THE PROMISED HELPER John 14:15–17
1/ “If you love me, keep my commandments; and I will ask the Father and he will give you another 2/ helper to be with you for ever, I mean the Spirit of Truth. 3/ The world cannot receive him, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him because (You do see him) he remains among you and will be within you.”
For John there is only one test of love and that is obedience. It was by his obedience that Jesus showed his love of God; and it is by our obedience that we must show our love of Jesus.“John never allowed love to become like Super Story kind of love. Love is shown in a good life and an obedient life to God .People can say I love you and bring heartbreak to those whom they claim to love. There are children and young people who say that they love their parents, and who yet cause them grief and anxiety. There are husbands who say they love their wives and wives who say they love their husbands, and who yet, by their bad behavior, their anger, their unkindness bring pain to the one they say they love. To Jesus real love is not an easy thing. It is shown only in true obedience toGod’s commandments. If husbands and wives were truly obedient to God’s commandments their marriages would be truly happy marriages.
We do not struggle alone we have another Helper the Paraklētos. The strengthener (comforter Fortis = brave).The one who is called in to give witness on our behalf to defend us .A Paraklētos might be a person called in to give witness in a law court in someone’s favour; he might be an advocate called in to plead the cause of someone under a charge which would issue in serious penalty; he might be an expert called in to give advice in some difficult situation. Always a paraklētos is someone called in to help in time of trouble or need. We often talk of being able to manage with things. That is precisely the work of the Holy Spirit. He takes away our weaknesses and enables us to conquer life. The Holy Spirit gives victorious living. Not defeated living.
Jesus is sending us out on an impossible mission but he is sending us the paraklētos, who will strenthen and guide us on our way and enable us to do the impossible. The history of the church is the history of people doing the impossible.
Sometimes people pray as if the Holy Spirit had never touched their lives .This is a grave mistake and I would imagine it is quite offensive to God. The first thing to do is to be sensitive to the working of the Spirit in your life. Do you believe in God ? Do you go to church ? Are you trying to live the Christian life ? If you think about doing something wrong does a small voice inside your head tell you not to do it ? If you fall into sin does that same voice tell you to repent and return to your Father ? If you see someone suffering and you feel called to help .All this is the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. When you pray do not ask for the Holy Spirit ask for an increase of the Holy Spirit. Also ask to be able to recognize the Holy Spirit when he comes.
Jesus went on to say that the world cannot recognize the Spirit. By the world is meant those people who live as if there was no God. The point of Jesus’s saying is: we can see only what we are fitted to see. An expert on the stars ,on the universe will see far more in the sky than an ordinary man. An forestery expert will see far more in the forest than someone who knows nothing of trees. Someone who knows about beautiful paintings will see far more in a picture than someone who is quite ignorant of paintings . Someone who understands about music will get far more out of music than someone who understands nothing of music. Always what we see and experience depends on what we bring to the sight and the experience. A person who has eliminated God never listens for him; and we cannot receive the Holy Spirit unless we wait in expectation and in prayer for him to come to us.
The Holy Spirit does not force entry into anyone’s heart; He waits to be received. So when we think of the wonderful things which the Holy Spirit can do, surely we will set apart some time amidst the bustle and the rush of life to wait in silence for his coming.( Give time to God )
THE WAY TO FELLOWSHIP AND TO REVELATION John 14:18–24 “I will not leave you forlorn. I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me; but you will see me because I will be alive and you too will be alive. In that day you will know that I am in the Father, and that you are in me, even as I am in you. It is he who grasps my commandments and keeps them who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Judas, not Iscariot, said to him: “Why has it happened that you are going to reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered: “If any man loves me, he will keep my word; and the Father will love him, and we will come to him, and we will make our abode with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words. And the word which you hear is not mine, but it belongs to the Father who sent me.”
By this time a sense of fear of what was to come must have come down on the disciples. Even they must now have seen that there was trouble ahead. Jesus says: “I will not leave you alone ” The word he uses is orphanos. It means without a father, but it was also used of disciples and students bereft of the presence and the teaching of a beloved master. Jesus told his disciples that would not be the case with them. “I am coming back,” he said.
He is talking of his Resurrection and his risen presence. They will see him because he will be alive; and because they will be alive. What he means is that they will be spiritually alive. At the moment they are confused afraid of what was to come. But the day will come when their eyes will be opened, their minds will understand and their hearts will be kindled—and then they will really see him. That in fact is precisely what happened when Jesus rose from the dead. His rising changed despair to hope and it was then they realized beyond a doubt that he was the Son of God.
(i) First and foremost there is love. For John love is the basis of everything. God loves Jesus; Jesus loves God; God loves men; Jesus loves men; men love God through Jesus; men love each other.Everything is bound together in love.(ii) Once again John stresses the necessity of obedience, this is the only proof of love. It was to those who loved him that Jesus appeared when he rose from the dead, not to the scribes and the Pharisees and the hostile Jews.(iii) This obedient, trusting love leads to two things. First, it leads to ultimate safety. On the day of Christ’s triumph those who have been his obedient lovers will be safe in a crashing world. Second, it leads to a fuller and fuller revelation. The revelation of God is a costly thing. There is always a moral basis for it; it is to the man who keeps his commandments that Christ reveals himself. No evil man can ever receive the revelation of God. He can be used by God, but he can have no fellowship with him. It is only to the man who is looking for him that God reveals himself; and it is only to the man who, in spite of failure, is reaching up that God reaches down. Fellowship with God and the revelation of God are dependent on love; and love is dependent on obedience. The more we obey God, the more we understand him; and the man who walks in his way walks with God.
THE CHRISTIAN DEFENCE
Always be prepared to make your defence to anyone who calls you to account concerning the hope that is in you; but do so with gentleness and reverence. Keep you conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behaviour in Christ may be put to shame.
In a hostile and suspicious world it was inevitable that the Christian would be called upon to defend the faith he held and the hope by which he lived. Here Peter has certain things to say about this Christian defence.
(i) It must be reasonable. The faith must be explained intelligently.To do so we must know what we believe; we must have thought it out; we must be able to state it intelligently and intelligibly. Our faith must be a first-hand discovery and not a second-hand story. It is one of the tragedies of the modern situation that there are so many Church members who, if they were asked what they believe, could not tell, and who, if they were asked why they believe it, would be equally helpless. The Christian must go through the mental and spiritual toil of thinking out his faith, so that he can tell what he believes and why.
(ii) The defence of the faith must be given with gentleness. There are many people who state their beliefs with a kind of arrogant anger .Their attitude is that anyone who does not agree with them is either a fool or a bad person. They seek to ram their beliefs down other people’s throats. The case for Christianity must be presented showing the beauty of the Christian life. It must be presented with love, and with that wise tolerance which realizes that it is not given to any man to possess the whole truth.
(iii)The defence of the faith must be given with reverence and love for the people you are talking to. That is to say, any argument in which the Christian is involved must be carried on in a tone which God can hear with joy. No debates have been so acrimonious as theological debates; no differences have caused such bitterness as religious differences. In any presentation of the Christian case and in any argument for the Christian faith, the accent should be the accent of love.
(iv) The only compelling argument is the argument of the Christian life. Let a man so act that his conscience is clear. Let him meet criticism with a life which is beyond reproach. Such conduct will silence slander and disarm criticism. “A saint,” as someone has said, “is someone whose life makes it easier to believe in God.”