Today we are remembering the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. We will be considering the convergence of all things in the Father, coming to Him through the Son, and enabled to do this by the Spirit. But though this must be our central focus, coming to the Father, we do not want to let this true scriptural emphasis become a superstition for us. Stephen addressed Jesus when he was dying—“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59). And if we invoke the presence of the Spirit now, we do so only because we want Him to fulfill His vocation, which is that of glorifying the one who brings sinners to His Father.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:13–15).
Summary of the Text
Jesus had many things to tell His disciples, but He knew that they were not up to it yet (John 16:12). But the Spirit will come, and He is called the Spirit of truth, and it is not surprising that He will guide them into “all truth” (v. 13). The Spirit will originate nothing on His own. He will not speak “of himself” (v. 13). Whatever He hears, that is what He will speak, and that is how He will reveal to the disciples what is to come (v. 13). This will glorify Jesus, because the Spirit will receive what He says from Jesus (v. 14). Then He will show it to the disciples. Everything the Father has is also Christ’s, and everything that Christ has will be passed on by the Spirit (v. 15).
As we have considered this topic in the past, we have noted that the Son’s mission is to bring us to the Father. He teaches us to pray our Father (Matt. 6:9). No man comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6). If we have seen Christ, we have seen the Father (John 14:9). And in a similar way, the Spirit is given in order to bring us to the Son, glorifying Him, so that He might bring us to the Father. So we come to the Father by the Son through the Spirit (Eph. 2:18). The Father is the destination, the Son is the road, and the Spirit is the car. “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36).
The Spirit of All Truth
The Spirit of all truth is necessarily one who wields true authority, true power. And this is why the Scriptures describe Him this way. Jesus spoke with authority, and not like the scribes (Matt. 7:29), and it was because the Spirit was with Him. And the great things He did were because the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” (Luke 4:18).
Jesus therefore had anointed authority to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach opened dungeon doors to the prisoners, to declare the recovery of sight to the blind, and to usher the bruised into liberty. This is a lot of authority; it requires a universal authority.
And at the day of Pentecost, the Lord Jesus shared His authority with His bride. He did this by pouring out His Spirit upon us.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Authority for What?
Our two fundamental duties are to repent and believe, and the Holy Spirit equips us for both.
“But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8). This is a Spirit-given repentance.
The second way is for the Spirit to quicken our faith. “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Gal. 3:2). When the Spirit was given, one of the more visible consequences was that cloven tongues of fire rested on each of their heads. One reasonable interpretation is that this made each of them an altar, with the fire of consecration burning on them. Present your bodies a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2), with a constant fire burning.
When Worship Wrecks Us
There are two ways that worship can wreck us. One is when our fire has gone out, and we go through liturgical motions in the dusty places, with a few broken bottles scattered around. That is when we have lost our first love, and our worship services do more harm than good (1 Cor. 11:17).
But there is another way that worship can wreck us. A really good way.
“When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8). “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:12–13).
The word opened there refers to pulling the neck of the sacrificial animal back, right before you cut its throat. The sword of God’s Spirit cuts up the worshiper, and God carefully arranges the pieces on the altar. And then it is that we ascend into Heaven in a column of smoke.