The Gospel of John
(James J. Barker)

Lesson 40


(John 16:7-15)


1.    I am going to speak tonight on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in relation to man in the Old Testament was somewhat different than in the dispensation begun at Pentecost.

2.    In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is associated in the work of creation.

·                    “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2).

·                    By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens (Job 26:13).

·                    “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3).

·                    The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4).

·                    Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.  (Psalm 104:30).


3.    Also, in the OT, we see that the Holy Spirit strives with wicked men.  “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man” (Gen. 6:3).  We see this in the NT as well (John 16:8).

4.    In the OT, we are told that the Holy Spirit equipped men for certain tasks.  Examples of this would include Bezaleel (Ex. 31:1-5; 35:31), Moses and the 70 elders (Num. 11:25), Jephthah (Judges 11:29), and David (II Sam. 23:2).

5.    In the case of Samson, the Holy Spirit gave him his extraordinary physical strength (Judges 14:6).

6.    Without getting too deep into this, I want to point out that our Lord was introducing a new aspect of the ministry of the Holy Spirit when He told His disciples that the Spirit was with them but would soon be in them (John 14:16, 17).

7.    The Scofield Study Bible says, “In Old Testament times the Spirit came upon some men as God’s service required, but these cases were rare, occasional and exceptional.  All was purely within the sovereign will of God.  But now, to the whole body of disciples came the astonishing statement that any one of them, simply by asking, might receive the Spirit!”

8.    Let me stress that in this dispensation every believer is indwelt with the Holy Spirit the moment he or she is born again (John 3:3-8; Rom. 8:9, 14-16; I John 3:24).

9.    However, not all believers are filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).







1.     In John 16:7, our Lord said to His disciples, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.”

2.     I mentioned last month the importance of this word  “expedient” (16:7). Had our Lord remained upon the earth, He would necessarily have been restricted by space and time as are all men. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of born-again believers provides a fellowship with God that is in many ways even closer than the apostles had experienced in the physical presence of Jesus. 

3.     As the “Comforter” the Holy Spirit is here to comfort us and assist us (16:7; cf. 14:16-18).

4.     Another ministry of the Holy Spirit is that of teacher – He teaches us (14:26).   In fact, He teaches us “all things” (14:26). 

5.     Christian truth is progressive (John 16:12).  One cannot master the Bible over night.  We must read the Bible over and over.  We must study its teachings carefully and prayerfully. 

6.     Remember, Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).

7.     In Matthew 22:29, our Lord said to the Sadducees, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.”

8.     Second Peter 3:18 says, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

9.     Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

10. The Holy Spirit shows us “things to come” (16:13b).  Many people are confused over “things to come,” i.e., Bible prophecy.  They have been confused and misled by the SDA, and the JW’s, and Harold Camping, and some of the other false teachers.

11. But there need not be any confusion because those of us that are born again have the indwelling Holy Spirit to teach us, and to help us understand what the Bible teaches regarding Bible prophecy.

12. Jesus said the Holy Spirit (“the Spirit of truth”) will guide us “into all truth” (16:13).  Not error.  Not confusion (cf. John 7:17).



1.     The Holy Spirit is the church’s Comforter, but He is the world’s “reprover” (cf. John 16:8).  Our Lord said the Holy Spirit “will reprove (convict) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (16:8).

2.     The Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin (16:8). The greatest sin in this wicked world is unbelief (16:9).  The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict lost sinners so that they might repent and be saved.   How terrible for a sinner to reject Christ!

3.     In Acts 2:37 (Peter was preaching), the Bible says “they were pricked in their heart.”  In Acts 7:54 (Stephen was preaching), the Bible says “they were cut to the heart.”

4.     The Holy Spirit reproves the world of righteousness (16:8-10).  Apart from the imputed righteousness of Christ, man has no righteousness of his own. 

(A) After WWII, the term “Righteous Gentiles” has been used by certain Jews to describe Gentiles who behaved heroically during the Nazi Holocaust in order to save Jews from being arrested or possibly killed by the Nazis.  Since 1963, a commission headed by an Israeli Supreme Court justice has been charged with the duty of awarding the honorary title “Righteous Among the Nations.”  A person who is recognized as a “Righteous Gentile” is awarded a specially minted medal bearing his or her name, a certificate of honor, and other gifts at a big ceremony, attended by local government representatives.  The festivities are promoted and given wide media coverage. To date, 20,205 men and women have been recognized as “Righteous Gentiles.”

