Thursday, December 1, 2016

How Can We Know the Truth?

John 16
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

More than any other gospel, John describes the person and the work of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because one of the first false teachings at the end of the first century was called "Gnosticism". The word means "knowledge". This heresy denied the material world as evil, and the divine essence could only be accessed by a spiritual experience or enlightenment. Therefore a Gnostic could never acknowledge that God came as a human being, because the body represents the evil material world. So it was "antithetical" to the Gospel of Jesus.

On the contrary, Jesus teaches the disciples that when He leaves He will send the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a person and part of the Triune God. The Spirit is every bit as much God as the Father and the Son are. Therefore, while Jesus was a single, human person limited by space and time, the Holy Spirit would be given to all people as a gift from God who was God.

Jesus describes what this gift would do in their lives and by application ours.

1. The Spirit will guide us into all truth. Truth about who God is. Truth about who we are. Truth about who Jesus is and why we need him to be our Savior and reconcile us back to God. The Spirit will not only guide you into the truth about who Jesus is but also is a reliable guide for all of our lives.

2. The Spirit will tell us what is to come. Just as the Spirit worked through prophets in the Old Testament to predict Israel's future, he will give gifts of prophesy to those in the body of Christ that will help the body of Christ discern God's will.

3. The Spirit will always glorify Jesus. Just as Jesus always acted in concert with His Father's will and always glorified Him, the Spirit will take from Jesus and make it known to us.

If Jesus knew how much the disciples needed the Holy Spirit to carry on His work, doesn't it make sense that we would need the same help and guidance as well. Many people today misunderstand the Holy Spirit, which is a big problem. Why? Because it is the Holy Spirit who leads, guides and empowers us to continue Jesus' work and mission. Without the Holy Spirit we have no power to do the things Jesus did and promised us we would do as well. We all have been given gifts of the Holy Spirit to build the church so it can fulfill the Great Commission. No one gift is better than the others and there is no one gift who proves that anyone has the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God's gift to assure us that we are His children and works in us to make us holy and pleasing to Him. The Holy Spirit creates faith in us and the Holy Spirit will keep us in the one true faith until Jesus returns.

Give thanks for the power of the Holy Spirit. Learn to listen to His voice and obey His leading. Simply said, the Holy Spirit is the means through which we live out the Christian life and follow Jesus. Without him we can do nothing in and of our will and power.

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