By Jeffrey R. Herzon
Christ then told the disciples that He needed to return to His Father. However, He said they should rejoice and not be sorrowful because He would send a comforter–the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will enable the disciples to do “greater works” than Christ did when He was with them (v. 12). So then the presence of the Holy Spirit is the key to the fulfillment of Christ’s promises. In John 16:14 Jesus says, “He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. ” The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to take the promises of Christ and make them operative in the life of every Christian.
1. A guarantee of Christ’s returnIn John 14:3 Jesus says, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again. ” He promised to return. From 2 Corinthians 5 we learn that the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of that promise: “We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. . . . Now he that hath wrought us for the very same thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit” (vv. 1, 5).The Greek word translated “earnest” (arrab[ma]on) means “down payment” or “security. ” In modern Greek the word has been used to refer to an engagement ring. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee that Christ will come again and take us with Him.
2. A guarantee of spiritual powerWe have already seen that Christ promised the disciples would have the ability to do mighty works (John 14:12). Acts 1:8 tells us where the power comes from, “Ye shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you. ” Ephesians 3:20 says that we as Christians will be “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. ” So the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s promise of power a reality.
3. A guarantee of answered prayerIn John 14:13-14 Jesus says, “Whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. ” Christ promised the disciples that He would hear and answer their prayers when they asked in His name. Romans 8 says that the Holy Spirit “maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (v. 27). So the Holy Spirit is the key to prayer.
4. A guarantee of God’s presenceIn John 14:18-23 Christ promises the disciples that He and God the Father will come and abide with them. Their presence is realized by the indwelling Holy Spirit.