When Jesus was giving his last words of teaching to his followers on the night he was arrested, he promised to send a comforter and advocate from heaven to indwell within believers. The promised Holy Spirit is always with us, affirming God’s nature and love…
16 “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
The Holy Spirit will not be accepted by the world any easier than Jesus was. Just as we learn in John 1 and 3 that Jesus was not accepted and received in the world, the Spirit will be likewise ignored, rejected, or misunderstood.
For the people of God, however, we know him because he is in us. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit is predicted by Jesus here in John 14 and then provided (‘that day’) in Acts 2. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, according to Jesus in vs. 20, will open their eyes to realize that Jesus and the Father are one and that God is indwelling in us. This is a realization of the Trinity- the tri-une nature of God as Father, Son, and Spirit.
It is worth noting that 1Corinthians 1:18 speaks of the message of the cross as foolishness to unbelievers in the world. We should never be surprised that people discount our faith.
Without the Spirit, no one is able to discern spiritual things relating to God: “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit,” (1Corinthians 2:14).
And so the source of our comfort and insight and advocacy in life – the Holy Spirit – is not acknowledged, accepted, or relied upon by the world. He is foolishness along with the other mysteries of faith (the virgin birth, the incarnation, the death of Jesus for our sins, his resurrection, etc.).
We are alone in understanding, yet united by his presence. We are outside the camp of the world as strangers and foreigners, yet citizens of a holy nation of God’s children.
And we need your comfort, Holy Spirit. We need your presence. We need your advocacy. And we need all of this in our own hearts and lives, let alone in the world around us.
Holy Spirit, start your work within us…