John 14.16-18 cont.
16 and I will ask the Father and He will give to you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever,
17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees nor knows Him. You know Him, because He remains in you and will be in you.
18 I will not leave you as orphans, I am coming to you.
The reason that the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit is because they exclude God from their thinking. They may have heard of the Holy Spirit, but He is not a part of their way of living. The world lives behind closed doors, closed to God. They live with the shutters down, not allowing the light of the Holy Spirit to penetrate into their very being.
This would be absolutely dreadful were it not for the fact that part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to break through man-made barriers.
Later Jesus makes this statement:
“When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” – John 16.8 (NLT).
On their own, people within the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit, however, the Holy Spirit is able to penetrate into the darkest soul and convict people of their need of Jesus.
Jesus then told His disciples that they know the Helper, because He remains in them. Yet it was on the Day of Pentecost that Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit upon the first believers. However, we must try and hold together these words of Jesus before His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, and the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit on those first believers.
Since Jesus said that the Holy Spirit remains within them, then the Holy Spirit was within them. Yet there was more of the Holy Spirit that they were going to experience. This happened on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them in power and they all began to speak in tongues.
There is a sense in which the followers of Jesus may have the same experience. No one can be born again unless the Holy Spirit brings us to the point of believing in Jesus, repenting of our sins, and confessing Jesus as our Lord. The Holy Spirit is working within us to bring us to this point, and He remains with us as we commence our journey with Jesus. After this we may also experience more of the Holy Spirit, more of His power, and more of His gifts.
This happens because the Holy Spirit remains within us.
Let us look for more and greater experiences of the Holy Spirit.