The truth of Christianity is spiritually discerned. In other words spiritual truth can only be discerned by the illuminating and indwelling POWER and PRESENCE of the Holy Spirit. In the name of “reality,” science sometimes repudiates these inner experiences as “mystical.” But as followers of Christ we cling to them as most real, data of experience as true and reliable as any other form of human experience.
To repudiate them would be for them to repudiate reality itself.8 For the greatest reality known within the human heart is when a human “knows” the Heavenly Father and the Son of God has come and made their home within the believer (John 14:23).
This is only made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit and no doubt is another form of assertion of the Spirit’s Presence within those who believe, and not a distinct line of mystical teaching. (Compare Woods, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature, page 243.)9
In John 14:26 the promise of the Spirit is repeated. The Father was to send the Spirit in the Name of Christ Jesus and teach the disciples all things as well as reminding them of everything Jesus had said to them.
The power of the Spirit quickens the memories of those who have learned the Word of God. Throughout the New Testament, and especially in John’s and Paul’s writings, there is no sense of conflict between Father, Son and Spirit in their work in the Christian. Everything proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and is accomplished in the Christian by the Holy Spirit. When Paul speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ being and living within the believer, he is saying that the Spirit does nothing apart from Christ Jesus and is in the heart of the believer to glorify Christ Jesus.
There are several Scriptures that give us understanding of the personality of the Holy Spirit. The designation “another Comforter,” taken in connection with the description of his work, is one. The fact that the Holy Spirit is sent or given as “Another” and “Another” is seen in the specific work which the Spirit is given to do.
I shared in an earlier blog that the Holy Spirit is “Another of like kind” Who has become our Paraclete, Helper, and Advocate, with the Father (1 John 2:1). This old word, from parakaleô, was used for legal assistant, pleader, advocate, one who pleads another’s cause. This title of the Holy Spirit is only in John’s writings, though the idea of it is in Romans 8:26-34.10
In John 15:26 this concept is made even more comprehensive: “He shall bear witness of me,” and yet more emphatically in John 16:14, “He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.” The sphere of the Holy Spirit’s activity is the heart of the individual believer and of the community of believers or Church. The Holy Spirit’s chief function is to illumine the teaching and glorify the person of Jesus.11
John 15:26 says, “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.” This verse of Scripture supports the doctrine of procession of the Spirit. Jesus used the words I will send (Future tense of the Greek word: pempso) to describe the Spirit of Truth Who proceeds in the present tense (ekporeuetai) from the Father.
The present tense here suggests eternal action of the Spirit and has been taken to indicate an essential relation of the Holy Spirit to God the Father.12
The Holy Spirit is The Spirit of Truth. His power always involves truth. When He convicts, He is causing the person to realize the truth. When He justifies, He is making the new believer understand the truth.
When He sanctifies, setting us apart unto Christ and empowering us to be holy as He is holy, He again is causing us to know the truth. In other words, He Who deals in truth, makes His appeal through the truth, causing us to know the truth and therefore to be set free from all sin, self-condemnation and shame.
Knowing the truth sets people free. This freedom is won alone by Christ (John 8:36) and we are sanctified in truth (John 17:19). In John 1:17 truth is mentioned with grace as one of the marks of the gospel through Christ.
Freedom (intellectual, moral, spiritual) is only attainable when we are set free from darkness, sin, ignorance and superstition by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that causes the Light of the World to shine on us, in us and through us.13
See Earlier Blog Post for Notes 1-7.
8. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385.
10. Robertson’s Word Pictures Entry John 14:16
11. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385
12. Compare Godet, Commentary on John 15:26
13. Robertson’s Word Pictures John 8:32