The Holy Spirit in the 4th Gospel

“For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit…”

In John 4:23-24 Jesus talks about the importance of spiritual worship, as opposed, no doubt, to slavish adherence to a set of rules like the Law. The Spirit enables to believer to keep the Law “naturally,” or, must we say, “spiritually.” He says:

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

In John 6:63 Jesus affirms the importance of his words. He says:

“It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

In John 7:39 we learn that the Holy Spirit was not given to the disciples until after the death, resurrection and glorification of Jesus. The Holy Spirit can also be called “the Spirit of Jesus” or “the Spirit of Christ.” Jesus had to “fix the content of the Spirit” by his own life. The Holy Spirit produces Christ-like behavior.

Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

In John 14 and 15 Jesus speaks about “another Counselor” who will come to the disciples in his absence. He is the first, the Holy Spirit is “another.”

Jesus told the Truth from God. The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Truth.”

“….even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. “

14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. ”

“John 15:26 But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me…”

“16:13 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.”

In John 20:22 it is the risen and glorified Christ who acts to bestow the Holy Spirit upon his disciples:

“And when (Jesus) had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”

John also speaks of Jesus spirit as a life force. He can be troubled in spirit, little “s”, as can we. When from the cross he says, “It is finished,” he then breathes his last and give us his spirit, little “s,” meaning his life.

I hope this little word study has been instructive for you. If I were you, I would continue it in the epistles of John, 1, 2 and 3.

The Pastor

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