The Wonderful Work of God's Holy Spirit
The Wonderful Work of God's Holy Spirit
The Gospel of John
John 16:6-15 (plus multiple other Scriptures)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - December 27, 2017
(Revised March 27, 2020)
*Please open your Bibles to John 16. For many weeks now, we have been studying the night before Jesus died on the cross for our sins. That's because God's Word puts a great emphasis on this night, all the way from John 13:1 to John 18:27.
*In tonight's Scripture, Christ and His disciples have left the upper room where Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, and they are walking on the road to the Garden of Gethsemane. John Phillips explained: "With the solitude of the upper room now over and the agony ahead, Jesus talked as he walked, first to his followers, then to his Father. His talk with his followers gave them revelations about God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Heavenly Father." (1)
*On this night, Jesus had already promised 3 different times that God would send His Holy Spirit. These promises foretold what was going to happen after Jesus rose again from the dead, went home to Heaven, and was glorified by God the Father. God's Holy Spirit would be sent in a new way to live in everyone who receives Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
*In the KJV of John 14:15-18, Jesus said:
15. If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
*Then in John 14:25-26, Jesus said:
25. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
*And in John 15:26-27, Jesus said:
26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
*The Holy Spirit surely did come in a new way on the Day of Pentecost, and He is still at work in the world today. In tonight's Scripture, Jesus highlighted some of the wonderful ways God's Spirit wants to work in our lives. Let's begin by reading John 16:6-15.
*Peter Marshall was one of the great preachers of the 20th century. One of the things so special about him was his gift to make people aware of the presence of Jesus Christ.
*One of Dr. Marshall's best-known sermons was called, "The King Is in the Audience." He preached it every year on the anniversary of going to the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. And Dr. Marshall would say, "The King is in the audience, walking these aisles or sitting beside you. You may whisper your own prayer to the King now."
*Heart-searching silence would follow. One woman said, "We seemed actually to feel Christ beside us, to hear the rustling of His robes." (2)
*Church: We should often feel the presence of the Lord in our lives, because by His Holy Spirit, He is here with us now. Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place, and He is always with us as believers.
*God's Word shows us at least 15 ways that His Spirit is at work in our world today. (See list and Scriptures at the end of this message.) (3)
*Tonight, we will focus on some of the most important ways God's Holy Spirit wants to work in our lives.
1. FIRST: THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES US CONVICTION.
*Jesus talked about the conviction of the Holy Spirit in vs. 6-11. Here the Lord called His Spirit by a name that means "Helper," "Comforter" or "Counselor." And Jesus said this to His disciples:
6. . . "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."
*The Holy Spirit is still at work today, seeking to convict people of their sins and God's coming judgment on sin. The Holy Spirit tries to show us the seriousness of our sins.
*But the most important work of God's Holy Spirit is to shine the light on Jesus Christ. So in vs. 14-15, Jesus said this about His Holy Spirit:
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."
*Everybody needs to be convicted of their sins, but it is not enough to be convicted of our sins. We must also know God's will and His work to save us from our sins, so the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ.
*The Holy Spirit convinces us of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. God's Spirit convinces us that the Lord's perfect righteousness made Jesus the one and only perfect sacrifice for our sins. The Holy Spirit also shows us the salvation we can have through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And the Spirit convinces us that the Lord's righteousness becomes our righteousness, when we place our faith in Jesus.
*Jesus summed up this crucial work of His Spirit in vs. 14 where again the Lord said, "He (the Holy Spirit) will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you."
*Years ago, I had the joy of talking to a little boy about his salvation. His name was Lucas, and I wanted to make sure that he was ready to be baptized. It turned out that Lucas was ready to be baptized. He had trusted in Jesus a couple of months before.
*When I asked him to tell me how it happened, one of the things he said was, "I kept feeling a tugging at my heart. God was calling to me from the inside out."
*That's exactly what the Lord is talking about here. In John 10:3, Jesus the Good shepherd "calls His own sheep by name and leads them out." And in John 10:4, "The sheep follow him, for they know his voice."
*Ten days after our Risen Savior ascended back into Heaven, God the Father sent the Holy Spirit into the world in a new way. And now through God's Word, the Holy Spirit speaks to people's hearts: About their sin, about God's payment for our sin on the cross of Christ, about how important it is to believe in Jesus, and about the coming Judgment of God.
*That's why my young friend Lucas could say, "I kept feeling a tugging at my heart. God was calling to me from the inside out." Then, when we trust in the Lord, by His Holy Spirit, He comes to live in our hearts.
*God's Holy Spirit gives people conviction, and He continues to convict us of our sins as long as we are in these mortal bodies.