“Righteous Gentiles” also receive monthly cash benefits at the rate of the average wage, as well as other grants and benefits.  “Righteous Gentiles” who experience financial difficulties - wherever they reside - are aided financially by the “Jewish Foundation for the Righteous,” a New York-based philanthropic organization which was created for this purpose. The “Righteous Gentiles” residing in Israel (some 35 people) automatically receive a generous state pension.

(B) This is all very interesting but it is a poor choice of words.  Some of these Gentiles (e.g., Corrie Ten Boom and her family) were indeed righteous and were motivated by their love of Jesus and their love of God’s ancient people, the Jews.  But many of these so-called “Righteous Gentiles” were not righteous.  In fact many of them were wicked sinners.  Perhaps it would be more appropriate to call them “brave Gentiles” or “noble Gentiles” or “kind Gentiles,” but if they were not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ they were not “righteous” in the Biblical sense of the word.

(C) Here is a more recent example.  This story appeared in Wednesday’s NY Post. 




Tylerann Zadroga believes her mommy took her daddy to live with her in heaven because he was so sick.  That's how the 4-year-old explains the tragic death of her father, James — the first NYPD cop to die of a Ground Zero rescue-related illness — two years after her mother, Rhonda, died at 29 of a heart ailment.


James Zadroga, a retired Manhattan homicide detective who earned 38 citations in 13 years on the force, was driving home from work on 9/11 when the first jet hit the World Trade Center.  He turned around and rushed to Ground Zero to join the rescue effort, working 470 hours — almost 40 12-hour shifts — and inhaling dust and fumes.

“We don't use the word 'righteous,' but I think it's a word we can use to describe Jim," said William Fadrowski, the Queen of Peace pastor.

“A righteous person is someone who does the right thing,” he added. “His distinguished career as a detective certainly was filled with righteousness.”

5.     According to this RC priest, “a righteous person is someone who does the right thing.”  But this is not taught in the Bible (cf. Luke 18:9-14; Isa. 64:6).

6.      The Bible says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:21).

7.     God alone is righteous; we are unrighteous. The Holy Spirit has come into the world to convince men of that important fact.  Man must be convinced that he is a lost sinner. And he must be convinced that Christ died for his sins on the cross – “the just for the unjust” (I Peter 3:18), or you could say, “the righteous for the unrighteous.”

8.     First Peter 2:24 says, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

9.     The Holy Spirit came to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (16:8-11).  Unless a person believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, in His finished work on the cross and in His resurrection from the dead, there is nothing left but the judgment of God.

10. Judgment both now and for all eternity (cf. John 3:18, 36; Matt. 24:46).



1.     Our Lord said in John 16:14, “He (the Holy Spirit) shall glorify me” (cf. John 15:26). 

·                    When the Gospel is preached, Christ is glorified.

·                    When souls are saved, Christ is glorified.

2.     A Spirit-filled life is a Christ-centered life.   Is Jesus real to you?  Then the Holy Spirit has made Him real to you.

3.     Is Jesus precious to you?  Then the Holy Spirit has made Him precious to you.

4.     Our Lord declared in John 16:15 that the Holy Spirit takes what is His (i.e., His teaching) and shows it to us. Therefore we can be sure that all three Persons in the Godhead are one in what they teach.

5.     Any so-called revelation from the Holy Spirit that does not line up with the Bible cannot be accepted as authentic.  That is why I John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

6.     “The Lord Jesus had been a living exegesis of the Father; now the Spirit was to be a living exegesis of the Son.  All that the Father was had been interpreted by the Son; all that the Son was would be interpreted by the Spirit.  The Lord Jesus taught His disciples to think great thoughts about the Father; the Holy Spirit is here to teach us great thoughts about the Son.  If anything calling itself Christian teaching makes its approach to us and does not exalt and glorify Christ, it is not of the Holy Spirit” (John Phillips, Exploring the Gospel of John).



1.     Let us consider once more John 16:8.  When we think of sin we immediately think of lying, stealing, adultery, murder, etc.

2.     These are terrible sins indeed but in John 16:9 our Lord identifies the worst sin of all – unbelief (cf. John 8:24).

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