Spirit in Us | John 16:5-15 & Acts 2:1-4
Topic: New Testament Passage: John 16:5–16:15, Acts 2:1–2:4
Christopher Rich – May 1, 2016
The HELPER| Week #3 | Spirit in Us | John16:5-15 & Acts 2:1-4
Introduction | The Helper Saves, Shapes
Good morning! This week we are continuing our series The Helper. Our hope has been to provide greater clarity helping us see the Spirit as less ethereal and mysterious while also magnifying the significance of the Holy Spirit in our affections and increasing our reliance on the work of the Spirit in our individual and collective lives. He is the author of truth, unity, and maturity. He is the source of all revival bring depth and growth to our church while also providing the presence of Christ in our lives. We want to know God’s will, through his word, in what it teaches, so as to apply it in our lives practically and personally. We saw the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, as a person not a force, fully God, manifesting God’s presence in His creation. We also saw the trinity in redemption and the role of the Holy Spirit Jesus promises to the disciples. We looked specifically at the role of the Holy Spirit in salvation of sinners. The concept of salvation recognizes there is something we are saved from, specifically the just wrath of God, and also something we are saved to. We are made into new creations for the purposes of looking less like ourselves in rebellion from God and more like Jesus in willing submission to God. While much of the Holy Spirit can be mysterious and difficult to understand/comprehend there are aspects of His function and role that can be known from the teachings of scripture. We will start with the words of Jesus to His people in what He promises the Spirit will do. How the initial experience of the sending of the Holy Spirit in a new and significant way was received by the early church and what fruit it should be producing in our life today.
PART I | The Helper Will Come | John 16:5-15
John 16:5-15 | “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 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. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.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 supposed that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
We want to experience the presence of God in our lives, as Christians I believe there is a longing to know Jesus more fully. Jesus is Emanuel (God with us) and yet he is going to leave? How is this good news? It is actually an advantage for the disciples? It is good because the Helper coming is actually better than the physical presence of Jesus. What will the Helper accomplish in the life of the disciples? He will bring:
Comfort (v7) The perceived absence or distance from God leads us to places of discomfort. Jesus will be physically absent but God’s presence will actually be nearer, because God sends the Holy Spirit to bring His presence to bear in our lives, so we are not alone. His comforting presence is not merely in a warm blanket of good feelings but in pointing you to where true life is found. This doesn’t always mean affirmation of who or where you are or acceptance of your behavior but it always is to our advantage.
Conviction (v8-9) We exist believing God has something to prove to us. We, and our world, regularly put God on trial and we get to render a verdict of acceptance or rejection, or indifference. It is that belief that is at the heart of sin. We put ourselves in the place of judge. Bible tells us God is not the one on trial, but rather we individually and our world corporately, are and we are found lacking. (all of sinned and fallen short) The Helper comes to expose our sin to us in a convicting way. This both reveals the consequences of our sin (death) bring them to light and the need for deliverance from those consequences (salvation). Conviction of sin is not the same as condemnation for sin. It is also not merely a feeling bad about sin or its consequences. It requires a reorientation of our lives from self-reliance to dependent worship. This happens before we become Christians but also continues as we grow as Christians.
Compulsion (v10) More than hating our sin, praising God for His mercy He shows us in Christ we are to live new lives walking in righteousness. We are not just saved from sin but also to righteousness. We will not and do not walk in righteousness naturally we need direction, guidance, sometimes even a good kick in the pants. We need to be compelled from something (someone) other than ourselves. The Helper come to move us in ways we wouldn’t if left to ourselves. This sounds like a bad word, like you’re going to obey with a gun to your head. But 2 Cor 5:14 The love of Christ compels/controls us. We are compelled by Jesus Love.
Courage (v11) Here Jesus speaks of judgement not in a way to bring fear of wrath to people but rather judgement for the “ruler of the world”. This is another name for satan, or the enemy. Jesus says the conviction coming from the Holy Spirit to a disciple will also serve to give courage in a world marked by evil, injustice, sin, and death. There is courage to engage even when evil appears to be active because the Spirit reveals to us that evil does not reign, God does. Apparent injustices in the moment can grieve us but not discourage us because The Helper comes to remind us there is a just judge over all. So we do not fear.
Clarity (v12-15) The Helper comes to bring the Spirit of Truth. There is truth and there is falsehood. Where truth is lacking chaos defines the time. We are in a pluralistic and relativistic world where truth is mocked, ignored, individualized, we need to be moved out of the fog to see the world clearly. The Helper comes to point to the truth of God’s glory revealed in the person and work of Jesus. This is part of the doctrine of New Testament inspiration of scripture. The words have a specific context to Jesus the apostles who will write the Gospel accounts, authoritative letters to churches and prophetic works. The truth of the gospel will guide God’s people and the Spirit will give clarity, as much as is needed (if not as much as desired) of what is to come. The Big Idea of all of this is Jesus as the way the truth and life who no one will come to The Father except through Him. The Holy Spirit will reveal the words of Jesus and the works of Jesus to Jesus’ people.
