All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Hours before His capture and execution, Jesus reiterated a promise to His disciples. “The Spirit will come.” In John 14:16, He had already explained that upon His departure, He would send “another,’ a “Comforter.” Jesus referred to this Comforter as “the Spirit of Truth.” Now, again, Jesus reiterated this promise, but continued with a further explanation of the purpose for which He was sending the Spirit of truth.
According to Jesus, the Spirit (the Holy Spirit as He is commonly called) would come to guide the followers of Jesus in the truth. But what truth does He guide the followers of Jesus into? We can understand that the truth that Jesus is speaking of in this context is the truth about Himself. It would be the ministry of the Spirit of truth to guide the disciples in their understanding, assimilation and presentation of the Jesus.
Worded in a different way, it would be the job of the Holy Spirit to lead people to understand and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. It would further be the ministry of the Spirit to guide people in the truths of obedience to God, revealing at every turn what it means to be genuinely Christ-like. The Spirit would have the ministry of guiding people into the truth of the gospel and the truth of Christ-like sanctification.
When we see this ministry of the Spirit, we must further understand for us what that means. We are not to sit around waiting for the Holy Spirit to reveal to us new things from strange sources. We don’t need extra revelation, like the Book of Mormon, or publications from the Watchtower Society. We don’t need new revelation, we need illumination. We need the help of the Spirit of truth to teach us the truth that has already been revealed in ages past. So we must be actively pursuing that truth by reading the pages of Scripture, so that the Spirit of truth will teach us the truth of Jesus.
It is the ministry of the Spirit to teach us the truth that is found in the Scriptures. When we further realize that the Holy Spirit of God was at work in the writing of Scripture, we can understand that there is none more qualified to help us understand the true meaning of each text. Like Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote in 2 Timothy 3, it is through the Spirit-illumination of the Scriptures that followers of Jesus can live rightly and be equipped to do what God has called us to do.
It is by the Spirit that we understand the gospel, and it is by the Spirit that we obey the Word of God. The Spirit of truth truly is given as a gift from God for us. If we are followers of Jesus, He labored to draw us into the family of faith, and now, He labors to guide us in the truth.
Food For Thought: In what two areas does the “Spirit of truth” guide the followers of Jesus?