Summary: In John 16, Jesus talked about 3 different ways that the Holy Spirit will minister to us and how we should be sensitive to His work in us.

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Part 4

John 16:7-15

Currently we are going through the message series, “The Holy Spirit.”

During this series, we are examining the work of the Holy Spirit.

First week, we talked about the person of the Holy Spirit.

Second week, we talked about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Third week, we talked about the filling of the Holy Spirit.

And today we will talk about the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

When I first attended church, I had a difficulty understand the Holy Spirt.

I understood God the Father.

I understood about the Heavenly Father who loves me.

I also understood God the Son Jesus Christ.

I have seen pictures of Jesus, the blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus.

Then there was the Holy Spirit, and I just could not understand Him.

I think many people had similar experiences.

Some Christians over-emphasize the Holy Spirit.

For them, everything is the Holy Spirit.

However, others under-emphasize the Holy Spirit.

We understand God the Father.

We understand God the Son.

And then there is that the other guy.

We know there is the Trinity.

And we know that there is the Holy Spirit.

But when we think about the Holy Spirit, we think about those weird people over there.

Therefore today, we want to talk about the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

We want to think about what role He plays in the life of Christians.

In John 16, Jesus talked about 3 different ways that the Holy Spirit will minister to us and how we should be sensitive to His work in us.

I. We must be sensitive to His help (v. 7).

Verse 7 says this.

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

Jesus was with His disciples for over three years.

He helped them whenever they got into a trouble.

But now Jesus told them that He was going away.

When the disciples heard this, they panicked.

They felt the feeling of abandonment.

However, Jesus said that it is better for Him to go away, because in order for the Advocate to come, He had to go away.

Then and only then will He send the Holy Spirit to them.

As long as Jesus was with them in person, His work was localized.

It was impossible for Jesus to help them equally at all times and in all places.

When the Holy Spirit comes, He will help them just like Jesus helped them.

But His ministry would not be localized because He could be with everyone at once.

Here, the Holy Spirit is called “the Advocate.”

In the original Greek, it is the word, “parakletos.”

It comes from two words: “para” which means “alongside of,” like paralegal.

And “kletos” which means “called.”

Therefore, literally, “parakletos,” the Holy Spirit, is the one who is called alongside of, or to be inside of us to help us.

The Holy Spirit came on the disciples at Pentecost, empowering them to speak in other tongues, and do all sorts of miraculous works.

Now the Holy Spirit empowers us to live a supernatural life in a natural world.

However, many people live a Spirit-less life when God wants us to live a Spirit-filled and Spirit-powered life.

Why?

Let me explain this way.

It is a little bit like traveling in an airplane.

There two basic types of people.

There are people like me.

When I get on an airplane, I always turn right to go to the back of the plane, where the cheap seats are.

Then there are people who turn left.

There is a curtain that divides two sections.

I have never known what is on the other side of the curtain.

Then once I was upgraded to business class.

I walked into the plane and this time I turned left.

They have seats that turn into beds.

They bring drinks in a real glass.

You can have anything you want any time.

Coke, water, cup ramen.

For dinner, they gave me sashimi and steak.

On the other side of the curtain, there was a life that I knew nothing of!

Many Christians are going through life without His help.

They do not experience His power and His strength.

However, we have His power that is greater than we could ever imagine.

The very same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is available to us.

We will face many difficulties in our lives.

But He is within us and He wants to help us.

I just came back from China after a pastors’ seminar.

I took with me about 50 of my books that wrote on sermon preparation.

When I arrived in China, I was stopped in the airport.

They scanned my bag and saw something big, therefore, they told me to line up in another line where they were searching the bags.

Since it is illegal to carry Christian books into China, they could either confiscate the books or not allow me to enter the country.

I realized that I was in a trouble.

I began to pray, “God, help me!”

Then the guy in front of me got into trouble with an officer.

He was shouting and yelling with the officer.

Another officer felt bad for me, and he just told me go.

I believe that it was God who intervened to help.

We must be sensitive to His help.

II. We must be sensitive to His conviction (vv. 8-12).

Verses 8-12 say this.

8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.

