August 31, 2012
By Skip Heitzig
If you’ve ever been lost in a big city, you know what it’s like to feel helpless. You could get directions (“Go right at the corner, then go left at the next light, then go one mile until you get to an underpass…”), but that might just get you more lost. How much better would it be to have someone say, “Come on, I’ll take you there”?
In John 14-16, when Jesus told the disciples He was going away, they probably felt lost. But He didn’t promise them help…He promised them a Helper. There’s a big difference, and I’d rather have the second!
Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17). The Greek word for “helper,” parakletos, is so packed with meaning that it’s translated “comforter,” “counselor,” “advocate,” “encourager,” “friend,” and “intercessor” in various versions of the Bible. The Amplified Bible defines it as “one called to stand constantly by us, who is ready to take part in everything in which His help is needed.”
Here’s how the Holy Spirit helps us: He helps us understand the truth about God. He helps us testify about God to others. He helps us communicate with God in prayer. He helps us in our unity as believers. He helps us to be secure in our salvation.
Of course the subject of the Holy Spirit is too vast for a short devotional. (In fact, I’m writing a book on the Holy Spirit.) But here’s the main point I want to make: The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to draw everyone’s attention to Jesus Christ.
Let’s go back to that name that’s used several times in chapters 14-16, “the Spirit of truth.” In Greek it’s the spirit of THE truth. It’s not generic truth (like, two plus two equals four), it’s THE truth about Jesus Christ.
Who does the Spirit testify of? Jesus. What sin does He convict the world of? Not believing in Jesus. Who does He glorify? Jesus. Whose things does He take and declare to us? Jesus (see John 16:8-14). Like a stage director pointing the spotlight on the main actor, or like floodlights on a building at night, the Holy Spirit shines on Jesus Christ to help people see Him clearly!
Beware of any movement, or organization, or church that detracts from Jesus Christ by emphasizing the Holy Spirit! When people emphasize the Holy Spirit, they’re going after gifts, noise, and excitement. By doing that, they actually grieve the Spirit, who is pointing to Jesus.
As I said, there’s much more that could be said about the Holy Spirit, but focus on these words of Jesus: “He will glorify Me” (John 16:14). That’s the Holy Spirit’s work…and it’s ours too!
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