The Spirit of Truth

(John 16:12-15)

the spirit of truth
The Spirit of truth has access to all the God has to help us.

Jesus speaks in this section about the Spirit of truth who He sends and who will come to the disciples. The Spirit of truth is the same Counselor Jesus speaks of in earlier sections of this chapter and it is the Holy Spirit that He will send as a gift to man after He dies and ascends to the Father.

This section of scripture is one that gives us some more insight into the role and purpose of the Holy Spirit. It explains more of the reasons why it is important to receive the Holy Spirit and why this gift is so essential in our walk with Jesus Christ.

You Cannot Bear The Message

In the first verse of this section Jesus makes it abundantly clear why the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of truth is necessary. He says these words,

“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”

Jesus was telling the disciples that there was much to still learn, but until they received the Holy Spirit they would not be able to bear those things and thus learn what they needed to know. This is a theme that is echoed in other parts of the scripture too.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:13,

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

What he is saying here is that without the gift of the Holy Spirit a man cannot understand the things of God. The things that God has to teach man, which will bring man into the image of Christ, cannot be taught by human wisdom but only by the Spirit of truth from God. As Paul also said earlier in 1 Corinthians 2:10,

God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

And this is consistent with the words Jesus spoke in John 16.

But why is it that man cannot understand the things of God without receiving the Spirit of truth? What are the things of God that a man cannot understand in his natural human condition that must be taught by the Spirit of truth?

The simple answer to this is…God’s love. Man cannot understand the love of God for it is not like the love of man. God is perfect and is love, but man is weak and imperfect and is born under the power of sin. How can an imperfect thing like man ever begin to understand the perfection that is God’s love? Man can only understand God’s love if God Himself opens it up and teaches it to a man.

And this comes through receiving the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit sent from God to teach us and guide us. Paul shows us this when he says in Romans 5:5,

“…hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.”

Man does not naturally have or exhibit the true love of God. But when we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit from God, His love is poured into our hearts so that we can discern and learn the truth about the love of God. The Holy Spirit can then guide us into the truth of the love of God.

The Truth

And this is the second aspect of this scripture concerning the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit is a gift given to us to guide us and teach us about the truth. Jesus said in verse 13-14,

13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

The Spirit of truth is given to guide us into ALL the truth. Pontius Pilate once said to Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38) And it is true that a man of the world cannot know or understand the fullness of the truth of God without receiving the Holy Spirit to guide him.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to guide God’s people into the fullness of the truth. He will teach us about the love of God and also lead us along the pathway that will take us into the love of God.

And there are many steps and stages along this pathway to the truth. It begins with faith to believe in God, then repentance, then acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Then we are baptised into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then we receive the freedom that comes through that action, freedom from sin and freedom from law. Then we receive the righteousness that come by faith through the grace of God. Then we receive the Holy Spirit and we need to learn how to walk in the Spirit. And finally we learn how to walk in love just as Christ walked in love and followed the example of His Father.

In just a few words, this is the plan and the pathway to perfection that exists in coming to Jesus Christ and all people need to follow this pathway if they are to be perfected in Jesus Christ.

But man cannot do this alone. This is why we receive the Holy Spirit as counselor, guide and protector to teach us the things of God and the way to find the love of God through Jesus Christ. He teaches us how to be humble and to submit ourselves to God as humble servants so that we can learn and grow to maturity in Christ.

And this is the truth of Jesus Christ. Freedom from this world and the things of this world so we can be like Him. Not bound by sin, not bound by the law, but serving God though love.

All the the Father Has

In order for the Spirit of truth to do this work in us He needs to be able to bring to bear whatever is necessary to teach us all the truth. Fortunately there is nothing that the Spirit of truth does not have access to in order to complete the task He is assigned.

Jesus said in verse 14-15,

14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Everything that the Father has is given over to the Son, and everything that the Son has is available to the Holy Spirit in order to teach us and guide us into all the truth. There is nothing outside the control and reach of the Spirit of truth that He cannot bring to bear on our life, mind, understanding or situations that can be used to teach us. Everything of God is available to Him for our benefit.

When you go into a situation and are fearful or in doubt, remember this, that there is nothing the Lord has put outside the control of the Holy Spirit to help you in your time of need. All that the Father has is available to Him for our benefit, and the Spirit of truth will guide you into all the truth about any and every matter that you may need an answer for.

(Photo sourced from “www.sxc.hu/” stock.xchng taken by Patwise)

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3 Replies to “The Spirit of Truth”

  1. john wrote,
    And there are many steps and stages along this pathway to the truth. It begins with faith to believe in God, then repentance, then acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Then we are baptised into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then we receive the freedom that comes through that action, freedom from sin and freedom from law. Then we receive the righteousness that come by faith through the grace of God. Then we receive the Holy Spirit and we need to learn how to walk in the Spirit. And finally we learn how to walk in love just as Christ walked in love and followed the example of His Father.

    HEHE,
    I never see it so condensed before!
    simple huh?

    1. Hi Matt,
      Yes very, very simple and it had to be so it could be understood by anyone and everyone who is prepared to look. God didn’t want to make it tough…man does that and then keeps many from finding the truth.
      All the best,
      John

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