John #40 Comfort In the Meantime
That you may Believe and have Life #40
Well, we continue walking where Jesus walks … Remember that we are in the night before Christ was crucified and he is teaching his disciples.
Knowing the questions they will ask, the anxiety that will arise not just when he dies, but after he ascends to the Father, he gives them the greatest comfort, we looked at it last week, the fact that He is coming back. The greatest comfort is knowing we can trust him when he says he is coming back and that he will have something for us, a place, his presence, and it is for you personally.
There is no argument that we are encouraged knowing that Jesus is coming for us. However, if you are normal and human, you can’t help but wonder, sometimes, “but what about in the meantime?”
Well, Jesus answered that question for his disciples beginning in verse 13 … so let’s begin reading
What gives us comfort in the meantime?
1. Promise – v13
>Anything in my Name
This promise will come up again next week and we’ll spend a little time on it next week, so I won’t spend a long time here today … but … it IS a comforting promise so let’s spend just a minute talking about what it means and what it doesn’t mean.
This verse is used and abused by immature or misinformed Christians, as well as charlatans. What’s a charlatan? If you look it up in the dictionary the first definition is a “quack” … then it says “one making showy pretenses to knowledge or ability, a fraud or a faker.”
Jesus said part of my comfort for you in the meantime is I will do whatever you ask in my name … and I will do it
A. Ask in My Name
1. asking is a simple but critical part of the promise.
a. There are so many things that we unfortunately do for ourselves, often failing, or worse yet, can’t do for ourselves, and we fail to ask so Jesus does not provide it for us
b. “ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.”
c. James 4:2 says you “do not have, because you do not ask God” and then verse 3 says “you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,”
2. you don’t get often because you for it for yourself not IN HIS NAME –
a. asking in his name starts with a faith that believes that Jesus has authority and believes that Jesus has ability to fulfill the request
b. this does not mean that if we tack “in Jesus’ name” on the end of our prayers we get whatever we want
c. but asking according to his name means that we have an understanding of his nature and of his will – Jesus cannot give you something outside of his nature and he is not bound to give you something outside of his will
1 John 5:14-15 (NIV)
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
B. bring glory to the Father
1. what we ask must be in the name of Jesus, that is within his nature and his will
2. and it fulfill the purpose of the Son and that is bringing glory to the Father
3. as we read the prayer of Jesus in chapter 17 you will see that everything Jesus does is for the purpose of glorifying the Father … and so must be our requests and when they do … he says
C. I will Do it
1. Jesus gives us comfort by responding to our prayers in action
2. When I think of the “comfort in the meantime” that this brings I am reminded of the parable that Jesus told about the Good Samaritan.
Jesus was teaching about ministering to those in need and about who is our neighbor but I think there is a picture of what Christ has done for us as well
That man was robbed and beaten by thieves - as sin / satan stolen and beaten us and left for dead
The priest and Levite didn’t help him – as the law could not help us
Then the Samaritan came along and had compassion on him, treated his wounds, put him on his donkey and took him to an inn. – As Christ has come to us had compassion on us and healed our wounds …
But then the Samaritan had to leave for business, but he left behind enough money to care for all of his needs while he was gone. But he said, I’ll return and make good on anything else he needs. – Well our Lord has left to take care of business, preparing a place for us, defeating all our enemies, restoring things they way they were intended to be, but he has left behind all that we need for this life.
2 Peter 1:3 – his divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness
So we have a promise to give us comfort in the meantime but also we have …
2. Parental Comfort – v18
We are Not orphans
We are not resident of this world hoping to be accepted by a unknown, untouchable, or distant sovereign of a foreign world …
No … we are children of a loving Father who happen to currently be residing in a foreign land
But we aren’t out there on our own. We are being cared for while we are foreigners.
It reminds me of when I’ve been overseas in Brazil, Mexico, Czech Republic, Romania, Guatemala, El Salvador. In all of those places, I’ve been past or at least known that each place had a U.S. Embassy. Most recently I’ve driven past the massive embassy complex in San Salvador. I told Bryan as we drove by, “that Son is the United States.” “You are out of the Country, but that is U.S. soil, you are not out here alone and unprotected.”
