Summary: Instead of asking the Spirit to come to us, why not accept His invitation to step into His circle.
John Wesley once said, “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God.” The Trinity, Three-in-One, is confusing any way you try to look at it. It is the reason that Muslims say we believe in three gods. If it confuses you, then you are in good company because it confused John Wesley, too.
It is Trinity Sunday, a Sunday that our church and many others set aside to worship the Godhead Three-in-One. Our belief in the Trinity is a doctrine that the church universal has believed since the 4th century, and it has caused many arguments since—but that is another sermon.
John Wesley uses 1 John 5:7 as the Scripture upon which he based his sermon on the Trinity. “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: And these three are one" (1 John 5:7). He admits in his sermon that he does not insist upon anyone using the word “Trinity” or “Person” to describe the relationship. He said, “I use them myself without any scruple, because I know of none better.” His only scruple might be with those who would argue the verse I just read to you.
Why is it important that we observe this day or even talk about this today? Why do we need to know about this? We need to know and understand because just a few minutes ago we said that we believe it: we stated our belief in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit when we said the Apostle’s Creed. We sang about it when we sang the Gloria, and we will sing it again when we sing hymn 64, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” We need to understand the Trinity to understand parts of the Gospels, and many of Paul’s writings. If we are going to state our beliefs and sing our beliefs, then it is important to understand our beliefs.
Let’s look at this morning’s Gospel message, John 16:12-15. Please find the passage in your Bibles and let us stand for the reading of the Gospel. When we have finished reading, please keep your Bibles open as you are seated.
Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure – telling and teaching them many of the things they will need to know after he is gone. He has told them so much that by the 12th verse he tells them he has a lot more to say but they just would not be able to bear it. So, let's look at verse 13. Jesus speaks of the Spirit – He – the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit is a person – He – and Jesus gives one of the Spirit’s names – Spirit of Truth. What Jesus says next is very important to understanding the relationship between these two parts of the Trinity: He will not speak on his own. He will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
The Spirit doesn't make stuff up. He is only going to tell them what he is given to tell them. Take note of that because that is very important in helping you understand the relationships within the Trinity. So, for the last part of that verse...as time passes, he will continue to instruct them.
Verse 14 helps make clear what Jesus is saying in verse 13: He will glorify me. The Spirit will be telling them about Jesus, and the words of “the things they cannot bear now” (verse 12) will be words directly from Jesus – “because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.” Let's let that sink in for just a minute...It is FROM me that HE will make known to YOU.
Verse 15 brings in the third member of the Trinity, God. “All that belongs to the Father is mine.” This one might seem a bit tricky, because we aren't talking about "stuff." If we look back to John 10:30, we find Jesus in a heated conversation with some Jewish leaders, he says, “I and the Father are one.” Back to our 15th verse, “All that belongs to the Father is mine” means that Jesus knows everything God knows.
The rest of that 15th verse tells us, “That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” What comes from the Father, Jesus knows, and because Jesus knows it the Spirit knows it, and the Spirit will make it known to us. When the Apostles come into communion with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they will know what they are supposed to know. It is straight from God’s mouth because God, Jesus, and the Spirit are One. There is a proof I remember from geometry and algebra—If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.