The Spirit of Truth

The Spirit of Truth

The Spirit of Truth sermon teaches us that the Holy Spirit guides us in truth and teaches us truth because He is the Spirit of Truth. Did you know the Holy Spirit is our introduction to what heaven will be like?

Key verses:
John 14:1-26
John 16:7-15

The Trinity

To start, let’s look at John chapter fourteen verse seventeen:

John 14:17: “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Notice the first part of the verse “the Spirit of truth,” we will talk this morning about the Spirit of Truth. We believe here in the trinity. That is to say that there is one God who exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Do not all churches believe in the trinity? Actually, no. Not every church believes in the trinity, many do but not all. The doctrine on the trinity has been challenged – where do you find it in the Bible? It is taught in the very first verse in the Bible.

Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

After that first verse, it is taught throughout the Bible. The doctrine of the trinity is found throughout the Bible in both Testaments. We could spend many hours looking at all the references of the trinity that are taught. We will not have time for that this morning.

But the name “God” in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” is the Hebrew “Elohim.” That name comes from a singular noun “El” meaning deity or god. But that is not all there is, the singular noun is combined with “oah” which is a masculine noun, so it tells us that this god is a male deity. And then there is a suffix added to that noun, name, and that is the “im” which always makes a word plural.

So, what are we learning there? We are learning that the god in Genesis 1:1 is a masculine deity who is a uni-plurality. That is to say that He who is God is the one God who is many and yet at the same time He is one. That is why in Deuteronomy chapter six verse four, he says:

Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:”

Now it is interesting that the “LORD” used there is the salvation name of God with “LORD” spelled in all capital letters. That same thought is seen later in the same chapter of Genesis:

Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Notice the plural pronouns there, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Are there many gods? No, there is one God, but God in three persons. And man is created in the image of God. You have a body, you have a spirit, and you have a mind. We are three-part beings just as God is a three-part being. But your spirit is not another person, your spirit is you. Your body is not separate from your mind, at least it should not be, and it is you, and the mind, it is all one person. So, God created man in His own image.

Back in the second verse of Genesis one verse two, we read, “And the earth was without form, and void.” What does that mean? It means it did not have the shape and everything that it has now. Then we read, “and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” And pay attention to the next few words carefully, “ And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” We learn several things from that. First of all, we learn that the God in the first verse, Elohim, has a spirit. Jesus said in John chapter four:

John 4:24: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Who said that? Jesus, that is Emmanuel, God with Us, God come in the flesh, said God is a spirit. So, God is a spirit and God came in the flesh. Some object to that and say that God never left Heaven. Well, that is true. How could he have not left Heaven and be here on Earth? Because God is omnipresent. We talked about that not long ago here.

Jesus Involved in Creation

So, we see so far that God is a uni-plurality. We see that the Spirit of God was involved in creation. But in John chapter one we are told the Son of God was also involved in creation. We also see that in Colossians chapter one and Hebrews chapter one, and throughout the Bible that the Son of God is involved in creation.

John1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

And it tells us in just two verses later:

John1:3: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Then drop down to:

John 1:10: “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

John 1:11: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

John 1:12: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

So, the Son of God was involved in creation, the Spirit of God was involved in creation, and God the Father was involved in creation. From the first verses of the first chapter of the Bible and throughout, we see the trinity. We see the trinity in the early parts of the Old Testament. That is 1,000 to 4,000 years before Jesus came, depending on which part of the Old Testament you are talking about.

Teaching the Trinity

Why do I mention that? Because some people are going to tell you that teaching the trinity did not exist until the founding of the Roman Catholic Church in about 315 A.D. That is simply not true. We have just seen the teaching of the trinity more than 3,000 years prior to that.

But somebody else is going to object and say that the word “trinity” does not appear in your English Bible. That is true. The word “trinity” does not appear in the English Bible, however, three times in Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, Colossians 2:9, Paul uses the term “godhead.” That term implies the trinity and represents the trinity.

There are a lot of words that we use in our modern language, in our modern theological terms, that are not in the Bible. That does not mean the concept is not in the Bible, it is not there expressed in other terms. What do you mean? Like trinity, for example, trinity is not there but godhead is and the teaching of the doctrine of the trinity is throughout the Bible. “Rapture” is another term we use. We do not find the word “rapture” in the Bible, but you certainly find the concept there. We talked about that just this last Sunday.

