We’re attempting to answer the question What exactly are Christians supposed to do? by looking at 50 commands straight from the mouth of Jesus.
On the first night after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his rather freaked-out disciples, who were huddled together in a locked room out of fear for the religious leaders. First, he said:
Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.
Then he “breathed on them” and said:
Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.
(John 20:19-25; Luke 24:36-43)
Receive the Holy Spirit. What on earth does that mean and why does it matter? Jesus had lots to say on this all-important subject:
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17)
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:27)
It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (John 16:7-11)
When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you. (John 16:13-15)
Every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 15:31-32; Mark 3:28-29; Luke 12:10)
Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 10:19-20; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11-12)
I am going to send you what my Father has promised but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)
So, who exactly is the Holy Spirit and what does he do? Here’s what Jesus says:
- He’s the “Advocate” (aka “Counselor” and “the Spirit of Truth”) the Father sends to Jesus’ followers.
- He lives inside us to help us, teach us and remind us of everything Jesus said.
- He testifies — and helps us testify — about Jesus.
- He’ll “prove the world to be in the wrong about sin, righteousness and judgment.”
- He’ll guide us “into all the truth.”
- He’ll tell us “what is yet to come.”
- He glorifies Jesus.
Never ever ever go it alone. Receive the Spirit and ask him to help you, teach you, guide you and remind you of everything Jesus said.
There’s no other way to live.