Summary: Part 2 of 4 in an introductory series on the Holy Spirit, looking at who He is and how He works in our lives.
INTRODUCTION: John 16 is what I would describe as a fundamental passage on the Holy Spirit. In these verses, Jesus has just finished telling the disciples that things are going to get hard for them when He leaves and that people are going to hate them mistreat them, kill them, and they will do so in the “name of God” (vs. 2). So he comforts them with words on the Holy Spirit (vs. 5-15). In this passage He tells them it’s to their advantage that He leaves because he’s going to send the Helper. At first this may seem puzzling. How can it be to our advantage that Jesus would leave? But when we look at the ways the Holy Spirit works, we see why Jesus leaving is to our “advantage.”
BACKGROUND: When looking through scripture at all the things that the Holy Spirit does, the most complete list that I’ve been able to compile has approximately 50 things on it that the Holy Spirit does, in our world and within us as the people of God. Now we could spend several months going through them all, and I believe that it would be an exciting study, but for the sake of our current series, I’ve narrowed the list down to 5 actions that pretty well encompass the majority of them.
THE HOLY SPIRIT KNOWS US IN OUR WEAKNESS
• We like to think that we’re strong (especially us guys) strength is a “great virtue” in our society, while weakness is frowned upon. (boys don’t cry)
• The Holy Spirit not only knows us, but He helps us in our weakness, and what do we do when we “realize” our weakness – we pray, and it’s in prayer that the Holy Spirit does some of His greatest work in our lives! (Romans 8:26)
• He will especially intercede when we’re focused on glorifying God and loving his people.
• If you don’t know what to pray, ask the Holy Spirit for help. After all, He is “the Helper” who will help those who love him.
• Oftentimes, God uses our prayers to change our hearts more than the hearts of others, to transform us to be more and more like Him (Image).
• He helps us do things that we cannot do in our own strength. (2nd Corinthians 12:10)
• Paul had a “thorn” it was a “weakness” but in that “weakness” He was made “strong” through Christ and His Spirit! – It’s the same with us today!
• If it glorifies Him and is about His people and His church He will work in and through our weakness
THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES US
• The Holy Spirit works through Scripture and people to change our hearts (John 14:26)
• When we struggle with a passage of Scripture, the Holy Spirit will step in and aid us with understanding its meaning, and how it can be used and applied in our lives.
• Oftentimes, that teaching comes through other people i.e. a sermon (Romans 10), a close friend or mentor (Acts 18) Apollos was a “powerful” preacher, but lacked understanding, so God brought in Aquila and Pricilla to correct his “deficient theology”