The Spirit’s Ongoing Ministry

Fulfilling Christ’s Pledge in the Upper Room Discourse (John 14–16)
Just as the Spirit is at work upholding creation and bringing about its fruitfulness even amid sin and corruption, so the Spirit also brings about the reality and fruitfulness of the new creation, inwardly convicting us of God’s judgment and convincing us of God’s mercy in Christ. In John 14–16, Jesus highlights three aspects of the Spirit’s mediation of Christ’s gracious reign.

  1. The Spirit’s ongoing ministry is judicial (16:8). The Spirit is sent to convict sinners of their sin and to convince them of God’s judgment and the free grace of Christ’s righteousness.
  2. As the Son is the embodiment of all truth, the Spirit guides into all truth (16:13). The Spirit does not replace or displace Jesus but unites us to Jesus and makes us children of our heavenly Father. The Spirit is not at our disposal but speaks only what he hears from the Father: the truth of the Son spoken in the Word.
  3. The Spirit glorifies the Son (16:14)—Just as the Son has glorified the Father by his work, so now the Father and the Spirit glorify the Son, and the Spirit brings us into enjoyment of this glory with the triune God; though Christ our Head is bodily absent, the Spirit continually joins us to him and keeps our faith fixed on what we do not yet see.

From John 14–16, we also see that the ascended Christ carries out the work of his offices by the power of the Spirit, making effectual Christ’s prophetic (e.g., 16:8), priestly (e.g., 14:16), and kingly (e.g., 16:33) activities.