“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me, and you will bear witness also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” (Jn 15:26-27).
Here is the third reference – in Jesus’ upper room message – to the Helper, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. And He is again called “the Spirit of truth” (See Jn 14:17). The Spirit’s witness concerning Jesus the Christ is going to be completely true. It is going to be completely correct. And it is to be completely believed.
The message here is that the witness that Jesus gave during His time on the earth through His words and works would not come to an end when He is no longer here. Jesus has been preparing His disciples for His departure throughout these chapters in John’s gospel. The Spirit is here identified as the one who will take up this ministry of witness (“He will bear witness of Me”) and carry it on. And He will carry it on through Christ’s disciples (“and you will bear witness also”).
It is not surprising that this revelation about the Spirit’s role comes at the end of this passage about Christ and His followers being hated and persecuted by the world. If you look back to Mark chapter 13, Jesus made a similar statement about the connection between persecution and the witness of the Spirit though the disciples. “And when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit” (Mk 13:11).
Wow! What a promise! The Holy Spirit will speak through you. How comforting. How empowering!
We see this exact fulfillment in the book of Acts. When the apostle Peter and his friends, brought before the high priest and council, proclaim the certainty and the power of the resurrection of Jesus, Peter concludes his remarks with, “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32).
Of course, it required the Holy Spirit coming on the Day of Pentecost and filling Christ’s followers. From that day forward, the message has been proclaimed with the power and the witness of the Holy Spirit. To say a person comes to faith by the revelation and call of the Holy Spirit is not a spiritual cliche. It is, in fact, God’s plan in action.
A final thought about the Trinity as we close John chapter 15. We have seen in this and the other Helper passages that Jesus will send the Spirit. The Spirit will proceed from the Father. The Father will send the Spirit in Jesus’ name. It is not important to parse who of the Trinity is doing exactly what. The message is that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are working in concert to fulfill all that God has promised. Our God is amazing!