And it was Jesus, God in the flesh, who taught us to pray in Matthew chapter six verse nine, “Our Father who art in Heaven,” not our Father who was in Heaven – Our Father who IS in Heaven, who is in Heaven NOW. And when did He say that? When He was on earth. Jesus also taught us to pray in His name:

John 16:23: “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.”

John 16:24: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

Many times, not recently, but many times I was asked to pray in public, but to pray and not mention Jesus. I just might as well not pray. I have never done it, but I have been tempted to do it. Do you ever get tempted to do something, but you do not ever go and do it?

I have been tempted on those occasions to go and when it is time to “do my thing” and they do not want me to pray to Jesus or mention Jesus, just say, “Well, I am here and have been asked not to pray as I normally pray and not to mention the one to whom I pray, so I say to you all is, may the force be with you.” It makes just about as much sense, I mean if you are not going to mention the Lord or pray in Jesus’ name, then I have no promise of my prayer being answered. Might as well just say that the force be with you. You might say, “Well, that does not say anything.” Exactly, it does not mean anything.

The Spirit of Truth

So, the third member of the holy trinity is the Holy Spirit. Both Testaments use the term “Holy Spirit.” There are many other terms that are used too, such as, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, and those are among the most familiar. Then in John chapters 14, 15, and 16, and we are going to look at that now, Jesus calls Him the Spirit of Truth and the Comforter. That tells us of two aspects of the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit: He is the Spirit of Truth, and He is the Comforter.

Folks, if there is anything that the modern world needs, it is truth. Truth is being denied, truth is being ignored, truth is being erased. We need truth. And we need people who will tell the truth. Lying goes all the way back to Genesis chapter three. Lying has been around a long time. But in John chapter eight, Jesus says this:

John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

So literally, when we lie, we are doing the work of Satan. Lying comes from Satan. He is the father of lies. But that is Genesis chapter three, which is pretty early. Yes, but before that, we have truth. Truth is older than lying and truth is more powerful than lies. And truth is the work of God and lying is the work of Satan. The fact of the matter is, how do you know God’s truth is the truth? All truth is God’s truth, all of it. That is why He tells us to speak the truth.

Preparing the Disciples

Now let’s take a look at John chapter fourteen:

John 14:1: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

We read, “Let not your heart be troubled.” Jesus is talking to his disciples. He knows that in just a little bit, just a matter of hours, He would be taken, be beaten, and crucified, but His disciples do not know that. He has told them about it. He has told them on several occasions, but they do not grasp it. I do not know if it has ever happened to you when you have been told something and you do not quite get the whole meaning of it. It certainly happened to me. So, let us not be too hard on the disciples that they did not quite get everything Jesus was telling them.

Then the verse says, “ye believe in God” – they do believe in God, they must believe in God – “believe also in me.” You may ask, “Well, is He not the Son of God?” Yes. “So if you believe in Him aren’t you believing in God?” Yes. “So, why does He say that?” Because Jesus wants them to understand that they already believe in God, trust in Him. And He is going to explain that further in just a little bit.

John 14:2: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

John 14:3: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

He is going to come. He is going to come again, and He is going to take us to be home with Him.

John 14:4: “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

The disciples did not quite get it and Thomas speaks up:

John 14:5: “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”

Thomas says that he does not know where the Lord is going, and so, does not know the way to get there. Here is how Thomas is thinking, as if I said to you, “Let’s get together at 4:00 this afternoon” and you say, “OK.” And I say, “I will meet you there, you know where it is at, don’t you?” No, you do not know where it is because you do not know where “there” is. That is the way Thomas is looking at this. He should have understood, Jesus had already told him “my Father’s house,” but he did not get that. So, Jesus explains it:

John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Jesus says, “I am the way” — If you do not know the way, I am the way. Then He says, “I am the truth” – He did not say I came to tell you the truth. He did say that later, He did come and tells us the truth. He is not saying, “I came to tell you the truth.” What He is saying is, “I am the truth.” He says: I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life.” He is the life. “In Him was life,” John writes in the first chapter of this book, “and the life was the life of men.”

