Summary: An exposition of John 15:22-27, with special emphasis on the need to testify of Christ.

Principles of Proclamation

Pastor Larry Starett

July 20, 2003 AM Service

John 15:22-27

INTRODUCTION: A teenaged girl who was taking First Aid lessons burst through the door of her home and said, "Mom, I just saw a horrible accident and I was able to use my First Aid Training!" "What did you do?" her mother asked. "Well, when I arrived on the scene, I saw one man with a broken leg, a woman who was bleeding from the head, and two children who were both unconscious." "So what did you do?" asked her mother. The young girl replied, "I sat down on the curb and put my head between my knees so I wouldn’t pass out."

Sadly, that response isn’t so unusual when it comes to spiritual issues. This morning, I want us to look at John 15:22-27, and we’re going to see "3 Principles of Proclamation."

I. Revelation Brings Responsibility (vv. 22-25)

A. This is a fundamental principle from Scripture, and Jesus is pointing out that His coming brought out what was deep within the hearts of many.

B. The ignorance of the Jews is represented as inexcusable, since Christ was come, and had preached unto them

C. If he had not come and told them that he was the Messiah, they might have pleaded an excuse for their ignorance of Him, and His mission, and of the Father that sent Him; but inasmuch as He was come in the flesh, and came to them His own; and came also a light into the world, carrying along with him evidence, conviction, and demonstration, of His being the Messiah; speaking such words as never man did; preaching with such authority as the Scribes and Pharisees did not; declaring in plain terms he was the Christ of God, and that if they did not believe Him to be so, they would die in their sins; they could have no pretext to make for their ignorance and disbelief.

D. Their great sin was the rejection of Christ.

E. John 3:2 - The Pharisees KNEW that Jesus was sent from God, but they rejected Him anyway.

F. John 9:39-41 ~ Jesus tells the Pharisees that, if they were blind, there would be an excuse for their actions. But since they claim to see clearly, they are more accountable to God.

G. ILLUS: I just read this week of a handheld device that is designed for blind people. It has a Braille keyboard and a GPS (Global Positioning System). The blind person types in their destination on the keyboard, and the device gives audible commands to get them to their location. It gives the blind man a "set of eyes" that he never had before.

H. Revelation of sin to the world brings the responsibility to accepts God’s method of dealing with sin.

I. Revelation of truth to the believer brings the responsibility to walk in obedience to the truth. James tells us, "To the one who knows to do right, and doesn’t do it, to him it is sin."

J. Luke 12:48 - "…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."

K. The more knowledge a man has, the more practice is expected from him; and the greater his gifts are, the more useful he ought to be, and diligent in the improvement of them.

L. In the Parable of the Talents in Matt. 25, the servant who took what was given to him and did nothing with it was called "wicked and lazy." God spare this church from "wicked and lazy" Christians!

II. The Holy Spirit Testifies of Christ and Points to Him (v. 26)

A. The Holy Spirit is identified using the Greek word "parakletos".

1. KJV - "Comforter"

2. NKJV - "Helper"

3. NIV - "Counselor"

4. Others - "Friend", "Advocate"

B. The Greek word literally means, "one called alongside to help." But there is so much more to it than just that.

C. To put all the ideas together, we must understand that "parakletos" speaks of someone who is called alongside someone else to offer comfort, advice, strength, and instruction, and to plead their case (or intercede) before a judge, when needed.

D. What Jesus says about the Holy Spirit in the text before us is noteworthy.

1. He will be sent by Jesus from the Father.

2. He is identified as "the Spirit of truth" to indicate that His ministry will involve testifying the truth about Jesus, being the Inspirer of truth in the Scriptures, and One who will lead God’s people in truth.

3. Christ is not content to identify the Spirit by His jobs and duties, but by His essence itself: "proceeds from the Father."

4. His primary focus will be identifying the truth about Jesus and pointing people to Him.

E. The Greek word "testify" is the word from which we get our English word, "martyr." It speaks of someone who believes something so completely and passionately that he is willing to die for that belief.

1. Webster defines "martyr" as: "one who, by his death, bears witness to the truth of the gospel."

2. It’s unfortunate that this word is often just associated with a person’s death. In order to truly be a "martyr", a person has to believe something so passionately that it affects the whole living of his life. Some may remember him for his death, but most will remember him for what was done while he lived!

