The Holy Spirit

John 16:12-13 (NIV): “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”

John 21:25 (NIV): “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

Jesus says in John 16:12-13 that He still has many things to tell us, but we can’t handle them now. However, the Holy Spirit will take us by the hand and guide us into all the truth there is. One of the things I always pray for is that God will show me the path that He had chosen for me. The Holy Spirit will not draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and what has happened, indeed, out of all that Jesus has done and said, the Holy Spirit will help make sense of it.

The thing is that if we believe that the only truth is in the Bible, then we will be lost. The Holy Spirit is there to guide us to the truth. John 21:25 says that there are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, John could not imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books. Imagine the things we don’t know. Jesus was so great that the gospels cannot contain all the things he did.

John readily admits that he cannot provide a full biography of Jesus and all the things he did. John is clear that his writings are not a final and complete statement of truth. The Bible is a guiding force for our lives. It is something that we can turn to in times of trouble, but not all of the answers will be readily apparent. We have to let the Holy Spirit guide us to the truth. 

I think that if anyone tells you they know the absolute truth, other than faith in God and his love, then they do not really understand God. Taoism is all about finding the Way (Tao) and finding a balance in the world. The same is true of Christianity. Taoism says that those who speak of the Way do not know the Way. In Christianity, those who speak of absolutes and leave no room for interpretation do not understand the true meaning of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has many roles some we cannot even fathom.

In John 14, for example, Jesus says the Holy Spirit will comfort us when we’re hurting. “I will not leave you as orphans,” Jesus says (14:18), promising that the Spirit will bring us peace (14:27). Jesus also says the Spirit will help us recall the things we’ve learned about God (14:26)—which also means the Spirit will help us when we tell others about our faith. In John 16, Jesus refers to the Spirit as a “Counselor” who will guide us in our everyday lives.

Now, the Holy Spirit can’t do all the work for us. We’re still responsible to do our part—especially to consistently have faith and pray, asking the Spirit to show us the truth and teach us how to live a life consistent with God’s love.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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