"All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.
2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.
3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.
4 I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.
5 "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ’Where are you going?’
6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief.
7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:
9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;
10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;
11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
12 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.
15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
This is a passage that speaks much about the Holy Spirit . . . there's a lot to learn here!
For many Christians, the Holy "Spirit" is interchangeable with the Holy "Ghost." Others are puzzled by the words.
After all, do you believe in ghosts?
The Bible tells us there is a spirit world, and it is composed of both good and evil spirits. The good guys are called angels, and the evil are called demons!
But, back to our story . . . in many translations we find that the Third Person of the Trinity is referred to as the Holy Ghost. And those translators may be just right on the money, since the word "ghost" in old Saxon (you know, the folks who came just before the King James who is famous for having the Bible translated) was actually the same as the word for "guest." No kidding! So I guess you could say that the Holy Spirit is the guest in our souls, or the Holy Guest. He will come to our souls without being asked, but He will not come IN unless we invite Him. He doesn't force Himself on anyone; He waits in love, and gently seeks admittance. His mission is one of mercy, peace, and joy, and His aim is to exalt Jesus.
Those are things the Spirit of God is. There are some other things that He is not:
He's not an "it." He has a distinct Personality, and He can be lied to, grieved, and hurt.
He's not a substitute for God, for He is God!
He's not imaginary. He is real, and very relevant, and oh, so important.
Sometimes people think that if they can't see or touch something, it isn't real, and it isn't important. I beg to differ. (Grin)
We can't see air, right? We can't touch it, either, not really feel it. We can feel it touch us, though. It can hold huge aircraft aloft. It can snap a tree into matchsticks. If it's pressurized, it can stop a semi-truck, break up slabs of concrete, and tighten the lug nuts on your car.
But you can't see it. You can't feel it. You can't even smell it, unless it is polluted. It's just air.
But it keeps us alive every minute of every day. If we were to be deprived of it for just five minutes, we would either be brain-damaged or we'd be dead. We simply can't live without it!
Well, the Bible calls the Holy Spirit the "breath of God." And wind is used as a symbol for Him. Just because we can't see the Holy Spirit, it doesn't mean that He isn't here, or that He isn't real. In fact, He has important work to do. He is very active, and involved. He works with Christians, and with non-believers, too.
So, this week, let's study and see what Jesus says the Holy Spirit will do.