*Jerry Shirley suggested that the Holy Spirit is symbolized by fire partly "because one of His great ministries is to burn the impurities out of our lives. First the fire shines the light on our sinfulness and brings us under conviction. The Spirit's still, small voice inside us, makes us uncomfortable when we sin.
*Dr. John R. Rice was a great Baptist pastor and preacher. And after being saved for many years he was asked if he had gotten to the place where he no longer sinned. Dr. Rice replied, 'No, but I've gotten to the place where I can't enjoy it!'" (4)
*True Christians will not be content with known sin in our lives, because God's Spirit brings us under conviction.
2. AND WHEN LOST PEOPLE RESPOND TO HIS CONVICTION, THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES US A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
*When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior God's Spirit makes us part of the family of God. Think about how you become part of a family. Basically, there are only 3 ways: Marriage, birth and adoption. God uses a spiritual version of all three to make us a part of His family.
 FIRST: MARRIAGE.
*Most of us know that the Bible calls Jesus the Bridegroom, and God's Church is the Bride of Christ. There are at least 7 or 8 key passages that talk about this truth.
*For example, in John 3:25-31:
25. . . There arose a dispute between some of John (the Baptist's) disciples and the Jews about purification.
26. And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!''
27. John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.
28. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.'
29. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
30. He must increase, but I must decrease."
*Then in Ephesians 5:22-33, God gives us His wonderful plan for marriage, and it is based on God's plan for Jesus and His Church. Listen to part of what Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:
25. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it,
26. that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27. that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
29. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
30. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
31. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.''
32. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
*Also, in Revelation 19:5-9, the Apostle John wrote:
5. Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!''
6. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
7. Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.''
8. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9. Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' '' And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God.''
*When we respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are miraculously saved, and we become part of the spiritual Bride of Christ.
 WE BECOME PART OF GOD'S FAMILY BY MARRIAGE. WE ALSO BECOME PART OF GOD'S FAMILY BY BIRTH!
*When we believe in Jesus, we are born again into God's family by the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus talked about this new spiritual birth in John 3:5-7. There the Lord told Nicodemus:
5. "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'"
*When we trust in Jesus, we are literally born again spiritually, and we have two birthdays! This miraculous gift of new life is absolutely essential for salvation, and it is always the work of God's Holy Spirit.
 WE BECOME PART OF GOD'S FAMILY BY A NEW BIRTH. BUT WE ALSO BECOME PART OF GOD'S FAMILY BY ADOPTION!
*When we believe in Jesus, yes, we become part of the Bride of Christ, and yes, we are born again by the Holy Spirit of God, but we are also adopted by the Holy Spirit into the family of God.
*In John 14:15-18 of the NKJV, Jesus said this about His Holy Spirit:
15. "If you love Me, keep My commandments.
16. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
17. the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
18. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."
*In the KJV Jesus told His followers, "I will not leave you comfortless."
*"I will not leave you comfortless." "I will not leave you orphans." Both translations are good, because the original Greek has the word picture of an orphan left with no one to give them care and comfort. In fact, the original word is "orphanos," where we get our word "orphan."
*But Jesus says: "I will not leave you comfortless. I will not leave you orphans." This verse gives us an absolute guarantee that Jesus will never abandon those who trust in Him.
*When we receive Jesus, He comes to us through His Spirit and adopts us into the Family of God. Paul echoed this great truth in Romans 8:14-16 where he said:
14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
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."
16. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
*I have heard adoptive parents talk about the boundless joy they had on the day their dream of adoption came true. And think about the kind of love on display when families choose to adopt children.
*Kay Strom gave the example of 11-year-old Jeremy. He had been abandoned by his birth mother when he was just a little baby.
*Jeremy had grown up in a series of foster homes. The only times he ever saw his birth mother were the 3 times she had come to town for court hearings to block Jeremy from being adopted. How cruel she must have been. Finally, the judge was able to free Jeremy for adoption, but it took 11 long years.
*Rachel Carter was Jeremy's 4th grade school teacher. She was also the mother of three girls. Rachel's heart had gone out to Jeremy on the very first day of school that year. Mrs. Carter was specially moved when the little boy introduced himself by saying, "I'm Jeremy, and I don't have a family. -- I never will, because I'm too old for anybody to love me."
*That's what Jeremy thought. But before the year was out, Rachel and her husband decided to adopt that little boy. At the end of the school year the adoption was finalized, and Jeremy proudly told the principal, "When school started I was a nobody. -- Now I'm a Carter!"
*That is a great story of the love and joy of adoption. But God has infinitely greater love and joy when He adopts us into His family! (5)
*When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are put into God's Family every possible way! -- By marriage, by birth, and by adoption! And God's Holy Spirit has a part every step of the way.
