Love and the Holy Spirit

Reading Time: 9 Minutes

John 14.15-24“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

21 “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”

23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.”

An AA Sponsor, A Coach and A Counselor

Jesus makes his message of love very simple and plain. To make sure we don’t miss what he is saying, I have listed the “love” verses in this section.

John 14.15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

John 14.21“They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

John 14.23“Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

John 14.24“Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.”

Why don’t we try to hear Jesus message about love and obedience through the voice of an AA sponsor, a coach or a counselor? They may put it like this.

AA Sponsor to his Sponsee – “You know that I love you, but nothing changes if nothing changes. I am here to help you to take contrary action. Let’s work together for you to resist your impulses to sabotage your sobriety. I want to help you live in a way that you wouldn’t choose without the accountability of a sponsor. You may think I am out to spoil your life, but I am actually here to help you save your life.”

Coach to her Team – “You may hate the drills that we did today in practice. I love you all and I know you want to win the championship. My job is to make you do what you don’t want to do, so you can get what you have always wanted to achieve.”

Counselor to a Client – “I think you know I have your best interests in mind. I am asking you to change your thinking and your behavior. I know it is very hard for you to change long established patterns of thinking and acting. However, if you begin thinking and behaving in a different manner, you will notice that issues that trouble you will start to go away.”

Jesus to Us – “You know I love you (John 3.16). I have not given you commandments to weigh you down with tasks too difficult to bear. Every time I command you to do something, it is an opportunity for you to experience the kind of life you have always wanted. Take steps in the direction of following my directions and see what it does for your life.”

I encourage you to see keeping the commandments of Jesus as an opportunity. As he loves you and as you love him, follow his directions and see how your love-relationship with him grows.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Jesus began the discussion of the Holy Spirit with his disciples in this chapter. We will find more passages that deal with the Holy Spirit as we continue to read the Gospel of John.

In the times when Old Testament was written, people knew of the work of the Holy Spirit. The knew that Spirit came upon people for a specific task. At this time, the Spirit was not available for everyone, but was only for people with special services to perform for God. Here are four examples of the Spirit coming on people for a specific purpose.

Exodus 31.3 – The Spirit came upon a man to give him wisdom to make certain articles for the Tabernacle.

Judges 6.34 – The Spirit came upon Gideon and gave him directions to defeat their enemies.

Judges 14.6 – The Spirit came upon Sampson and he had mighty power to defeat the enemies of Israel.

Ezekiel 2.2 – The Spirit entered Ezekiel and he spoke the word of God.

God promised through the prophets that one day, the Holy Spirit would come on every person and remain as a life-changing part of their lives.

Joel 2.28-29
“Then afterward
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

John the Baptist linked the coming of the Holy Spirit to the ministry of Jesus.

John 1.33-34“I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Note, to be baptized literally means to be “immersed.” The Spirit comes on all people to immerse them in the life of the Holy Spirit. Remember that thought as you read what Jesus said concerning the Spirit in the next verses.

The time has come to fulfill the prophesies about the Spirit.

John 14.16-17“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

The Greek term Jesus uses for the Holy Spirit is, “paraclete.” This word has been translated many different ways in an attempt to explore the full meaning. He is our Advocate, Counselor, Comforter, Helper, True Friend – all of these and more.

Paraclete literally means “called alongside to help.” “Everything Jesus was to his disciples, the Holy Spirit is to people today,” is a definition from Eduard Schweitzer that I particularly like.

Schweitzer’s definition is true, but Jesus improves upon it when he says, “he abides with you, and he will be in you” (verse 17). Jesus walked beside his followers, but now the Holy Spirit lives within us.

We are not orphans.

John 14.18-20“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”

An orphan is someone who has a memory of a parent and a hope of one day being reunited with the parent in heaven. The orphan does not have a present day experience of being held, loved, or directed by a parent.

Jesus does not leave people with a memory of his life and ministry on earth and a longing to be with him in heaven. Jesus comes to us through the Holy Spirit. We actually live life with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, and more. Jesus says that by the Spirit we are “in Jesus,” and he is in us (verse 20).

Coach Jake Taylor is currently preaching through the book of Ephesians. I hope readers of real-voices.com will read and re-read Ephesians. Every time you see the words, “in Christ,” remember Jesus’ promise. Through the Spirit he is in us and we are in him. Praise God!

Your Turn

In Romans, Paul declares, “. . . if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Romans 8.9). The day you invited Jesus to be your Savior, God did something totally amazing. He came into your life. Ezekiel describes what God does for people through the Spirit with these words.

Ezekiel 36.26“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Ezekiel 37.14“I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life . . .”

God takes out our hard, willful, heart that seeks its own way in everything. He replaces it with his Spirit and brings us to life. This is the power behind our ability to give to Jesus the loving obedience he invites us to do.

One of my great joys is to see on a regular basis people who are transformed from self-centered, self-seeking people into lovers of God and others through the work of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s Prayer

Dear Father, Son and Holy Spirit – What can we say? You are absolutely perfect in every way. You love us and draw us into your love. You are willing to place your holy Presence within our broken lives, so that you can give us the life we have always longed for. We receive your gift of love and grace. We praise your greatness!

2 Comments

  1. Thank You, Father for Your Son and Holy Spirit. Create in me a new heart, oh God. Is there an area in my life that I leave You out of, Lord? Show me. Cleanse my heart. I bask in the fellowship of Your love. Indeed, it is YOU who completes me. Thank You for Bob and his writing as You use it to touch hearts and lives, including my own. Amen

    Liked by 2 people

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