John 15:26-27, NIV
26 "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. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been
with me from the beginning."

January 11, 2012
The Counselor--another name which in Christian theology refers to
the Holy Spirit. Jesus liked to talk about being sent from God. Now he
is introducing the disciples to another who will be sent from the Father.
This Spirit will testify about Jesus. Will be a teacher, a revealer of
unseen truths.

The Spirit of truth will go out from the Father like sounds emanating out 
from his mouth, like heat radiating from a fireplace, or water cascading
over a waterfall. Or maybe like the command spoken at creation,
"Let there be light."

In the first chapter of his gospel, John said Jesus was full of grace
and truth. In another place he quoted Jesus as saying, "I am the way,
the truth and the life." And also that when we know the truth, the truth
would set us free.

The Spirit of truth will not lie nor lead anyone astray. In contrast, the
evil one is the father of lies and deceit. Truth is like light in the darkness,
or a steady and knowledgeable guide leading through uncharted waters.

The disciples, because they have been with Jesus during his 3-year
ministry, are charged to tell the stories they participated in as they
traveled together throughout Galilee and Judea. In addition to the
witness of these disciples, the Spirit of truth will teach and give validity
to the life and death of Jesus, now and in the future. Spirit can be
everywhere at once. Spirit knows no boundaries, no limits, no
timeframe. Through this Spirit, Jesus would be with them forever.
His death was not going to change that.


                                           John 16:5-7, NIV
5 "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me,
'Where are you going?' 6 Because I have said these things, you
are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good
that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not
come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you."

January 12, 2011
The disciples are about to receive a substitute for Jesus and they do
not like that idea. They wish Jesus would stop talking about going away.
They like things just as they are.

The text says they are filled with grief, which means nothing else can
penetrate. Overwhelming grief blocks conversation. They could not
ask their usual questions. Anyone who has lost a loved one and
wondered how they would get along without them will understand
in part what the disciples were going through.

It probably didn't help any to be told it was for their own good. Being
left alone without Jesus certainly didn't look good to them.

One person's joy is another person's sorrow. Jesus was going home
to his Father. Words of sadness, words of joy; but all that was heard
is the sad part, "I am leaving you." How wonderful it might have been
if the disciples could have sung an alleluia chorus with Jesus.


                                           John 16:8-11, NIV
8 "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to
sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because
men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because
I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and
in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now
stands condemned."

January 13, 2012
I am going away and you will see me no more, but this is what you
will witness. A world that will know I am still alive and well.

The work of the Holy Spirit is described in this passage as that of
conviction. Making sure people know the truth about their lives and
that they never forget to make the distinction between sin and
righteousness. If you know the difference--thank the Holy Spirit.
If you don't know the difference--you're not tuned in to the Holy Spirit.

We are told in the Bible that the devil (the prince of this world) is
already defeated. It doesn't look that way. But if we're going to live a
victorious life, we must believe that Christ has already conquered sin
and death. People continue to die. We continue to sin. But that's not
the end of the gospel story. The Bible is a book about faith, and faith
believes in victory over sin and death.


                                             John 16:12-13, NIV
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 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."

January 13, 2012
Jesus had much more to tell his disciples, but they could not bear to
hear it. So the Holy Spirit will finish the teaching job. As with Jesus,
the Holy Spirit will speak, not on his own, but only what he has heard
from the Father.

"He will tell you what is yet to come"--that's the victory over sin and
death referred to above. Plus all those things we are to believe that
we can not already see with our physical eyes, but can only see
with our eyes of faith.

The Holy Spirit teaches me to believe that, despite all those things
which try to lay me low, I can still rise up with wings like an eagle and
soar in my spirit. I can find a song even in troubling circumstances.
I can believe in morning even though it is still night. St. Paul expressed
it this way, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

ohn 16:14-15, NIV
14 "He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and
making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine.
That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make
it known to you."

January 14, 2012
The Holy Spirit is also about bringing glory to God. Father, Son and
Holy Spirit are three, yet one. What brings glory to one, brings glory to
all three. What is it that brings glory to the Father? Maybe having all
his children gathered around in joy and peace and in service to each
other. Could there be a more blessed picture than that!

Everything belongs to the Father, yet what belongs to the Father also
belongs to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of truth takes what
belongs to Jesus and makes it known to the disciples. For what
purpose? To reproduce. To bear fruit and nourish more disciples.
To bring more of God's children home to the Father in heaven.

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