In Jesus’ last extended teaching to His disciples before His arrest and crucifixion, He emphasized the role that the Holy Spirit would have in their lives once He left the earth (John 14-17). The Holy Spirit would make Jesus and the Father intimately present to faithful disciples (John 14:15-21). The Holy Spirit will bring glory to Jesus by taking what is of Jesus and making it known to His faithful followers (John 16:14,15).
The Holy Spirit will also have a crucial role in relation to the world. He will convict the world of sin, righteousness and the judgment to come (John 16:7-11). He will bear witness to the righteous Savior and people’s need of the salvation He provides. The Holy Spirit will carry out this ministry through the witness of faithful disciples of Jesus (John 15:26,27).
Not only was the ministry of the Holy Spirit featured in Jesus’ last extended teaching before His arrest and crucifixion, but He also emphasized the ministry of the Holy Spirit after He rose from the dead and just before His ascension. In Acts 1:8, Jesus declares to His disciples: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” It is hard to overestimate the role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life and ministry.
Even though Jesus was the Son of God, fully God and fully man, He is seen in His earthly ministry to be totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. For example, His earthly ministry did not begin until He was baptized and the Holy Spirit came upon Him (see Mathew 3:16,17 & Luke 3:21-23 and what immediately follows in these 2 Gospels). Also, take note of these words of Luke in Acts 1:1,2 – “In my former book (i.e. the Gospel of Luke), Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach, until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen” (Acts 1:1,2). Jesus’s teaching was Spirit-inspired.
If Jesus’ teaching and His own example placed such great emphasis on the role of the Holy Spirit, how much more do we need to consciously and intentionally cultivate an on-going and intimate relationship with the indwelling Spirit of God. He is a part of the triune Godhead who makes the Son and the Father real to us. He is the one who manifests the character of Christ in us (Gal. 5:22,23) and who empowers our witness in this world (Acts 1:8). Let us not treat the Holy Spirit as a stranger. But let us yield to Him in conscious dependence every minute of our lives. This too is part of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pastor John