Sermon title:  JESUS INTRODUCES THE HOLY SPIRIT

John 14:15-27

Immanuel Baptist Church – Sunday, March 8, 2020

 

 

Last week we began looking at

my favorite chapter in the whole Bible,

the Gospel of John Chapter 14.

 

The chapter begins with our Lord Jesus saying, at John 14:1,

 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

 

And our Responsive Reading this morning ended

with Jesus saying at John 14:27,

 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled

and do not be afraid.”

 

Those are comforting words from our Savior.

 

The Apostles needed those comforting words,

because they were about to face terrifying times,

beginning just a few hours later

when Jesus would be arrested

and taken from them.

And we today need those comforting words

because we face terrifying times, as well.

 

John Chapters 14 through 17

are filled with words of comfort.

 

They are also filled with

down-to-earth theology

that gives us reason to put our trust

in Jesus’ comforting words.

 

Theology means the study of God.

 

But I call this down-to-earth theology

because Christ teaches us here

how God comes down to earth to us—

first, in the person of Jesus, the Son of God,

and then in the person of the Holy Spirit.

 

At Matthew 28:19 Jesus said,

“Go and make disciples of all nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father

and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

 

We today understand that the one true God

exists in three divine Persons:

the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

Maybe I should say we “know” that,

rather than we “understand,”

because the Holy Trinity

really is beyond human understanding.

 

The Old Testament makes mention of the Holy Spirit

just a few times,

and those Old Testament references

can’t be fully understood

without knowing what the New Testament

says about the Holy Spirit.

 

So, when Christ spoke to his Apostles about the Holy Spirit

on the night before his crucifixion,

he gave them new information

that they had never heard before.

 

Jesus introduced the Holy Spirit in John Chapter 14,

as the One who would take his place

when he left them and went to heaven.

 

As Jews, the disciples had prayed to God the Father

all their lives.

 

As Jews, they didn’t know that God had a Son,

until they gradually grasped

that their rabbi Jesus

was the Messiah and the Son of God.

 

The Jewish Old Testament contained references

 to the Son of God,

but those references were obscure and misunderstood,

until after Jesus came.

 

Jesus’ disciples finally grasped that he was the Son of God,

but now he was about to leave them.

 

But he told them, beginning in John 14, Verse 15,

that he would not abandon them,

even though they would no longer see him in the flesh.

 

He said,

 

15 “If you love me, keep my commands.

 

16 And I will ask the Father,

and he will give you another advocate

to help you and be with you forever—

17 the Spirit of truth.

 

Jesus would be gone,

but God would supply “another advocate

to take his place.

 

Instead of “advocate” some translations say

“another helper”

or “another counselor.”

 

Who would he be?

 

the Spirit of truth.”

 

So, this verse, too, mentions all three Persons of the Trinity:

I will ask the Father,

“I” referring to the Son, asking the Father,

and then the Father sending

the third person of the Trinity,

this “helper” or “counselor” or “advocate,”

the Spirit of truth.

 

Jesus goes on in Verse 17 to say about the Holy Spirit,

The world cannot accept him,

because it neither sees him nor knows him.

 

But you know him,

for he lives with you

and will be in you.

 

The disciples knew that Jesus lived “with” them,

and they grasped that he was the Son of God.

 

But they didn’t yet realize

that the Holy Spirit also lived “with” them,

--much less that the Holy Spirit would be “in them.

 

Christ was just starting to explain it to them.

 

And it’s deep.

 

So, you’ll need to pay close attention.

 

In Verse 18 he says,

 

18 I will not leave you as orphans;

I will come to you.

 

Why would Jesus use the term “orphans?”

 

Was he the Father of those disciples,

so that his death on the cross the next day

would leave them orphans?

 

Remember what the verse from Isaiah 9:6

that we read at Christmas time

says about the newborn baby in the manger.

 

For unto us a child is born,

unto us a son is given,

and the government will be upon His shoulders.

And He will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 

Christ is our “Everlasting Father

but he doesn’t leave us orphans

when he dies on the cross

and goes away into heaven.

 

Instead, he promises,I will come to you.

 

Now, Jesus did rise from the grave the 3rd day,

and he did come to his disciples then.

 

But that’s not what he’s talking about here.

As he continues speaking,

it becomes clear

that he’s talking about coming to all of us disciples,

even today.

 

He says in Verse 19,

 

19 Before long,

the world will not see me anymore,

but you will see me.

 

Because I live, you also will live.

 

20 On that day you will realize

that I am in my Father,

and you are in me,

and I am in you.

 

Wow!  That’s some deep theology.

 

It’s really beyond our grasp

to totally wrap our minds around it.

 

But we can grasp enough of it

to know that Jesus is promising us that we will see him,

even though no one else can see him.

 

This world can’t see Jesus,

but we Christian believers can, with our eyes of faith.

 

Not only “see” him,

but also experience him

in a much closer relationship than merely visual.

 

20 On that day you will realize

that I am in my Father,

and you are in me,

and I am in you.

 

Jesus promises to be “in” each one of us.

