Summary: Exposition of John
Text: John 14:16-18, Title: More Comfort For Those Feeling Forsaken, Date/Place: NRBC, 5/26/13, AM
A. Opening illustration: “When I go on a trip, I don’t tell my kids, “Daddy will be back soon…or maybe he won’t. Maybe I’m not really your daddy at all. Maybe my real family lives somewhere else. You’ll just have to wait and see if I come back. Sit around and think about that while I’m gone and let that compel you to become better children.” –Greear, speaking about motivating kids to be good by giving them security and comfort
B. Background to passage: Jesus has told them that He is going away, and they should not let their hearts be troubled, but they should believe in Him, trust Him, follow Him, love Him, love each other, do the works He did, even greater ones, because of the completion of the cross, the prayer in His name, and through loving Him by obedience to His commands. Much advice Jesus has given them in preparing them for His leaving them. All of this to comfort them, but there’s more, He then says He will pray for them, and God will answer. He speaks about His relationship to them as that of a father to his children. And even though He has been clear that he must go, He says, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” In the bible, that is what an orphan needed was an advocate. He says I am coming back in the form of the Spirit.
C. Later He told them two other bewildering things about His departure: 1) if they loved Him, they would rejoice that He told them He was going to the Father, and 2) it was to their advantage that He goes away. But now He tells them He is coming back in the form of the Spirit. Jesus as the Spirit. Think on that a while. And you think John Piper says some things that are difficult to understand!
D. Two other thoughts by way of introduction: even coming back in the form of the Spirit, 1) Jesus in a resurrected for will be our intercessor at the right hand of God. He is our Advocate. He will go to bat for us. He is/will plead our case from a theological standpoint and from a situational standpoint. This goes to assurance. For when Jesus asks God things, God WILL grant them. 2) The second thing that springs forth from that is the theological standpoint that Jesus is going to plead your case from—justification by faith alone in Him and His finished work. One of my greatest fears is that a person will pass through the ministry of NRBC thinking that they genuinely believe, when in truth they have a false assurance. And so I feel like I spend a lot of time warning against trusting in lots of other things-praying certain prayers, baptism, goodness, walking the aisle, signing cards, rededication, membership, etc. to validate your salvation. So let me give a reminder, not as a warning, but as another articulation of the true gospel which is that you place all your trust and hope for salvation in the finished work of Christ on the cross and His lordship. If your hope is built on nothing less that Jesus blood and righteousness shed for you, you can rest in Him with firm assurance that you will hear “enter in to the joy of the Lord” one day. That is the gospel, repent and believe. If that is you, do not doubt unnecessarily.
E. Main thought: Truths about the Holy Spirit
A. Another Jesus (v. 16)
1. Another form of Jesus. Another of the same type. The third person of the Trinity. Again, I am going to put off a deep discussion of the trinity for another day, but I will return, because I do believe that diving deep into the person and being of who God is at His core is important for our reverence for, awe of, and our affection and love of. Suffice it to say that the Spirit is God in substance, but separate in person. Jesus was saying that all that He was to them (with the exception of a bodily presence), the Spirit would be and then some.
3. Illustration: In Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit he says, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and ... the Holy Spirit. We pray in the name of all three, but how often do we live with an awareness of only the first two? As Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit—the Helper—so that we could be true and living witnesses for Christ. Unfortunately, today's church has admired the gift but neglected to open it.”