III. We Must Testify Also (27)

A. The word translated "bear witness" is the exact same word translated "testify" in verse 26.

B. Further, the word is in the "present, active imperative" tense, meaning that this is something you must do now and continue to do, as an act of obedience.

C. The disciples were the most logical choice for testifying, since they had been with Christ from the beginning.

D. But they are long gone. Now, it is those of us who walk with Jesus daily who have the responsibility to testify. The Book of Hebrews tells us that we are "surrounded by a cloud of witnesses" who are watching us and cheering us on in our service for Christ. (Heb. 12:1)

E. ILLUS: Carrying the torch: A Story from 2002

DRAPER, UT (AP) - Hundreds of people lined the slushy streets of a local suburb Friday to watch handicapped 12-year-old, Kimmy Kiser carry the Olympic torch on its final lap before its arrival at the opening ceremony.

With a light snowfall blanketing the area, Kiser, riding in her wheelchair, was an inspiration to her community as she began her short journey through West Valley City accompanied by a mob of well-wishers. It was one of the last few legs of the torch’s 13,500-mile, 46-state odyssey to Salt Lake City.

During the last turn, Kiser’s wheelchair suddenly hit a pebble and the torch was airborne, eventually landing in a nearby puddle.

An immediate hush fell over the crowd, which was soon followed by angry jeers and threats of physical violence against the little girl when the flame had extinguished itself.

"What a [expletive deleted] failure. She’s basically ruined the Olympics for everyone in this country, not to mention all those people who live in other countries," said one angry spectator who drove more than 100 miles to see the relay. "How could she drop the friggin’ torch?’’

Kiser, who spends almost 20 hours a week hooked up to oxygen tanks and dialysis machines for her failing kidneys, claimed the torch was heavy and her muscles just gave out without warning.

West Valley Mayor Bruce Tomkins was disheartened by the days events. "We thought this torch relay was going to put our sleepy little town on the map, especially since Oprah was all ready to run the story," Tomkins said. "Instead, that little girl has made us a laughing stock. I’m pretty sure even Oprah won’t allow handicapped losers on her show."

F. How sad that people would react that violently when the Olympic torch was dropped! But even sadder still is the fact that, day in and day out, Christians don’t seem to care that the Gospel torch gets dropped.

G. Acts 1:8 - "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you . . ." This promise was fulfilled for these disciples on the Day of Pentecost. But for the believer today, the Holy Spirit comes upon us at the point of salvation. And from that time forward, we are to testify of what Christ has done and continues to do in our lives.

H. We must keep in constant fellowship with the Lord so that we always have something fresh to share.

I. We can summarize the principles we have covered as follows:

1. The Christian’s witness is done in the enabling of, and in partnership with, the Holy Spirit.

2. It is the believer’s function to witness to the world.

3. This responsibility starts with conversion, and endures for life


1. If you are here this morning, and you have heard the truth of God’s Word, you have a responsibility to respond.

A. Like so many of the Jews and Pharisees, you may have rejected Who Jesus is and what He has done for you. But this morning, you have an opportunity to change all of that. Revelation has given you an opportunity to respond differently this time. To accept Christ as Savior.

B. Or perhaps you’re already a believer in Jesus Christ, but you know there’s an area in your life that the Holy Spirit has been working on, and that you need to take care of this morning. You, too, have a new, fresh opportunity to respond in the proper way. Confess and forsake your sin right now.

2. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ this morning, you have the responsibility to testify. You have the responsibility to give your life, and if necessary, give your death for Him. Where are you, this morning? Are you on the altar as a "living sacrifice" that Paul tells us to be?

3. With regard to testifying (or witnessing), I believe there are 4 kinds of Christians:

A. Those who don’t know they’re supposed to testify. (Very rare.)

B. Those who know they’re supposed to testify but don’t know how. (Very common.)

C. Those who know they’re supposed to testify, know how to testify, but don’t. (Very common.)

D. Those who know they’re supposed to testify, know how to testify, and are doing a good job. (Very rare.)

4. In order for me to be able to "equip the saints for the work of the ministry" I need to know where you are this morning. When I mention these 4 kinds of Christians again, would you please look up here and make eye contact with me when I mention the kind that you feel best describes you?