THE TESTIMONY WITHIN
"'When the Advocate comes, whom I will sent to you from the Father -- the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father -- He will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.'" John 15:26-27 NIV.
The Holy Spirit, beautiful, gentle, powerful, mysterious, third Person of the Trinity, How was Jesus to explain Him to His disciples?
He would gently lead them into a new realm that they could only know and understand by experience. Although the Holy Spirit has many titles and functions, Jesus chose to call Him the Spirit of truth because truth is what sums up everything that He is and does.
He is not the Spirit of spiritual "goose bumps" or the Spirit of spiritual gifts or even the Spirit of out-of-this-world experiences like being "slain" in the Spirit or being sprinkled with gold dust or travelling "in the Spirit" to other realms. He is the Spirit of truth.
Truth, above everything else, characterises the three-in-one God who calls human beings to worship Him "in spirit and in truth". Pilate asked Jesus, 'What is truth?' not because he wanted to know but because he cynically dismissed truth as too mysterious and elusive to know. But the Bible gives us the answer -- God is truth. Everything He is, says and does is the truth and truth is the essence of who He is in His three-in-one being.
Jesus often began an important teaching with the declaration, 'I tell you the truth...!' Not because everything else He said was not true but because of the importance of the truth He was about to communicate.
The Holy Spirit's primary role and the one for which He was sent to indwell believers is to reveal Jesus to the inner being so that His followers can be true witnesses to who He is. It was impossible, at that stage, for the disciples to know everything there was to know about their Messiah. Their minds were still closed to many things, their understanding darkened by prejudice, religion and often stubborn resistance to the truth.
It would take the powerful witness of the Holy Spirit within them to awaken a new perception of their Messiah and a broader perspective of the life they were called to live "in Him". All the other functions of the Holy Spirit have to fall into place within the scope of truth.
What is the truth that should govern the outflow of our lives as disciples of Jesus? The Apostle Paul called the Holy Spirit the one who "brought about your adoption to sonship" (Romans 8:15b NIV). Until we deal with the issues in our personal lives that block our understanding and experience of God as our true Father, our unfinished business with our earthly fathers, we will never enter into the fullness of Jesus' life as sons and daughters of God.
Jesus came to reveal the Father and to reconcile us to the Father so that we might receive the life that permits us to be sons and daughters in fellowship with the Father, just like He was. His final audible plea to the Father before He left them was that the Father and His disciples, present and future, would be one just as He and the Father were one.
""My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you sent me...I in you and you in me -- so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them as you have loved me." John 17:20-21; 23 NIV.
It is not tongues, or gifts, or goose bumps that unites us but the power of the Holy Spirit, the truth He reveals about our Messiah and the faith we have in Him that binds our hearts into one.
"Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 5:11-13 NIV.
In that unity, created by the Holy Spirit who reveals the truth that we are to treasure and guard because through our unity in Christ, we testify to the truth about Jesus to the world as the Holy Spirit testifies to the truth about Jesus in us.
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