Lent – Day 18: Tuesday, 9 March
12 ‘I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.’
I wonder what the ‘much more to say’ in verse 12 was! Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to his disciples. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all that Jesus was promising was meant for the disciples only. Some Christian groups have argued that the Holy Spirit is not needed today. He had, according to their view, become redundant after the ‘establishment’ of the Church (quite what that means and when it happened is beyond me), but a Church that does not rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance is far from what she is called to be.
Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit, who has guided Jesus in his earthly life, will no longer work on his own authority, but on that of Christ Jesus (who, as we saw earlier, speaks only the words of authority from Father God!). He will glorify Jesus in relating to the Church what Jesus is saying. See Revelation 2:7
When I refer to the Church, more often than not I mean the intimate fellowship of people who meet together to pray and worship. We are the Church (capital C) to our neighbourhood. Our church may be part of a larger grouping or denomination, such as the CofE or the Baptist Union, and some denominations are more hierarchical than others, but when we look at the churches the apostle Paul set up they were independent fellowships that welcomed visiting preachers and teachers.
Does what Jesus say here apply to my church fellowship?
Are there aspects of church life that need an umbrella body for advice or governance?
Father God, I pray that in my church fellowship you will awaken a desire to see the Holy Spirit working in us and amongst us. We need your Holy Spirit to guide us and reveal to us the glory of our Lord Jesus. Send him to us now, I pray. Amen.