"THE COMFORTER IS HERE"
(A Series on Jesus)
C.R.9/27/87p.m. John 15:26-16:15
PROPOSITION: The person of the Holy Spirit is sent to
every believer by Jesus, from the Father, as the Counselor who testify about Jesus, convict the world of its guilt, guide us into truth, bring glory to Jesus and provide, for the believer, all that the Father has.
- WE believe, very firmly, in the trinity around here.
- NOW, you will not find that word in the Bible, but all through scripture you will see all three members of the Godhead revealed as working with and in man....and sometimes within the span of a few verses.
- THE passage that we will be studying tonight from John 15:26-16:15 is one of those kinds of places in scripture.
- IF you have one of those Bibles that have Jesus' actual words in red ink.....you will see that all 17 verses are spoken by Jesus Himself, the revealed Son of God.
- THEN, one of the themes of these 17 verses is that Jesus says He is going back where? To His Father.
- BUT, He also tells us that we are not to be afraid, that when He gets to the Father, that He and the Father will be sending us the Holy Spirit.
- YOU see, up to that point in scripture, the Holy Spirit had just been sent to anoint and empower certain individuals....like king David or Bezaleel the construction superintendant of the tabernacle in Exodus 31......
- THESE were people who had a special calling and task to perform for God.....and the Spirit was sent by God to enable them to be up to the job.
- BUT now.....in this passage......Jesus has the cross in view. And, at the cross, He is going to provide for the salvation of ALL mankind.
- HE was going to die....Hebrews 10 calls Him the perfect sacrifice, offered once for all for the sins of mankind......and then He sat down at the right hand of the Father.
- NOW, God's plan was to embrace the whole world through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus and His blood.
- HE was and is not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
- SO, here was a formidable task.......God, by the blood of His Son, did not want to lose one soul......and this liberating message was, in Jesus' absence, to be carried solely by the church......a rag tag group of fishermen, farmers, tax collectors and a few ladies that followed Jesus while He was on earth.
- AND arrayed solidly against this strange little band of disciples was the enemy of righteousness, satan himself and all his powerful demons of hell...working through madmen like Saul of Tarsus, the Sanhedrin, the High Priest and the entire Roman empire.
- RATHER uneven odds wouldn't you say?
- HOW would it work?
- HOW could this weak, fragile little group of quitters take the message of Jesus, the once for all sacrifice, against these odds and see to it that not one should perish but all come to repentance?
- IT was kind of like the boy, David, anointed by Samuel as king, against the 9 foot giant with a stone and a sling shot.....or chased by king Saul with the entire army of Israel instructed to kill him on sight.
* How in the world could he make it?
- OR like the contruction worker, Bezaleel, to follow God's intructions in building, to fine detail, incredibly important things like the shew bread table, the altar of sacrifice, and the Ark of the Covenant...where the presence of God would rest.
* And He had to do it without written plans, without his toolbox, in the desert, miles from Sutherlands hardware and the union hall.
- I MEAN, the impossibility of the task was overwhelming.
- THESE disciples were dead meat before they even started.
* They couldn't out-reason the Sanhedrin. These pharisees and elders had been schooled in the law and were seasoned debaters. They were the religious power-house of the day.
* They couldn't out-muscle the Roman government. It was the most powerful, most ruthless empire of all history.
* And, when the chips were down, it was 120 of them against the world.
- FRIENDS, there are times I have my doubts about 1,200 of us reaching a city of 120,000.
- BACK then it was 120 against the rest of the world....and Jesus did not one in the world to perish, but all to come to repentance.
- AT the time these words were spoken, He was with them and they felt safe and secure....whether in a storm or out in a field, far from town, with 5,000 hungry people, or facing a man with 1,000 demons.
- BUT within a few days He was leaving....what would happen to them then?
- GOD'S plan was the third member of the trinity....the person of the Holy Spirit.
* Fully God.....with all power...all wisdom.....all knowledge.
* Resident in every blood-washed believer...present everywhere at all times.
* Baptising all who ask in a supernatural portion of glory and power.
* Poured out, now, not just on individuals who have been given out-of-the-ordinary tasks, but on ALL flesh......because it is now the church of Jesus that has been given the supernatural task of taking the world for Jesus.
* And the odds seem even greater now than then.
* The powers of hell seem more active now than then.
* The opposition seems more intense now than then.
* The unbelief seems more wide-spread now than then.
* The shere numbers seem more staggering now than then. Over 5,000 million on planet earth (5 billion)........4 billion of those without Jesus.
- AND even from within, the church seems to crumbling against the massive onslaught of the enemy......
* Disease taking its toll....in an environment of unbelief....
* Divorce mocking the power of God......amongst the families of God.....
* The disciplines of the faith....laying discarded at the feet of believers wracked by unbelief.
* Sin gaining more and more of a stronghold...even in the church.....and no voices raised against it.
* Lethargy sapping all aggressive evangelism....and the desire for revival.
* Zeal diverted to the things of the world.....with sports and possessions and houses and careers taking front seat.....and Jesus shoved into a box labeled, "Take Out On Sundays and Emergencies Only"
- BUT Jesus knew all about this state of affairs.
- HE knew how tough it was going to be within and without the church.
- AND so He told that little band of trembling disciples......"It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." (John 16:7)
- WHO was Jesus going to send, in light of the incredible odds against us even making it, much less making an impact on a lost world?
