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The Advocate

Easter--Pentecost  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The ministry of the holy spirit in our lives

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John 15:26–27 NIV
“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 16:4–15 NIV
I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, 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. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But 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.”
Jesus is sharing with his disciples for the final time. He’s preparing to return to the Father after teaching his disciples what it really means to be his disciples. He’s taken them all over. He’s taught them the truth. Now he’s letting them know that although things are changing they will not be alone.
Transitions are always challenging. Sometimes a transition offers the exciting kind of challenge. A new job. A new church family. A new ministry that can reach a new group. It’s going to require effort, but the upside outweighs the downside and we look forward to the transition. Sometimes we dread transitions. We get health news we were hoping to avoid. We are stunned by relationship difficulties that we didn’t see coming. One thing’s for sure: life is rarely easy. Another thing: it never stands still. Moments are fleeting. We should treasure each moment.
Things were going to change, whether the disciples were ready or not. But Jesus begins to paint a picture of how God will still be present in that uncertain future. It can feel like the end of the world sometimes. And one day it will either be the end of our lives or the end of the world, but even that transition will be a new beginning if it happens in Jesus.
Sometimes they are a challenge we dread.
One thing’s for sure: life is never easy.
John 15:26 NIV
“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.
Jesus will no longer be physically present with them. But someone who knows him amazingly well will be present in a new way. Jesus uses the term the Advocate. But he’s talking about The Holy Spirit. He also calls him the Spirit of Truth. These speak to his identity and activity.
The Holy Spirit is part of God. This is where it can get complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.
God is known to us as: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Somehow God lives in community. Scripture tells us that Jesus and the Father are one. They share some kind of essential unity and some kind of diversity. The Spirit also comes from the Father just like Jesus did. Jesus only spoke what the Father willed. But we know from other passages that he also was the agent of creation. The Spirit was also there hovering over the waters of creation.
It took the church several generations to unpack everything that the Bible tells us about God. But in order to be faithful to all of it we must say that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all part of God. They share essential unity. The Word tells us that God is love: so somehow Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwelling together in love make up the fullness of God. So they have essential unity, but they also are all unique. The greek word “person” is used in the creeds to define their uniqueness. But it’s a technical term in this case. We don’t have three Gods. There is only One God. But Father, Son and Holy Spirit are part of one God. They are all equal. But they have separate functions. In order to carry out their mission of saving and renewing this glorious creation, The Father sets the agenda, the Son carries it out and the Spirit communicates it and empowers our response. It’s really that simple if we let it be.
So, Jesus is saying that the Advocate is going to come and not only fill in for Jesus’ physical absence, but also to make more things possible in their lives. The disciples have a huge mission. And that is where it’s all focused. The Advocate.

The Advocate

Is an advocate a lawyer that gets you out of trouble, or an activist deeply committed to a message? Really the Spirit is both, but more-so the second one. The Advocate isn’t just here to cover for us if we get sloppy. He’s here to empower us to live in new ways. The Advocate is here to convince the world that our message is true!
He’s on a mission from God. We should be too!
John for Everyone, Part 2: Chapters 11–21 If the World Hates You (John 15:18–27)

the spirit of truth, will come from the father, and live in them, telling them, and telling the world through them, who Jesus really was and is. They mustn’t get lured into talking about themselves. That might well make them paranoid, and it would make their hearers either bored or angry. They must talk about him. The world won’t like it, but it must be done.

He’s not just here to make our parties more fun. But let’s face it: Christians do get to have the most fun because we aren’t looking to impress anyone. We simply have received life as a gift and we want to give thanks and share life!
The Spirit is here to give a redemptive edge to everything we do. Whatever Christians do, they can do it to the glory of God and to testify to the gospel. Is that how you live?
John 16:12–13 NIV
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But 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.
This brings us back to how the trinity functions: The Spirit takes the place of Jesus in communicating the gospel message and helping us discern or understand how to keep living it out.
John 16:14–15 NIV
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.”
The Holy Spirit will never go against Scripture or against Jesus or the Father. It’s not because he isn’t allowed or isn’t able. It’s because the three are one. We serve one God. Zoomed all the way out it’s simple: God is love.
1 John 4:16 NIV
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
Again Jesus is loving his disciples by showing them how his presence will still be with them.
Again Jesus is
Today is Pentecost. We celebrate and remember the arrival of the Holy Spirit. If you have made peace with God through Jesus and are following him daily, then you know the Holy Spirit. He made all of that possible. But Jesus prayed that we would be truly sanctified and be led into all the truth. That’s different ways of the describing the deeper work of the Holy Spirit in us. To make us more like Jesus.
Last week I asked some of you to really be seeking God through this week. Praying about whether there is more that the Spirit needs to do deep in you.
Sanctification=initially cleansed, forgiven and made a member of God’s family
Sanctification=growing spiritually, learning and serving like Jesus in the church
Sanctification=complete surrender to God, making way for the Spirit to fill you entirely, followed by more growth
Sanctification=glorification in heaven-new body and fully restored self

Have you been filled with the Spirit/Entirely Sanctified?

Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 36: John (Second Edition) The Hatred of the World for the Church (15: 18–16:4a)

26–27 The clauses relating to the Paraclete, “whom I will send from the Father,” and “who proceeds from the Father,” are set in synonymous parallelism, and so express the same idea in variation (Schnackenburg, 3:118, with most modern writers). This means that the latter clause must be interpreted of the sending of the Spirit on mission to humankind, and not of the so-called “procession” of the Spirit from the Father, as many Greek Fathers maintained, and as is represented in the historic creeds. The sending of the Spirit in many respects corresponds to the sending of the Son (cf. 8:42; 13:3; 17:8. On “the Spirit of truth” see 14:16–17, and the Comment on that passage, pp. 256–58). The Spirit’s task is to “bear witness” concerning Jesus (περὶ ἐμοῦ). His witness therefore is not here conceived of as that of an advocate, speaking in defense of the disciples

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