What We Learned Together Today July 16, 2023
INTRODUCTIONWe have entitled the message today “The Ministry of the Spirit of Truth for The Testimony of Christ.” In this Upper Room discourse given to us here in the Gospel of John the words of the Lord Jesus for His own disciples are filled with promises, blessings, and prophecies. In the Gospel of John Jesus is revealed to be the Son of God in personal revelation. In the Gospel of John Jesus is revealed to be the Savior of the World for personal salvation. In the Gospel of John Jesus is revealed to be the Resurrected Lord. So far in John chapter sixteen we have been given so much in the words of Jesus. We have seen Such Privilege in Having the Words of Jesus. We have also seen Such Advantage in The Coming of the Holy Spirit. Here today in verses 12-15 we will learn Such Knowledge in Revealing the Truth from Jesus and About Jesus. Again we read John 16:12-15, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them at the present time. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you.”
The Personal Work of the Holy Spirit in the World is convicting the world according to verse 7-11. Then The Personal Work of Holy Spirit through His Apostles is communicating the Word according to verse 12-15. The Holy Spirit is Testifier, Revealer, Speaker, and Teacher. There is the Divine source of the words and writings of the Scriptures because the Holy Spirit is the Author of The Truth [cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Pete 1:20-21]. In the words of Jesus He is The Spirit of Truth [cf. John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26] The phrase “He will . . .” repeated throughout verse 12-15 here in chapter sixteen. “He will disclose/declare/tell to you . . .” meaning “to provide information, with the possible implication of considerable detail—‘to announce, to inform, to tell.’ This action and direction also described by the Apostle Paul, “Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” [1 Corinthians 2:13-14] As One commentator wrote, “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 show you things to come” refers to the prophetic Scriptures, especially the Book of Revelation.” [Warren Wiersbe]
First, The Spirit of Truth Will Help Them with The Truth from Jesus [16:12]. Jesus says, “I have many more things to say to you . . .” All that Jesus has already said and also more of His teaching they will be given through the Spirit of truth. Here the weakness and limits of the disciples is exposed in the words of Jesus.
Second, The Spirit of Truth Will Guide Them In The Truth of Jesus [16:13a] Jesus continues, “When He comes, the Spirit of truth . . .” The truth so important both to the Son and the Spirit. And “He will guide you into all the truth.” Again a future active indicative verb emphasizing the prophetic nature of these matters with the fulfilment of these words of Jesus confirmation of who He Is as the Son of God. He will guide meaning “someone acquiring information,” and “lead someone to know” as the Spirit of truth. The presence of the truth which the Spirit of truth will guide them. The phrase “into all the truth” reveals the set body of truth about Jesus which will fulfill the words of Jesus in verse 12 to these disciples. Also the nature of this guiding them will accurate and complete. Jesus does not tell His disciples to ask the Spirit of truth to do this guiding for it is all of God. No one can pray for the Spirit to give them the Word of God personally when He has already guided these men into all truth. All truth about Jesus Himself. Remember how truth is so important to the revelation given in the Gospel of John: “full of grace and truth” [John 1:16], “I am the way, the truth, and the life” [John 14:16], “But I tell you the truth” [John 16:7], and “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” [John 17:17].
Third, The Spirit of Truth Will Speak To Them About The Truth of Jesus [16:13b] “He will Not Speak on His Own Initiative . . .” Similar language used by Jesus to describe His own ministry [cf. John 14:10, 24; 12:49; 8:28; 7:16]. The source of the truth which the Spirit of truth will speak to them. Here the words of Jesus emphasize communication, revelation, and declaration as persons of the Godhead. The Spirit of truth is the Person who speak because o what he hears from the Son and form the Father. “Spiritual blessings in heavenly things are given by the Father to the Son for us, and the Son entrusts the Spirit to convey them to us.” [Matthew Henry] The Spirit has the place and work in the lives of the disciples of Jesus according to the His word. One man said, “the very revelation of God Himself.” Also the consequence of His speaking and revealing is the testimony of Jesus in the Gospel of John.
Fourth, The Spirit of Truth Will Glorify Jesus With The Truth of Jesus Revealing the Things of God [16:14-15]
“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine . . .” Making Jesus known and showing Jesus now with the focus and emphasis of the ministry of the Spirit of truth glorifying Jesus. So both truth orientated and Christ-centered will be this ministry of the Spirit of Truth. The relationship of the Spirit with the Son and the relationship of Son with the Father where unity and consistency exists presently and personally. Such knowledge possessed by the Son of the Father and the Spirit of the Son, “The Spirit’s teaching mission would be first to receive the deposit of Christ-centered truth, then show it to believers. It follows that a ministry, to be Spirit-directed, must be one that magnifies Christ.” [Wycliffe Bible Commentary] This relationship is seen in different Scripture passages in the New Testament where the teaching of the Spirit is connected with the testimony of Jesus. This is seen as a example throughout the Book of Ephesians [1:7-14; 2:19-22; 3:16-17, 20-21; 5:18-21; 6:10-17]. And Jesus finally says in verse fifteen, “All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you.”
Read the lyrics for “Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God” by Keith and Kristyn Getty
As we come to the end of the message here in the Words of Jesus about the Spirit of Truth some points to direct our thoughts. We have seen the ministry of the Spirit of truth for the Testimony of Christ. “It is essential that we see that the work of the Spirit of God is never divorced from Jesus Christ or the Word of God. “He shall testify of Me” (John 15:26); “He shall glorify Me” (John 16:14) . . . 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.” [Warren Wiersbe] So Let’s Consider then what this means for us today. The Spirit of Truth will help . . . will guide . . . will speak . . . will glorify . . . The need for the truth from Jesus and about Jesus in your life as His disciple revealed by the Spirit of truth--motivates our Bible Study. Without the ministry of the Spirit of Truth communicated in the Word of God we would not have the truth of Jesus--evaluates our theology. Glorifying Jesus is the ministry of the Spirit of truth so that we also as disciples of Jesus would be glorifying Jesus--activates our ministry. Instead of looking for what we want to find in the Word of God we would seek to glorify Jesus.
Pastor Timothy J. Atkins
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Teacher, Discipler, and Follower of Jesus.