Sunday Services @ 9:15am & 10:45am
John 16:4-15 – “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to Him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Over three years of close fellowship with Jesus, the disciples must have been used to hearing tough, confusing teachings. Jesus constantly said things that challenged their thinking and stretched their understanding, so hearing Jesus drop a bombshell was nothing new. But I can’t think of many things more confusing than this: “I know you’re sad because I am going away, but it’s really to your advantage, because when I go, the Holy Spirit will come, and that is going to be great for you!”
It’s hard to blame the Disciples for struggling with this one. After all, 2,000 years after Jesus spoke these words, His Church continues to struggle with exactly how the Holy Spirit works in a Believer’s life. Entire congregations have split (many times) over this very issue. Yet Jesus said it was to our advantage that He come to us. Why? Because the Holy Spirit represents a powerful new relationship between God and His people. Jesus was “God with us". The Holy Spirit is “God IN us".
Because of what Jesus did at the cross, we are now able to receive the very Spirit of God inside of us. That means that as we walk through life each day, God is at work inside of us to guide us, convict us, teach us, and turn our eyes to Him. The same God who came down to earth now takes permanent residence in us. We are part of His Kingdom; the first wave of His reconciliation of all things.
Today, I do not need to pray to receive the Holy Spirit. That happened when I became a Christian – it is God’s seal that I am saved. But I do pray that God will give me courage and boldness to proclaim His name in a dark world. I am already equipped with everything I need. God has given me Himself. Now I pray that God will fill me with courage and boldness to let go and let Him work in me.