Those embassies remind me that while I am overseas, I am STILL a Son of the United States of America, which means I am cared for and protected.
Jesus said, “You are not fatherless.”
“You are alone”
“You are not unprotected”
“You are not uncared for”
Do you understand, you have all of the Father’s love, protection, resources, and authority at your disposal?
Paul said we have a “you received a Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’”
He did not “Leave us AS Orphans” …
You’ve heard of the term a “Golf Widow” or “Football widow” … it means the husband is around but he’s so concerned with other things that it is as if the wife is a widow, he has not presence or impact.
Well the same can be true of SOME Fathers with their children
We DO NOT have a Father like that. The comfort in the meantime is that we still have the Father he did not leave us that way
A. I will not LEAVE –
1. aphiemi /af-ee-ay-mee/ - depart, divorce, let go, let alone, disregard, neglect
2. he may be gone but he has not divorced us, disregarded, or neglected us
B. AS Orphans – orphanos
1. those bereft of a father, teacher, guide, guardian
2. we don’t use the word bereft, but it means to be deprived or robbed of the possession or use of something; lacking something needed, wanted, or expected
Please understand that while we are waiting for the Return of Christ, which we KNOW is certain …
In the Meantime, our Father has NOT left us Lacking because he is a loving Parent …
If you are lacking a parent, by death or neglect, let the Father, Father you … pray to him, lean on him, press in to him, cry out to him …
Christ is coming back but our Comfort in the meantime is found in the promise of provision, the parental comfort of our Father and our …
3. Position – v20
I am in the Father, you are in me, I am in you
1. a loving relationship
V21 He who loves me, will be loved b
2. a family relationship
3. an obedient relationship
4. covenant relationship – which means he has made promises to us in our relationship and is bound to keep them.
5. those who are “of the world” are his creation, but are his children, the sheep of his pasture, we are the bride of Christ.
a. as his children we have an inheritance
b. as his sheep we have his promise of nurturing, his protection, his care, and guidance
c. as his bride we have his sacrifice, his life laid down, he washes us with his word, he loves us more than his own life, he will present us blames before the Father
we have comfort in our relationship with him and we are also in the position of
1. in verse 22 Judas, (not Judas Iscariot as he was already gone) breaks the silence and asks “why do you intend to show yourself to us and not the world?” …
2. Jesus had just made an emphatic statement – whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will beloved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
3. in verse 23 he says that also he and the Father “will make our home with him”
4. Jesus answers the question in verse 24 – “he who does not love me will not obey my teaching”
5. Jesus gives an insight into this when he instructed his disciples in Mt. 7:6 Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.
a. Jesus is saying that there is privilege that comes in the relationship
b. pigs and dogs were both euphemisms for Gentiles, or people outside of God’s promise.
c. People outside of relationship with God are self-serving and selfish and will not embrace God’s revelation of himself.
d. some of you can remember before you came to Christ. You would read the Bible or hear a message, but it just didn’t make any sense to you or you would simply reject it as useless or unnecessary. But after you gave your heart to Christ, suddenly things began to make sense. Suddenly the Word of God came alive. Suddenly sermons or Bible Studies became powerful … That is evidence of the “comfort in the meantime” – God’s revelation of himself to you so that you will have strength, courage, and power for daily living.
Jesus describes our position that gives us comfort in the meantime …
Oversimplified illustration …
… on Tuesday I went to a meeting downtown and I drove into a parking garage. My car was in the garage, and I was in the car, so I was in the garage.
Course I could have walked into the garage.
