By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.
“He (the Holy Spirit) will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is Mine; therefore, I said that He (the Holy Spirit) will take what is Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:14-15
Even Jesus, the only person of the Triune God to wear our human flesh, can be obscure to a lot of humanity in the world. Maybe some non-followers are curious about Him, others are just ignorant of who He really is, and yet many more simply do not care, except to strangely and unthinkingly use His name frequently as a common swear word (Jesus Christ) along with the well used F word; three of the most common words in their limited vocabulary. Incidentally, three of the most common words in too many movie scripts.
To these unbelievers, God is, well, just one of the many gods of humanity, along with Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu, Baal, or Marduk, among too many others to count. Of course, this leaves out common god-idols such as money, sex, alcohol, drugs, popularity, et al.
Which leaves the Holy Spirit among the gods held to be God among Christianity’s followers, the third person of the Trinity. He is the most obscure of all these three Persons. Maybe not to some Christians, or those who emphasize the Holy Spirit somewhat more than the other two Persons of the Trinity.
When it comes to knowing anything of the Christian God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the only source of any knowledge or revelation is the Bible. Without the Bible, we would not even know that God is triune, or anything delineating these Three. We would not know that Jesus is the Savior, or the Holy Spirit is the Helper; that God the Father sends the Son and the Son sends the Spirit. We would not know anything particular of who God really is other than naturally and instinctively, that God really is the Creator of all that is, as declared in Romans 1:18-23, through your natural instinct as you observe the creation.
It is through the Bible that we know who the Holy Spirit is and what He does. Yet He is still somewhat unknown, much more so than the other two Persons, being like the wind which cannot be seen, but we know when He comes and when He has been here (John 3:7-8).
Jesus tells us about the Holy Spirit when He is preparing to leave and return to heaven, and He sends the Holy Spirit to help, encourage, and comfort Christians in His “absence.” What Jesus tells us chiefly about the Spirit is found in John 16:14: that He will glorify Jesus, and take what is true about Jesus’ words and actions and declare it to His followers!
In other words, the Holy Spirit is the one who puts Jesus in the spotlight, so the world can see and hear and know Him! This is the Spirit’s primary role, to set forth Jesus to the whole world. He is the chief convictor of sin, sending humanity to the cross of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sin, setting forth the gospel as it is spoken in word and deed by Jesus, and enacting the rebirth of lost sinners who come to Jesus for salvation. They must be born again to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Holy Spirit’s chief work and purpose is to make Jesus Christ known in the world. He is Jesus’ spotlight, illuminating His person, words, and deeds. If you see Jesus and not the spotlight, then the Holy Spirit has done His work. He doesn’t want to be noticed. He wants Jesus to be illuminated! Because Jesus is the only way to the Father. Because Jesus is the Savior! The Holy Spirit helps by sending you to Him. If you hunger for Jesus, the Spirit has accomplished His task!
“More about Jesus let me learn, more of His holy will discern: Spirit of God, my Teacher be, showing the things of Christ to me. More, more about Jesus, more, more about Jesus, more of His saving fullness see, more of His love who died for me.”
(2nd verse of Eliza Hewitt’s hymn, “More about Jesus Would I Know,” 1887)