Monday, October 20, 2014

The Spirit has a job to do (John 14:25-31)

“All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
“Come now; let us leave."

We all have a job to do, right? Each and every one of us. There's a reason (or two or three) for each of us to be here on this earth -- we are part of a plan. We learned a week ago that we will have the help of the Holy Spirit as we try to fulfill our part of the plan. Let's dive in again!

Jesus knew that He must be the One to explain about the work of the Spirit. If He hadn't taught us about the Spirit, there would have been loads of people coming up with all kinds of stories and there also would have been people who "pooh-poohed" the work of the Spirit. So He said He was explaining it all "while abiding" with the disciples.

We can see that what Jesus did, and what He said, in the days He was ministering here on earth, was only partially understood.  As carefully and completely as He explained things, and as many parables as He taught, some still did not understand his teachings. But it needed to be our Lord who revealed them.  That way they would look back on His words later, and understand more fully.

There were three important things necessary for the apostles to understand Who Jesus was, what He was saying, and why -- what was His mission. Here is the chain of necessary events: First, Christ had to die for them. Then He had to rise again to demonstrate His victory over death and Satan. Then, lastly, the Spirit had to come and help us, by interpreting the meanings of His words and deeds.  That was the plan since before the world began.

So, here is the first job the Spirit needs to do: He teaches and He prompts. Not clear? Let's look at verse 26 again:
                    “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name,
                     He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I
                     said to you."

Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would teach them, and also help them to remember His teachings. The Spirit would work in their minds and hearts, reminding them of Jesus' teachings and giving them insights to its meaning.

The Holy Spirit can help us in the same way. The Holy Spirit and the Word work together. They give us the correct meanings for what Jesus did, and correct applications when we read and study the Bible. We can learn what to believe and what to do. In our studies, we can trust the Spirit to place the truth in our hearts and convince us of God's will. (And remind us when we stray from it, right?)

Jesus was the first one to call the Spirit Holy. Did you see that?  The purity of God sets Him apart, and He sets us apart (for God) when we obey Him. He makes it possible for God to use us for good.

Oh, that we would spend more time studying our Bibles, and listening for the Spirit to teach us!  It is difficult in this hurried and harried world to set aside time for Him, but the rewards are so great!

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Have you ever had a day when all of the readings and devotionals talk of the same subject, even though they are all independent of each other? Today is one of those for me. Every reading I have done this morning has been focused on the Spirit of God and how He draws close to us, and never leaves.