We keep on mentioning Holy Spirit in our prayers and in our Bible studies. What is really the work of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is invisible. Can we see the work of the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit present in every individual? Let us try to answer those questions. Look at:
John 14:15-18 New King James Version
15 “If you love Me, [a] keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another [b] Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Let us study those verses:
Verse 15: “If you love Me keep my commandments.”
The disciples’ love for Christ is revealed in their obeying Jesus commands. What does it mean to us today?
If we as followers of Jesus claim to love Him, we must obey Jesus commands. But we could not obey Jesus commands by our own human power we need the power of the Holy Spirit in our life to be able to obey Jesus commands.
In this verse (v. 15) Jesus has set the pattern of love and obedience; His disciples are expected to follow. When we keep Jesus commandments, look at this passage:
1 John 3:22, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
The foregoing verse indicates that if you obey God’s commandments whatever you ask (according to God’s will) you receive it.
That verse explains why many times we do not receive what we ask from God is because of our disobedience. If you want God’s blessing you have to obey His commands.
Coming to church regularly is great, but if we do not obey God’s commands we should not expect God’s blessing, we should not expect God’s answer to our prayers.
God is looking for obedience for Him to bless us. You may know so much of the Bible or you may even memorize the Bible if you don’t obey God’s commands you could not expect God’s blessings.
The Devil memorizes the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, does God bless the Devil, of course not because the Devil does not obey.
If you want blessings from God obey His commandments. Practice what you have learned in God’s word – the Bible. The formula for God’s blessing is: OBEDIENCE EQUALS BLESSINGS.
Verses 16-17: And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
The Holy Spirit is to be the helper/counselor, also used in- John 14:26 which says:
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all the things that I said to you.”
This verse, mentions of what the Holy Spirit does as our Helper/Counselor. The Holy Spirit will teach us all things particularly spiritual things, and bring into our memory the things we have learned from the words of God in the Bible.
The writer experienced many times, in his Bible studies and in his sharing the gospel, he encountered questions which were out of the blue, and suddenly it automatically came out in his mind the biblical passages he had learned in the past to answer those questions.
God sent us the Holy Spirit because we cannot understand His words. His level is so high. He is in heaven and we are on earth. Look at –
Isaiah 55:8-9 New King James Version
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
The passage simply means we cannot understand God’s words because God’s level is so high. God is the creator and we are just among His creations. Therefore, our human mind cannot fathom or understand God’s wisdom,
Furthermore, God’s words are not all literally understood, for they are also written in: parables, prophecies, history, proverbs and psalms.
That is why for us to understand God’s words, He sent the Holy Spirit for those who have genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
The primary reason why there are thousands of Christian denominations using the same Bible (66 books), because most people read the Bible according to their own human understanding without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Back to verses 16-17 (in John 14), in a sense, the Holy Spirit has now replaced Jesus’ physical presence. Jesus is the mediator between us – the believers and God. While, the Holy Spirit is in a believer forever, for as long as he/she has genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:9 says, “But you are not in the flesh (sinful nature) but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ (Holy Spirit), he is not His.”
What does it mean, if the Holy Spirit is not in you? It means you are not in Christ. If you are not in Christ, you do not have the fruit of the Holy Spirit look at-
Galatian 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control…”
How do you know the Holy Spirit is working in your life? He is working in your life if you have the fruit of the Holy Spirit in you as above – mentioned. You may feel you have the fruit of the Holy Spirit, but it is not necessarily true.
You need it validated, first and foremost your spouse (husband or wife), second your children, close relatives, and friends. Let your relatives and friends tell you that you are a transformed individual not you telling them that you are transformed.
Without the Holy Spirit in you the work of the flesh (sinful) are evident in your life. Look at –
Galatian 5:19-21, enumerate the work of the flesh.
“Which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, licentiousness, outburst of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like …”
If you have the Holy Spirit in you, you mirror God’s character, without the Holy Spirit in you, your character is opposite to God’s character for your work is the work of the flesh as above – mentioned like: adultery, fornication and etc.
In verse 17 (John 14), the Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Truth. Also look at –
John15:26: Jesus says, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of me.”
What it means – the Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of Truth, would guide the apostles and to faithful believers.
The Holy Spirit is invisible. The world cannot accept the Holy Spirit because the world neither sees Him nor knows Him, yet the Holy Spirit is real and active.
Without a radio, radio waves go unnoticed. Similarly, the unsaved (unbelievers and not committed Christians) who do not have close relationship with Jesus Christ, they do not notice the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our close relationship with Jesus is like a radio, for it wires us to receive messages from the Holy Spirit, by way of spiritual discernment, and by impressing into our minds ideas that God needs us to act.
These are aside from the fruit of the Holy Spirit mentioned earlier.
The disciples who have some experience with the Holy Spirit, through Jesus’ preaching and the miracles Jesus performed.
Why did Jesus say in verse 17, that the Holy Spirit will be (future tense) in them (Jesus disciples)?
Because in the Old Testament times the Holy Spirit came on to some believers for special purpose or missions like the prophets of God, but not available to every believer.
However, after the Pentecost (the time the Holy Spirit came down to earth), the Holy Spirit dwells in every genuine believer permanently as above – mentioned in Romans 8:9. So the Holy Spirit is not available to every individual. but only to genuine believers of Jesus who love Him and keep His commandments.
Verse 18, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
What does Jesus mean when He said, “I will come to you?” Jesus was referring to His resurrection and the Holy Spirit coming at the Pentecost (Acts 2).
In the same verse, Jesus says, I will not leave you orphans. What Jesus is saying, I love you so much that I will not leave you alone. I will be with you until the end of time, through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life.
In summary, the work of the Holy Spirit: He teaches all things particularly spiritual things and He brings to our memory all the things we have learned from the word of God- the Bible;
When we have genuine faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit empowers us to obey God’s commandments that transform us to mirror God’s character, demonstrated by the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
If you want the Holy Spirit will dwell in you as your helper/counselor you have to truly love Jesus (genuine faith in Him). Proof of your love is keeping His commandments. When you do that, you will be blessed, for obedience equals blessings.
Adam Aspilla is an Executive Director of Word Became Flesh Ministries (WBFM) a non-denominational Christian church. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) from University of the East, Manila Philippines, studied law in the same university, and has a Master of Divinity (MDiv.) from Tyndale University & Seminary, in Toronto, Canada. He also operates the Debt Clinic of Canada Inc., and author of the books: “You Can Negotiate All Your Debts” and “51 Frequently Asked Bible Questions.” He also writes a column on “Personal Finance” in this paper. WBFM is at 1180 Unit 1 Mid-Way Blvd. Mississauga ON. Website: www. wbfmfamily.com and Telephone:905-565-8934.