Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 14th - The Holy Spirit in John's Gospel

Prayer Requests
Todd Love injuries
Pastor Aaron Preaching
Disciple Now Results

Text – John 14:26

When I want to teach someone about the Holy Spirit, I take them to three major places, the first is the fruit of the Spirit, where is that located? Galatians 5. Then I like how Romans 8 really does a nice job of telling us how the Spirit is interacting with our lives and guiding us in the truth.

My favorite though, is Jesus’ introduction of him in John 14-16. The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit all over, even in the second verse, so John’s Gospel is obviously not the only place we learn about the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit is the main point of this passage, so it is our most useful passage when we want to learn about him. Before we dig into John’s Gospel though, let’s just look at some other verses about the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Numbers 11:28-29 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, "My lord Moses, stop them." But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!"

Judges 6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him.

Ezekiel 2:2-3 And he said to me, "Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you." And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Joel 2:29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

Haggai 2:5 My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.

Zechariah 7:12-13 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. "As he called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,"

So we see that the Spirit of God in the Old Testament was personal, a protector, a revealer of God’s Word, a maker of prophets, a person, and a massive part of salvation. Here is your first application, that when the Spirit of God lives in someone, that makes them a prophet, not someone who sees the future, but someone who speaks for God. As a Christian anytime you speak about God, Heaven, the afterlife, or morality, you are an official representative of the kingdom and a prophet. Do you absolute best to speak the truth in love and gentleness, never compromising, and always remembering that if the Spirit is with you, you have nothing to fear, nothing even to worry about. My favorite verse is 1 Peter 3:14-15 where it says, “Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy…”

So all that introduction to bring us to John’s Gospel. We’re going to look at five major things, first I want to prove to you that he is a person, then I want to look at the names of the Holy Spirit, then we’ll look at how the Spirit interacts with Christ, then how he impacts unbelievers, then we’ll see how he works in believers.

John 16:7 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 go, I will send him to you.

The Holy Spirit is a he, he is a Person. A.W. Tozer said it beautifully when he said,

“Spell this out in capital letters: THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON. He is not enthusiasm. He is not courage. He is not energy. He is not the personification of all good qualities, like Jack Frost is the personification of cold weather. Actually, the Holy Spirit is not the personification of anything…he has individuality. He is one being and not another. He has will and intelligence. He has hearing. He has knowledge and sympathy and ability to love and see and think. He can hear, speak, desire, grieve, and rejoice. He is a Person.”

So is the Spirit a person? Yes!

Now, names, in John’s Gospel he is called three things.

Pneuma Hagion – The Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost. This really shows us that the Holy Spirit is part of the godhead, because God alone is holy. Let’s look at a verse about Jesus first, then a verse about the Holy Spirit,

John 6:69 we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.

John 14:24-26 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. "These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Pneuma Aletheias – The Spirit of Truth.

John 16:13 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.

Paraclete – Helper. This word literally means “One who walks with”, it is the title of a lawyer, an advocate, or a counselor, someone who helps you in your struggles.

John 14:15-17 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”

These names really tell us what his priorities are. He is concerned with holiness, with truth, and with helping us into each of these. This is neat, because who remembers what God’s ultimate goal is for all of his saints? Let’s read it:

1 Thessalonians 4:3 This is the will of God: Your sanctification.

Sanctification is making you holier, love truth more, and succeed in living a Christlike life, all things which are the will of the Holy Spirit and are literally his job. Speaking of his names and jobs, I wanted to teach this class totally from John’s Gospel, but at this point I have to take you back to the Old Testament so we can see a beautiful prophecy for Christ and that these names for the Holy Spirit aren’t new to the New Testament.

Isaiah 11:1-5 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

So let’s see how he acted in Christ. First of all, have you ever heard us say, “You must be born again to see the kingdom of Heaven.”? Why do we say that? Because Jesus said it in John 3. This is not baptism like some believe, but it is synonymous to when the Holy Spirit gives us new life by dwelling in us. Christ needed not to be born again, because the Holy Spirit already dwelt in him. Since we’ve already stepped out of John’s Gospel, let’s set out again:

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

Dude, I think that’s my favorite verse. Or maybe it’s this next one:

John 3:34-35 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.

Check this out, this is how John the Baptist knew that Jesus was the Christ, because the Father gave the Son the Spirit without measure,

John 1:32-34 And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."

The Spirit’s major goal in his existence is to bring glory to the Father through the Son, to show people who Jesus Christ is. This is done mostly through conversion of sinners into saints. It takes nothing for God to crush sinners into eternity, and he will get glory in that for his justice, but God gets far more glory in transforming lives and turning enemies into friends. Let’s look at how the Holy Spirit does this, first in unbelievers.

Our major verse for this is John 16:8, and the verses following that will explain what it means.