Jesus is crucified, buried, risen, appears to His people, and ascends. They are alone but waiting.
PART II | The Helper Comes| Acts 2:1-4
Acts 2: 1-4 | When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Earlier in Acts Jesus told them to gather and wait and now it is Pentecost. And 120 have been gathered (this is important because it was the number required to have a local counsel (synagogue) They are being arranged into a local church. For us Pentecost mean the churches birth but before it was a Jewish festival (50 days after Passover) that celebrated and commemorated the giving of the law to Moses on Mt Sinai. This is not an insignificant anecdote but a necessary correlation. Passover celebrated God’s deliver from slavery in Egypt and His mercy in the angel of death killing the first born sons passing over His people. On the Cross God’s Son dies for His people to deliver them from slavery of sin and give them mercy from death for sin. At Sinai, God issues a new covenant with Israel reminding them they are saved to be His people and writing His law to love Him and love people carved into stone. Here set apart people have are waiting for God to give a new covenant where they will love God in Jesus and love others. It fulfills:
Jere: 31: 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
We see this event here in Acts and we then tie it to the birth of the church and the new/different pouring out/filling of the Holy Spirit to God’s people. This is a key turning point in the history of God’s redemption of his people. It is not repeated any more than Jesus death and resurrection are to be repeated. But similarly it is never to be forgotten or retracted. We live on the other side of the cross and we now live on the other side of Pentecost. This is a transformational time for the church as God’s people. We are now empowered and equipped for ministry. This living with the Holy Spirit in us leads to a new identity for us.
PART III | The Helper has come!
Romans 8:13-15 | For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Because of our new adopted identity as sons and daughters of God, we now have new restored relationships that progressively reflect the family values we are now apart. I say progressively, the way that a new kid adopted into a family on the day time of adoption is legal/positionlly no more a less a child of that family in any point in their life, but as they dwell with the family, are loved and love the family the look more and more like the family as time goes on. Spirit in us means we don’t go back to slavery but continue as family. As part of the family we begin to bear fruit in our relationships.
Gal 5:22-23 | But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Earlier in this chapter there are ways of being described as sin leading to death; here is the fruit of life.
Relationship with God: Love, Joy, Peace. Spirit in us reveals we have been loved by God in Christ (we know love not that we have loved but he first loved us. This revelation lead to joy as we worship our God who saves. In life we have peace as we trust God more and more and become unsettled less and less.
Relationship with Others: Patience, Kindness, Goodness. Spirit in us means we are not easily irritable with others even when they are difficult because we know God has/is patient with us. More than mere tolerance we display kindness to others and desire goodness for other because of God’s kindness to us.
Relationship with Self: Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control. Because of the Spirit in us we see ourselves as trustworthy and dependable because God is in us. We know we are created for His purpose not our own passions so we are gentle (no passive or weak, but firm, not domineering) we direct ourselves (in the Spirit) under control purposefully, and precisely.
2 Cor 3:16-17 | 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Life with the Spirit in us is not Spirit filled slavery and drudgery where we were once some wild horse in a free range, but now because we follow Jesus we have a heavy bridal towing a buggy of cement blocks through downtown Detroit. This new identity as son or daughter is not one of slavery but of freedom. Freedom to see and experience God as glorious as He is while we are transformed more and more like Jesus as we behold Him and follow Him with the Spirit in us. The Sprit in us means we will be changed and transformed, we will not remain the same. To be unchanged is to remain as a slave when we are called to freedom. Not freedom to sin (knowing there is grace) but freedom FROM sin we cannot overcome on our own. Remember the goal of our salvation is to take us from who we were and make us into who we are. It comes from God as a gift we get to receive and because we possess it we practice it. We are being made to look more and more like Jesus by the Helper cause us to accomplish what we are incapable to do on our own. But because we have the Spirit we are now capable to grow and change. This sense of His glory grows and one day His glory will be realized fully.
Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Freedom which comes from the Spirit also contains a promise which helps us persevere. God’s word always points back to what He has accomplished for us and then compelling us forward to what He will accomplish in us and through us, finally pointing us to the hope of what he has prepared for us.
His Spirit in Us means we can rest knowing we are in Him. The same Spirit that saves us, and sanctifies us, also seals us, so we have an eternal and lasting hope when we Trust Jesus!
At Damascus Road we seek to be a people who are desperately reliant on the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as individuals and as a church, yet we know we can feel distant, distracted, or even in despair. Take a few minutes to pray asking for the saving presence of the Holy Spirit.
More in The Helper
May 22, 2016Spirit in Unity | John 17:20-23 & Acts 2:42-47
May 15, 2016Spirit in the World | John 17:12-19
April 24, 2016Spirit in Salvation | John 15:23-27 & Acts 2:37-41