Faithlife Sermons

April 26, 2020 - The Spirit of Truth

Notes
Transcript
If you’ve been with us, you know that we have been making our way through the Gospel of John...
And more specifically, we’re approaching now the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
With that said - We’ve heard for the past several weeks - IF NOT - several months now… Jesus Himself preparing the disciples for His departure...
And as WE’VE SEEN - AND can no doubt understand - this MESSAGE that Jesus has been trying to GET ACROSS to the disciples...
Is falling on - CONFUSED ears...
They are confused...
Trying to understand what Jesus is trying to say...
And so - several weeks ago - Jesus had told them that He would be dying shortly...
That He wouldn’t be with them for MUCH LONGER...
BUT - that they couldn’t COME WITH HIM...
And so AS THEY struggled to understand = Jesus then tried to COMFORT them...
Telling them that The Holy Spirit (the HELPER) would come to them - IN THEIR WEAKNESS...
And would HELP THEM...
Help them REMEMBER ALL that Christ had told them...
help them understand all that is going on...
And then 2 weeks ago - Jesus told them that the WORLD HATED HIM…and that BECAUSE it hated Him…it would HATE THEM TOO!
BUT - that the Holy Spirit would help them...
That the Spirit would COME and convict the world...
concerning SIN
concerning righteousness
…judgment
See Jesus is wanting to COMFORT the apostles…and He’s going to POINT at something TODAY...
…that will BRING that comfort…EVEN when DEATH comes KNOCKING…!
EVEN when COVID comes knocking...
And so let’s see today what will bring this COMFORT!
John 16:12–15 ESV
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Again - I want to remind us of the CONTEXT of this passage...
Jesus is about to DEPART from the disciples...
He’s about to LAY DOWN His life…on the cross
The Disciples…are NERVOUS about that…Can’t even COMPREHEND it...
“But You’re JESUS - you WALKED on WATER…you healed the lame…you RAISED the dead!”
And Jesus…says - It’s BETTER that I go because then the HOLY SPIRIT will come!
Jesus says - “It’s better that you have the Holy Spirit inside you, than My presence BESIDE you...”
He will HELP YOU…each of you!
John 16:12 ESV
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
Think through this...
Jesus says here - I HAVE MANY MORE things to say to you....but I won’t tell you now!
You can’t BEAR them now...
And we’ve SEEN this “NOT BEING ABLE to bear the words of Christ” in the disciples...
Remember back in John chapter 2?
Jesus is talking to the Jewish leaders and He says:
“Destroy this temple, and in 3 days I will raise it up”
The JEWS thought He was talking about the PHYSICAL temple...
But what do the next verses say...
John 2:21–22 ESV
21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
This means that WHEN HE SPOKE those words (I will RAISE it up again)....the disciples didn’t BELIEVE...
…they didn’t UNDERSTAND...
What else?
Remember when Jesus entered Jerusalem? Rides into town on a - DONKEY...
John 12:14–15 ESV
14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
next verse...
John 12:16 ESV
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.
They did not UNDERSTAND until after His resurrection...
Up until His death and resurrection, the disciples didn’t GET IT...
They DID NOT understand...
And so - BRING THAT - into the text today...
John 16:12 ESV
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
AND ALSO - think about this...
At this time - there was NO New Testament...
Jesus had MANY MORE THINGS to say - but they wouldn’t have been able to bear it...
THERE was MORE revelation to come!
And we KNOW - that the REVELATION still to come…would come BY the HOLY SPIRIT...
John 16:13 ESV
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
I think you’d all agree (i HOPE you would) - that when we look out at the WORLD WE LIVE in...
That there’s something that has REALLY LOST VALUE - today...
NO - not the U.S. dollar...
Something FAR more IMPORTANT!
Answer = Truth
Has TRUTH become DEVALUED in our world?
OF COURSE!
Well HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?
Here’s how that happens...
SLIDE: World Knows Best
“We know what’s best, therefore truth is expendable as long as our agenda gets embraced”
This is how TRUTH becomes expendable! **First Easter
NOW - we also live in a world that EMBRACES - Relativism...
Which says - what’s true for you doesn’t have to be true for me ( IT can ALL be true!)
BUT what did JESUS - say about Himself earlier in this book of John...
John 14:6 ESV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
And so we see here - very clearly - that THERE IS A TRUTH that BRINGS US to God...
A TRUTH that is - ABSOLUTE REALITY
SLIDE: QUESTION
Is it better to embrace what is true, or embrace that which is not true?
**Examples:
Driving down a street....and you pass a cop car who had been sitting on the side of the road gunning cars as they go by...
IN THAT MOMENT - you think - “What’s the speed limit here? I haven’t seen a speed limit sign in FOREVER!!”