John 16:8 When he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

This is a fantastic verse to memorize, because it reminds us what all of our preaching should be, showing the world that they are sinners, that God (Father, Son, and Spirit) alone is righteous, and that there are consequences for sin which will either be judged on the last day or were judged on Christ on the cross.

Let’s let the Bible tell us how the Holy Spirit will do this; first sin,

John 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;

Any idea why sin might be sin because people don’t believe in Christ as God and Saviour? It’s because he is the standard of righteousness, if there were no measure, then there would be no such thing as good and evil. For example, we couldn’t say, “Murder is bad,” we’d be forced to say, “Murder is different…and I don’t like it.” But because Christ is our absolute measure of righteousness, we can call sin sin, and the Spirit will convict of it.

And, probably more important than that, if there were no sin, then Christ died for nothing, so the Spirit will convict that Christ died for a purpose, to substitute himself for his saints and pay for their sins with his own life.

John 16:10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;

Christ again is the measure of righteousness, but at this point his is explaining that he is leaving the planet bodily, but that he won’t leave his saints as orphans and without a guide. He is the light of the world, but with him gone, that title has come to us, and we’re not yet perfect, though we are declared righteous on Christ’s sake. If I were the standard of righteousness, everyone would go to Heaven, but we have the Spirit to convict us concerning righteousness that we must be perfect as our Father and Saviour in Heaven are perfect.

John 16:11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

This is my favorite verse! In Isaiah 53 it says that we esteemed Christ as stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted; that is we thought he was being punished for his own sins, but we see that he had no sins and he was crushed for our iniquities. It looked like he was being judged, but in reality he was laying down his life willingly for our sake. Christ bore our sins to the cross and died for them, our King died for us, and it looked like the end.

But on Sunday morning the ruler of this world, Satan himself, was shown to have no power over Christ, when in the darkness of a sealed tomb the worst sound Satan ever heard started oh so quietly in Christ’s chest; beloved, it was a heartbeat, and it proved Christ was who he said he was, it proved his payment was accepted, it proved our sins were paid for, and it proved that Christ is the true God, not Satan.

The Holy Spirit will convict us that the resurrection is true. The resurrection is the best attested to fact in all of antiquity; the Christian church is a testament to its veracity. All the Roman government had to do to prove it false was produce a body, but Christ is wearing his body now in Heaven, he is alive forevermore.

When these three things, sin, righteousness, and judgment, are proved to be true by the Holy Spirit convincing us, then we can’t do anything except repent and believe in the Resurrected Christ. What do you think we bring to this equation? Is it a little us and a little Christ and a little Spirit and a little pastor that makes us born again? Let’s let Jesus answer that question, his answer makes a lot of people FURIOUS.

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.

Our salvation is totally accomplished by him, it says we didn’t help at all. If you want to read John 1:12-13 it says again that we brought nothing, but that it was the will of God to make us born again.

So now, how does he act in us after we’ve been saved and he lives in us? He is first our teacher, the Bible won’t make any sense to you unless the Holy Spirit wants you to be able to understand it:

John 16:13 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.

We see from earlier that with the Spirit in us, we will become prophets, we will have boldness, and we will be transformed to be new people. All of this happens on the inside. The word for Spirit in the Old Testament Hebrew is Ruwach, it is literally the word for wind; Jesus knew this and makes an amazing parallel in John 3, let’s read it.

John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

That’s my favorite verse. Check this out, have you ever seen the wind? Do you believe in wind? How are you going to prove to me that there is such thing as wind? We can hear it, we can feel it, and we can see it do things, like rustle leaves or flap flags. The same with the Spirit, because he’s spirit, we can’t see him, but we see his effects in our lives. If he is indeed sanctifying us, then we should be growing in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, right?

I can’t paint a picture of the Holy Spirit for you, but I can say look at who I once was and who I am today, I can show you your born-again parents and ask them to tell you their testimony, I can show you a life utterly consumed for Christ, I can show you that the mind set on sin is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. We can’t see the Spirit, but we know he exists because he radically works in our lives, changing us to be more Christlike, and leading us in the truth.

So beloved, trust in Christ, receive his Holy Spirit, set your affections on Heaven, and trust totally in the work of God in your life to transform you. Read the Word of God, written by the Holy Spirit to learn his will for your life, spend your entire efforts glorifying Christ, preaching sin, righteousness, and judgment so that the Holy Spirit will convict of these and cause many to be born again. Know that you are a prophet of God when you speak about his kingdom, so pray for the Holy Spirit to help you memorize Bible verses and bring to your remembrance those verses at the right time. He is your Helper, he lives to help you preach Christ and live a holy life. Finally, let’s take a lesson from him, that though he is totally worthy to be praised, he points all of the glory at the Father through the Son, so let us, who are not worthy to be praised, likewise point all of the glory at the Father through the Son.