that’s tied to your individual calling.
The Tri-Personal God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Always at Work to Bring Man to Immortality. Rublev’s Famous Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)
Let’s ask, who is Jesus fundamentally and effectively to those who believe and receive Him? He is the first human ever who lived a sinless life, and now exists in His human glorified divine form. When Jesus was crucified, resurrected, and ascended back to be with the Father, He took our humanity with Him, and glorified it and made it part of God forever. Jesus made this possible because He was and is always the homoousios part of the Triune Godhead in heaven. Jesus was the prophesied Immanuel, God in the flesh, for the purpose of making man into the divine image of the Triune God. (Gen.1:26-27) He is the example the Father want for man to emulate so humans may enter into His Loving presence by becoming glorious and immortal themselves like His Son. Hence, we read Paul saying, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom.8:29-30, NASB).
The Son stands first in the line of humanity God restored and fashioned in His image and likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) Jesus is the only human who was glorified and made immortal, and the role of the Holy Spirit is to make Jesus’ reality happen across the board in all of humanity. Paul affirms this, saying, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Rom.8:11).
God reveals how He will make this reality we see in Jesus happen, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people” (2 Cor.6:16; Lev.26:12). What this says is God will Himself guide and walk us to the reality we have in Jesus. And how does He do it, through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bibles reveals “We are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:16a). Paul says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Cor.6:19, NLT; also, 1 Cor.3:16).
But here is the crossover many cannot and have not fathomed, including Christians: If God walks in us, and He is holy and sinless, then it stands to reason that the believer is also holy and sinless. You see, God and sin cannot co-exist. Can virtue live alongside sin? Can righteousness and wickedness live together under the same roof? Can light and darkness be bedfellows? The two conditions are poles apart. Nothing could be more diametrically opposite from each other, and the exact antithesis of each other. So one has to go! Paul’s closing words in his discourse with the Romans is, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?” (Rom.8:31-32). Can the sin condition stand against us? No!
If the Spirit is “Holy” and lives in man as His temple, then it’s logical to conclude that man is also “holy.” The light of God’s Love snuffs out all darkness. This is the role of the Holy Spirit – He is called “Holy” because that is what He does. All He touches, He makes “Holy.” He is the “sanctifier” of man. Let me give you a metaphor to help explain this. It’s not perfect, but I hope it serves the purpose. Think of a dark room in your home. You enter the room and close the door behind you. It’s as dark as black can be. You move and feel your hand along the wall to the light switch, and turned the lights on. What just happened? Electricity turned the bulb on, and now you can see in the dark. Yes, but more than that, what really happened was light swallowed up darkness and made it disappear and ineffectual. Darkness disappeared in the face of light. Light is virtue, while sin is darkness. In the same way, when we come into God’s presence through the Spirit, we come before light where there’s no darkness or sin. Sin has been taken care of once for all time through Christ, the true Light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:13).
Light Swallows the Darkness of Space and Unveils the Earth in Ever Increasing Brightness of the Rays of the Sun (Wiki Commons)
What is the spiritual mechanics of making this reality happen where the believer is made forever “holy” in the Father’s presence? Think about this, if the Spirit is intrinsically of one substance with the Father and the Son in heaven (existing as One Trinity from eternity), and He also lives and walks in the believer as His temple, then it’s logical to conclude that wherever the Spirit is the believer is with Him – in heaven and in God’s holy presence. If sin can never prevail with God, then man also is holy and is in a sinless state. There’s something else that we may not have realized, since Jesus has glorified our humanity in Himself and brought it into the life of the Trinity, then the Spirit automatically becomes part of mankind by this inherent union. Man was spiritually birthed into the divine by Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension, and through the doctrine of substitution, when we express faith in the Messiah we are likewise reborn spiritually just as Jesus explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:5-8; Eph.1:13) The all-inclusive expression of this spiritual birth will occur in the future resurrection from mortal to immortality.
Therefore, the role of the Spirit is to constantly and forever transport man to the heavenly courts before Jesus and our heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer by bringing him or her before Jesus as High Priest in heaven. Jesus in turn mediates all the inadequate human responses and shortcomings of the believer, and presents him/her before the Father perfect and acceptable every time, and always! (Rom.8:26,34) This is the ongoing process of salvation that never stops until God’s purpose in mankind is completed when we are resurrected to immortality like Jesus. All of this is encapsulated in the words of Paul, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness (sinless) of God in Him” (2 Cor.5:21, NASB). This is the process of salvation we are forever experiencing in the Spirit and in Jesus. Benjamin Franklin said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we must hang together, or most assuredly we will hang alone.”
One might say, “But I sin all the time.” Yes, that’s exactly the point of the Spirit’s role, we live in sin always because of our fallen human nature. If we have been made perfect at any point, then we won’t need the Spirit, for the responsibility of the Spirit is to sanctify man. (John 16:8-11) And sanctification takes place where trespasses exists. That’s why the Holy Spirit is given to man – because we are trespassers, period. David said we have “secret sins” we cannot see and don’t know about, let alone repent of. (Psa.19:12) The point is not that we become perfect in this life, but we are brought before the “Light” of Jesus where all darkness is extinguized instantly. If God should enlighten us about a wrong in us, He will do so and grant us the repentance to go with it. (2 Tim.2:25; Act.11:18) Man’s propensity to sin is no excuse to live licentiously, but to enlighten man of his need for a permanent Mediator in Jesus, and the Sanctifier in the Spirit.
Trespasses are snuffed out like darkness is swallowed up by the light. Of course, this doesn’t give us license to do what we like and live irresponsibly (sin) – we do not commit sin because we know we are going to be forgiven anyway. Those who live like that are still living in darkness. No, the key is to maintain an ongoing attitude of repentance, realizing that we still sin even with our best efforts to be morally good. We are kept in Jesus’ prayer to daily seek the Father’s forgiveness because we live in our fallen fallen and depraved humanity. (Matt.6:12) If it were not for the Holy Spirit we would remain in our spiritually corrupt condition. Paul said, “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you” (Rom.8:9, NLT).
What a wonderful and beautiful life God our Father has brought to live in His Son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Be ever grateful and praise Him always!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on email@example.com. Thanks for visiting!
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life” as a Bulamanriver.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
* Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.