In that situation - is it best to have KNOWN truth, or is it best to have NOT KNOWN truth (the speed limit?)
You are a HEALTHY 30 year old… and you have 3 small kids…and you come to find out that you have stage 4.
NOW - finding out you have stage 4, MEANS, that at some point in time, you were at Stage 1…when this thing was TREATABLE!
In THAT MOMENT - when you find out you have 2 months to live...
Would it have been helpful to PURSUE TRUTH a decade earlier?....
I think in those times - we think - UUGHH…if only I had pursued TRUTH
NOW - in those cases, we’re simply talking about “the PHYSICAL...”
MEANING - the consequences were PHYSICAL:
you got a ticket…had to pay the fine
you died of cancer and now you’re no longer WITH your family
But in those cases - if we’re being intellectually honest, we’d say - YEAH, it would have been best to KNOW truth...
SO THAT - I could have NOT broken the law and been fined...
OR
SO THAT - I could have maybe been cured of the cancer…but IF NOT, still would have had more time with the family…and could PREPARE the family for the departure...
Do you see how these following verses are actually TRUE...
John 8:31–32 ESV
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Truth will set you free....in this world...
AND
THE truth (Jesus Christ) will set you free…Spiritually
One of the works of the Holy Spirit, when He comes upon a BELIEVER - through Faith in Jesus...
Is that He will...
John 16:13 ESV
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
The Holy Spirit will GUIDE us into ALL TRUTH!
NOW - this clearly doesn’t mean that we will come to know ALL TRUTH before we leave this earth...
But this statement here by Jesus - INCLUDED in “ALL THE TRUTH” - would be the New Testament...
God has SPOKEN - and THIS - is His Word!
66 Books (39 in the OT, and 27 in the NT)
The OT speaking of BEFORE CHRIST...
And the NT declaring God’s revelation from when Christ came, to the end of human history…and into eternity!
The Bible…THIS is God’s revelation to us...
How did we get it?
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2 Peter 1:20–21 ESV
20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
And so KNOWING this…we KNOW that the TRUTH of God’s WORD - has ALWAYS been!
In the Beginning was the WORD....and the WORD BECAME - flesh.
Jesus Christ is the MANIFESTATION of the TRUTH of God...
And if you want to know WHAT Jesus is like.... The Bible tells us.
If you want to know HOW Jesus responds to SIN.... The Bible tells us.
EVERYTHING pertaining to life - The Bible tells us so...
NOW - we just read today - that the Holy Spirit will guide BELIEVERS into ALL the truth…
HOW will He do it?
SLIDE: The Spirit of Truth: Illuminates the Truth of God

The Spirit of Truth

The bible teaches us that BEFORE we receive the Holy Spirit through faith, we are UNABLE to understand spiritual things...
1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
The UNBELIEVER is UNABLE - the bible says - to understand spiritual things...
AND - the Bible tells us the result of that...
It says - the UNBELIEVER DOES NOT accept the things of the - Spirit of God
Sooooo- what happens?
How do we come to EMBRACE spiritual truths?
In other words - HOW do we become Christians? How do we become SAVED?
Titus 3:5 ESV
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
2 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV
13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
By the Holy Spirit we are MADE ALIVE...
renewed
regenerated
washed
So the Holy Spirit GUIDES us into ALL the truth…BY illuminating the TRUTH of God’s Word
HE does this work...
NOW - before we kick up our heels on the couch of LAZINESS....
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
What’s the call?
Who does this call go out to?
It goes out to - THE BELIEVER - you and I
There IS A WAY to handle the Word of God, that will bring SHAME to many...Not handling it at all will bring SHAME...
WRONGLY handling the word of truth, will bring SHAME...
And the CALL to make sure we handle the WORD of God (Truth) RIGHTLY....goes out to - US
God doesn't just STICK a USB into our brains, and UPLOAD all biblical truth...
NO - this takes effort
That's why it says - BE A WORKER...DIG into His word...
God lays THIS BOOK down before you and says -
Get to work!
Men - Get to work...
Women - Get to work...
Children - Get to work...
Too many of us are ILL-EQUIPPED to handle what's coming for us...
**It’s like that person that says - with their dusty Bible on the shelf - “You know, I’m justing waiting to hear from the Lord”
NO - God has spoken…!
What are you waiting for?
He HAS spoken to YOU!!
What are you WAITING FOR?
WORK out YOUR OWN salvation - for God is at work IN YOU....
If the Holy Spirit ILLUMINATES the truth of God’s Word...
Then - what’s the PLAYING FIELD in that scenario?
Answer = God’s Word
SOO - if you DESIRE that the Holy Spirit DO THIS WORK in your life....what does that mean for you?
Where WILL THIS WORK take place?
IN - God’s WORD...
