In John 14 Jesus promises us the coming Holy Spirit. In John 15 Jesus tells us to abide in him. In John 16 Jesus returns to the coming Holy Spirit.
John 16:7. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
Having the Spirit is better than having the physical presence of Jesus. Why? Because by the Spirit, we all can have the indwelling life of Jesus, which transforms us into the likeness of Jesus from the inside out. Without it we are doomed to a life of chasing things to fill us up inside.
John 16:13-15. 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. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
The Spirit fills us with the truth of Jesus. John 16:13 could be translated -“he will guide you by means of the truth.” In other words the Spirit guides us by means of Christ and his indwelling life. Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). The Spirit gives us the life of Jesus, and this is a life of truth. But what is the truth?
Or better yet, WHO is the truth? It is the truth of who Jesus is that guides our lives. Jesus is reality. He is true goodness. True love. True righteousness. He is not a theory or a guess. He is the true Logos. And he is true forever.
This is how we must see the Spirit’s ministry. It is not more or less than a ministering of the life of Jesus to our lives. Notice in verse 14 “He will glorify me.” The Spirit never glorifies the Spirit. He only ever glorifies the Son, just as the Son glorifies the Father.
How does the Spirit glorify the Son? Look at verse 14 again- “He will take what is mine [the life, ministry, death, resurrection, glorification] and declare it to us” in our own spirit by our union with the Holy Spirit. And we complete this as the Spirit indwelt community. We declare the life and work of Christ to each other and thus minister it within our spirits to each other. This is WORD ministry, or Gospel ministry- declaring the gospel to each other, so as to receive grace and release the Spirit in our lives.
How can Jesus let the Spirit glorify him without being an egocentric glory hound? Look at verse 15. Everything Jesus has he received from the Father. He lived dependent upon the Father. When the Spirit takes what is Jesus’ and declares it to you, he is really declaring the Father to us. So Jesus’ sending of the Spirit to glorify himself is really a glorification of the Father.
Have you been looking for the Holy Spirit to do something for you other than reveal the life of Jesus to you? Are you asking him for a glory beyond that of Christ’s? A glory that comes from some sort of super spirituality rather than through the fellowship of Christ’s dependency and suffering? Do you live your life for your own glory? Or like Christ, do you live for the glory of God? “To live is Christ” is to live from the truth of Christ- the truth that even he lived for the glory of God not himself. That’s real life.