Jesus and the Father Are One

Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” and a very important statement comes next, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Some may think there are many ways to God, many ways to Heaven. There are not. He said, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” If you do not agree with that, then you will not go to the Father. It is that plain and simple.

We are working through this whole passage, I want you to see the trinity in this passage:

John 14:7: “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

“If ye had known me,” Jesus says, “you should have known my Father.” Philip is no closer to Thomas in this respect.

John 14:8: “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”

Philip says to show the Father, he wants to see God and asks Jesus to show God and saying they would be satisfied if they just see God. But they had. John later writes about that in I John chapter one.

John 14:9: “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

Jesus says to Philip that after spending much time together had he not known Him? Philip spent over three years with Him, did he not know who Jesus was? Jesus makes the clear statement, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”

There are millions of folks that will tell you Jesus never claimed to be God. What Bible are they reading? The answer is, they are not. The fact of the matter is Jesus says, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” And to Philip, he is saying: if you want to see God, here I am. Look at me, you have seen God.

John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

John 14:11: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.”

Jesus is teaching His own deity. He is teaching His relationship, the unique relationship He has with the Father.

Greater Works Than He

John 14:12: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

That statement ought to strike you. Jesus says he is going to the Father and that those who believe in Him will do greater works than He has done. Stop and think that through a little bit. How does that happen? Do you believe in the Lord? You do, don’t you? Have you done greater works than He has done? You may not think so, and I do not think I have done greater works than Him. I have not walked on water. I have not given sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf. I have not cleansed anybody of leprosy. I have not fed thousands of people with just a little bit of food. I have not raised the dead. So many things that Jesus did that I have not done.

What does He mean? I will tell you what He means. He is talking about the salvation of mankind, and He is talking about how He brought salvation, and it is our job to share it with the world. In order to do that, we need the power to do that. He tells us that as we continue in the next verse:

John 14:13: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

Here, the Lord is promising to answer prayer when we pray in His name. It is not like a magic formula. If I say it Jesus’ name, God has to do it, He is bound by those words. That is not it.

Dr. John Rice explained it this way, “Suppose a very wealthy person came to you and said ‘I have everything you need financially speaking, and here is how you are going to get it. I am giving a checkbook and in that checkbook, all the checks are blank except the signature. The signature is my signature on the check. What you have to do is fill in the amount and present the check and you will receive what you need.’ That is the kind of thing Jesus was saying. When we are asking the Lord for what we need, it is as if the Lord Jesus has signed the check. That is what makes the check good. Without His signature the check is not valid.” I think that is a pretty good illustration. Where do we get that? John writes in his book by prayer “ask and you will receive.”

John 14:14: “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

That is a pretty strong promise. But two times in verses thirteen and fourteen, He tells us to pray in His name.

Keeping the Commandments

John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

Such a powerful, short simple statement, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” So many people are teaching if you want to be right with God and if you have any hope for going to Heaven, you have got to keep the commandments.

Then there are others that teach, no, those sins were paid for at the cross and there is grace, so if you trust the Lord Jesus that He paid for your sins at the cross you will be saved, but if you do not keep His law, and particularly, you do not keep the law of the Sabbath you will lose your salvation. That is not what Jesus said. You can twist the scriptures and come up with pretty much anything you want.

There is an old story, and I am sure you must have heard it, about taking scripture out of context. The story goes like this. A woman wanted to believe the Bible, but she did not know where to read. So, she closed her eyes and popped open the Bible, put her finger down and she read the first verse her finger landed on which said “Judas went and hanged himself.” She did not like that, so she did it again and plopped the Bible down and put her finger down on a page and looked at it and it said “Go ye and do likewise.” If you are going to take scripture out of context, you can come up with anything and that is not good. That is not truth, that is not how we get truth.

So, Jesus did not say, “keep my commandments if you want to be saved.” He did not say, “keep my commandments if you are saved and you want to stay saved.” What He said is, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” We do not keep His commandments to get saved. We do not keep His commandments to stay saved. We keep His commandments because we have been saved and we are so thankful to Him as our Savior, we want to keep His commandments. That is what it is about.

