Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 (NIV) The gospel will not travel far on the shoulders of Christians who are motivated by...
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16-17 (NIV)
How do we know the presence of Christ in our lives? In what way is He with us? How does He come to us?
Jesus came to the disciples when He rose on Easter morning, but soon after He returned to His Father, ascending into heaven. The resurrection life of Jesus is communicated to us by the Holy Spirit, so the promise of the resurrection in verse 18 is accompanied by the promise of the Spirit in verse 16.
Notice what Jesus says here about the Holy Spirit: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor” (14:16). The disciples already had Jesus as their Counselor. But now Jesus is returning to the Father. So when Jesus talks about “another Counselor,” He is telling the disciples that this counselor will do for them what Jesus had done for them. This counselor is the Spirit of truth and Jesus says that He will be with them forever (14:17).
Now consider John 14:23. “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” The Bible speaks in several places about Christ living in our hearts. Paul prayed that “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph. 3:17), and he speaks about “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
Jesus Christ has ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven. But He is present with us by His Holy Spirit.
When are you aware of Jesus’ presence with you? Have you experienced this?