 

The disciples

who were standing there with him

while he said that

must have wondered

how their teacher could end up “in them.

 

They had to keep listening,

as Jesus explained it.

 

And they had to have faith

to trust him and believe.

And, if we keep listening, then in Verse 21 we hear Jesus say,

 

21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them

is the one who loves me.

 

Now that’s really enlightening.

 

Jesus doesn’t say that people

who have loving feelings about him

are those who love him.

 

He doesn’t say that people

who say “I love Jesus”

are those who love him.

 

He says,

 

21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them

is the one who loves me.

 

So, you can have a church full of people

singing “We love you Lord,”

and praising Jesus’ name—

but who don’t really love Jesus,

because they are living lives of sin

contrary to Jesus’ commands.

At Matthew 7:21 Jesus says,

 

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’

will enter the kingdom of heaven,

but only the one

who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

 

22 Many will say to me on that day,

‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name

and in your name drive out demons

and in your name perform many miracles?’

 

23 Then I will tell them plainly,

‘I never knew you.

Away from me, you evildoers!’

 

Jesus doesn’t count people as loving him

just because they say they do,

or because they do powerful things in his name.

 

He says,

 

21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them

is the one who loves me.

 

But, if we do love Jesus

by keeping his commands,

he has a wonderful promise for us.

Jesus will come to us,

and reveal himself to us.

 

He goes on to say that at John 14:21.

 

He says,

 

The one who loves me

will be loved by my Father,

and I too will love them

and show myself to them.”

 

Jesus says he’ll ‘show himself’ to us.

 

He’ll reveal himself to us.

 

He’ll let you know he’s with you.

 

You’ll know he’s there.

 

Christ does that differently with different people.

 

But, when you experience it,

you know it’s Jesus

who’s revealing himself to you.

 

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said,

 

“But, Lord, why do you intend

to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

 

23 Jesus replied,

 

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.

My Father will love them,

and we will come to them

and make our home with them.

 

24 Anyone who does not love me

will not obey my teaching.

 

Again, he brings up this matter of obeying his teaching.

 

That’s a very important thing to our Lord—

whether we obey him or not.

 

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching....

 

24 Anyone who does not love me

will not obey my teaching.

 

A young couple having sex outside of marriage

may say that they love the Lord.

 

But Jesus says they don’t love him,

because they are not obeying his teaching.

 

It’s as simple as that.

 

Loving Jesus means keeping his commandments.

 

And the result of keeping his commandment

is so wonderful

that I can’t imagine anyone choosing not to.

 

Jesus says,

 

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.

 

My Father will love them,

and we will come to them

and make our home with them.

 

Can you imagine anything more wonderful than that?

 

Jesus and his Father will come to you

and make their home with you.

 

And they accomplish this through the Holy Spirit

coming into your heart to dwell within you.

That’s the greatest blessing anyone could ever enjoy

this side of heaven.

 

Then Christ goes on to say,

 

These words you hear are not my own;

they belong to the Father who sent me.

 

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you.

 

26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,

whom the Father will send in my name,

will teach you all things

and will remind you

of everything I have said to you.

 

While he was with them,

Jesus was the teacher of the disciples.

 

But now, with their teacher going to the cross

and returning to heaven,

the Father sends the Holy Spirit to be their teacher.

 

And the Father sends the Holy Spirit to be our teacher, too.

 

The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible.

 

So, when we read the Bible,

we are being taught by the Holy Spirit.

 

But, when we are born again as believers in Christ,

the Holy Spirit also lives in our hearts.

 

And, when we prayerfully read the Bible

the Holy Spirit in our hearts

makes the words come alive for us.

 

Jesus goes on to say,

 

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.

 

That peace Christ gives us

comes through the Holy Spirit living in our hearts.

 

Philippians 4:7 calls it

 

“the peace of God,

which passes all understanding

 

and says that it

 

“will guard your hearts and minds

through Christ Jesus.”

 

The peace Jesus gives us

is a supernatural peace

beyond all human understanding.

 

And it’s a peace that the world can’t take away from us,

and that our circumstances can’t take away from us.

 

It’s a peace that comes into our hearts

because God’s Holy Spirit comes into our hearts.

-------------------------------------------------------

 

After speaking these encouraging words

Jesus again reminds his disciples

that he would soon be leaving them.

 

In Verse 28 he continues,

 

28 “You heard me say,

‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’

If you loved me,

you would be glad that I am going to the Father,

for the Father is greater than I.

 

29 I have told you now before it happens,

so that when it does happen

you will believe.

 

30 I will not say much more to you,

for the prince of this world is coming.

 

He has no hold over me,

31 but he comes

so that the world may learn

that I love the Father

and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

 

“Come now; let us leave.”

 

At this point, Jesus and his Apostlescontinue moving,

their short walk to the Mount of Olives,

where our Lord will continue

speaking words of encouragement.

 

Again, these words found in John chapters 14 through 17

are my favorite chapters in the whole Bible.

 

Sit down alone with your Bible,

turn to God in prayer,

and read John Chapters 14 through 17 yourself.

 

I promise you will truly be blessed.