Another Comforter

John 14:16: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;”

The word “another” in English means “an other.” I remember when I was in elementary school about sixth grade. I came home from school one day and said to my mother that I had a part in the school play. She said that it was wonderful and asked what part. I said me and this other girl turn the lights on and off. That was my big part, I got to turn the lights on and off. And it was not like operating spotlights, it was two switches up and down, that was it, that was my part. And mother said that it was not what happened. I said that is what the teacher told me. And she said, no, not you and this other girl. She said, when you say “this other girl,” you are saying you are a girl also. That is not how you say it, it is incorrect. I have never thought about that until my mother corrected me. But she was right, she was generally right.

But the fact of the matter is, the word “another” here, can mean another of a different kind, another one that is different. But this word here does not mean that. It means another of the same kind, another that is exactly like Him. That is what the Lord is saying, Jesus is saying here, “I will pray the Father,” watch it, “I [Jesus the Son, am going to] pray the Father and he shall give you another [just like me] Comforter.” Again, you find the trinity in this verse.

And this Comforter, this is the work of the Holy Spirit — to comfort. Remember how Jesus started this passage, verse one? “Let not your heart be troubled.” Jesus says that He is going away but He and the Father are going to send His disciples another Comforter who is just like Him. How much like Him? Exactly like Him. We will show you that in just a little bit.

Jesus says, “he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” How long? Forever. So, this Comforter who is coming is going to be with you forever. And what is He coming to do? He is coming to comfort you. He came to comfort the disciples after the crucifixion of Jesus and after Jesus returned to Heaven. He came to comfort them. And He comes to comfort you dear believer when you need it. I never, never do a funeral service without mentioning the Comforter. And pray for the Comforter to do His work in the hearts of those who have lost a loved one, because that is part of His ministry.

Who is this Comforter? Verse seventeen, where we started:

John 14:17: “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

“Even the Spirit of truth” – that is who the Comforter is, the Spirit of Truth. Not the father of lies, he will not give you any comfort. But the Spirit of Truth is coming. And the Spirit of Truth is coming “whom the world cannot receive”— a very important statement. The average person walking on the planet Earth does not have the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot receive the Spirit of Truth, only a believer in the Son of God, only the believer in the Savior, can receive the Spirit of Truth.

You may ask, “You mean the Holy Spirit is not in non-believers?” No, I am not saying that Jesus said it. It is very clear. “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:” – they do not know the Holy Spirit. The lost individual does not know the Holy Spirit, but you know Him, why? Because you have believed in Jesus. You know Him, and watch this last phrase, “for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Jesus is saying: Right now, disciples, He is with you, but He is going to be in you. We will come back to that thought.

Now, get the flow of thought here, go back to verse sixteen, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” And then verse seventeen, “Even the Spirit of truth [that is who the Comforter is, He is coming];” – so He is praying to the Father to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to come. The Son is praying to the Father for the Holy Spirit to come. And who is coming? The Holy Spirit. Do you see that? The Spirit of Truth is coming.

John 14:18: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

You may think, “Why I thought you just said the Holy Spirit was coming.” That is right. And He introduces us to the Spirit of Truth. He says, “I am coming.” The Comforter is the Spirit of Truth. In this same passage, verse six, Jesus said, “I am the Truth.” So, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and Jesus is the Truth. And Jesus says here, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” You may say, “Explain that to me preacher.” I would be glad to.

In Romans 8:9, Paul speaks of the Holy Spirit and says, “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” So, what are we saying? Is the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ? That is exactly what is being said here. You see, you cannot separate the trinity. Are there three distinct persons in the trinity? Yes, but you cannot separate them.

Somebody said to me, “Are we going to Heaven and see the Father here, and the Spirit there? I do not know about that. I know you cannot separate them. That also answered the question of how can God be on earth and in Heaven. He can. Read Psalms 139 which will explain it a little better.

Because He Lives

John 14:19: “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.”

Jesus says, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more;’ – why is that? Because He was going to leave the world and return to Heaven. Jesus says, “but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” – many people cling to that promise and it is right to do so. It is one of the most precious promises believers have. After Jesus is crucified, resurrected, and returns to Heaven, the world sees Him no more. But He promised the disciples, “but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.”

