Summary: Introduction to the Holy Spirit and how does He engage believers.
Understanding the Person of the Spirit
Life in the Spirit, Part 1
John 14:15-16, 26
Jesus Christ is about to leave his disciples. He is about to go. He tells them in 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled; I am going to leave you to prepare a place for you. I will come again to receive you unto myself.” I have to go right now, though.
The disciples had been walking with Jesus for three and a half years. They had been hanging with Him for over three years, seen His miracles, heard His words—and all of a sudden they hear “I gotta go!” “You mean we committed our lives to You, walked with You, talked with You, prayed with You, and You gotta go? We have a problem. You can’t leave us after 3 years!”
I remember when Walt was a little boy in Virginia and the first couple of times we left Him with a sitter so that Mom and Dad can have some alone time. It was difficult. He would cry and make a fuss. We would try to explain to him that we had to go. Now, we told Walt about a babysitter, but he didn’t know anything about a babysitter. He didn’t know who this babysitter was; all he knew was that momma and daddy were going. So he would get all upset and cry.
That is about how the disciples feel. Jesus has been with them, but they are only 3 years old! They had only been walking with Him for three years. They don’t understand why in the world does He have to leave. Jesus explains, “I have to leave to get you a place ready for eternity. But I will come again.” But He doesn’t tell them when. All He tells them is that “I’ll be back.”
That leads Jesus into one of the most powerful discussions in the Bible, because He begins talking about them about the Holy Spirit.
Today I want to talk about the Holy Spirit’s person. There is something you need to understand before we
jump into this. Verse 15:
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.”
Please notice: He doesn’t say He is going to Ask the Father for the Helper,” (verse 16) until you come to grips with verse 15—“Keep My commandments.” You don’t get Holy Spirit help until Jesus gets divine obedience. You don’t get Holy Spirit help (verse 16) until you have come to grips with verse 15—obedience.
This is very important because a lot of people have misconstrued the Holy Spirit. They think the Holy Spirit is that thing that made them shout or feel good on Sunday. They think the Holy Spirit is that thing that made them cry. They think the Holy Spirit is that thing that was rumbling and tumbling in their stomach as the praise team sang or the preacher preached. That is not necessarily so. It may have been your pizza!
The Holy Spirit is only engaged in a context of obedience. It doesn’t matter how loud you cry or how many pews you jump— if there is no obedience, the Holy Spirit is not engaged. Now, He may be in your life but you don’t feel Him. Why? Because Jesus says, “Only in the context of obedience is there the prayer for the Holy Spirit.” So what we’ve got are people who are excited on Sunday because they think they met the Holy Spirit, while they live any old way they want to live between Monday and Saturday, and still claim a Holy Spirit experience! No! The Holy Spirit is only engaged in a context of obedience. If there has not been the commitment to obey, then there hasn’t been the realization of the Holy Spirit. They may have had an emotional experience. What a lot of people do is substitute emotion for the Holy Spirit. They think because they felt it, it must have been the Holy Spirit. No, because the devil can make you feel stuff too! The only way to differentiate whether it’s the devil or the Holy Spirit is whether you’re living in a context of obedience! That’s the only way.