Tuesday in the Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

John 15:26-27; 16:4-15

Why He Is Called the Spirit of Truth

There is so much theology in this passage about the Holy Spirit.  I have covered some of this before in other places.  Understand, Jesus had more to say, but the disciples could not then bear it.  Enter the Spirit of Truth.

This is one of several places in which the Spirit is called, “the Spirit of Truth” (14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 1 John 4:6).  This truth speaks to his person or who he is in and of himself, and also to what he imparts, meaning that he imparts truth.  He will not mislead us; he always guides us into all the truth.  Now why is this?  Why is it that the Holy Spirit only guides us into truth?  Knowing that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune God might render such a question superfluous: Of course, he leads us into all truth; he is God.  But the passage tells us that the Spirit of Truth leads us into all truth because he speaks not on his own authority but what he hears he speaks.  And what does he hear?  Jesus answers, “He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you.  All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”  All of this is to say that the Holy Spirit speaks the words of Jesus which are the words of the Father.  Of course, the Holy Spirit would never lie.  But there is a divine order to things in the economy (the way things are done) of the Trinity.  All matters begin with the Father who sends, all matters are mediated through the Son who is sent by the Father, and all matters are applied by the Spirit who is sent by the Father and the Son.  The Holy Spirit then convicts and convinces people of the righteousness of Christ who then presents them to the Father.  Thus, the economy has an order that works both ways which manifests the mystery and integrity (if you will) of the process, not that God needs to prove His integrity, but we are expounding upon why the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth: Truth is conveyed through the order of the persons.

Jesus tells his disciples that he must go so that the Holy Spirit may come.  Again, this is the order in which the Triune God works things: Father then Son then Holy Spirit.  And when the Spirit comes he will convict the world of sin (not believing in Christ), righteousness (the righteousness that Christ bestows through saving faith, which the world has rejected), and judgment (Satan and his hosts are now defeated and await final judgment).  These aren’t gracious words; these are words of judgment upon an unbelieving, wicked, condemned world, a world that hates Christ and his people (John 3:17-18; 15:18).  And though the world teeters and totters and will soon fade away, he has promised that he has prepared a place for us (John 14:2).

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