Right now, to a lot of you that song is coming to mind, “Because He Lives,” and that is OK. Because that is the idea that is here, “because I live, ye shall live also.” The resurrection of Jesus is the pivotal point of all human history. Everything before has led up to that and everything since depends upon it. It is the pivotal point of all human history.

John 14:20: “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”

Jesus says, “At that day” – what day? The day when you see Him again. He says, “ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” What a beautiful statement. The relationship we will have with the Father is beyond anything this world has known or ever could know. And He goes on to say:

John 14:21: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

Remember what He said: the world is not going to see me anymore, but you are going to see me. So, Jesus is saying that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, according to II Corinthians, is the earnest, or down payment, of our relationship with Him. But in eternity, we shall live in His presence forever. Then Judas says to Jesus, not Judas Iscariot, but yes, there is more than one Judas. This Judas is probably the one who wrote the book of Jude, so make that connection there:

John 14:22: “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?”

Judas asks how the world is not going to see Him, but they can see Him.

John 14:23: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Again, the Holy Spirit lives in us and with us now, but we are going to be in the presence of the Father forever.

Bringing Things in Remembrance

John 14:24: “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

John 14:25: “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.”

John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

A lot of people have wondered the gospels were not written right away. It did not go like this: Jesus died on Friday, resurrects on Sunday, forty days later he returns to Heaven, and then the apostles sat down and wrote the New Testament. It did not happen that fast, that quickly. It came about some years later that the gospels were written. How did these fellows remember what to write? How did they know what to write? It tells us right here:

John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name [referring to Pentecost], he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

How did they know what to write? After several years had passed, the Holy Spirit guided them and inspired their writing. Paul later writes, Paul wrote half of the New Testament, but he did not write the gospels. He writes, “all scripture is given by inspiration of God.” That is what Jesus is telling us here. The Holy Spirit brings to their remembrance everything they heard Him say and they write it down. Now look with me at John chapter fifteen verse twenty-six, there is so much in this chapter, but we just do not have the time.

Ministry of the Spirit of Truth

Jesus returns to the subject:

John 15:26: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

Jesus says, “But when the Comforter is come,” – when He has come, “whom I will send unto you from the Father” – I am going to send Him from the Father, “even the Spirit of truth,” – everything He says is truth, “which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

There is so much in this verse: “when the Comforter is come” – He is coming; “I will send unto you from the Father” – He is going to be the Spirit of Truth, everything He is going to tell you is truth; He “proceedeth from the Father,” – what is his main ministry? “He shall testify of me.”

The main ministry of the Holy Spirit is to teach us about Jesus, to teach us about the Savior. There are ministries, and I think many of them are well-meaning, who put the emphasis of their ministry on the Holy Spirit. But that is not what Jesus said. Jesus said that the emphasis of the ministry must be upon Him. And the Holy Spirit is there to help us come to know Him and to grow to know Him better. That is the job of the Holy Spirit, one of the jobs, in addition to being the Comforter, there are many things the Holy Spirit does.

Now, watch this again:

John 15:26: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

John 15:27: “And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.”

In Acts chapter one, we learn several things. We learn of the coming of the Holy Spirit that Jesus prophesied just before He returned to Heaven. He is saying the same thing here in verses twenty-six and twenty-seven. He reiterates it to the disciples in Acts chapter one:

Acts 1:6: “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”

It is understandable that they would ask that. They knew He was the Messiah. They knew the Messiah would restore the kingdom of Israel. He had come and spent His time there, a little over thirty-three years. He had been crucified, resurrected, and come again. And now the risen Savior is talking to them, so now they think this is the time, this must be it, this is the time Jesus will restore the kingdom of Israel. Jesus’ answer is this:

Acts 1:7: “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”

Acts 1:8: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

What is going to happen after they receive the power of the Holy Ghost when He comes upon them? “Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

What was the Holy Spirit going to empower them to do? Do miracles? Well, they did do miracles to confirm their message. But that is not what the promise was. What was the Holy Spirit empowering them to do? To write the holy scriptures? Well, they did write the scriptures but that is not what the promise was. The promise was to go into the world and preach the Gospel, so that all the world, every human being on the planet would have the opportunity to be saved. That is the goal. That is the mission given to the apostles. Now, there is something else here in verse twenty-seven:

John 15:27: “And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.”

