Reflection on John 16:1-15

Scripture

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

Observation

Jesus warns that His disciples will be expelled from the synagogues, and that those who kill them will think they are doing a holy service for God.

When Jesus is taken away from them, He will send them an Advocate , a helper. He will convict the world about sin, about God’s righteousness and about the coming judgement.

When the Spirit comes, He will guide them into all truth. He will speak what He has heard from the Father, and He will glorify Jesus.

Application

Some people read this verse, and others like it, and they assume that it means that they don’t need anyone else to teach them how to follow Jesus.

The problem is that, without other people to help us and direct us, we soon lose sight of where the Spirit might be leading us. It becomes easy to assume that every thought that sounds “spiritual” must be from the Holy Spirit.

Our revelations need to be checked against Scripture to see whether or not they conform to what God has already said. Any revelation that contradicts the Bible is not from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus here is talking to a group of people- His disciples. It is possible for a group to be led astray by a charismatic leader, but it is less likely than a single believer being deceived. In a group, we can hear the Word of God being applied and we can check “truth” against Truth.

We need each other in order to stay on the right track.

Prayer

Thank you, Holy Spirit, that you lead me in your ways of righteousness. May I never mistake wishful thinking for your holy ways. Amen.

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