< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Christ promises the Holy Spirit

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christ promises the Holy Spirit

John 14:15-17 “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. 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."

After He promised answered prayer, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” He spoke of the motive for obedience, not the method of salvation. If you are a believer, your salvation is secure in Jesus Christ. The Bible says that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Our obedience can not make us more justified, but it does make us more like Jesus. It was His obedience, even to death on the cross, that saved us from our sins.

In this passage Jesus begins to speak of the Holy Spirit, the One whose indwelling presence gives believers a new ability to love and obey. Jesus said He would “ask the Father and He will give you” ….so the Spirit is the Father’s gift through His Son. This is a good place to show the complete union of the three, but also the distinction. Jesus asked the Father who gave the Spirit.

They are not three gods, with different wills and qualities. They are one God in three persons, with one mind and will, determined to save and restore broken people and a broken world.

And Christ says the Spirit is ANOTHER advocate. Just like Himself. As Jesus lived with, counseled and helped the disciples, the Spirit does the same for us.
And Jesus said this Spirit would be with us forever.

And the Spirit would help the disciples understand what Jesus had been telling them. The deeper meanings.

After His resurrection Jesus showed the disciples how the Old Testament and its sacrifices pointed to Him. The Holy Spirit would teach them the full significance of Jesus’ life, words and ministry. To understand the difference, we just look at the Gospels and the Epistles.

The Gospels show us Jesus and the Epistles develop the spiritual significance of gospel truth.

For us today, the Spirit takes God’s revelation in Scripture and makes it alive and personally meaningful to believers. The Spirit assures us we are God’s children and gives us hearts that cry out to Him.

Jesus also said, “The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.” Just like the world didn’t accept Jesus. “The world did not recognize Him.”
Once we believe in and accept Christ, we begin to understand.

John 14:18-20 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 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.

So, He promised He wouldn’t leave them as orphans. He’d send the Holy Spirit. He promised that while the world wouldn’t see Him anymore they would. And for 40 days between His resurrection and when He ascended into Heaven, the disciples and 500 people physically saw Jesus.

John 14:21-26 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
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. 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.

To have and keep Jesus’ commands means to hold on to them, treasure them and make them a part of your life. It means you do not change or soften or add on to His Word, trying to make your life easier. It means you accept all Scripture as truth.

No one who neglects a personal and private daily reading of God’s words can fully keep God’s Word.

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