Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Work of the Holy Spirit

Read John 16:4-15.

Five times during the last supper that Jesus had with His disciples, He spoke of the Holy Spirit.  Read John 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:7-15.  In the first three verses the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are included together so that we understand that the three are really one God.

The word translated “Helper” here is the Greek word “Paraclete.”  This means a counselor or lawyer called to defend a person on trial; someone who is with a person to help and advise him.  The Holy Spirit does this for us.  He defends us.  He advises us what to do.  He is the Spirit of Truth who teaches us and leads us into all truth.  He keeps us from being deceived by false teachers.

He lets the worlds know that it is wrong about sin.  It is hard for us to admit that we are sinners.  We think we are pretty good until the Holy Spirit shows us what we look like to God.  Have you ever been surprised to see that the shirt or dress you were wearing had stains on it?  In the house it looked clean, but out in the bright light you could see the stains.  The Holy Spirit turns God’s bright light onto our lives and shows us how dirty our sins are.

Sadness and Gladness

Read John 16:16-24.

The disciples were sad because Jesus was going to leave them.  But Jesus gave them a wonderful promise for all His followers.

“The Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name” (John 16:23).

If we were to ask an important person for something, we would not receive it because he would not know us.  But if we were given the right to ask in the name of the head of our nation, everyone would quickly run to get whatever we asked for. God the Father will surely do what His Son asks.  When we let Jesus live in us, we can pray in His name for the same things He would pray for.  Then we can be sure of the answer.

Victory Over the World

Read John 16:25-33.

Jesus knew that in a few hours He would be arrested and all His disciples would run away to save their lives.  He let them know what was going to happen.  He wanted them to know that His suffering and death were not defeat.  They were part of God’s plan.  It was through His suffering and death that souls could be saved.

The world would say:  “Forget about others; save yourself!”  But Jesus had overcome the world’s temptations.  He was doing what God wanted Him to do.  Doing what God wants us to do, whatever costs, is victory over the world.

The disciples too were going to suffer.  Jesus reminded them to stay in Him and He would help them.  All those who follow Jesus will face problems and suffering in this world but the Holy Spirit will be our Helper.  Our victory is not in what we can do for ourselves but in what He does for us.  He is with us to give us courage, strength, and peace in times of suffering.  Our suffering for Jesus will be for only a little while, then we will reign with Him in eternal joy – no more suffering forever.

“I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me.  The world will make you suffer.  But be brave!  I have defeated the world” (John 16:33).

Take the quiz

Quiz Instructions

Now answer a few questions covering what you just read.

1. What is the Greek word translated here as “Helper?”

a) Parenthesis

b) Paraclete

c) Paralysis

2. As the Paraclete, what does the Holy Spirit do?

a) He defends, advises, and helps us.

b) He does our work for us.

c) He accuses us.

3. When can we really see that we are sinners?

a) When we get caught.

b) When the Holy Spirit shows us how bad we are.

c) When someone tells us how bad we are.

4. What did Jesus promise?

a) We can have anything we want.

b) God will give us what we ask in Jesus’ name.

c) We will never be sad.

5. What does the world say?

a) “Forget yourself. Save others!”

b) “Save yourself and others too!”

c) “Forget others. Save yourself!”

6. What did Jesus say the world would do to His followers?

a) Make them rulers.

b) Make them suffer.

c) Accept them as teachers.

7. What is victory for those who follow Jesus?

a) Having their own way.

b) Escaping from trouble.

c) Doing God’s will whatever it costs.

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