Summary: This is the third sermon in a series of four on The Holy Spirit from John 14:26 emphasizing the promise of the Holy Spirit as the way one is to live the Christian life.
What is a promise? Well, Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “a pledge that one will or will not do something; a basis or cause for hope or expectation.” We often use that word in statements we make to our children or other people to shore up or under gird or support what we say. And when we fail to keep our word or promise it reveals something about our character.
Well, God’s promises are unlike our promises. God keeps His word. He never fails to do what He says He will do or will not do. When He makes a promise or gives you His word you can go to the Bank with it, you can believe it – He will keep it; it will come to pass!
Here God gives us a promise concerning the Holy Spirit. He gives us His word through His Son, Jesus. In fact, He gives us His word concerning the promise of the Holy Spirit going all the way back to the New Covenant in Ezekiel 36:26-27 . . . “ We already mentioned this passage in reference to the Holy Spirit being your source of life. Ruach here and Pneuma in Greek, primarily means wind or breath. The power of the Holy Spirit enables you to be born again. He gives you a brand new life, He enlivens your spirit, He makes you alive for the first time with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the divine life. The best illustration I could come up with last week was when the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary with the baby Jesus. It’s that power which makes you whole, creates a new life inside you without the aid of anything else.
The New Covenant promise is the foundational promise of the Holy Spirit. Now, the next time God gives His promise concerning the Holy Spirit is when the prophet Joel speaks in 2:28-29 . . . “ God promises even in the OT to send His Holy Spirit upon His people that they might live life the way He intended it to be lived – in His power and for His glory.
Then John the Baptist gets in on this promise of the Holy Spirit as we look at the Apostl’s record of it in John 1:19;29-33. v.29 We began talking about the Holy Spirit as the Helper, who helps you know that you are a sinner, He helps you know you need God. (continue v.30-33. . . ) John the Baptist said that he baptized with water, but one more powerful than he would come, the latchet of whose shoes he was not worthy to unloose; He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit! When you become a believer, when you are born again it’s the Holy Spirit who baptizes you into Jesus Christ. To baptize is to dip, to immerse completely – the Holy Spirit comes upon and into your life to make you whole, brand new and give you life.
Paul wrote in Rom 6:3-4…” You have been baptized into Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit in order that you may live a new kind of life, life in the Spirit – guided by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, led by the Spirit. As a matter of fact, the first time Jesus mentions the promise of the Holy Spirit is in John 7:37-39 . . . “ Jesus spoke these words of promise concerning the Spirit that those who put their faith and trust in Him would receive continually the flow of the Holy Spirit from within their lives. The tense of the verb “to receive” in v.39 is a present infinitive which refers to continuous or repeated action. The promise is that when you receive the Holy Spirit, you continue receiving Him, His life, His Spirit continually; that’s why Jesus described it as a flow of rivers of living water. “From your innermost being (belly or heart or spirit) Jesus promises the flow of the Holy Spirit will be continual. It will not be stop and go, but a continual flow!
There’s a little stream flowing at the back property line behind the neighbor’s house and ours. I’ve walked back there and this Summer there was no flow. That stream or branch had no flow of water. Have you ever crossed the Coosa River when there was no water flowing under the bridge? No! That’s why Jesus used the image and analogy of a river to promise the continual flow of the Holy Spirit from within your life to enable Christ to live the Christian life through you.
Jesus promises again in John 14:16 that He will ask the Father and that the Father will give you another pracletos, helper, that He may be with you forever.” Then in John 16:7 once again Jesus promises that HE will send the Helper to His disciples, “But if I go, I will send Him to you.”