Summary: Its in our genes to be in intimate relationship with our God. Our depth of our relationship is determined by our obedience
John 14:15-21- It’s in the genes
This has got disaster written all over it, but I’ll say it anyway
One of the things Susan keeps telling me over and over, night after night is, “What a great lover I am!”
I’d like to take credit for this trait, but I can’t
Know why? My Grandfather was Italian, it’s in my genes – we all know Italians make great lovers, right Sooze?
You may not believe me when I tell that story, but you better believe this story, Christians were made to be great lovers – but not in the sense you’re thinking
Why do I say that? Because it’s in our genes
Christians were made to love
This is what the section of scripture we are looking at today tells us
John 14:15-21“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
Here is the test of a true Christian. This is how we can tell if “love” is in our genes
In the same way we can tell if you have some dreaded disease by taking a blood test, this is the test of whether of not you are a true believer
We will love to obey God
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—
“Another” – In the same way I have provided comfort to you with my presence, so the new personage of God is going to perform the same function
While Jesus was visibly with the disciples, they had lots of faith
Practically from the moment He was arrested though, their faith started to unravel
Like a toddler in a department store – fine until they realise Mum’s not around
The Spirit will take over the work that Jesus had been doing with the disciples.
But this comforter, is never going to go away like I am, He is going to stay with you forever
Lets notice a couple of things here about the Person of the Holy Spirit
Some people pray for more of the spirit as though he is a power that comes and goes
First, you can’t receive bits of a person. He’s either in you or He isn’t
The Holy Spirit is just as much a “person” as the Father or Jesus is
He’s not some third rate “God”
The truth is, we’re the one’s who limit the effectiveness of the Holy Spirit
Its goes back to Jesus’ earlier statement here, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.
It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the capacity to “love” Jesus, and to “obey” his commands
If we want the Holy Spirit to be more effective in our lives, the problem is not with the Holy Spirit, its with us – our refusal to be obedient
It’s not that we don’t have enough of the Holy Spirit, it’s more like the Holy Spirit doesn’t have enough of us.
Now don’t confuse what I’m saying with the gifts of the Spirit. When we anoint an elder for instance we pray for a special anointing of the spirit to be on that person
This doesn’t mean he gets more of the Spirit, it’s simply asking for the Spirit already in them to manifest these gifts in the persons life so they can fulfil their God-ordained role
Paul told Timothy, Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6
Second, “He will be with you forever”.
If someone is with you forever, can they come and go?
He comes once into our lives and stays with us “forever”
Now for me that is reassuring. We don’t have to go around wondering if we have somehow “lost the Spirit”
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
This raises the question, “Can we lose the Spirit?”
It seems we can. David after his sin with Bathsheba asked God not to take God’s Spirit from him (Psl 51:11)
He saw what had happened to Saul after God removed His Spirit from him
Parable of the Virgins – had lamps that at one stage worked
17 the Spirit of truth.
Notice the Holy Spirit has the same characteristics as Jesus – “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”
The characteristics of Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the same
The Spirit is not a separate divine reality, but a different experience of that same divine reality, God.