We learn in the end of Acts chapter one that in order to be an apostle, to be qualified as an apostle there are two requirements: First, “Ye have been with me from the beginning.” – they have to have been personally trained by the Lord Jesus Himself. The other requirement for being an apostle, having that title, was that they had to have been an eyewitness of the resurrection. You will find that at the end of Acts chapter one. So, when it talks about apostles, there are only those few men in the history of the human race who have the right to that title.

The word “apostle” means sent one, and some say that all missionaries are apostles. In the sense that all missionaries are sent out, that is true, but as far as being THE apostles, often referred to as “the twelve,” you had to be personally trained by the Lord Jesus and you had to be an eyewitness of the resurrection. There is nobody walking around in the world today who can claim that.

Indwelling of the Spirit

In John chapter sixteen, Jesus is preparing His disciples for His death, His burial, His resurrection, and His departure. They do not totally grasp this at this point. They hear it but they do not totally understand it. But the Holy Spirit will bring it all back to them.

John 16:7: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

Jesus tells them that He must go away, and they do not like that. They do not want Him to go away. But He says that He must. “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” What is that? That is the coming of the Holy Spirit we see in Acts chapter two, where He comes and empowers the apostles on that day — that is the birth of the church. And that is the beginning of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says back in chapter fourteen, that the Holy Spirit is with you now, but He is going to be in you, He shall be in you. The Holy Spirit since Acts chapter two, that day of Pentecost, indwells every believer in Jesus Christ. That does not mean we all have the power of the Holy Spirit. You have the indwelling Spirit, the presence of the Spirit, but you may or may not have the power of the Holy Spirit. Back to verse seven:

John 16:7: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

Giving Account of Ourselves

John 16:8: “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”

Jesus says, “And when he is come, [and this is the work of the Holy Spirit also] he will reprove the world.” It was the time of the Lord, that at our Lord’s return to Heaven, the Holy Spirit would come to indwell believers. So, when He came at Pentecost, as we said, the church began and the believers who comprise that church will leave in the rapture, and then the presence of the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth. Then is the antichrist revealed, you get this in II Thessalonians chapter two, we looked at that last week. And in verse eight, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to reprove the world. The word “reprove” here means to convince or convict.

Before you were a Christian, before you were saved, have you ever known inside you without anybody ever telling you, something you were doing was wrong? You did, didn’t you? The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin. Does He convict the believer of sin? Yes. As a believer, have you ever done something without anyone saying a word to you that you had done wrong? Sure, you have.

The Holy Spirit convicts reproving the world of sin, and secondly, of righteousness. Not only does He convict of sin, but He shows us the right way – He shows us righteousness. He does not just tell us that we are wrong, but He also shows us how to be right, because He is the Spirit of Truth. Folks, this is why truth is so desperately needed today and why truth is so absent in so much of public life today and is substituted with lies. Remember, Satan is the father of lies. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Our world is starved for truth.

He will reprove the world of sin – show them where they are wrong, of righteousness – He will show them what is right, and of judgment – the Spirit teaches us the standard of judgment. “Judgment” means the standard by which we are judged. And rest assured, we are going to be judged. Every human being who is living now, every human being who has ever lived in the past, every human being who is ever going to live in the future will one day, stand before the Creator of the universe and give an accounting of themselves.

There will be separate judgments for the believer and the unbeliever. You will find this in Revelation chapters nineteen and twenty. There will be separate judgments. All of us are going to stand before the Creator and give account of ourselves.

What is going to be the standard of judgment? From Revelation chapter twenty, it tells us the books will be opened, and for the unbeliever, and I think it will be similar for the believer, the books are opened, and the dead are judged out of the things written in those books. What are those books? Well, the Book of Life is one. In both Old Testament and New Testament, they teach us about the Book of Life. Everyone who is redeemed is in the Book of Life. All those who are not, are not in the Book of Life, they are lost.

