Jesus and the Spirit – Gospel in Life

Jesus and the Spirit

Tim Keller |  April 19, 1998

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  • Glorification
  • Fruit of the Spirit
  • The Holy Spirit
John 16:7-16
RS 91-1


When sharing the Christian faith with others that don’t believe, sometimes there are people who want to believe, but are just too overwhelmed by it. They see the beauty of what the Christian life is supposed to be, and they say, “I could never do it. It’s just beyond me.”

This is the kind of situation that Jesus addresses in today’s passage from John 16. Jesus speaks to his disciples the night before he dies, right before he leaves them. In his last words to them, he maps out the kind of life he wants them to live and they are presumably overwhelmed. It’s not something that they have to do alone though. Jesus says that he will send a counselor, which is the Holy Spirit. We’re going to look at four things in regard to this counselor: the power, the goal, the method, and the results.

John 16:7–16

In John 16, Jesus talks to his disciples about having faith, even when it’s tough. He tells them that they don’t have to do this on their own; the Holy Spirit is there to guide them, help them understand the truth, and shape their characters to be more like Jesus. This is the power source needed to live a Christian life.

1. The power of the Counselor

Jesus tells his disciples that it’s actually a good thing he’s leaving, which might sound strange. But he’s saying that when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, He gives us the power to live beyond what we can do on our own. This power is stronger than anything the world can offer, making it possible to live the amazing life Jesus invites us into.

2. The goal of the Counselor

The Holy Spirit, also called the Counselor, helps us to understand and really get to know who Jesus is. The original word for Counselor actually means someone who’s there to help and reveal the truth. True change and a real spiritual life don’t just come from knowing about God, but from understanding who God is. This understanding grows when we hang out with other Christians, participate in church activities, and spend time talking to God.

3. The method of the Counselor

There are different ways people try to understand themselves, but the best way to truly know who we are is through Jesus. Being real and honest is important in relationships, because pretending can get in the way of love. One of the special things about Christianity is that God is real and present. Getting to know God through Jesus helps us become more loving, confident, brave, selfless, wise, and noble.

4. The results

The Holy Spirit changes our hearts by helping us see our need for Jesus and by drawing us closer to Him. As we learn more about the Holy Spirit’s work, we’ll see these qualities in Jesus. Being a Christian isn’t about trying harder, it’s about letting the Holy Spirit change us. When we understand what He’s trying to do and how He works, we can tap into the power He offers.



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