By Josh Gores
There’s a lot that can be written about the Holy Spirit. There are pages and articles and commentaries completely dedicated to the role and work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a disciple and the church. Throughout history we have seen theological debates and denominational shifts based on interpretations of the Word related to the work and fruit of the Holy Spirit. Rather than wade into ongoing conversations regarding all of these things and more, it would be my hope to simply point us to the encouraging work of the Holy Spirit as the Lord Jesus relates it to His disciples in the final hours leading up to His crucifixion.
“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. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. ‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 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. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.’” -John 16:7-15 ESV
Within this passage, we see that the Holy Spirit is a Helper sent by Christ for our advantage. The Spirit of truth has been sent in order to guide us of all truth, speaking on the authority of the Father and bringing glory and honor to the Father and His Son. In his book Forgotten God, which I would highly recommend, author Francis Chan writes, “I want to live so that I am truly submitted to the Spirit’s leading on a daily basis. Christ said it’s better for us that the Spirit came and I want to live like that is true.”
For the one who has professed Christ as Lord and Savior, we have been gifted with the Spirit and now live not in the flesh but by the Spirit (Romans 8:9); we no longer live in accordance to the ways of our former self but are now keeping in step with God’s Spirit and producing fruit (Galatians 5:25). The life that we live by the Spirit is a life that is lived by faith in the Son of God. It is no longer marked by the desires and passions and empty pleasures of this world; we now live as ones in whom God Himself dwells. This means that disciples are called to live differently, to live set apart. It means that disciples live in the truth of who God is, what He has done, and what He is doing. It means that we speak and proclaim, not of our own authority, so that God might be glorified. Our Helper, our Comforter, our Counselor will guide us in all these things as we become transformed more into the likeness of Christ. Today, may we set our mind on the Spirit which, as the apostle Paul writes, “is life and peace” (Romans 8:6) knowing that it is to our advantage that He has come.