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES US A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. THEN HE IS OUR EVER-PRESENT RESOURCE FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING.
*God the Holy Spirit is our greatest resource for Christian living. I say that first of all because the Holy Spirit wrote the other greatest resource for Christian living, and that is the Bible, the Word of God. As 2 Peter 1:20-21 says: "No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
*God the Holy Spirit gave us the Word of God. And now He is working in us both to desire and to do the things that please God.
 FOR EXAMPLE, THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES US GUIDANCE.
*Jesus explained it this way in John 16:12-13:
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."
 THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDES US. AND HE GIVES SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO US.
*Paul was talking about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:11 when he said, "The same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."
 THE HOLY SPIRIT ALSO GIVES US SPIRITUAL FRUIT.
*As Paul said in Galatians 5:22-23, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
 THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ALSO CHANGING US TO REFLECT THE GLORY OF JESUS CHRIST.
*Here in John 16:14, Jesus said this about His Holy Spirit, "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you."
*One of the ways the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus is by having the Lord shine through us! 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells Christians that "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."
*The New Living Translation says, "All of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him, and reflect His glory even more."
*The Holy Spirit is our resource for Christian living. We can never live the Christian life in our own strength.
*Kent Crockett the old story about a pastor traveling on a bus down a bumpy road. A new college student was seated next to the preacher, and he noticed that the pastor was reading his Bible.
*Almost out of the blue, the preacher asked, "Are you spiritually ready for the temptations that you will face in college?" The young man arrogantly answered: "I don't have a problem with temptation. I have strong willpower."
*The preacher then took a pencil out of his pocket and said, "I can make this pencil stand up on the cover of this Bible even though the bus ride is bumpy." The young man said, "I'll believe it when I see it. I don't think you can do it."
*"Look, I am doing it," the pastor replied.
-"Yeah, but you didn't tell me you would hold the pencil up with your hand."
-"I didn't have to tell you that," the pastor said. "Have you ever seen a pencil stand up on its own without someone holding it?"
*Then the preacher let go of the pencil. Of course, it instantly fell over and the preacher told the young man, "The only reason you stand, is because God is holding you up with His hand." (6)
*Christians: Sometimes we may feel like we are falling. But by His Holy Spirit, God will hold us up! Thank God for the wonderful work of His Holy Spirit in our lives!
(1) EXPLORING THE GOSPELS: JOHN by John Phillips, Kregal Publications, Grand Rapids - "The Walk on the Gethsemane Road" - John 15:1-17:26
(2) A MAN CALLED PETER - "The Story of Peter Marshall" by Catherine Marshall - McGraw Hill Book Company, Inc. -New York, London, Toronto - Copyright 1951 - pp. 132-133)
(3) List of 15 ways that the Holy Spirit is at work in our world today:
1. Conviction (John 16:7-11)
2. Regeneration (John 3:3-8 & Titus 3:4-7)
3. Adoption (John 14:15-18 & Titus 3:4-7)
4. Revitalization (Titus 3:5-6)
5. Sanctification (1 Cor 6:11; 2 Thess 2:13-14; 2 Cor 3:18; 1 Thess 5:23-24)
6. Habitation (John 14:23; Matt 28:20)
7. Teaching (John 14:26)
-His teaching is consistent with Scripture (1 Cor 2:12-16)
-His teaching is a continuation of the Savior’s work (Acts 1:1-5; Acts 10:9-20)
-What did the Holy Spirit teach Peter?
8. Guidance (John 16:12-13; Acts 16:6-7)
9. Empowerment (Acts 1:8; Luke 24:49)
10. Filling (Eph 5:18-21)
-This is a matter of awareness of the Spirit and control by the Spirit of God.
-How do we know we are filled with the Holy Spirit? -- According to Eph 5, the evidence is a song in our hearts, plus gratitude and humility
11. Sealing (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13-14; Eph 4:30)
12. Consolation - comfort (John 14:15-18)
13. Prayer Assistance (Rom 8:26)
14. Gifts (Rom 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:1-11; Eph 4: 7-16)
15. Fruit (Gal 5:22-23; Eph 5:8-10)
(4) SermonCentral sermon "The Day of Pentecost - Part 3" by Jerry Shirley - Acts 2:1-4
(5) SEEKING CHRIST by Kay Marshall Strom - Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994 - pp. 106-107 - Source: Sermons.com sermon "Adopted!" by King Duncan - Ephesians 1:3-14
(6) MAKING TODAY COUNT FOR ETERNITY by Kent Crockett, Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2001, p. 123