But maybe a closer understanding would be flying in an airplane. That plane goes to say 35,000 feet. Now, I could never get into that atmosphere. I could never get into the sky. But because I was IN the airplane and the airplane is in the sky at 35,000 feet, then I am in the Sky at 35,000 feet. Now every illustration breaks down at some point, especially when referring to divine things with earthly illustrations … But with that danger, let me take it one step further … I can go to 35,000 feet in an airplane, but there is a problem, there is no oxygen at that level and I will die. So in that airplane, the cabin is pressurized and filled with Oxygen and that oxygen in me, enables me to survive in the atmosphere at 35,000
Jesus said, “I am in the Father, you are in ME, and I am IN YOU …
So, the comfort in the meantime finally comes in the Form of Jesus in Me in the Person of His Spirit, the Holy Spirit
So, as Comfort in the meantime, we have Promises of provision, we have Parental comfort, a Position of Privilege
And the Promises, Comfort and Position are realized through the
4. Person of the Holy Spirit- v16
The ultimate gift that Christ has given us, for “comfort in the meantime”, is that he has given us the Person of the Holy Spirit to dwell within us
The Holy Spirit has always been active in the world. He was part of the creation process, he empowered God’s people as individuals and as a group throughout the Old Testament, but Jesus was promising something new with this New Covenant he was establishing for his people. He was promising the permanent indwelling of his Spirit in the lives of his people. That promise was fulfilled at Pentecost as the Holy Spirit was given.
We are going to see the purpose and provision of the Holy Spirit over the next several weeks as we are in the end of Chapter 15 and in Chapter 16 so let me just give you a few things quickly as we close that we see of the Person of the Holy Spirit and how he is comforting in the meantime while we await the return of Jesus Christ.
How has he come to us?
A. Comes From the Father
1. remember we have already learned that The Father will not LEAVE us
2. he will not disregard us or neglect us in our great need
3. so we have been given a gift by a caring Father
4. Our Father – the word means – generator, male ancestor, progenitor or a people, the originator and transmitter of anything
James 1:17 (NIV)
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
5. We have been given the Holy Spirit by a loving Father who did not wish us to be left as it were orphans, without teacher, guardian, or guide and so he has given us the Holy Spirit
And The Person of Comfort …
B. Comes In Jesus’ Name
1. one of the most important understandings about the Holy Spirit, or should I say often misunderstandings of the Holy Spirit is that he would draw attention to himself. In order to understand the Workings of the Trinity we have to see that each submit to their place within the Trinity
2. Scripture teaches us that God is a God of Order and not disorder. James teaches us that wherever there is selfish ambition it leads to disorder and evil
3. 1 Cor 14:33 says that God is NOT a God of disorder, but of peace.
4. so, even in the working of his plans and purposes, the Godhead, three yet one, each serve their Purpose. The Father is the Head of the Trinity. Jesus came to do everything the Father had commanded, and reveal the Father and the Spirit comes to reveal the Son. He does so in teaching us, reminding us, speaking what Christ has said.
5. The Holy Spirit is God, he is all things that God is, and yet he will always point us to the Son.
6. Living in us, if we submit to his leadership he will help us pray in Jesus name because his purposes are the Purposes of Christ and Christ the purposes of the Father.
7. he will remind you of everything that Jesus has said … he is always about Jesus Christ and lifting him up in your life.
And as comfort in the meantime …
C. Comes For Peace
1.Jesus says “Peace I leave with you” v27
2. The Father has given us another Counselor or Comforter -
a. “another” (allos) because “God so loved the world that he GAVE us his Son” – but Jesus has said he was leaving for a time and IN the Vacuum left by his absence he would leave ANOTHER – the word means another numerically but of the same kind – Only God the Holy Spirit could fill the space left by God the Son … Only God could replace God. And so God the Spirit within us replaced God the Son our Redeemer who went to the Right hand of the Father until all things were placed under his feet.
b. another Counselor or Comforter – parakletos - /par-ak-lay-tos/ - one who pleads another’s case before a judge, an advocate, an intercessor, a helper, giver of relief, assistant
c. The Father has given us Peace by giving us The Holy Spirit for Advocacy, Help, Strength, Counsel, and Comfort in the meantime.
