Faithlife Sermons

Trying Times

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Mr. Rogers in seminary. On vacation with his wife, they attended church with friends. He says he made note of all the preaching faux pas. When the sermon finally ended, he turned to his friend, ready to comment. He stopped when he saw tears streaming down her face. Her comment: He said exactly what I needed to hear. That is the Holy Spirit.
John 15:18–16:4 ESV
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. 1 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.
John 15:18
“It seems that I know evil more intimately than I know goodness and that’s not a good thing either. I want to get even, to be made even, whole, my debts paid (whatever it may take!), to have no blemish, no reason to feel guilt or fear . . . I’d like to stand in the sight of God. To know that I’m just and right and clean. When you’re this way, you know it. And when you’re not, you know that, too. It’s all inside of us, each of us.” (From a letter by Gary Gilmore [executed by State of Utah] to his girlfriend.)
The world will be in opposition to you. You have been called to be separate from the world. We are supposed to be a boat in the water, but the water doesnt belong in the boat. The opposition for the disciples would be because of their association with Jesus. For us, if we dont belong to Him, the world doesnt oppose. In that case we are part of the world, the opposition. The water is in the boat.
Green, M. P. (Ed.). (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching
When you belong to Him, the world will be in opposition to you. You have been called to be separate from the world. Best illustrated boat in the water, not water in the boat. The opposition for the disciples would be because of their association with Jesus. For us, if we dont belong to Him, the world doesnt oppose. In that case we are part of the world, the opposition. The water is in the boat.
But we cant belong to Him and not know. We cant belong to Him and not be different. We cant belong to Him and not belong to the people of God. One of the ways we know: when sin wins a battle it is devastating! When selfishness, or pettiness or pride, for a brief moment, is who we are, and then we realize what we have done, it is devastating. And then the Holy Spirit comes and grace pours out and restoration comes and relationships are rebuilt. And we learn that selfishness or pettiness or pride is a poor substitute for the love and mercy and life God has for us.
They oppose you because you belong to Jesus. They oppose you because they could not accept Christ as being from the Father. That truth brings into focus the exact opposition Jesus is talking about: from the Jews. Their hostility has been toward Me up til now, but I’m leaving. Which means it will be toward you. There would be other opposition for them, as there is for us. But what He was helping the disciples understand was that the Jews would fiercely oppose their message and life.
v.24 The sin(singular!) of the Jews: unpardonable because it was unbelief. The only sin God doesn’t/cant forgive is the sin of refusing to believe. Jesus said that if He hadn’t come, they wouldn’t have that sin charged against them.
The ignorance of the Jews, not believing in either Jesus or the Father, was not excusable. Why? God draws men to salvation. He begins faith in us. So how could they be without excuse? The guilt of the sin of the ignorance of unbelief, the guilt is against us. And how could these Jews, God’s chosen people be guilty of unbelief? Its not so far fetched.
If you have sat through these 15 chapters of the gospel of John, hearing the words of Jesus call to you: Come to me, I am the way. I am the good shepherd. I am the true vine. And still you are able to say, I do not believe, I will not believe. Then the words of Jesus are for you as well: You have no excuse for your sin.
As it was true of the Jews in the days of Jesus, so it is in present day. As long as unbelief is the issue, condemnation is sure. Belong, belong, believe. If i recognize that I dont belong to Him, my need is not to join, my need is to believe!
BUT GOD passionately pursues. (Jordan, welder. Eric A&M) He lovingly reveals Himself to mankind so that we are drawn to Him. His ultimate glory is for our ultimate good so His glory is revealed, even through creation around us, so that we can know there is a God who loves us. And He gives the grace to respond. He is, in fact, the Spirit of grace!
v.26 But when the Helper comes… Sent by the Son from the Father. But let’s be careful not to see Him as some messenger boy. These verses are not about the nature of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, but about His mission in the world. But let’s look at His nature for a moment.
Same Spirit of God as seen ‘brooding over the surface of the earth’. Preparing creation for fruitfulness. He is the Spirit of God that came over Samson when he was judge of Israel. Often times the OT talks about the Spirit being the breath of God like we understand Jesus as the Word of God.
And His mission in the world includes this: The Holy Spirit is your advocate. He will testify to all truth.
To whom does the Holy Spirit testify in advocacy?
Disciples and us - remind you of all truth
Those being drawn to salvation - whereas we have the same mission - plant a seed. Bryce haircut
The Father -
Romans 8:26–27 ESV
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Do you see there how He advocates?
Helper - NASB, ESV, NKJV
Advocate - NIV
Counselor - HSCB
Comforter - KJV
The world refuses us because Jesus has accepted us.
The way people treat us
The Holy Spirit was sent so we would always have the presence of God in us and with us.
The unfairness of this or that
The difficulty God has allowed in our life
This, like , is a warning, not divine condemnation. Remember, a few verses later is says:
Hebrews 6:17–18 ESV
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
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