Faithlife Sermons

Living in the Spirit's Power

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John 16:5–15 NKJV
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
Focus verse:
John 16:7 NKJV
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
Note: it is to your advantage
The Helper is the Holy Spirit, called the Spirit of truth in verse 13:
John 16:13 NKJV
13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Jesus said it is to our advantage that He goes away, because then the Holy Spirit can come. In other words, it is better to have the Holy Spirit in us, than to have Jesus with us in the flesh!
Why?
What is the advantage the Holy Spirit brings us?

The Holy Spirit enables us to share in Christ’s relationship with the Father

The Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father.
John 5:20 NKJV
20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
John 14:31 NKJV
31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
But how do the Father and the Son express their love for each other? They do so through the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit emanates from God and His Son Jesus as the expression of the love they share for each other.
Throughout eternity, the Spirit has been relaying to the Father and the Son their mutual love.
For example, when the Son wants to affectionately call God “Daddy”, it is the Spirit emanating from Him that communicates this message to God:
Galatians 4:6 NKJV
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
Paul’s point in this verse is that the Spirit expresses the relational love the Son has for the Father in the cry, “Abba, Father!” (“Abba” means “Daddy”). Paul reasons that because the same Spirit lives in our heart, the same cry of “Abba, Father” is present within us so that through the Spirit we also can relate to God as Father, just as Jesus does.
Similarly, when the Father wishes to communicate His love for His Son, He does so by the Spirit. This is why, when Jesus was baptised, and God wanted to publicly announce how much He loved His Son, the Spirit visibly descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. This episode in time gave us a glimpse into what is constantly taking place in eternity – the Spirit emanating from God as the expression of His love for His Son:
Luke 3:22 NKJV
22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
As the expression of the love that God has for His Son, the Spirit causes the Son to know how much the Father loves Him. Similarly, when the same Spirit enters our heart, He also expresses the love that God has for us:
Romans 5:5 NKJV
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 8:16 NKJV
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
So, it is through the Spirit that God relates to us, and it is through the Spirit that we relate to God (as we saw in Gal4:6)
Ephesians 2:18 NKJV
18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Romans 8:15 NKJV
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

The Holy Spirit enables us to share in in Christ’s nature

As human beings we are composed of spirit, soul and body.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our spirit is our spiritual nature, the part of us that connects with God. Our soul is our mind, will and emotions. Our body is our physical part.
When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit gave us a new spirit:
John 3:6 NKJV
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Titus 3:5 NKJV
5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
Our renewed spirit has the nature and likeness of Christ:
Ephesians 4:24 NKJV
24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 3:10–11 NKJV
10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
So, our spirit has been born again, regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit. It is a completed work, our spirits have been saved. Spiritually, we are a “new man”.
However, whereas our spirits has been completey renewed, our souls (i.e. our mind, will and emotions) are in the process of being renewed:
Romans 12:2 NKJV
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Our soul is progressively being transformed from glory to glory into the image of Christ, and it is God, by His Spirit, who is doing this:
Philippians 2:13 NKJV
13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
So, our spirit has been renewed, our soul is in the process of being renewed, and one day, the Holy Spirit will renew our bodies also:
Romans 8:11 NKJV
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Notice, it is by the Holy Spirit that our bodies will be transformed. When this happens, our bodies will be just like Jesus’ glorified body:
Philippians 3:20–21 NKJV
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Then will be completely fulfilled the saying:
Romans 8:29 NKJV
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
So, we have seen that the Holy Spirit enables us to share in Christ’s relationship with the Father, and that He enables us to share in Christ’s nature...

The Holy Spirit empowers us to share in Christ’s ministry

Peter described Jesus’ ministry as follows:
Acts 10:38 NKJV
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Notice that Jesus was dependent of the power of the Spirit to heal!
Jesus imparted an anointing to His twelve apostles to enable them to do the same:
Matthew 10:1 NKJV
1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
But it’s not just the apostles He gives this ability to...
John 14:12 NKJV
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
What happened when Jesus went to His Father? He sent the Holy Spirit!
Acts 1:8 NKJV
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Mark 16:17–18 NKJV
17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Mark 11:23 NKJV
23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Summary

Three advantages of Jesus going away so that the Holy Spirit would come include:
The Holy Spirit enables us to share in Christ’s relationship with the Father
The Holy Spirit enables us to share in Christ’s nature
The Holy Spirit enables us to share in Christ’s ministry
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