The greatest help a believer is to receive is the very presence of God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit. It is this that Jesus now reveals. He reveals the Holy Spirit, His identity, who He is.
(14:16) The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, the other Helper. Note four points.
1. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter. He is there all the time providing comfort.
2. The receiving of the Holy Spirit is conditional. 15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-– John 14:15-16 (NIV) Note the conjunction “and.” It is the person who loves Jesus who is given the Holy Spirit. Note also that the Spirit is given because Jesus prays for us. He is our Intercessor, the One who pleads our case. It is not that God is unwilling to give the Holy Spirit. That is not the point. The point is that Jesus Christ is our Mediator—our Intercessor—the One who makes it possible for us to receive the Spirit (cp. 1 John 2:1-2). If a person truly loves Jesus, that person is given the Holy Spirit.
3. The source of the Holy Spirit is “the Father.” It is the Father who gave the Son, and it is the Father who gives the Holy Spirit. The picture is touching in that God is seen longing ever so deeply…
- to give the Holy Spirit to those who love His only Son.
- to do everything He can for the person who loves His Son, and of course the greatest thing God can do is to put His Spirit into a person.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).
4. The Holy Spirit abides forever with the believer. His presence continues and never ends. The idea is that He never withdraws His presence.
(14:17) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Note three facts.
1. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, the very same Truth that Christ is. He is the Embodiment, the Communicator, and the Liberator of truth
2. The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. Note the word “cannot.” It is impossible for the world to receive the Holy Spirit. Why? Because the world of unbelievers does not “see” or “know” the Holy Spirit. The world lives only for what it can see and know, only for the physical and material, only for what it can touch and feel, taste and consume, think and use.
The point is this: unbelievers reject Jesus. They do not love Him, and they care little if anything about Him. They are not interested in seeing or knowing Jesus. The result is natural:
- They do not see the spiritual world or know it; therefore, they do not see or know the Spirit of that world.
- They are unaware of the spiritual world; therefore, they are unaware of the Spirit of that world.
- They do not know and love Jesus; therefore, they do not “know” the Spirit of Christ.
(Note this contrast between the “Spirit of the world” and the “Spirit of God,” 1 Cor. 2:12-14.)
“But the natural man does not recieve the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14; 1 Cor 2:12-13).
3. The believer does know the Holy Spirit. The believer knows the Spirit both by experience and by His presence.
- The Holy Spirit “lives with” the believer: giving assurance, looking after, caring, guiding, and teaching.
- The Holy Spirit is in the believer: communing, fellow-shipping, sharing, and conforming the believer to the image of Christ.
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he lives with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17).
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7).
“For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:12).
“But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God live in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9).
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).
“The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16).
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6).
“That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which lives in us” (2 Tim. 1:14).
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Cor. 2:12).
“Don’t you know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16).
“What? Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19).
“And he that keeps his commandments lives in him, and he in him. And now we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us” (1 John 3:24).
“Now we know we that we live in him, and he is us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13).
“It is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6).
“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:27).
(14:18-20) The Holy Spirit is the personal presence of Christ. Note four points.
1. Jesus said, “I will come to you.” He meant that He would return after He had gone away, that is, died. He would come back to give believers His personal presence. He would not leave them comfortless; the word means to be orphaned, to be without parental help, to be helpless. Jesus would not leave them to struggle through the trials of life alone.
Jesus’ presence with His followers began with His resurrection and with the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was saying that He would come to the believer in the person of the Holy Spirit.
2. The world lost its opportunity to see Jesus. He said so. He said that He would be present for only a short time longer, then the world would see Him “no more.” (The next time the world sees Him, He will be coming in judgment.)
3. The presence of Jesus is a living, eternal presence. He died, but He did not stay dead. He arose and conquered death. He arose to live forever. Now think: if Jesus Christ is living forever and He lives within the believer, then the believer lives eternally. Christ the Eternal Presence lives within the believer; therefore, the believer becomes eternal. He never dies. The believer is made eternal by the eternal presence of Christ within him.
In fact, when Jesus says “I live,” He means He lives abundantly and eternally: He lives life in all of its full meaning. Therefore, by living within the believer, Christ imparts the same kind of life to the believer, a life that is both abundant and eternal.
