Summary: What makes the Oreo so good? It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Likewise it is the presence of the Holy Spirit living within the believer that makes all the difference.
· I’ve got my Oreo’s with me again! The chocolate cookie outside and the creamy icing inside; you can’t have one without the other. Of course you can always want more of a good thing that’s why I have the Oreo with Double Stuff today!
Last week we looked at our motivation for obedience. Jesus said that if we love Him, then we will obey His commandments. Now it does not work the other way around. Obedience will not produce love, but love will always bring about obedience. Love for Christ transforms our hearts from self-centered rebellion to submissive obedience. Remember love obeys Christ:
2. WITHOUT QUESTION,
3. CHEERFULLY, and
How is it possible for you and I to live our lives in obedience to Christ and His Word like that? That’s why we have to remember the Oreo; you can’t have one without the other. Loving obedience is the chocolate cookie outside; today we will look at the creamy icing inside. We don’t manufacture a love for Christ, rather it is the Holy Spirit within us who transforms our hearts and lives producing loving obedience. THAT’S WHAT WE WANT TO LOOK AT TODAY, THE DOUBLE STUFF OF GOD’S SPIRIT WORKING ON THE INSIDE.
+ John 14:16-31 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. . . 25All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 28You heard me say, ’I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. Come now; let us leave. (NIV)
As we think today about the Holy Spirit Whom Jesus has promised to those who love Him, we are going to focus on three “I’s” of the double stuff that’s inside the oreo: the Identity, Indwelling and Impact.
1. THE IDENTITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (verses 16-17a)
The Holy Spirit is first identifies as allon parakleton translated “another Counselor” or as the KJV says “another Comforter.” Neither of these terms really do an adequate job of identifying who the Holy Spirit really is.
What does “comforter” make you think of? The Holy Spirit is not a warm blanket to wrap yourself up in on a cold winter night. Neither does Jesus want us to just think of the Holy Spirit as someone who will try to make us feel better in the midst of difficult times. So why does the KJV describe the Holy Spirit as “another Comforter?” It comes from the Latin influence in which comforter means “to come alongside with strength.” That’s much closer to what Jesus had in mind.
What do you think of when you hear “counselor?” Jesus has much more in mind than just someone who will provide a listening ear and offer advice. Perhaps you may think of a legal counselor or advocate who represents an individual before a court.
Jesus was communicating much more to His disciples than just our modern understanding of counselor or comforter. The Message Bible says the Father will send “another Friend.” I believe this comes a little closer to Jesus intention. A real friend loves you; a real friend will not abandon you in the midst of difficulty. Like a comforter a friend will encourage you; a friend will be beside you with strength right when it is needed most. Like a counselor a friend will take time to listen and hear your deepest secrets; a friend will offer you wise advise and provide help with difficult decisions.