- THE Comforter.
- WHO is the Comforter? He is GOD.....fully God with all power and wisdom and knowledge....bringing all that God is to your life every moment of every day....waiting for you, in faith, to give Him control.
- HE will take up residence in every believer....as the seal and guarentee of our salvation.
- HE will baptize every believer with power....to win the world for His kingdom.
- JESUS said that He was going away in order to send the Comforter from the Father.
- HE went away....and on the day of Pentecost the Comforter came......and the whole world felt the aftershock of that event.....3,000 added in the first day....5,000 added a few days later......50,000 within a few years in a city that had a population of 100,000.
- AND why?
- WHAT happened to this little band of 120?
- THE Comforter had come.
* And fear gave way to boldness.
* Selfishness gave way to service and sacrifice.
* Discouragment gave way to hope.
* Small-mindedness gave way to vision.
* Possessiveness gave way to sacrificial sharing.
- AND the gates of hell began to tremble....and the gate posts crumble as this band started invading enemy territory to reclaim the lost and dying and bring them to Jesus.
- AND ever since that day, it has happened just the same way, where there has been a group ready to believe that God is still in the business of sending His Holy Spirit to do His work in their world.
- NOW, Jesus speaks three major paragraphs about the Holy Spirit in these verses in John.
- THE first is found in 15:26-16:1
II.HE WILL TESTIFY ABOUT ME
- HERE it is;
"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. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. All this I have told you so that you will not go astray."
- FIRST, the name Counselor means one who stand with you to be all you need when you are in trouble with a legal accusation or judgment against you.
- NEXT, Jesus says in this passage that He will send the Holy Spirit, and that He will come from the Father....the Spirit of Truth.
- THE fact that HE goes out from the Father tells me that He is concerned with the Father's work....in you...in His church...in the world.
- AND His work, in this paragraph, is to testify about Jesus.
- HOW? Through the about-to-be-formed church of Jesus...that's you.
- THAT'S why Jesus says, "And you must testify".
- THE Holy Spirit doesn't work through closed lips.....He testifies about Jesus through your open mouth.
- HE is the turbo-charger to your witness.
- WHEN He is at work in you your words have the power to break strongholds and set the captives free.
III.HE WILL CONVICT THE WORLD OF GUILT
- THE next paragraph about the Holy Spirit is found in verses 7-11 of chapter 16;
" But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned."
- HERE Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit's work of conviction......
- HE is the One from God who will convince the world about;
* Sin.......that they do not believe in Jesus who is the Son of God and the only way to be saved.
* Without His work in our city...people will never be convinced that they are sinners and need forgiveness.
* Man loves himself and justifies himself too much to be convinced, in the natural, that he is a sinner.
* Righteousness.....that even with Jesus gone from the world, they can be convinced that Jesus' work on the cross is the only thing that will save them and bring them righteousness.
* Judgment....that satan's defeat at the cross is part of the judgment of God....and that all who do not come to the cross will receive the same ultimate judgment that awaits satan in the lake of fire.
- ALL of this is the work of the Holy Spirit of God.
- IS it any wonder that the church moves forward by prayer......prayer that releases the power of the Spirit on whole communities and delivers them from sin.
- WE cannot do anything without Him.
- HE is God's only answer for us to do the will of the Father in our world today.
- GOING into battle without recognizing His deity and His glory and His power at work in us....is like going against Muhamed Ali with a pudding pop.
IV.HE WILL GUIDE YOU AND GLORIFY JESUS IN YOU
- LASTLY, in verses 12-15, Jesus teaches us about the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing glory to Jesus by doing the works of the Father through us;
"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. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 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."
- FIRST, the Holy Spirit will instruct you concerning all truth....what is right and from the heart of God....also telling you what is to come in the plan of God.
- GOD'S people ought not to be in the dark about what God is doing in our day.
- THE Holy Spirit is come to bring us into the light.
- LASTLY, He will take what HE hears from the Father and what is the Father's plan....and bring glory to Jesus by working that plan out through you.
- DON'T you want to be doing God's perfect will in your life?
- DO we have time left to waste doing our own thing?
- AREN'T you tired of doing your own thing and ready to do His will?
- THEN the Holy Spirit is here to do the Father's will through you....and bring glory to Jesus in the process.
- WELL, there is it....the words of Jesus...spoken and recorded 2,000 years ago but just as powerful as spoken to your heart by the Holy Spirit tonight.
- HE is here to indwell every believer....He does indwell every believer and does the work of the Father through every one who submits to His call.
- BUT He has been sent, in baptising power, to equip you in glory......to do His work with the turbo boost turned all the way up.
- JESUS said in Acts 1:4&5;
"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
- THESE were men who already had the Spirit in residence (John 20:22)......but they needed His baptising power.
- THEN in Acts 1:8;
" But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
- AND in Acts 2 it happened.
- JESUS had ascended to the right hand of the Father.
- AND what He had promised happened.
- HE sent the Holy Spirit apon all flesh;
"Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."
- AND you know the rest of the story....you are part of the rest of the story.
- AND HE is here tonight....the same Holy Spirit...sent by Jesus from the Father to baptize you in His presence and power.
- ALL you have to do is come and receive Him by faith....and be ready to praise Him for His gift in a language He will give you as you move out in Him.