We must GET in the GAME - Get ON THE FIELD (we need to be IN God’s Word)...
THAT is where the Spirit can do His thing!
But that’s not all - When our text today said...
John 16:13 ESV
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
When it says - He will GUIDE you into all the TRUTH...
That’s NOT just referring to the Holy Spirit helping us to UNDERSTAND mentally - the TRUTH’s of God...
It’s ALSO about the Spirit helping us to PHYSICALLY endure!
MEANING....
His SPIRITUAL strengthening IN US - will display itself PHYSICALLY IN US...
If we go back to JESUS as our example...
SLIDE: Question:
How did Jesus carry out the work of His earthly ministry?
Answer = In the POWER of the Holy Spirit
Listen to this list:
SLIDE:
His Birth
His Baptism
His Temptation
His Public Ministry
His Miracles
His Resurrection
The Holy Spirit was active in the following aspects of Jesus’ life...
His Birth
The Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit was involved in the conception of Jesus. (Luke 1:35)
His Baptism
The Bible tells us that when Jesus rose up out of the water, the Spirit of God came and rested upon Him, revealing Him to Israel. (Matt 3:16)
His Temptation
Luke records that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Luke 4:1)
His Public Ministry
The public ministry of Jesus was performed through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:14)
His Miracles
During His public ministry, Jesus performed miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Matt 12:28)
The Resurrection
The Holy Spirit was also at work in the resurrection of Christ. (Romans 8:11)
It is CRYSTAL CLEAR - in the Bible - that it was by the Power of the Holy Spirit that Christ’s ministry - even happened!
WHICH MEANS...
Our MINISTRY....whatever shape...
whatever AVENUE
whatever FORM it takes...
WILL ONLY happen by the Power of the Holy Spirit...
And so HE, the Spirit, will GUIDE us INTO THIS...
HOW?
YES- Of course - through the Word of God - FOUNDED on the Word of God...
But FROM THERE...
SLIDE: The Spirit of Truth: Equips Us for Battle

The Spirit of Truth

1 Corinthians 12:4–7 ESV
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Now when it comes to Spiritual Gifts - and we look at Scripture we see a couple of lists throughout...
that list out different Spiritual Gifts...
If we were to combine those lists, this is what we would have...
SLIDE:
Prophecy / Serving / Teaching / Encouragement / Giving / Leadership / Mercy / Word of Wisdom / Word of Knowledge / Faith / Healing / Miraculous Powers / Discerning of Spirits / Speaking in Tongues / Interpretation of Tongues / Helps
Prophecy – The Greek word translated “prophecy” properly means “a speaking forth.” According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the word refers to “discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; To prophesy is to declare the divine will, to interpret the purposes of God, or to make known in any way the truth of God that is designed to influence people.
Serving – Also referred to as “ministering,” the Greek word diakonian, from which we get the English “deacon,” means service of any kind, the broad application of practical help to those in need.
Teaching – This gift involves the analysis and proclamation of the Word of God, explaining the meaning, context and application to the hearer’s life. The gifted teacher is one who has the unique ability to clearly instruct and communicate knowledge, specifically the doctrines of the faith.
Encouragement – Also called “exhortation,” this gift is evident in those who consistently call upon others to heed and follow God’s truth, which may involve correction or building others up by strengthening weak faith or comforting in trials.
Giving – Gifted givers are those who joyfully share what they have with others, whether it is financial, material, or the giving of personal time and attention. The giver is concerned for the needs of others and seeks opportunities to share goods, money and time with them as needs arise.
Leadership – The gifted leader is one who rules, presides over or has the management of other people in the church. The word literally means “guide” and carries with it the idea of one who steers a ship. One with the gift of leadership rules with wisdom and grace and exhibits the fruit of the Spirit in his life as he leads by example.
Mercy – Closely linked with the gift of encouragement, the gift of mercy is obvious in those who are compassionate toward others who are in distress, showing sympathy and sensitivity coupled with a desire and the resources to lessen their suffering in a kind and cheerful manner.
Word of wisdom – The fact that this gift is described as the “word” of wisdom indicates that it is one of the speaking gifts. This gift describes someone who can understand and speak forth biblical truth in such a way as to skillfully apply it to life situations with all discernment.
Word of knowledge – This is another speaking gift that involves understanding truth with an insight that only comes by revelation from God. Those with the gift of knowledge understand the deep things of God and the mysteries of His Word.
Faith – All believers possess faith in some measure because it is one of the gifts of the Spirit bestowed on all who come to Christ in faith (Galatians 5:22-23). The spiritual gift of faith is exhibited by one with a strong and unshakeable confidence in God, His Word, His promises, and the power of prayer to effect miracles.
