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Meet the Holy Spirit

John 16:13



If you knew you were going to die in 24 hours, what would you talk about with your loved ones?  Chances are, it wouldn't be about trivial things like the weather or 'that look' someone gave you at the store.  No, you would spend quality time talking about the things truly important in life. 


ill.--Henry was on his deathbed, with his wife, Henrietta, by his side.  Henry said, "Dear, do you remember when the tornado came early in our marriage and took out our barn and nearly our house?  You were right there by my side.  And then when the house caught fire / and when all the cattle caught that terrible disease and died / bank foreclosed on us ... you were right there by my side!  And now I lay a dying, and here you are right by my side just like in all those other times."  She replied, "Yes, and I'm not leaving."  He said, "Henrietta, I want you to know.  I think you are a terrible jinx!"


In our text Jesus is living His final hours before the cross, and He is saying to His disciples that which is most important.  And one of the primary themes we find now is the Holy Spirit ... the One Jesus is leaving behind in His stead after His work on earth is done. 


What do you think of when I say Holy Spirit?  Many see the Father and the Son as God, and coequal, but the Spirit as some lesser form, invisible, and not as real.  Some see the Spirit like an errand-boy, sent to do God's bidding.  Truth is, the Holy Spirit is God!


Symbols of the Holy Spirit:

1.     Water - John 3:5, 7:38,39 John 3:5

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 7:38

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:39

39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)


  • Fertilizes - nothing grows without water.  Psalm 1:3 says we are to be like trees planted by the rivers of water.

Psalm 1:3
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

  • Refreshes - John 4:14 - "drink of the living water and never thirst again!"

John 4:14
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

When truly thirsty what we really need is water.  Not soda, not milk, not coffee, not even Gatorade.  This world tries all kinds of fancy things to satisfy it, when what they truly need is God.

  • Cleanses - I take regular baths...every Saturday!  Just as you bathe with water, and add water to the toothpaste on your toothbrush, Eph. 5:26 says the Spirit cleanses us with the water of the Word...a daily spiritual cleansing.

Ephesians 5:26
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

  • Fills - water is abundant, and can never be destroyed - 2/3rd's of the earth is covered with water.  John 7 says out of your belly shall flow rivers of water.  There's plenty of the Spirit to go around, and He will fill anyone who wants to be filled.


2.     Fire - Matt. 3:11


  • Illuminates - I Cor. 2:10 says the Spirit searches for and reveals deep truth...shining the light into the darkness so we can see the big reveal! 

1 Corinthians 2:10
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

  • Ignites - combustion engines need a spark plug.

John 5:35
He was a burning and a shining light:

What greater compliment can be paid to you than for someone to say you are on fire for God!

  • Purifies - gold or silver is placed on the fire to bring out the dross and make it more pure and thus, more valuable. 

Malachi 3:2-3
2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

  • Spreads - with just one carelessly thrown match entire forest fires consume many acres and homes.  At the beginning of Acts 2 there were 120 people on fire for God, and at the end of the chapter, by the close of that same day, there were 3,120!  Fire spreads!

3.     Wind - John 3:8

"blows where it listeth [wants to]"

  • Powerful - tornadoes/hurricanes.  In Acts 2 it was the wind of the Spirit that blew thru the early church!
  • Essential - the earth's ecology is dependant upon wind.

John 15:5
...without me ye can do nothing.

  • Invisible - you can't take a picture of the wind, only its effects.  We can't see the Spirit of God, but we can certainly see His effects in our lives, and in how He saves and changes others.

4.     Voice - Matt. 10:20

  • Speaks - our text, v. 13, says what He speaks about.  We don't hear Him audibly, but in the still small voice of the heart.  "God spoke to my heart" when I got saved, and when He called me to preach, and a million other times over the years!
  • Warns - sometimes the voice that speaks, shouts!  When someone is about to get hit by a car in the street they can be diverted by the voice of warning of someone who wants better for them!  And much of the Bible is God raising His voice, warning of sin and judgment, and He reminds us by raising the voice of the Spirit within!
  • Guides - Do you like your GPS' voice?  Mine is a lady, telling me to go left, go right, turn around, do a U-turn, merge, bear left, bear right ... it used to be there was only one woman nagging you out on the road!

ill.--in the Bahamas we had a personal guide, a very close friend from college, showing us all around.  Without Him we would have been so lost, and wouldn't have left the shops near the dock.  Instead, we saw beaches, Atlantis, Oprah's house, secret shopping hideaways and restaurants, and the largest Bible preaching church in Nassau, all because we had a personal guide!

        He could have 'told' us how to get around, but that would have ended in an international incident.  We needed to be 'guided'.

