The Gospel of John
(James J. Barker)


Lesson 37

THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT

(John 14:16-26)



INTRODUCTION:


1.     We are now in the 14th chapter in our study of the Gospel of John.  Two weeks ago we looked at the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ (14:1-1-4).

2.     This chapter also emphasizes that Christ is the only way to God the Father (14:6).  If you have seen Christ, you have seen the Father (John 14:9) because He is “God manifest in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16), “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15; II Cor. 4:4).

3.     In this discourse, our Lord teaches the importance of prayer (John 14:14), and in obeying the commandments of God (14:15, 21, 23, 24).

4.     When we come to verse 16, our Lord gives the promise of the Comforter.  Several times He refers to the Holy Spirit as “the Comforter” (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).

5.     The Greek word translated “Comforter” is Paraclete, and it means, “one called alongside to help” or “encourager” or “strengthener.”  In I John 2:1 the same Greek word is translated “advocate” and it is used to describe the Lord Jesus Christ.

6.     Therefore, the Holy Spirit is our helper, our encourager, and our strengthener.  He is the Comforter. He, being the Spirit of God, is infinite in His resources and can therefore never fail in His ministry of comfort.

7.     What is more, this ministry of comfort can never be broken for He is given to us “for ever” (John 14:16b).

8.     The Holy Spirit is also called “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17; 15:26).  As the Spirit of truth, He guides us “into all truth” (John 16:13). 

9.     Here in this Gospel of John, in chapter 8 and verse 44, Jesus said that the devil “abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

10. Satan leads sinners into a pathway of lies and deceit and error.  But the Holy Spirit leads Christians into the pathway of truth and righteousness and holiness.

11. What about when a Christian sins?  When a believer sins he departs from the truth.  In that event it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict him of his sin and to guide him back into the truth.

I.     THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT

II.     THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

III.     THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

I.     THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT (JOHN 14:16)

1.     The promise is given by our Lord to His disciples (John 14:16).

2.     The promise was given again by our Lord, right before He ascended into heaven (Luke 24:49-53). Since these were His last words before His ascension, they must be very important (cf. Acts 1:4-8).

3.     Tonight, as we consider the promise of the Spirit, let us consider two good Bible words: “power” and “expedient.”  The promise of the Holy Spirit is “power” (Acts 1:4, 8; cf. Luke 24:49).

4.     This power is for soulwinning (Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8).

5.     Let us also consider the divine expediency (John 16:7).  It was expedient for the disciples that our Lord went back to heaven, for if our Lord did not go away the Comforter would not come (16:7).

6.     “Expedient” – Had our Lord remained upon the earth, He would necessarily have been restricted by space and time as are all men. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of born-again believers provides a fellowship with God that is in many ways even closer than the apostles had experienced in the physical presence of Jesus.

7.     There is much confusion regarding the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.  The tongues movement, with all of its error and emotionalism, is based upon confusion and ignorance.  We must know what the Bible teaches concerning the promise of the Holy Spirit.

 

II.     THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

1.     The things the Comforter is said to do are all somewhere or other assigned to Jesus, such as teaching the disciples (John 14:26), and being with them and in them (14:20; 15:4), so the Holy Spirit is called “another Comforter” (John 14:16).   

2.     Some cults and other false teachers refer to the Holy Spirit as an influence or a force from God.  But this is wrong; He is a person.

3.     I do not have the time to develop this tonight, but I do want to say a few words about the deity of the Holy Spirit.  He is referred to as God in Acts 5:4.

4.     To deny the deity of the Holy Spirit is just as damnable as denying the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (Unitarianism and other cults).

5.     Let us consider the unity of the Godhead as well as the tri-unity. Those who deny the personality of the Holy Spirit also deny His deity.  Therefore, they also deny the Trinity. 

6.     But notice in John 16:7 that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who sends the Comforter. And in John 14:16 it is the Father who sends Him. Then in 14:26, it is the Father who sends the Comforter in Jesus’ name.  Finally, in 15:26 it is Jesus Christ who sends the Comforter “from the Father.”  