Healing – Although God does still heal today, the ability of men to produce miraculous healings belonged to the apostles of the first century church to affirm that their message was from God. Christians today do not have the power to heal the sick or resurrect the dead. If they did, the hospitals and morgues would be full of these “gifted” people emptying beds and coffins everywhere.
Miraculous powers – Also known as the working of miracles, this is another temporary sign gift which involved performing supernatural events that could only be attributed to the power of God (Acts 2:22). This gift was exhibited by Paul (Acts 19:11-12), Peter (Acts 3:6), Stephen (Acts 6:8), and Phillip (Acts 8:6-7), among others.
Distinguishing (discerning) of spirits – Certain individuals possess the unique ability to determine the true message of God from that of the deceiver, Satan, whose methods include purveying deceptive and erroneous doctrine. Jesus said many would come in His name and would deceive many (Matthew 24:4-5), but the gift of discerning spirits is given to the Church to protect it from such as these.
Speaking in tongues – The gift of tongues is one of the temporary “sign gifts” given to the early Church to enable the gospel to be preached throughout the world to all nations and in all known languages. It involved the divine ability to speak in languages previously unknown to the speaker. This gift authenticated the message of the gospel and those who preached it as coming from God. The phrase “diversity of tongues” (KJV) or “different kinds of tongues” (NIV) effectively eliminates the idea of a “personal prayer language” as a spiritual gift.
Interpretation of tongues – A person with the gift of interpreting tongues could understand what a tongues-speaker was saying even though he did not know the language that was being spoken. The tongues interpreter would then communicate the message of the tongues speaker to everyone else, so all could understand.
Helps – Closely related to the gift of mercy is the gift of helps. Those with the gift of helps are those who can aid or render assistance to others in the church with compassion and grace. This has a broad range of possibilities for application. Most importantly, this is the unique ability to identify those who are struggling with doubt, fears, and other spiritual battles; to move toward those in spiritual need with a kind word, an understanding and compassionate demeanor; and to speak scriptural truth that is both convicting and loving.
SO God will EQUIP Christians with these Christ-like characteristics...BUT - they won't be perfectly TUNED...
They have to be CULTIVATED...and worked on...AND...VERY IMPORTANT...
Spiritual Gifts should be AFFIRMED within the Body of Christ...
Here's what I mean...
I could claim to have the Gift of Teaching...Does that mean i have the Gift of Teaching?
NO - Other Christians should affirm any giftings that I think i might have...
If i think i might have a gift of encouragement, then other Christians should be able to come to me and say - You know what...YES, i see that in you.
You remember what happened in Acts 6 - when Stephen was chosen to serve tables...?
Did the Apostles post up a sign that said - ANYONE WHO IS FULL OF WISDOM, COME SEE US!
No, what did they do?
Acts 6:2–3 ESV
2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.
They didn't leave it up to the INDIVIDUAL to decide - WELL YES! I AM WISE....I'll serve tables!
No - they said - all of you collectively decide who is full of wisdom...This decision should be one that is done COLLECTIVELY...
Look for this GIFT - verify amongst yourselves that those 7 men have it...and appoint them.
Now - I know that there are those Spiritual Gift questionnaires that you can take...And i don't think they're evil or anything...
BUT...think about this...
Those questionnaires will ask you -
I am skilled at organizing people to accomplish many different tasks (Rate Yourself)
I can clearly and effectively communicate the gospel to others (Rate Yourself)
NOW - what if Moses had taken this test?
I can clearly and effectively communicate the gospel to others...UHH....nope
If Moses had taken this test, would he had ever ended up standing before Pharaoh?
Listen- God is going to EQUIP you - I can't say it enough.
The Holy Spirit will EQUIP you to accomplish the will of God in this world...
The question for us becomes -
- Do we seek to be lead by the Holy Spirit in life?
Are you really able to say - to God - Holy Spirit, lead me ANYWHERE...and I'll go.
Even now, lead me anywhere, and I'll stand up, walk out, and go
I know I have plans tonight to go out to eat with the family, but Lord, if you want me to go here or there...I will go.
I know we're planning on going downtown on Wednesday evening, but even if you want me to go down there TODAY...I will go.
LORD - lead me where you want me to go...even if I don't think I can do it...
Is THIS how we live?
THIS is what it is to be lead by the Spirit!
God will EQUIP you...
SUMMARY
The Spirit of Truth
Illuminates the Truth of God
Equips Us for Battle
He equips us to TAKE the truth of God to a world that HATES that truth!
He will EQUIP us to reach out to our brothers and sisters in Christ - to see how they’re doing...
Have we taken Him up on that?
AFBC?
The times we’re in CALL OUT to us - Have we reached out to those around us?
This isn’t just an ELDER “thing to do”...
Will we TRUST Him… and by His power - move toward the world!
Let’s Pray
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