- Religion and Philosophy
John's Gospel-a new look no.27 The work of the Holy Spirit
God with you and in you
John 16:7- The sending of the Holy Spirit.
As Jesus continues to prepare his disciples he now explains to them why he has to leave. To them his work had just begun and so why does he speak about going away? Confusion reigns in their hearts and minds and so further explanation is needed. (Vs.18 “we don’t understand what he is saying”.)(N.I.V)
To set up the Kingdom/Church that is universal the work has to be spread and guided into every part of the world. This means that Jesus who limited himself when he took on human form by time and space needed to return to his Father in order to send the Holy Spirit who is limited by neither time nor space.
Looking back with the full revelation of God we can understand that easier. Jesus is to send out his disciples into the whole world with the message of salvation. At the same time he promises to “be with you until the end of the age”. (Mt. 28:18/19) The believer who hears the message, believes and is baptized receives the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) Now the universal Kingdom/Church can function as God planned it. Jesus says that the Holy Spirit when it comes “will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (Jn.16:8)
The Apostle Paul refers to believers as the temple of the Holy Spirit and so God lives in them and is with them. (2 Cor.6:16) “. “Do you not know that your-selves are God’s temple and that God lives in you?” (1 Cor.3:16)
Back in John16:27 uses the Greek word “phileo” to describe God’s love towards those “who loved Jesus and believed that he came from God”. Elsewhere in the New Testament God’s love is described as “agape.” Here John uses the word for a more intimate friendship type of love that signifies a close relationship. He loves the world “agape” (John 3:15,16) but he loves his followers “phileo”. He loves up so much that he chooses to with us all the time. This is the miracle of the Holy Spirit and its work, God in us and with us.
(All quotations from N.I.V. Translation)