4. The presence of Christ is a living union, a mutual indwelling between God, Christ, and the believer. “At that day” refers to Jesus’ resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Now note: when Jesus arose from the dead, believers knew something. His claim was true in an absolute sense. Jesus really was “in” God. God is eternal, so by being “in” God, Jesus was bound to live forever; He was bound to arise from the dead.
Something else was known. All that Jesus had said was true. He was placing all believers “in” Himself and Himself “in” them; or to say it another way, when the Holy Spirit came, believers were placed “in” His Spirit and His Spirit “in” them.
(14:21-22) The Holy Spirit is the very special manifestation of Christ within the believer. Apparently, this refers to very special manifestations of the Lord to the heart of the believer, those very special times when there is deep consciousness of love between the Lord and His dear follower. When believers go through terrible trials and experience severe crises, God knows and He loves and cares; so He moves to meet the need of His dear children. He moves within the believer’s heart, manifesting His presence and giving a deep sense of His love and care, helping and giving confidence, forgiveness, and assurance—giving whatever the believer needs. The depth of the experience and the intensity and emotion of the special manifestation depends upon the need of the believer. God knows and loves His dear child perfectly, so He gives whatever experience and depth of emotion are needed to meet the need of His child. We must always remember that God loves each one of us so much He will do whatever is needed…
- to lift us up.
- to strengthen us.
- to conform us to the image of His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note that the special manifestations of the Lord’s presence are given only to the believer who does two things.
1. The believer who has Jesus’ commandments receives the special manifestations of the Holy Spirit. To have His commandments means that the believer has searched and possesses the commandments of Jesus Christ. He has them in his heart, knows them, has made them his own (cp. Psalm 119:11).
2. The believer who keeps the commandments of Jesus.
The believer who does these two things shows that he truly loves the Lord Jesus, and he that loves the Lord Jesus shall be loved of the Father and the Lord will love him as well. In fact, the Lord will manifest Himself to the believer who hides His commandments in his heart.
Note an important fact: the special manifestation is questioned. Judas asked the question for the first time, but the special manifestation of Christ’s presence has been questioned and doubted by thousands ever since. Judas was thinking like all men think—in terms of a physical manifestation, a visible appearance.
(14:23-24) The Holy Spirit is the enduring presence of the Trinity. Note the words, “My Father…we will come…and make our abode with him [the believer].” Both the Father and Christ come to abide in the believer in the person of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, 26). All three live within the believer. Note four simple but profound facts.
1. The abiding presence of the Trinity is conditional: one must obey Christ, that is, love and keep His words.
2. The abiding presence of the Trinity is the love and presence of God and Christ and the Holy Spirit—all three living within the life of the believer.
3. The abiding presence of the Trinity is not “in” the man who does not love and obey Jesus.
4. The abiding presence of the Trinity is assured by God Himself. Note what Jesus said: His words are the words of the Father who sent Him (see note, pt.2—§John 14:10).
“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you . Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you havet given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11).
“And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me” (John 17:22-23).
(14:25-26) The Holy Spirit is the Teacher. He teaches “all things” which Jesus taught. “All things” means all the things which Jesus taught including the presence of the Comforter (Holy Spirit), who is given to help the believer through the trials of life, and the livng presence and love of the Father and Son.
However, a crucial point must be heeded. The Comforter comes only from the Father “in the name” of Jesus.
- In calling God “the Father,” a Father-child relationship is stressed. One must become a child of God, that is, of the Father, in order to be given the Father’s Comforter.
- The words “in the name” of Christ mean that one must approach the Father “in” the name of Christ, that is, recognizing that Jesus alone is acceptable to God
The purpose of the Holy Spirit as a teacher in the believer’s life is twofold.
1. To teach all things: both the words and the life of Christ, both the Truth and the Life, both the Word and how to live, both the theory and the practice, both the principles and the conduct, both the morality and the behavior.
2. To help remember: to help remember all that has been taught in the Word of God, to help especially in the moments of trial when the truth is needed. In a moment of trial the Holy Spirit either infuses the believer with the strength to endure or flashes across his mind the way to escape ( 1 Cor. 10:13).
For more about the series, The Holy Spirit, go to www.ridgefellowship.com
Source: adapted from the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible – Commentary
Verses are from New King James Version of the Bible