Faithlife Sermons

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The Spiritual Power Of Love
John 16:5-16               March 23, 1997
 
*Scripture:   Responsive Reading, John 16:5-16, #644 in Hymnal*
*          *
*Prayer:       *
 
*Introduction:*
 
          Love is costly to give, especially in the sense that it is not well received even by those who need it the most.
People tend to test the value of our love by testing our endurance to give it.
They test it by checking out our reaction to hate and persecution to see if it is real.
Only when love has stood the test is it then received as believable by those who have lived through so much actual and perceived hatred all their lives.
We might ask who the perpetrator of all this hatred is.
It must certainly boil down to the father of lies, Satan himself, who deceives us about love, especially God’s love, since God is the ultimate source of love.
In standing the test of love, we prove God and expose Satan.
Since love costs so much, as seen in the greatest sense by the death of Jesus on the cross, love has proven value.
And that brings us to the subject of today’s message.
You see, the real value of love lies in its spiritual power.
The more your love costs, the more valuable it becomes because of the greater spiritual power it produces.
That spiritual power is from the throne of God, given for our good to convict us of his righteousness, truth and glory.
Love comes from God and draws us to God.
It does this by releasing God’s spiritual power to draw us to himself.
On Palm Sunday, that we celebrate today, Jesus rode into Jerusalem upon a donkey.
The people proclaimed him king but most of them had no concept of his kingdom.
The donkey was a dead give-away.
You see, his kingdom was not a worldly kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom that exists in the hearts of those who love God.
Those who had become children of God had seen, heard, and experienced the love of God through Jesus Christ and believed it enough to confess him as Lord and forsake sin.
But now he would be leaving this world, prompted by many of those same people who welcomed him upon the donkey.
He was waved in with palm branches but booed out with catcalls.
The value of his love was going to be tested.
How would his ‘kingdom come’ when he would have to leave this world before its completion?
The spiritual power of his love from dying upon the cross would be so great that it would insure the permanent presence of God in the world through the Holy Spirit to complete his kingdom (John 13:1b).
It would be as if Jesus were still here proclaiming truth and righteousness.
The Holy Spirit would complete the testimony of his love in the hearts of those who would believe.
The Holy Spirit would continue to wave the palm branch of victory over sin and death because Jesus rose from the grave to live eternally.
The localized geographical witness of God in Jesus Christ would, through the spiritual power of love, become a worldwide witness through the release of the Holy Spirit made possible by the extent of that love.
The Holy Spirit would act in the world to convict the world of the act of love that brought him.
Let us look at the text.
*I.
The spiritual power of love works for the good of others.
(vv.
5-7)*
 
          A.
The spiritual power of love overcomes self-interest.
John 13:36
*36 ¶ Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."*
*37  Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you."*
B.
The spiritual power of love overcomes self-consumption.
C.
The spiritual power of love overcomes self-existence (offers us                          the richness of God’s presence).
It is necessary for Jesus to go since the coming of the Spirit is dependent on his death~/glorification (cf.
7:39).
In some fashion the Spirit and Jesus are mutually exclusive; or, as we find in ch.
19-20, the Spirit comes in the midst of Christ’s glorification.
The Spirit is Jesus’ Spirit and is released in his death (cf.
19:30; 20:22).
(Elwell, ECB, p. 871)
          It is as though the H.S. became embodied in Jesus at his conception and was not released until Jesus gave up his body upon the cross at death.
This release then made the H.S. available to all who believe in his death for sin and his resurrection for life.
Jesus’ Predictions of the Holy Spirit:
*Mat 1:20  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.*
*Luk 1:35  The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.*
*Joh 1:32  Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.*
*Joh 1:33  I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the **Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'*
*Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the **Spirit.*
*Joh 3:6  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the **Spirit gives birth to spirit.*
*Joh 3:8  The wind blows wherever it pleases.
You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
So it is with everyone born of the **Spirit."*
*Joh 3:34  For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the **Spirit without limit.*
*Joh 4:23  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in **spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.*
*Joh 4:24  God is **spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."*
*Joh 6:63  The **Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.*
*Joh 7:37 ¶ On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.*
*Joh 7:38  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."*
*Joh 7:39  By this he meant the **Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.
Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.*
*#1-Joh 14:16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--*
*     Joh 14:17  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.*
*#2-Joh 14:26  But the Counselor, 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.*
*#3-Joh 15:26¶  "When the Counselor 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.*
*#4-Joh 16:13  But when he, the **Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all 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.*
*#5-Joh 16:15  All that belongs to the Father is mine.
That is why I said the **Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.*
*Joh 19:30  When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished."
With that, he bowed his head and gave up his **spirit.*
*Joh 20:22  And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy **Spirit.*
J.B.
Phillips said “Every time we say, ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit,’ we mean we believe that there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it.”
*II.
The spiritual power of love works for the conviction of others.
(vv.
8-11)  *
 
/(The Ministry of the H.S. to the world - conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment.)/
A.
The spiritual power of love is convicting.
1Pet.
2:12
*12  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.*
B.
The spiritual power of love stirs the conscience about things that             are wrong.
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