Now we come to the convincing agent Who makes every religion and religious system completely obsolete: The Holy Spirit.
Certainly, there had been much written of the role of God’s Holy Spirit in the Old Testament; indeed, from the very beginning of beginnings – the Book of Genesis.
But now Jesus pulls back the Divine curtain for His friends to see. And ever more it shall remain. Those who choose to come to Jesus – and to follow Him, (the friends of Jesus,) shall have Divine revelation in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
(Some who have religious systems of very intricate human design have described the Holy Spirit as a ‘force,’ or as some sort of mystical apparition. (Ever heard the phrase, “May the force be with you?”) This is a ‘New Age’ expression of this thinking.)
Jesus here describes the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Godhead, with all the attributes of Personality present in God and in Christ. That Jesus describes the Holy Spirit with the attributes of personality is not new, but the depth of His description of the work of the Person of Holy Spirit in the world is.
We find – while also thinking of the disciples hearing this with Jesus in their physical presence – that Jesus speaks to them about the needfulness of His leaving. We now know this is mostly for us, for our sakes. (If Jesus had not gone away, and His Holy Spirit had not come, none of us would be saved. His apostles would have been, but not us.)
I can almost literally sense the disappointment His apostles sensed at His talk of “going away,” can’t you? (Hey, I get that sense every time I have been reading through the Gospels and come to the end of Acts, Chapter 1, realizing I am no longer going to be reading the words of Christ, and am moving on into the rest of the New Testament.)
But I also know what follows in the New Testament is the WORK or ‘Acts’ of the Holy Spirit. This puts me in the same place the apostles found themselves. Jesus is no longer physically present, and so we become completely dependent on His Holy Spirit.
This is to our great advantage – as now we may ALL be convicted by the Holy Spirit. It is by the conviction of the Holy Spirit we become convinced of the ministry of Jesus Christ.