Thank you Father for the gift of the Spirit … we’ll learn more in the weeks to come
But are you troubled, not knowing which way to go, what to do, how to continue on? Respond to the guidance of the Holy Spirit within you today he is your Comforter in the meantime given by the Father and He is
3. The Spirit of Truth –
a. The Holy Spirit within us brings us great comfort because he brings TRUTH to the equation.
b. We are so emotional, we have our personal feelings, prejudices or interpretations of what we see and think, that we are fooled, confused, frightened, angered, discouraged, or disheartened.
c. But God has Given us the Spirit of Truth – simply defined, the word in our text “Truth” aletheia /al-ay-thi-a/ means objectively, what is true in any matter – Objective means dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations; limited to choices of fixed alternatives
d. The Holy Spirit comforts us by giving us the Truth but we have to comfort ourselves by accepting it and choosing to live in the Revelation given to us. Oh, as believers, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, it’s not that we don’t sense what is right or true, it is just that often we don’t want to take the right path, to accept the truth.
e. And we wallow in fear, trouble, and dismay instead of receiving his Peace …
Thank you Father for the Holy Spirit who is our comfort in the meantime our peace …
Oh I need to close, but one other thing about the Holy Spirit and our great comfort …
He gives us Peace as he
D. Comes to Stay
1. v says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” – what is that? It is comfort in the meantime … but he goes on to say “I do not give to you as the world gives”
2. “do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” – Jesus would never give us comfort that would cause us fear, uncertain, and a troubled mind.
3. How does the world give? The world makes you earn what you have, but God gives us what we don’t deserve. The world makes you operate in your own strength but God gives according to our relationship with him. The world’s only way to peace is when there is no trouble, but in Christ we can have peace no matter the trouble that the world throws our way. The world gives based on what YOU DO …
4. But Jesus doesn’t give THAT way … The World gives and takes away but NOT JESUS … he Gives … Forever … v16 says the Father will give you another counselor to be with you FOREVER – aion – forever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity – You have been Given the Holy Spirit and he comes to STAY – that is why you can be unafraid, that’s why you don’t have to be troubled …
5. If you believe that God will give you the Holy Spirit and then take him away, you don’t understand the truth that Jesus is teaching us here today … if this passage is not TRUE then we have no Peace … we have no comfort in the meantime, and we can’t be sure that he will come back for us either.
6. But he has given us PEACE, the Holy Spirit brings us Shalom – or here the Greek, eirene /i-ray-nay/ exemption from the rage and havoc or war, peace between individuals, harmony, security, safety, prosperity, felicity or the state of being happy
That is the comfort in the meantime …
His Promises, Parenting Comfort, Position, all realized in the Person of the Holy Spirit … give to us for Help, comfort, guidance, strength, real Peace …
FOR EVER …
That is how you can make it until he comes
Surrender to Christ and Receive the Spirit
As his Child
Surrender to the Spirit within you, abide in his Truth …
Comfort in the meantime?
What does the Word say?
John 14:27 (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV)
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 32:17 (NIV)
17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Well … let me close, in 1875 an English Bishop named Edward Bickersteth, Jr was vacationing and heard a sermon from Isaiah 26:3, that we just read. He was visiting a dying relative that afternoon and he reread that verse of comfort in the meantime.
The Hebrew in Isaiah 26:3 actually says “Peace, Peace …” the idea is of complete or perfect peace …
The Bishop wrote a hymn that day … as he asked questions about our comfort in the meantime … he wrote
Peace, perfect peace – in THIS dark world of sin?
The Blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace – by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, THIS is Rest
Peace, perfect peace – with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but CALM is found.
Peace, perfect peace – with loved ones far away? In Jesus’ keeping WE are safe, AND they.
Peace, perfect peace – our future all unknown?
JESUS we know, and HE is ON the THRONE
Oh Struggling Saint
Oh Suffering Servant
Oh Striving Sojourner
There is Comfort for you in the Meantime because
Jesus is on the Throne
God has given his Spirit,
The Spirit is In Your Heart
That is Comfort in the Meantime