The Promise and Warning about the Holy Spirit

Notes for Feb. 9-10
John 14:15-26     

Biblical Background

  • Holy Spirit in the Old Testament:  Jesus’ disciples, with an understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures would have seen the Spirit of God at work in the creation (Genesis 1:2); in empowering leaders (Judges 3:10); inspiring artists (Exodus 35:31); and inspiring prophets (Numbers 11:29; Micah 3:8).  Joel prophesied that the Spirit would be poured out on all people someday (Joel 2:28-32); and anoint the Messiah (Isaiah 11:2; 42:1).  The Spirit is also mentioned in the Psalm 51:11. 

  • Spirit of Truth: The Dead Sea Scrolls of the Jewish Essene community just prior to Jesus’s days on earth contrasted the Spirit of truth vs. the spirit of error.

  • Orphans in Bible times:  Orphans were always at risk in Bible times as without family members, they would be forced to fend for themselves.  Families were the key to getting one’s basic needs met. 

  • Judas, not Iscariot:  Judas was a common name in the 1st century (coming from the tribe of Judah).  This Judas was also known as Thaddeus in Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18.  It was common for people to be called by different names as it is today.  Peter the apostle was also known as Simon.

  • Israel and the commandments:  Israel had been given a special revelation from God and had the Law -  the commandments by which to live.  However, without the power of the Spirit of God it is impossible to obey the commandments.

  • Love and Obedience:  If we love Jesus will obey Him, through the power of the Spirit – the Helper.

Discussion Questions

  1. How can we best demonstrate our love for Jesus Christ?

  2. Why do you think this idea is repeated numerous times in this passage?

  3. Why does obedience to Jesus’s commands demonstrate our love for him?  Explain

  4. In what way does the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) reflect the connection between love and obedience?

  5. What can we assume if people who call themselves Christians are willfully disobeying Jesus’ teaching and living in counter to His commands?

  6. What warnings are in this passage?  How do they change the way you think about your own life, the lives of others?

  7. What promises are in this passage?  How do they change the way you think about your own life, the lives of others?

  8. How does Jesus set an example for us in obedience and love?

  9. What do we learn about the Holy Spirit in this passage? List His roles and attributes found in this passage.

  10. Knowing the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives, how does this encourage you?

  11. What is the relationship between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as seen in this passage?

  12. What is the difference between the way God gives peace and the world views peace?

  13. Who is the prince of the world?  What power does he have over Jesus according to this passage?  Why is this important to know as a believer?

  14. What hope do you get from this passage?  What practical application does it have for your life today?

  15. How can you share this hope with others this week?