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The Promise of the Comforter

The Upper Room  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Promise of the Comforter

John 14:15–26 HCSB
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. 19 “In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live too. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. 21 The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it You’re going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me. 25 “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit —the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
The basics of our faith brings us to grips with a dichotomy between what we as Christians are responsible to do and what God has already done on our behalf.
We are told in Scripture how we are to live, act, think, and speak. We are informed of what we are to do, what we are to separate from, and to what we are to be committed. All of which are essential to our Christian faith.
But the NT emphasizes much what Christ has already done for us. We’re told that we are predestined, called, justified, and glorified.
Romans 8:29–30 HCSB
29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.
Romans 8:30 HCSB
30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.
Romans 8:29–31 HCSB
29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified. 31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
:29-31
Romans 8:29-
Have you noticed that most of what our Lord has given in this Upper Room Discourse has been promises, not commandments. He spent the evening telling them what he would do for them rather than giving them a bunch of rules and instructions to obey.
Romans 8:29–30 HCSB
29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.
This section begins with a statement of the importance of obeying His commands, but then He quickly shifts to promising mode.
John 14:16 HCSB
16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
This is a staggering promise that begins a series of related promises.
Who are these promises for?
At first glance, we might immediately say they are to His disciples. But look at verse 23:
John 14:23 HCSB
23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
If anyone loves MeAnyone! Did you see that?
That goes right back to what He said initially. If it’s anyone who is keeping His commandments, then it must be to whom the promises are made.
Don’t miss the significance of Jesus’ clear statement concerning the genuine proof of love for Christ — It’s obedience to His commandments.
Ephesians 4:26 HCSB
26 Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,
Ephesians 6:24 NASB95
24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.
James 2:20 HCSB
20 Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless?
Many unbelievers profess to know God, but they actually deny Him by their works.
Titus 1:16 HCSB
16 They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.
Obedience to Christ is “Faith working through love.”
Galatians
Galatians 5:6 HCSB
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.
Jesus said,
Matthew 7:21 HCSB
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Luke 11:28 HCSB
28 He said, “Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed!”
Love for Christ is not Lip Service
Real love for Christ, true faith in Christ, love for God is obedience to His commands. It’s to those who love Him that Christ made these wonderful promises, not as rewards in return for our faithfulness, but gracious gifts from God provided without any effort on our part. And every single promise is tied to the coming of the Holy Spirit — the Comforter.

1. The Promise of Another Counselor

The Greek word for Counselor (or Helper, or Comforter) is παράκλητος, which is literally “one who comes alongside”.
“Another” is crucial to understand the full meaning of what Christ was promising them. The Greek language is a very precise language. There are two words in Greek translated “another.” One is heteros which means “a different kind.” And then there is ἄλλος, which means “another of the same kind.” Jesus used the word ἄλλος, to describe the Holy Spirit.
παράκλητος
ἄλλος
In other words, Jesus was saying, “I’m sending you another Comforter, of exactly the same essence as Me.” He wasn’t sending just any old helper, but One exactly like Him. The disciples would have caught this immediately.
ἄλλος
Jesus had been their παράκλητος for 3 years. He had helped them, taught them, comforted them, walked along side them. Now the Holy Spirit would come and be a Helper just like Christ was to them to minister to them as He had.
It’s important to understand the Holy Spirit is no a force or power. He is a person much like Jesus the Son of God. He is not a Ghost. He is Spirit. He is a person.
This is essential to understand. Each and every believer has two παράκλητος, One in them and One at the right hand of the Father interceding for them.
1 John 2:1 HCSB
1 My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous One.
The word advocate is again the word — παράκλητος. This had to have been very encouraging to the disciples. And it should be to you as well. Because listen to the whole verse again.
John 14:15 HCSB
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
John 14:16 HCSB
16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
to be with you forever! The Holy Spirit would come, just as promised, and once He dwelt in them, He would never leave. He is there forever.
I want you to notice something very important.
“I will ask the Father...”
Christ asks for them before they ever ask for the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 65:24 HCSB
24 Even before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear.
Isaiah
Amazingly, before we can ever get our prayer even formed, Christ has already presented them to the Father.
What will the Spirit do for us?

2. The Promise of Spiritual Perception

John 14:17 HCSB
17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.
The Holy Spirit is both the living essence of truth and guides us into all truth.
The unbeliever has neither. The world never recognized the first Comforter, much less the second One since He cannot be seen with eyes of our flesh.
The unregenerate have no capacity, no faculty for spiritual perception. Take for instance the Religious elite of Jesus’ day. They came to the conclusion that Jesus was of the Devil, a completely wrong conclusion.
1 Corinthians 2:12–14 HCSB
12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. 13 We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. 14 But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.
In other words, the only way — the Only Way to understand the things of God is to have the Holy Spirit.

3. The Promise of Spiritual Union

“But you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you.”
In the OT, the Spirit often empowered people for service, revealed the truth to the prophets, was active in many ways from the Creation to the baptism of Christ. But here is something new promised, something unique.
with you and in you.
He is not merely in their midst — but in spiritual union and the verb tense indicates this was permanent and uninterrupted union with them. This is a fulfillment of Ezekiel 37:14
Ezekiel 37:14 HCSB
14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. I have spoken, and I will do it.” This is the declaration of the Lord.
Ezekiel
This is a magnificent grace that God would plant His very essence in us! We have a supernatural Helper, not merely with us, but in us!
1 Corinthians