7.     The personality of the Holy Spirit is an important doctrine, and it is one that is denied by the cults, and misunderstood by the tongues people (charismatics and Pentecostals). 

·       The Bible says in Eph. 4:30, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit.”

·       Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities,” and that He “maketh intercession for us.”

·       I Cor. 2:10 says, “the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (cf. I Cor. 2:10-12).

·       Over and over in the Book of Acts we see the Holy Spirit directing the apostles – leading them, guiding them, opening doors and closing doors (cf. 1:1, 2, 8; 5:32; 6:3-5; 8:29, 39; 9:31; 11:24; 13:1-4; 15:28; 16:6, 7; 20:23, 28; 21:10, 11).

·       I Thess. 5:19 says, “Quench not the Spirit.”  The Holy Spirit is quenched in many churches today by worldliness, carnality, disobedience, unconfessed sin, etc.

 

III.     THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

1.     Let us consider two aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit: in relation to the world, and in relation to the Christian.

2.     In relation to the world, the Holy Spirit’s function is to convince, convict or reprove the world.

·       “He will reprove (convict) the world of sin” (John 16:8) – “because they believe not on me” (John 16:9). Why do sinners continue in their sin and folly?  Because of unbelief.  The Holy Spirit convicts them of the sin of unbelief. We see this very vividly on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:36-41).

·       We see this convicting work again when Stephen preached (Acts 7:51-54); when Saul of Tarsus was converted (Acts 9:4, 5); when Lydia was saved (Acts 16:14); when Paul preached to Felix (Acts 24:24, 25), etc.

3.     Before concluding allow me to say a few words about the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Christian. 

4.     In John 3:3-8, our Lord tells Nicodemus and us that we are born again (regenerated) by the Spirit of God.

5.     Ephesians 1:13 says we have been “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

6.     I Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…”  When you were born again you received the Holy Spirit.  First Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you

7.     Let me stress that speaking in tongues is not the evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit or the fullness of the Spirit.

8.     I could cite many Scriptures, but let us just consider a few:

·        Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and preached with power (Acts 4:8ff).  Tongues are not mentioned.

·        Believers were filled with the Holy Spirit “and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). 

·        Deacons are to be “full of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 6:3).

·        Stephen was one of these deacons (Acts 6:5).  He preached the Gospel fearlessly and was martyred (Acts 7:51-60). 

·        Paul was “filled with the Holy Ghost,” got baptized and started preaching (Acts 9:17-20).

·        Barnabas was “full of the Holy Ghost” and ministered faithfully (Acts 11:24-26).

·        Paul was “filled with the Holy Ghost” and exercised spiritual discernment (Acts 13:6-12).

·        “And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 13:52).   None of these Scriptures mentions speaking in tongues.

9.     In Ephesians 5:18 we are commanded to “be filled with the Spirit,” but this has nothing to do with tongues.

10. C.I. Scofield preached D.L. Moody’s funeral.  This is what he said, “The secrets of D.L. Moody’s power were: First, in a definite experience of Christ’s saving grace.  He had passed out of death into life, and he knew it.  Secondly, he believed in the divine authority of the Scriptures.  The Bible was to him the voice of God, and he made it resound as such in the consciences of men.  Thirdly, he was baptized (meaning “filled”) with the Holy Spirit, and he knew it.  It was to him as definite an experience as his conversion.”

11. Galatians 5:22, 23 tell us that the Holy Spirit produces fruit in the life of the believer – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

12. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ through the life of the Christian (John 16:14).

 

CONCLUSION:


1.     I feel that we have barely scratched the surface in this most important doctrine.

2.     Consider John 14:17 – “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not…”

3.     The Holy Spirit makes the difference. He is the token of difference between the Christian and the unbeliever.  Worldly people “cannot receive” Him but He indwells the child of God.

4.     There are millions of people who profess faith in Christ.  Many affirm faith in His deity, virgin birth, substitutionary death, resurrection, and other fundamental doctrines.  But many of these same people are lost and on their way to hell.

5.     What is the difference.  They “have not the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9b; I Cor. 2:14). 



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