Holy Spirit

April 26, 2015  John 14:15 – 21   Holy Spirit 

 

      In this passage Jesus is sharing with his disciples is in the last few hours of his life.   Jesus looked forward to be with them and this was an important time for the disciples.   Jesus is teaching them in chapters 14, 15 and 16.   Then in chapter 17 Jesus prays for them and for us.   Teaching and praying are very important and they do go together.   Jesus wanted to encourage the disciples and these passages are meant to bring encouragement.   In chapters 14 and 16 Jesus teaches the disciples and us about the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was leaving them but Jesus promised them the Holy Spirit.  Jesus sought to encourage the disciples in those last days.     

    Jesus was a master at bringing out the best in people and the Holy Spirit works in us to build us up.    Peter Lord, former pastor, Park Avenue Baptist Church, Titusville, Florida tells the following story about a troubled child.  He was always in trouble, so when the parents of the junior high boy received another call to meet with his teacher and the principal, they knew what was coming.   The teacher said, “Thanks for coming. I wanted you to hear what I have to say.”  The father waited, thinking about what defense he could use this time.   The teacher proceeded to go down a list of ten positive affirmations, or potential benefits, of the junior high “troublemaker.” When she finished, the father said, “And what else?   Let’s hear the bad things.”   “That’s all I wanted to say,” she said.  That night when the father got home, he repeated the conversation to his son.   Almost overnight, the troublemaker’s behavior changed all because a teacher looked past the negatives to see the potential in a young man.  I suspect that would not work with everyone that quickly but encouragement can produce wonderful results.   Many times it can produce much more than a criticism.     We need more positive reinforcement in our life.   The world tends to be very negative.   I think Jesus was very encouraging and the Holy Spirit’s role is to encourage.    

     We see God the father in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament and often we do not think too much about the Holy Spirit but he is a very important part of the Christians life.   Do you think about the Holy Spirit very much?  Are you aware of his presence?   He is our guide.   He is our counselor.   The Holy Spirit is in the Christian.    At the time Jesus was talking to the disciples the Holy Spirit was with them but Jesus told them that the Holy Spirit would be in them.   Many of God’s people had experienced the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament but he was on the outside of them.  After the resurrection Jesus disciples experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in them.  It is God dwelling with man.  God pitches his tent with us.  God’s spirit is in us. 

     Jesus told the disciples that they would be better off with the Holy Spirit.  It was hard for them to believe that they would be better off without Jesus.  Jesus had to leave so He could send the Holy Spirit.  How can they be better off with the Holy Spirit then having Jesus right there with them?   Do you think they were better off with the Holy Spirit?   Jesus told them to wait for the Holy Spirit.   The disciples stayed together in Jerusalem.   They stayed together for days and waited for the Holy Spirit.  There was unity.   Then the Holy Spirit came in great power.   It was a process for the Holy Spirit to come upon them.    We must admit that something happened to them when the Holy Spirit descended upon them on Pentecost and it was the power of the Holy Spirit.     It is very evident that when the Holy Spirit came upon them at the beginning of Acts that they were given power to be bold witnesses.     Their lives were changed and later in Acts we read that some said that the disciples turned the world upside down. 

    Paul Dawson from Oregon shares the following.   While visiting Grand Coulee Dam, my family and I were surprised to see that the visitor’s center was dark. It was a sunny day, so we thought the center might have tinted windows, but as we got closer, we realized no lights were on. We went in and saw that none of the displays were working.    It soon became clear that there was no power to the center.   Due to a technical difficulty, the visitor’s center that sat only hundreds of feet from a hydroelectric dam had no power.   How could something be so close to the power source yet not be “plugged in”?   That can be true of the Christian also.  The Holy Spirit is in us but we are tapped in.     

    Some of the translations use the word counselor here.   He counsels us.   The Holy Spirit counsels us.  He is available to counsel us.   Now note that is the Holy Spirit and not Jesus.   It is the Holy Spirit who guides us into truth and it is the Holy Spirit that points us to Jesus.  It is the Holy Spirit who guides us through these difficult days.  It is the Holy Spirit that comforts us.  The Holy Spirit can give us direction and the Holy Spirit can tell us which way to go.   The Holy Spirit can give you direction for the answers that you need and the sad part is that all too often we do not seek or ask for his help.  It has been said that if the Holy Spirit would just disappear that most of what the church does would continue and that He would not even be missed.  We need to walk in the spirit of God.   We need to be filled with God’s spirit. 

    In my parallel translation bible 2 of the translations use the word counselor and 2 of the translations use the word comforter.   Jesus tells his disciples I am going to send you a gift.  I am going to send you a special gift.  It is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is going to give you direction and He is going to comfort you.  He is better than any gift we have received.    If you could get anything for a gift right now what would you ask for?    In the midst of our battles and struggles the Holy Spirit is there to help us.  He is there to encourage us.   He is the Paraclete.  In the Greek the word means intercessor, consoler, advocate, and comforter.   The Holy Spirit comes along to comfort us and to lead us.   He helps us pray and can pray through us.   The Holy Spirit can bring us comfort.  How does the Holy Spirit comfort you?   I think one big way is through the bible.  The Holy Spirit wants to comfort you and to lead and guide you.  The Holy Spirit is in the Christian and he is there to help.   Have you ever felt like you need some help?   He wants to help you.