Sermon Recap: Led by the Spirit (John 16:13-14)

This is a recap of the latest sermon in our current series, Life in the Spirit

In a crowd, tour guides will often hold a flag or umbrella up high so that their group can follow them easily. In John 16:13-14, Jesus teaches us the tools the Holy Spirit uses to show Himself to us so that we can faithfully follow His lead.


1. Led by the Book

The Holy Spirit doesn't operate independently from the Word (John 14:23). Knowing and keeping God's Word is part and parcel of being in Christ by the Spirit. The Scriptures is the primary means the Holy Spirit uses to lead God's people in Christ's ways.

2. Led by the Body

Jesus doesn't speak to individuals in John 16:13-14. He doesn't say the Spirit will lead you (singular) into all truth. He says the Spirit will lead "yous" (plural) into all truth. we don’t relate to God primarily as individuals. We relate to Him as the Body of Christ, the community of His people, His church. To be led by the Spirit means to be led by the Body. 

3. Led by Bowing Down

In John 16:14, Jesus says the Spirit's job is to glorify Jesus. We glorify Him when we obey His commands (John 14:21). I believe the main reason we aren’t more led by the Spirit is that—if the Spirit told us what to do, we wouldn’t want to do it. Our hearts’ desire is not to obey. It’s to get our own way. To be led by the Spirit, we must be bowed down in heart and life to His will. 

Reflection & Application Questions

  1. Read 1 John 4:1-2 and 2 Peter 1:20-21. How is the Holy Spirit involved in leading God's people through the Scriptures? 
  2. Have there been times in your experience where the Bible has been used to judge, belittle, or even hate others? Have you been part of a Christian community that defined itself by what/who they are against? How can this quench the Spirit's work in a community's life?
  3. How do you see Paul being led by the Spirit through the Body in Acts 13:1-4? What can we learn from this for our own decision-making process?
  4. Do you make decisions in community, or do you make decisions on your own and then inform your church community? Why is the Body so important in being led by the Spirit?
  5. What is one decision/area in your life that you don't want to bow in submission to the Lord? Why is this hard to submit? How can you remember the truth of the gospel that submission to Christ by the Spirit is the good life? 
  6. What is one instance in your life where you felt clearly led by the Holy Spirit? How were you led by the Book? The Body? By bowing down?
  7. What is one area in your life where you would like to receive clear guidance from the Spirit? How will you pursue this in the Book? In the Body? By bowing down?