The Spirit As Teacher Guides The Church!
“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
John 16:12-13 (NLT)
Our Lord was always careful to give His disciples the right amount of truth at the best time. This is always the mark of a great teacher. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher today, and He follows that same principle:
- He teaches us the truths we need to know,
- When we need them, and
- When we are ready to receive them.
When you compare John 14:26 with 16:13, you see the wonderful way that God arranged for the writing of the New Testament Scriptures.The Spirit would remind them of what Jesus had taught them; this gives us the four Gospels.
The Spirit would also “guide” them into all truth; and this would result in the epistles. “He will tell you about the future” refers to the prophetic Scriptures, especially the Book of Revelation.
People who claim that the Spirit of God led them to do things contrary to the example of Christ or the teaching of the Word are mistaken and are being led astray by Satan. Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), and the Word is truth (John 17:17), and the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Truth.” Where the Holy Spirit is at work, there must be truth.
The phrase “He [the Spirit] shall not speak of Himself” (John 16:13) does not mean that the Spirit never refers to Himself, for when He wrote the Bible, the Spirit often mentioned Himself. Rather, it means that He does not speak apart from the Father and the Son; He does not “manufacture” a different message. You have the entire Godhead mentioned in John 16:13, because the Spirit of God does not ignore either the Father or the Son. They work harmoniously together.
Part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to make this foreknowledge available to the believer. This does not automatically operate, but it can be appropriated by every Spirit-filled believer through faith. This is one of the most miraculous and beneficial ministries of the Holy Spirit and also one of the least used.
One of the keys to staying full of God is to glorify Him.
He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.
John 16:14 (NLT)
To “glorify” means to value or esteem. So, the Holy Spirit will increase the value, or esteem, we place on Jesus. This cannot be done properly without the Holy Spirit, whose main job is to glorify Jesus.
This was the second time in this discourse Jesus said that the Holy Spirit always testifies of or glorifies Jesus (John 15:26). This is one way to discern if someone or some doctrine is inspired by the Holy Spirit. John later drew on this truth as a test for discerning false prophets (1 John 4:2-3).
All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
John 16:15 (NLT)
In this verse He revealed that receiving of Jesus and receiving of God are the same thing because everything that is true of the Father is true of the Son. This is a strong witness to the divinity of Jesus.
The Spirit will always glorify the Son, not Himself. Ministries that overemphasize the Spirit more than Christ are inappropriate. The Spirit will also take the truth that belongs to Jesus and disclose it to the disciples. The three persons of the Trinity share truth equally. So, all things that the Father has belong to Christ, and the Spirit takes from Christ and imparts truth to us through the apostles’ writings.
Sadness Will Be Turned to Joy
“In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”
John 16:16 (NLT)
Jesus explained this in John 16:20. He was speaking of His death and resurrection. After His death there would be a three-day period when they would not see Him. But that wasn’t the end of the story. After three days, He would rise from the dead and appear to them on His way back to the Father.
Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
John 16:17-18 (NLT)
We should go directly to the Lord with our questions and not inquire among ourselves about what He means.
It appears that the disciples were a little bit put out with Jesus’ way of communicating with them, but they were afraid to say anything to Him. Jesus knew how they felt (John 16:19), and He admitted that He had been speaking to them in proverbs (John 16:25). He then promised that soon He would speak to them plainly of the Father (John 16:25).
Although we sometimes think that God’s words are a little hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16), we should never make the mistake of inquiring among ourselves, like these disciples did (John 16:19), as to what the Lord means. We should go directly to Him and ask His wisdom, knowing that He will gladly give it without criticizing us (James 1:5).
DECLARATION OF FAITH
The Holy Spirit is within me, leading and guiding me into all of the realities of God.
He does not speak His own message, or by His own authority, but He tells me whatever He hears from my Father. He gives me every message that God has for me and reveals to me things that will happen in the future.
With the Holy Spirit as my Counsel, I am guaranteed success in all that I do.
He honors and glorifies Jesus by taking the things that are His and transmitting them to me. All that the father has belongs to Jesus and He freely gives it all to me through the Holy Spirit who dwells within me.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name!