But it also talks about another book. I think another book is a record of man’s deeds. I am saying everything we do is kept in a record book. I wish I had time to go through and show you references where Jesus said it. One of the things He said is that every idle word you speak will be called into account. If that does not make you nervous, it makes me nervous. I mean there are things that I absolutely wish I had not said, so many things I wish I had not said and thought about it over the years. I wish I had never said that. One day I stand before God and give an account of every word spoken, so there is the book of our deeds.

And then, what other book are we judged out of? This one, the Bible. This is the standard of Truth. This is the standard of what is right and wrong. This is God’s inspired and holy Word, we will be judged according to it. And there will not be any defense by saying, “Well, I know God’s law said this, but man’s law…” – it will not help you. This is the standard.

So, the Holy Spirit’s work in the world today is to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”

John 16:9: “Of sin, because they believe not on me;”

They need to believe in Him.

John 16:10: “Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;”

They are convicted of sin, and they need to know how to get right.

John 16:11: “Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

Satan, himself, will be judged and every human being will be judged.

The Holy Spirit Guides Us in Truth

Then finally, the Holy Spirit comes and comes to inspire the Word of God and use the Word of God. This is one of the reasons we tell you to memorize scripture. There so many reasons to memorize scripture, this is one of them. Have you ever wanted to talk to somebody about the Lord and you have a clear opportunity to talk about the Word, but you do not have your Bible with you? That has happened to me. What do you do? You hide God’s Word in your heart and when you need it, the Holy Spirit will bring it to your mind, and you can quote the scripture to him. That is not all He does with that. You and I have God’s Word in our hearts and whether you talk to somebody or not, the Holy Spirit will bring God’s Word to your mind and speak to you.

II Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

The Holy Spirit guides us in truth and teaches us truth because He is the Spirit of Truth. And whenever we speak truth, we are doing the work of God. Whenever we lie, we are doing the work of Satan. I know I already said that twice, but I am saying it again, I do not want you to forget it. The Holy Spirit does not promote Himself, He promotes the Savior. He glorifies the Savior. Why? Because He is the Savior. We need Him to save us. The Holy Spirit is our guide in truth so that we may understand the Bible.

I Corinthians 2:14: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

You need the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible. You may say that you wish you knew the Bible better. Well, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand. You are a believer. He will answer that prayer. He will guide you in all truth. He will help you understand what you are reading.

You may say that you read so much of the Bible, and you just do not get it. I already told you that the disciples did not get it the first time around either. But when the Holy Spirit brought it back to them, they got it. Do you think it could work the same way for you? It could, couldn’t it? You have got to be in the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to help you and guide you into the Word.

Then the Holy Spirit comforts us. He comforts us in times of heartache and grief. He indwells us, He is always with us. That ought to change your behavior. Do you ever think there are places Christians should not go or some things Christians should not do? Why shouldn’t you? Well, number one, your testimony for Christ affects others. Number two, the Holy Spirit indwells you, so if you are going somewhere that you should not go, you are taking the Holy Spirit with you. If you are doing something you should not do, you are trying to involve the Holy Spirit. Do not do that.

And then the Holy Spirit is our down payment, the earnest, of our salvation, to let us know what it is going to be like living with the Lord forever. He is really our introduction of what Heaven will be like. So when you trust the Lord Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live within you. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, you receive the trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit stays with you. For how long? Forever.

There is another teaching on the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit, we will talk about that this evening. But the big question is now that we know if you have trusted the Lord as your Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live with you, within you:

I Corinthians 3:16: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

So, the question then becomes, have you trusted the Lord as your Savior? If you would like the Holy Spirit within you, then trust Jesus Christ. If you would like to know you are going to Heaven, have Jesus as your Savior. If you would like to know your sins are forgiven, trust Jesus as your Savior. You see, it is all about Jesus. It is all about Him. The work of the Holy Spirit is to point you and I and others to Him.

John 16:12: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”

John 16:13: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

John 16:14: “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

John 16:15: “All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

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Dr. Michael L. McClure, our lead pastor, is known for his in-depth knowledge and effective teaching style of biblical truths applicable to every day living.

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