Work of the Holy Spirit

As long as Jesus had been with his disciples, the full force of people’s opposition had been directed at him, not at them. Now that he was about to leave them, he warned them that this hatred would be turned on them (John 16:1-4). However, because of their grief concerning his coming departure, they scarcely understood his warning. Nor could they see the joy that lay before him in being reunited with his Father (John 16:5-6).

When Jesus departed, the Holy Spirit would come to take Jesus’ place with his disciples, to defend them and accuse their opponents. He would show the world to be wrong in three things in particular – sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-8). He would show that sin is the cause of unbelief in Jesus; that Jesus’ death is the way to God, a fact that is proved by his resurrection and ascension; and that judgment on sinners is certain because Satan has been conquered by Jesus’ death (John 16:9-11).

Jesus could tell his disciples no more at that time, as they were too grief-stricken to take it in. After he left them, the Holy Spirit would instruct them further and help them to understand. The teaching of the Spirit would not be something new, but a development of the teaching they had already heard from Jesus. It would concern both the present and the future (John 16:12-15).

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