March 24, 2019
I don’t know what is on your refrigerator, but we have some pictures. They are pictures of people who we rarely get to see. Our boys are there. Some friends are there. Those pictures remind us of people we love.
This morning we’re thinking about the Holy Spirit from John 14. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his approaching death, resurrection and ascension to the Father. I am grateful that Jesus did not hand his disciples autographed pictures so that they could remember him. Jesus did something way better. He gave the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is sometimes called the silent partner of the Trinity. We can’t see him and we rarely feel him. And yet the Holy Spirit of God is dwelling in us and is very active. So let me say that in the physical absence of Jesus, God has given the Holy Spirit.
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO LOVE JESUS. Jn.14:15-17
In Ephesians, Paul exhorts believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Many ask, “How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit. In Jn.14:15-17 Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.” It would seem from these verses that if we want to be filled with the Holy Spirit then we had better obey Jesus’ commandments. Jesus restates this again in v.21 which says, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." But rather than putting the emphasis on obedience, it seems to me that in v.15 and v.21 Jesus is emphasizing being in a loving relationship with him.
In Jn.7:37-39 it says, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” As we believe in Jesus we receive life, rivers of living water that flow out from our heart through the regenerating ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Our obedience to the commands of Jesus flows from our being in a life giving relationship with Jesus. As we are trusting in Jesus for salvation, as we are surrendered to Jesus in obedience to his commands, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Just as our salvation is a matter of faith in Jesus, so our receiving the Holy Spirit is a matter of faith in Jesus. We live each moment by faith.
I am lingering here because it is important to discern your relationship with Jesus. Would you say that you have an interactive relationship with God and his son, Jesus on a daily basis? Are you daily drawn into conversation with God and Jesus? Does your relationship with Jesus shape your conversation and conduct? Close relationships impact our lives significantly. It is no different in our relationship with Jesus. If you are in this kind of relationship, you have the Holy Spirit.
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT CONTINUES THE MINISTRY OF JESUS. Jn.14:16-23
Look at v.16. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” The word, “helper,” is a Greek word that pastors love to talk about. It is a compound word consisting of a preposition, “para,” (which means, “beside) and the word, “klatos,” which refers to “one who is called.” So a paraklatos is one who is called alongside. The word is translated, advocate, counselor, comforter, or helper. The word was often used in a courtroom setting. A paraklatos might refer to a lawyer or a witness. It is someone who comes along side.
Jesus says that he will ask the Father to give another helper. Another helper? Who is the first helper? If you answer, “Jesus,” you are right. However, none of the gospels refer to Jesus as a paraklatos. Only one verse in the New Testament refers to Jesus as a paraklatos. In 1Jn.2:1 it says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” The Holy Spirit continues the ministry of Jesus in our lives and in this world. If you want to read about the Spirit’s ministry in the world you can read Jn.16:7-11.
Even though, “helper,” is a fine translation of this word, we must not put Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a secondary role. “If I need help I will call on Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Otherwise I think I can handle things myself.” No, that is exactly the attitude we are not to have as we live in this world. True, in all of life we put forth our best effort to do what we need to do, but in all that we do we seek to do it to the glory of God and for that we need the Holy Spirit. Interestingly enough, in Jn.16:14 Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus. So the ministry of the Holy Spirit in us is to help us glorify God and Jesus in all we do. In Jn.14:12, Jesus says to his disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do.” Our life in this world is to be about doing the works of Jesus in the name of Jesus and in the way of Jesus.
Perhaps the disciples were wondering what was going to happen to Jesus. Look at v.18-23. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.’ Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
After Jesus rose from the dead he revealed himself to the disciples. They saw and touched him. But in these verses Jesus goes to great lengths to assure the disciples that through the Holy Spirit they would know the deepest kind of fellowship with God that can be experienced. God in all his Trinitarian fullness will dwell in those who know Jesus. Because Jesus is alive, we are alive in him.
In v.22, Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Even at this point the disciples were thinking that Jesus was going to establish a renewed kingdom of Israel that the world would see. But Jesus continues to emphasize that God would dwell in his disciples through the Holy Spirit. I want to make just one comment before we move on. Through the Holy Spirit believers in Jesus enjoy the deepest relationship with God possible in this world. God is in us. How does God manifest himself in the world today? It is through Spirit-filled believers. The way we live and talk bears witness of the truth that God lives in us. This is why it is so important to surrender ourselves to the indwelling Holy Spirit on a daily basis. The ongoing ministry of Jesus in this world is carried out by spirit filled believers.
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT PROMOTES THE TEACHING OF JESUS. Jn.14:17, 26
In v.17 he is called the “Spirit of truth.” In v.26 Jesus says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
Clearly Jesus is speaking to his 12 disciples. They were the ones who actually heard the things Jesus spoke. They were the ones who would initially spread the gospel of Jesus. Jesus is assuring the disciples that the Holy Spirit would help them get it right by reminding them of Jesus’ teachings they had previously heard. But in Jn.16:12-13, Jesus says, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” What does this mean? I think it means that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide the disciples into a deeper understanding of Jesus and his teachings. I don’t think these verses refer to new revelations going beyond what is in keeping with the life and teachings of Jesus. Rather the Holy Spirit guides the disciples into ongoing applications of what they heard and saw in Jesus life and ministry.
But is there an application for us? I think so. In as much as we become familiar with the life and teachings of Jesus conveyed through the New Testament, I believe the Holy Spirit continues to remind us of what Jesus has said and done so that our way of living will be worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why it is so important for us to read the Bible, especially the New Testament. If you do not have the life and teachings of Jesus in your heart and mind the Holy Spirit doesn’t have much to work with!
IV. THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVEYS THE PEACE OF JESUS. Jn.14:27-31
In v.27, Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Our world desperately longs for peace, but peace continues to elude our world. Everyone in the world is deeply broken, filled with selfishness, pride, fear, resentments, and competing ideologies. The world cannot give peace. The world can enforce peace for a while through coercive power that often becomes brutal. But the world cannot sustain peace.
However, Jesus leaves us his peace. His peace is a peace that rests in the presence, power, and provision of God through the Holy Spirit. So Jesus tells his disciples to not allow their hearts to be troubled or afraid as we live in this world. By living a life of faith and trust in God, “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.” And “the God of peace will be with us.” God’s peace becomes our experience through the indwelling Holy Spirit
Being an orphan is emotionally and even physically destructive. Some years ago there was a man who attended our church who was raised in an orphanage. To say the least, he had some deep struggles in his life.
Jesus was very aware that his death, resurrection and ascension would leave his disciple bereft of his physical presence. How wonderful that he gave us his Holy Spirit who convey his actual presence in our lives. If you know Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, God the Father is dwelling in you. And Jesus Christ himself is dwelling in you. And we have all we need for life and godliness. Amen