Summary: This sermon helps the hearer to understand who the Holy Spirit is and how He works.
“HOLY SPIRIT” John 14:15-31
INTRO – During school year, CR, JW, & I have a kids’ church w/ the WEE Care kids. Really special time for us to bond w/ the kids. Share Bible stories w/ them. Share CR’s suckers w/ them. Took CR’s sucker jar in there a few weeks ago when CR was out. One of little kids, “That’s Mrs. Charlotte’s.” “Yes, I got it out of her office.” “That’s stealing. We’re not supposed to steal.”
Most of time, when we share stories w/ them, they sit and listen intently. They are hearing these stories for the first time and are amazed at the incredible stories that they hear from the Bible, or other Biblically-based stories we tell. Their eyes are wide w/ wonder as they listen.
Most people are like this when it comes to the Holy Spirit – wide-eyed amazement as they hear about the HS. It may be that they are just ignorant of the HS and His work. Or maybe there is a sense of disbelief. Or maybe they are just misguided about the work of the Spirit. This can happen very easily these days as those who are supposed to be spiritual leaders give the HS credit for things that the Spirit would never do. USA Today article this past week.
This is a prime example of the confusion surrounding the HS. It is totally absurd and totally blasphemous for this man to blame the HS for the sin of homosexuality. There is no way that the HS led him or anyone else into that lifestyle.
So important that we understand who the HS is and how the HS works in our lives and in our world.
First, need to understand that the HS is a Person.
The HS is a Person, not an “it.” He is a Person, not a power or an experience. Many people confuse some of the manifestations of the HS as the Spirit Himself. Read in Acts 2 about the rushing windlike sound from heaven, the tongues of fire that touched person, & the people speaking in different languages. Assume that these things are the HS, when they are, in fact, manifestations of the Spirit and NOT the HS Himself.
We know that the HS is a Person b/c a person has:
- Knowledge – the ability to know, understand, recognize, & have meaning – “No one can know what anyone else is really thinking except that person alone, & no one can know G’s thoughts except G’s own Spirit.” (1 Cor. 2:11 NLT)
- Will – an ability to make choices & decisions on the basis of what one chooses to do – “It is the one & only HS who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” (1 Cor. 12:11 NLT)
- Emotion – an ability to feel, both to have & express feelings & to be aware of them – Rom. 15:30 tells us about the “love of the Spirit” & Eph. 4:30 tells us not to “grieve the Spirit.”
Just as we would never refer to God the Father or to Jesus Christ as an “it,” we should never refer to the HS as an “it.” He is a Person, the third Person of the Trinity.
Second, we need to understand what this Person does.
HE COUNSELS & COMFORTS – v. 16
KJV – “And I will pray the Father, & He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide w/ you forever.”
MSG – “I will talk to the Father, & He’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone w/ you.”
NAS – “And I will ask the Father, & He will give you another Helper, that He may be w/ you forever.”
Other translations – Encourager, Advocate, Teacher, Guide, Companion.
Why these different words? Gk. word – parakletos – Literal meaning – “one called alongside.” The HS comes alongside us to bring the counsel of God into our lives. He comes alongside us to help us in every situation we encounter. Simply put, the HS is there 24/7 365 for the child of God.
“When Jesus promised that the Paraclete will come ‘alongside’ us, He meant that this One called alongside us will be available to help us w/ our deepest need. If we are grieving, He will be our Comforter…If we are stumbling & trying to find our way, the Paraclete will be our Guide. When we are trying to understand a passage of Scripture, the same Spirit who inspired it will come to be our Teacher & unfold its meaning for us. This is the glory of the wonderful Paraclete: He will come alongside us to help us in the way we need Him most.” (Wayne Ward, Layman’s Library of Christian Doctrine – The Holy Spirit, p. 73-74)