Summary: So we have all heard of the Holy Spirit but what is it...or he?
Tonight we’re going to talk about the Holy Spirit. As we talked about last week, when it comes to rest and finding Sabbath in our lives, part of that process is about hanging out with God – being with Him, learning to listen to Him and follow Him. When it comes to this process and how the Holy Spirit fits in we tend to either completely over look Him or I think many people misunderstand Him. So tonight, we’re going to do a few different things to try and figure this Holy Spirit guy out.
To start with I want to open our Bibles to John 14:15-17 where Jesus spends some time talking to His disciples about the Holy Spirit. In these two verses, what is Jesus teaching about the Holy Spirit?
• The Holy Spirit is a gift from God, asked for by Jesus for our benefit
• He is an “advocate” (helper or counselor) which means that 1) He is good for us and 2) that he helps us to live more like Jesus (“leads us into all truth”). I think this is also the reason why Jesus started with verse 15 and how it connects to the Holy Spirit.
• The Holy Spirit “will never leave you” and lives in you. We might compare this to someone’s conscience.
• The most important thing to understand here is actually really easy to miss because it gets lost in translation. What do you think the significance of the word another is in verse 16? The Greek word used her means “another that is just like the first.” (Forgotten God by Francis Chan, pg 34).
Let’s think of this from the perspective of the disciples. They’ve spent 3 ½ years or so with Jesus and here He is telling them that he is going to leave and not going to reveal Himself to the whole world. Now the disciples were expecting Jesus to, in essence, take over the world and lead an earthy kingdom and so they hear Jesus’ words here and they get confused. In 14:22, Judas expresses that confusion saying, “What do you mean? Why are you going to do that?!” What is Jesus saying and what does this have to do with the definition of another in verse 16?
1. When Jesus answers Judas’ confusion, why does he repeat himself in verse 23 sayings, “All who love me will do what I say?” This goes back to two weeks ago when we looked at the fact that Jesus wants us to be God’s ambassadors, representatives and image on earth. In other words, “I’ve shown you how to do it, I’m giving you the Holy Spirit to “lead you to truth” and “remind you of everything I have told you” (verse 26) and now I want you to go and show the world who God is.”
2. The “another” is important because what Jesus is saying is, “Yes, I am leaving but the Holy Spirit is the same as me!” Yes, it was different for the disciples once Jesus left because they could physically see Him anymore but in some ways it was better and more powerful because the Holy Spirit, which is the same as Jesus, now lives in us.
Now that we have a decent idea about what the Holy Spirit is, I want to take a look now at what specifically He does, or can do, for you and I. To do that, I want you all to get into 2’s or 3’s and I’m going to give each group a different passage to look at. Take about 5 minutes, look up the passage and talk together about what this passage teaches us about what the Holy Spirit does for us and then each group will quickly share what they have learned. (Most of the descriptions are taken from Forgotten God by Francis Chan, Chapter 3)