Day 8: May 11, 2017: The Spirit of Truth is our Helper
John 14:15-17: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither see him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
Jesus’ teaching in John 14-16 richly imparts to us the reality that as his disciples we ‘live and move and have our being’ in God the Holy Trinity. Just prior to the words of our text for today Jesus the Son taught that he is the only path to the Father and affirmed his perfect unity with the Father.
John 14:6-7: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
John 14:9-10: Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.”
The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father. To see Jesus is to see the Father. Therefore, we can only come to God the Father through Jesus the Son.
In our text the Third Person of the Trinity is brought into view and our means of entrance into the divine fellowship is made clear. Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth…”
The Holy Spirit has been given to us by the Father at the request of the Son. The Holy Spirit dwells with and in us (v. 17) and so it is the Holy Spirit who unites us to the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is our Helper, our Advocate, and our Counselor. He guides us into truth (John 16:12-16). He teaches us what to say in the hour of need (Matthew 10:19-20). He pours God’s love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5) and bears witness to our spirits that we are indeed God’s children (Rom. 8:14-17). He intercedes for us when we do not know how to pray (Rom. 8:26-27). He enables us to put to death the sinful misdeeds of our bodies (Rom. 8:13). He produces the fruit of Christ’s own character in us (Gal. 5:16-26). He binds us together as members of the body of Christ and empowers us for ministry (1 Cor. 12:4-13).
So, the Christian life is truly “life in the Spirit.” He has been given to us that we might commune with God, walk faithfully with God, and fruitfully serve God. We can do none of these things apart from the Holy Spirit. How can we receive and respond to the work of the Holy Spirit in us? First, we must open ourselves to the Spirit’s work through earnest and searching prayer. Second, we must study the Scriptures so that we will be able to know, recognize, and cooperate with the work the Holy Spirit wants to do in and through us. Third, we must walk in obedience. The evidence of our love for Jesus is obedience to his commands (Jn. 14:15). Only the obedient are being led by the Spirit of God. Fourth, we must be consistently engaged in Christian community – worshipping, praying, studying, and serving with our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. ‘Life in the Spirit’ is life together with other disciples, for the Spirit indwells and empowers the whole church. We will come to know and obey the Holy Spirit better as we seek and serve God together.
Take time now to submit to the work of the Spirit of Truth. This prayer can help you get started: “Thank you, Lord, for the gift of the Holy Spirit to live in me and be my Helper. I want to be filled with the Spirit’s power and to follow his leading. I want the fruit of the Spirit in my life. Holy Spirit, please lead and teach me each day. Please help me to walk in obedience to Jesus’ commands for the glory of the Father. In Jesus name, Amen.”