The Spirit is our guide!  We don't know what's around the next bend, but He does!

v. 13        'guide'

We could talk more about the Holy Spirit, symbolized by a dove, a notary seal, oil, etc.  Needless to say, He is vital to our lives.  What a powerful, essential ministry He has to us.


I find it interesting that He is never given a proper name.  God the Father has many names, such as Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim, El Shaddai, etc.  We know the name Jesus.

The Spirit is given only titles. 

"Comforter" is not a's a title.  He is also called the Spirit of promise/truth/holiness/grace/glory.

v. 13b      'what He hears, He speaks'

What is this?  What conversations is He hearing?  He is present in the counsels of the Godhead.  From eternal ages of time immemorial, the 3 persons of the Trinity discuss the plan for mankind.

In Gen. 1 God said, "Let us make man in our image."  Who was He speaking to?  The angels?  No, they weren't made in God's image.  This is the communion of the Godhead!

2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

And that same God who stamped His very image upon mankind stamped His very nature upon the entire universe!  It is a trinity, made up on space, matter, and time.

And space is a trinity, with length, width, and height.

Matter has 3 components:  energy, motion, and phenomenon.

Time is past, present, and future.

Man is body, soul, and spirit.  And even within the soul there is a trinity comprised of the heart [with which to feel], the mind [with which to think], and the will [with which to act.]

Back to v. 13 - 'Spirit of truth'

All 3 members of the trinity are associated with truth.

Psalm 31:5
Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

God works thru truth, which can be defined as reality.  The cry of our world today is that there is no such thing as absolute truth...all is relative to how you perceive it.  That's like saying there's no such thing as reality.  2 plus 2 equals 4 not because I want it to, but because that is reality.

God leads us by guiding us [by His Spirit] down the pathway of truth.  Satan tries to lead us into error.  It all started in the Garden of Eden when God said, eat the fruit and you will die, and Satan said, no, you won't die!  Those are opposing statements, and both cannot be true.

ill.--we make a deposit at the bank and we insist on exact truth in dollars and cents.  We go to the pharmacy and insist on exact truth when it comes to which medication we should take.  Then we go to church and say, ah, it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you are sincere!

Somebody is right and somebody is wrong.  We can't all be right!


How can we avoid being led astray?  Our text says the Spirit will guide us into all truth.  Is the Spirit in you?  Ye must be born again of the Spirit!

For the mind, heart, and will - God has given truth.

  • For my mind, God gave me a book to read.

John 17:17
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Every time we are exposed to the Word of God, we are saturating our minds with truth!  This is why we should be faithful to church, and why we should meet with God every day at home.

ill.--the FBI has counterfeit currency experts, and they can spot a forgery immediately.  How?  By studying counterfeit bills?  No, by studying the real thing.

        The best way to separate yourself from error is to saturate yourself with the truth!

  • For my heart, God gave me a Person to love.

Christianity is not just a creed, or a list of rules, it is a vital living, loving relationship with the Person of Jesus! This means that when I spend time with Jesus, I am in the embrace of truth.  When I pray, I am fellowshipping with truth.

We said that truth is reality.  Jesus is truth, so He is the ultimate reality.  This is why the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, because He is the very beginning of truth and reality!  You may know a lot of facts and know a lot of concepts and know all the right people in this world, but until you know Christ, you know nothing!

  • For my will, God gave me a Spirit to which to yield.

v. 13a  When I'm tempted to sin, I can yield my will to His will and suddenly within me I find a power that I knew not before!


By the way, let's have a little balance - The middle of v. 13 says 'he shall not speak of himself', and v. 14 is where Jesus says that the Spirit will glorify Him, Jesus.  I'm suspicious of any church or preacher that gives the Spirit the limelight, and focuses on the Spirit, rather than on Jesus.  Many of them don't even ask if you are saved or born again.  They ask "Have you received the Holy Ghost, evidenced with tongues?"

    The big thing today is trying to have it both ways with tongues.  Many places now, in order to gain a crowd, are moving the tongues out of their services, but keeping it in their doctrinal statements.  It's on their website and, behind the scenes, technically, "Yes, we believe in tongues," but they don't make it so public anymore so they can attract others who usually wouldn't have considered them an option. 

    Well, the Spirit doesn't want the limelight.  But in our circles, we have another problem...not ENOUGH of the Spirit.  If Christians are not walking in the Spirit, then they are not being guided into all truth!


Our text says the Spirit will guide us into all truth.  Is the Spirit in you?  Ye must be born again of the Spirit!

Saturate your mind, your heart, and your will in the Spirit of truth!

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