Scripture: John 16:12-15
12 "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.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. 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.
Meditation: Are you hungry for truth? Jesus proclaimed that he is the Truth, the Way, and the Life (John 14:6). Truth is not something we create nor is it our discovery. It is the gift of God who is the possessor and giver of all truth. Jesus tells his disciples that it is the role of the Holy Spirit to reveal what is true, right, and good. How can this be? Many skeptics of truth don't want to believe in an absolute, objective, and unchanging Truth. If truth is objective then it must be asserted to as trustworthy and right and be submitted to as authoritative and binding. Some fear the truth because they think it will inhibit their freedom to act, think, and judge as they wish. Jesus told his disciples that the truth will set you free (John 8:32). The truth liberates us from whatever is false, misleading, doubtful, or deceptive. In God there is no lie or falsehood since he is is utterly true, righteousness, just, and good. Since he is the author and source of all that is true, then the closer we draw near to him in order to listen to his word and understand his mind and will for us, the more we will grow in the knowledge of God and of his great love, wisdom, and provision for us.
The Spirit of truth
Jesus told his disciples that he would send them the Spirit of truth who will guide you into all the truth ..and declare to you the things that are to come (John 16:13). Jesus knew that his disciples could not fully understand on their own everything he had taught and revealed to them while he was physically present with them. He knew that they would need the ongoing guidance and help of the Holy Spirit after he returned to his Father in heaven. That is why he assured them that the Holy Spirit would take what he had spoken to them and guide them in a stronger and fuller understanding of how to live according his word in their daily lives.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) explains the progressive work of the Spirit in guiding the disciples of Jesus in all the truth:
"Accordingly, when he says, 'He will teach you all truth' or 'will guide you into all truth,' I do not think the fulfillment is possible in anyone's mind in this present life. For who is there, while living in this corruptible and soul-oppressing body (Wisdom 9:15), that can know all truth when even the apostle says, 'We know in part'? But it is effected by the Holy Spirit, of whom we have now received the promise (2 Corinthians 1:21), that we shall attain also to the actual fullness of knowledge that the same apostle references when he says, 'But then face to face' and 'Now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known' (1 Corinthians 13:12). He is not talking about something he knows fully in this life but about something that would still be in the future when he would attain that perfection. This is what the Lord promised us through the love of the Spirit, when he said, 'He will teach you all truth' or 'will guide you unto all truth.'" (TRACTATES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 96.4)On the day of Pentecost after the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the first disciples of Jesus, the apostles boldly began to carry out the mission Jesus had entrusted to them - to proclaim the truth of the Gospel and to make disciples [followers of Jesus] of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).
Today, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we, too, proclaim the same ancient faith which the apostles taught - that Jesus died, and was buried, and rose again on the third day, and will come again to judge, raise the dead, and give everlasting life (from the Apostles Creed). We not only share the same faith which was given to the apostles, we also have the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. The Lord Jesus gives each of us his Holy Spirit as our divine Teacher and Helper that we may grow in the knowledge, wisdom, and strength of God. Do you listen attentively to God's word and allow his Holy Spirit to give you understanding of God's truth and will for your life?
"Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and guide me in your way of life, truth, and goodness. Free me from ignorance of your truth, and from deception and moral blindness caused by sinful pride and rebellion. May I love you with all of my mind, strength, and will and seek to please you in all things."
1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth
12 Young men and maidens together, old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The Spirit makes Christ known, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"He [the Holy Spirit] will make me clearly known by pouring love
into the hearts of believers and making them spiritual and thus
able to see that the Son whom they had known before only according
to the flesh - and who they thought was only a man like themselves
- was equal to the Father. Or at least, when his love filled them
with boldness and cast out fear, they would proclaim Christ to men
and women, and in this way they would spread Christís fame
throughout the whole world... For what they were going to do in
the power of the Holy Spirit, this the Holy Spirit says he does
himself." (excerpt from TRACTATES ON THE
GOSPEL OF JOHN 100.1)
quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius
Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the
Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian
Education of the National Council of the Churches of
Christ in the United States of America. Used by
permission. All rights reserved. Citation
references for quotes from the writings of the early
church fathers can be found here.
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