4. The Promise of Christ’s Presence

1 Corinthians 12:11–13 HCSB
11 But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills. 12 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
John 14:18 HCSB
18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.
John
Here the Lord expands His promise. He had told them He would die and He would literally be dead very soon. So, He wanted to reassure them that could nevertheless count on His presence even after His death.
So, His promise was two-fold:
First, He was guaranteeing that He would resurrect that His dying on the cross would not be the end.
But beyond that was the promise that He would be with them. I am coming to you. Here He is speaking of His spiritual presence in every believer through the Holy Spirit.
;And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20 HCSB
20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Here is the mystery of the Trinity.
The Holy Spirit abides in us.
John 14:17 HCSB
17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.
Christ dwells in us.
Colossians 1:27 HCSB
27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
God is in us.
1 John 4:12 HCSB
12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.
Each member of the Godhead is fully united spiritually with every believer. This is the source of eternal life.
John 14:19 HCSB
19 “In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live too.
This is the spiritual life of the believer who is alive to another realm, a spiritual realm. This is not merely the quantity or duration of the redeemed life. It is reference to the kind of life that makes a person sensitive to being alive spiritually, walking with God, sensing the Holy Spirit, communing with Christ. This is something the world not only does not know, butcannot know.

5. The Promise of Full Understanding

John 14:20 HCSB
20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you.
How can we be in Christ and He in us?
This would not seem logical. This is like stirring in Hershey’s Chocolate into a cold glass of milk. Stir, stir, stir. It never seems to be perfectly mixed in.
This union of the Son to the Father seemed mostly mystifying to the disciples that night in the upper room. Union with deity was inconceivable to them. So, when Jesus said, “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you.” clearly He was speaking of the day of Pentecost in which the Holy Spirit would descend on them permanently. Before that, there was no way of understanding the relationship of Christ with His Father and certainly not their relationship with the Godhead.
But then when Pentecost came and they received the Holy Spirit, they began to get it.
Acts 2:14–16 HCSB
14 But Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them: “Men of Judah and all you residents of Jerusalem, let me explain this to you and pay attention to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only nine in the morning. 16 On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
And Peter clearly taught exactly who Jesus Christ is, why He rose from the dead, what the Father’s will is and what that meant in reference to Christ’s church and the OT Scriptures.
Peter wasn’t secretly online at the Jerusalem Seminary. The Holy Spirit supernaturally cleared it all up and everything fell into place for him.

6. The Promise of the Revelation of the Father

John 14:21 HCSB
21 The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”
This is right back to verse 15.
John 14:15 HCSB
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
He has come full circle. The Father’s desire is to glorify the Son. And He does just that, continuously through His Spirit who pours the love of God into our hearts.
Romans 5:5 HCSB
5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
How do we know who God has set His love on? Who are His children?
Those who truly love the Son. Those who love Christ are loved by the Father. But before we begin to think that God’s love is a reward because we loved Christ. The opposite is true.
1 John 4:19 HCSB
19 We love because He first loved us.
Those who love Christ are loved by Him because Jesus loves what His Father loves. This reveals the Father. It manifests God.
You may at times here that Christianity described as a relationship. But in reality it is more than relational. It is obedience, not a ritualistic, going through the motions, mechanical obedience. That is keeping only the exterior clean. Real Christianity involves hones, deep, heartfelt, commited love that obeys.
Look at the confused Disciples.
John 14:22 HCSB
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it You’re going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?”
How could they see Him, but the world could not? They see Him now. And look at Christ’s astounding answer.
John 14:23–24 HCSB
23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.
This is very much like a repeat of what Jesus said in verse 21, isn’t it?
But this is absolutely important to understand. Christ would reveal the Father in a spiritual sense. He would reveal the Father in someone’s heart, spiritually discerned and understood, not physically.
In other words — this is the point.
Obedience is the real test of whether one loves Christ and believes in Him.
It’s not a question of perfection. No one is without sin. . Nor are we earning salvation with our obediences. Salvation is a gift of God. However, faith that does not result in obedience is not saving faith.
James 2:17 HCSB
17 In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.
Those who truly love Christ obey Him.
Don’t miss what Jesus claimed at the end of verse 24.
“The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.”
Why was this important?
Because this is the highest claim of authority — God’s Word. What Christ taught is the Father’s truth. Obeying Christ was obeying the Father. Since there was no conflict between the will of the Father and the will of the Son, then obedience to the Son was absolute devotion and obedience to the Father.

7. Finally, the Promise of a Supernatural Teacher

This was Christ turning over all continuing instruction to the Holy Spirit.
John 14:25–26 HCSB
25 “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit —the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
It was their last night together with Him on earth and they were failing to grasp much of what He was telling them.
John 12:16 HCSB
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
John 16:12 HCSB
12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now.
For three years He had been teaching them the Father’s truth. Yet there was so much they did not understand. And now He was turning them over to a Resident who would dwell within them and teach them and remind them continually what He taught them.
Christ was turning over the continuing instruction to the Holy Spirit who would dwell in them.
Christ came in the name of the Father. The Holy Spirit comes in the name of Christ. He comes in Christ’s stead. Neither the Son of the Spirit carries His own ministry independently. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to stand in the place of Christ. He desires what Christ desires, loves what Christ loves, does what Christ does, brings glory to Christ.
When Christ tells them,
John 14:26 HCSB
26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit —the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
He will teach you all things does not mean He will teach them new things, or that He will teach them things in addition to what Christ taught — in other words, nothing would contradict what Christ had taught. He continues and says — “and remind you of everything I have told you.”
The primary import of this promise is that the Holy Spirit would enable the disciples to recall the words Jesus had spoken to them so that when they recorded them as Scripture, the words would be perfect and error-free. It is a promise of divine inspiration.
Can you imagine them trying to recall all the words of Christ?
How does the promise of the Holy Spirit instruct us and bring all things to our memory apply today?
He does so through the Word of God. He convicts us of sin, affirms the truth in our hearts, opens our understanding to the depths of the truth God has revealed.
Melissa and Lisa.
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