The important thing to keep in mind when reading these passages is that Jesus is speaking alone with the disciples. His words are framed by his approaching death and are said to prepare the disciples for their future lives in his absence. At this point, the disciples don’t yet understand what Jesus is trying to tell them. However, Jesus assures them that he goes to prepare a place for them and will return to take them to be with the Father.
In the meantime the Paraclete, John’s term for the Holy Spirit, will be with them. In John 14:25-26, Jesus tells his followers that the Father will send an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to teach and remind us of all that Christ said while he was on earth. The Spirit was to come through the Father to those who believed in Jesus after he was glorified (John 7:39). The Holy Spirit was to convince the world of sin, to proclaim righteousness, and to make people aware of the judgement of God (16:7-15). The Spirit “will take what is mine” said Jesus, “and declare it to you” (John 16:14). Again in Acts, Jesus promised an outpouring of the Spirit and he said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). As these scriptures and others attest, the Holy Spirit’s mission is to carry forward the mission of Jesus Christ and his kingdom.
When we, as Christians, accept Christ, we are justified or made right with God, and we enter into a new relationship with God, who then lives in us through the power of the Holy Spirit as the indwelling Christ. The Holy Spirit becomes the shaping power of our lives. The Holy Spirit provides guidance and comfort. It convicts us of sin, assists us to repent and to put our trust in the Savior, helps us pray when we don’t know how, and empowers us for mission and effective service. The power of the Holy Spirit is exercised when we follow the Spirit’s leading and take action. When we become the channel of Christ’s love and service. Jesus urges us to abide or remain in him (15:1-11) even when times get tough.
There have been many times in my life that I have relied on the power of the indwelling Christ; when I haven’t known what or how to pray and simply asked for the help of the spirit, to intercede for me. I am so thankful that we have a God who loves us so much that he established this relationship of intimacy. I don’t know about you, but I depend on it.