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The Spirit that leads us in truth

Text: John 16: 5-15

Text verse: John 16:13

Jesus has already referred to three important attributes of the Holy Spirit. In chapter 7:37-39 Jesus said that the Spirit will flow from within us like streams of living water. It is said that the Holy Spirit will give the believer new life.

In chapter 14:16-17 it is said that Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to believers to be with them forever when He is no longer there. The Holy Spirit will therefore be there to help and support us.

In chapter 14:26 it is said that the Holy Spirit will teach us everything, and chapter 16: 5-15 expands on this teaching of the Spirit. Jesus says that He will still have much to say, but the disciples will not understand everything now and therefore the Spirit is needed (also see 16:12).

There are four things in particular that the Spirit teaches every believer:

1. He convinces us of our sin.

Just as Jesus did not come to condemn, but to save (also see 3:17), so the Holy Spirit did not come to condemn. He was sent to convince us of our sin. We need to be convinced of our misery, otherwise we will not realise that we need the Saviour.

In verse 9 the specific sin of which the world is guilty is also mentioned. The world does not believe in Jesus. The world does not recognise Him as God, because the world wants to be its own god.

We believe in ourselves. Our lives revolve around ourselves. We want to decide what is good and what is bad. The result is that our own pride, power, greatness and health become the centre of everything. Therefore, we destroy everything that stands in the way of earthly happiness.

It is therefore important that the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to this folly.

2. Jesus is the Saviour.

The Pharisees also claimed to be righteous. They believed they had no sin. That is why Jesus constantly pointed them to their superficial religion. They made a whole lot of rules to suit them and so they just comfort their conscience. Therefore, the Pharisees, as proof of their righteousness, killed the Righteous One.

Likewise, the world seeks righteousness within itself to this very day. The world does not like to be made aware of its own weakness. But the Holy Spirit works in every believer’s heart so that they can see that good works mean nothing. We need a Saviour to deliver us from our misery.

Jesus gave Himself so that we could be saved. He was crucified and forsaken so that we may receive life.

3. The judgment has already begun.

The world (Pharisees) boasted that they had executed a righteous judgment on Christ by crucifying Him. The world claims that it was the judgment of God, but the Holy Spirit shows the believer what the result is of that false judgment. The result is that Jesus rose from the dead.

Therefore, the opposite is true. There was no truth in the world’s charge against Jesus. The consequence of this falsehood is that the world is condemned. The mere fact that they do not believe is an accusation against them (also see Rom. 1: 18-24).

Therefore, the Holy Spirit teaches us that even though the world thinks they are righteous, their pride is the beginning of the judgment they bring upon themselves.

4. To glorify Christ (14).

The planets all revolve around the sun. If everyone decided to follow their own path, there would be one collision after another.

Likewise, the fall of man caused man’s life to revolve around himself, instead of around God. The result is all the sadness and destruction we see and experience in this world.

The Holy Spirit leads the believer to turn around in Christ. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ by revealing to us the full truth. He opens our eyes to see what destruction our sin causes and how Christ’s salvation saves us from it.

Thus, the Holy Spirit helps us to honour Christ without expecting any glory Himself.

How much more should we not give glory to God without expecting something in return? Our lives may no longer revolve around ourselves, but only around Him.

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