When Jesus was around His disciples, Jesus pointed out the wrongs in their lives.

Jesus rebuked them and convicted them of their sins.

Just like Him, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will “prove” or “convict” us when we do something wrong.

The word translated as “prove” is a legal term that means to pronounce a judicial verdict.

The Holy Spirit is the prosecuting attorney who presents God’s case against us.

The Holy Spirit accuses us of our sins.

He brings a sense of guilt, so that we realize our need for forgiveness.

This conviction applies to three particular areas: our sins, Jesus’ righteousness, and the coming judgment.

This is why even today there are people who are being convicted by the Holy Spirit.

There may be something in our lives that is not as it should be.

All of a sudden, we are feeling this sense of “I should not do that.”

We are being convicted.

That is the presence of the Holy Spirit that is convicting us.

There are others of us who are being drawn to God right now.

That is the Holy Spirit convicting us of our need for forgiveness.

This is what happened when I committed my life to God.

The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sins.

I felt guilty.

I felt this sincere need of forgiveness.

I felt the need for the Savior.

This is why I committed my life to God and received His forgiveness.

There are those of us who are under that conviction.

We are being drawn to God.

It is because the Holy Spirit is here and He is convicting us.

We can surrender to Him, or we can resist Him.

But, let me warn you… do not fight Him for long.

Because our hearts can become hardened to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit.

God the Father loves us so much that He sent God the Son, Jesus.

Jesus lived a sinless life, died and rose again, so that we could know Him.

Jesus sent the holy Spirit to empower us, so that we could live a life that would honor, please, and glorify God.

And the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, convicts us when we go the wrong way.

When He convicts us of our sins, we must repent and turn around.

We must be sensitive to His conviction.

III. We must be sensitive to His guidance (v. 13-15).

Verses 13-15 say this.

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Jesus told the disciples that when the Holy Spirit comes, He will guide the disciples into all the truth.

He will enlighten them about coming events.

He will unfold the truth as the disciples grow in their understanding.

He will guide them into the unknown future as a guide directs those who follow him into unfamiliar territory.

This is what the Holy Spirit does in our midst.

When we do not know what to do, we can pray for His direction.

He will give us wisdom.

He will give us discernment.

It is a little bit like this.

Once a year, I do a live fundraising event for a local Christian TV station.

The producer placed a message screen in front of me.

And he wrote messages to me during the broadcast.

“We have 60 seconds before a commercial. Close the section.”

So, I would end the segment.

He would write, “Thirty seconds before we go live.”

Then I would get ready.

The whole time, he would guide me through the process.

And this is the way that God works in our lives through the constant presence of the Holy Spirit.

We can go through the day knowing that the Holy Spirit is with us.

He may prompt us and say to us‚ “Reach out to that person. Pray for that person right now. Make this decision.”

We must be aware of His guidance.

Some of you may say, “How do we know if it is the Holy Spirit prompting us verses our own thoughts?”

I use this simple guideline.

Because I am selfish in nature, if there is something benefitting me, I tend to think that is perhaps my own thought.

But if there is something that does not benefit me but it benefits others and bring glory to God, I make an assumption that is the Holy Spirit.

I just came back from a pastors’ seminar in China.

When I was invited to go, I really did not want to go.

When I thought about traveling for over 24 hours, I did not want to go.

However, the Holy Spirit kept telling me to go.

And I had to obey Him.

As a result, I experienced God using me to bless those pastors, and I was so blessed to be with them.

If I am being convicted to not do something that I really know is wrong, I assume that is the Holy Spirit.

If I am feeling led to do something that is going to be a blessing to others, I just assume that is the Holy Spirit.

If it is not and I do something good, then the worst thing that happened was that I did something good.

Therefore, if it is a blessing to others, I just tend to assume that it is the Holy Spirit guiding me to do something.

We must be sensitive to His guidance.

Conclusion

The Holy Spirit is working in us.

We must not try to live our lives on our own.

We must believe that He resides in us and rely on His work in us.

We must be sensitive to His ministries in us.

We must be sensitive to His help.

We must be sensitive to His conviction.

We must be sensitive to His guidance.