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Encountering Jesus: The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wished I lived when Jesus was alive because it would be easier to believe and follow Him then?” Many of us at some point have thought that, and Jesus addressed for us that very issue in John 14. What’s surprising, is that Jesus makes it very clear that it wouldn’t be easier. It’s shocking, but He tells us that it’s to our advantage to have the Holy Spirit with us. Jesus introduces us to the Holy Spirit and what the Spirit will do for us. God gives us the Holy Spirt to dwell in us, enabling us to love and obey God.

1. God Promises Us the Holy Spirit: v.15-24

Jesus begins this section by promising the Spirit to the disciples. He does by making a statement about our love being the proof that we love Jesus. In following that up, He proves His love by giving us the Spirit; and the person of God continuing to be present with us. He goes so far as to tell us that the Spirit will live within us! Think about this, God lives in us! That’s astounding and utterly remarkable! But this conversation began with a statement about us demonstrating our love through obedience. We don’t often put those concepts together, and yet Jesus clearly states that here. It’s fair for us to ask if our lives reflect our love for Jesus. But we thank God for what He says next, because Jesus knows if we’re left to ourselves, we won’t be able to do this, which is why He gives us the Spirit. God proves His love by not only being present among us, but by coming and living within us. How does this change how we live? How does the situations and circumstances of life get altered because of the reality that God Himself is living and dwelling within us? How does your week change, knowing the person of God is not only with you, but living in you? This should absolutely revolutionize how we live! This is what Jesus is promising His disciples!

2. We See the Work of the Holy Spirit: v.25-31

In the second section, Jesus expands on the work that the Spirit does. He will expand further on this in chapter 16, but there are three notable items that Jesus gives us here.

The Spirit Teaches and Reminds us: Jesus tells us that the Spirit is going to teach us and remind us of all that Jesus had taught. While Jesus is departing, God is not. Think of a relay race and a passing of the baton. Jesus is returning to the Father, but the Father is going to send the Spirit to continue doing what Jesus was doing, teaching and reminding us. This means that today, the person of God lives within us, teaching us and reminding us what the Bible tells us. That’s amazing!

Jesus Gives us His Peace: Jesus then tells the disciples that He’s leaving His peace. The peace of Jesus is the unbroken communion and fellowship that He experiences with the Father. This peace isn’t circumstantial, it’s a state of the heart. Jesus’ life was riddled with difficult and demanding circumstances, and yet He experienced peace. The same peace that He gives to us. It’s not that a life of peace is one free of trouble and worry, it’s a peace that has a soul content with the person of God, regardless of the circumstances of life…and Jesus gives this to us, and the Spirit maintains this in us!

The Spirit Confirms Belief: Finally, the Spirit confirms belief for us. We see that the Spirit gives us confidence to believe, even in Jesus’ departure. In what should have been a crushing blow, is actually a gift of confirmation because of the Spirit’s work.