Key passage

“If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it you’re going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me.
“I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me.

John 14:15–30

Quotes from Chapter 13

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper.

John 14:16

The Spirit:

  • Regenerates us (John 3:6–7)
  • Convicts us (John 16:8)
  • Empowers us with gifts (1 Cor. 12:4–7)
  • Testifies in our hearts that we are God’s children (Gal. 4:6)
  • Leads us (Gal. 5:18, 25)
  • Makes us fruitful (Gal. 5:22–23)
  • Grants and nurtures in us resurrection life (Rom. 8:11)
  • Enables us to kill sin (Rom. 8:13)
  • Intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray (Rom. 8:26–27)
  • Guides us into truth (John 16:13)
  • Transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18)

Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again.

John 3:6–7

When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.

John 16:8

Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God produces each gift in each person. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:4–7

And because you are sons, God send the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”

Galatians 4:6

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law… If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:18, 25

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.

Galatians 5:22–23

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.

Romans 8:11

… if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8:13

In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And he who searches the hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:26–27

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears.

John 16:13

We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18

The Spirit causes us to actually feel Christ’s heart for us. The Spirit makes the heart of Christ real to us: not just heard, but seen; not just seen, but felt; not just felt, but enjoyed. The Spirit takes what we read in the Bible and believe on paper about Jesus’ heart and moves it from theory to reality, from doctrine to experience.

In John 14–16 Jesus explains the work of the Spirit as an extension of his own work. And he says that the time in which he himself has left but the Spirit has come is a superior blessing to his people.

But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, “Where are you going?” Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you.

John 16:5–7

The Spirit is the continuation of the heart of Christ for his people after the departure of Jesus to heaven.

Goodwin makes explicit connection between the Holy Spirit and Christ’s heart:

So that you shall have my heart as surely and as speedily as if I were with you; and he will be continually breaking your hearts, either with my love to you, or yours to me, or both… He will tell you, when I am in heaven, that there is as true a conjunction between me and you, and as true a dearness of affection in me towards you, as is between my Father and me, and that it is as impossible to break this knot, and to take off my heart from you, as my Father’s from me.1

Thomas Goodwin

The Spirit will never fan the flames of the felt love of Christ beyond the degree to which Christ actually loves us; that is impossible. The Spirit causes our apprehension of Christ’s heartful love to soar closer to what it actually is.

Jesus said that he is “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29). That is a beautiful statement, and even without the Spirit one could respect and even marvel at it. But the Spirit takes those words of Christ’s and interiorizes them at the level of personal individuality.

Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God.

1 Corinthians 2:12

The Spirit has been given to us in order that we might know, way down deep, the endless grace of the heart of God.

The Spirit loves nothing more than to awaken and calm and soothe us with the heart knowledge of what we have been graced with.

“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going.”
“Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?”
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

“Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father and that’s enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time and you do not know me, Philip? The one who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who lives in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves.

“Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

“If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.”
Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it you’re going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me.
“I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me. On the contrary, so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do as the Father commanded me.
“Get up; let’s leave this place.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
“I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
“This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
“This is what I command you: Love one another.

“If the world hates you, understand that it hated me before it hates you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they don’t know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But this happened so that the statement written in their law might be fulfilled: They hated me for no reason.

When the Counselor comes, the one I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—he will testify about me. You will also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God. They will do these things because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told them to you. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.

“A little while and you will no longer see me; again a little while and you will see me.”
Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this he’s telling us: ‘A little while and you will not see me; again a little while and you will see me’ and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” They said, “What is this he is saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what he’s talking about.”
Jesus knew they wanted to ask him, and so he said to them, “Are you asking one another about what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see me; again a little while and you will see me’? Truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her time has come. But when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy that a person has been born into the world. So you also have sorrow no. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy from you.
“In that day you will not ask me anything. Truly I tell you, anything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

“I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I am not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
His disciples said, “Look, now you’re speaking plainly and not using any figurative language. Now we know that you know everything and don’t need anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus responded to them, “Do you now believe? Indeed, an hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to how own home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

John 14–16

  1. Thomas Goodwin, The Heart of Christ (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2011), 19–20.

Questions

  • What is the role and work of the Holy Spirit?
  • What does the Holy Spirit do for us in regards to the heart of Christ?
  • Read John 14–16. Why did the Spirit need to come?
  • Does the Spirit increase Christ’s actual love for us?
  • Why was the Holy Spirit given to us?
  • How does the Holy Spirit connect you to Christ?
  • Describe the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. How do you know the Spirit is at work in you?

This article is adapted from: Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund and Gentle and Lowly Study Guide by Robert Zink.