John 15:26-27

 

November 3, 1996

Introduction

Jesus has been talking about how the world would hate the disciples because they were following Jesus.

This is not exactly a fun proposition.

In fact, it's just the kind of thing that makes us want to stop talking so much about Jesus.

Illustration:

The story goes that there was a WIDE MOUTHED FROG that was going to have babies.

She decided she would talk to the other mothers to find out what to feed her children.

She went to the cow and said, "Mrs. Cow, what do you feed your babies?"

"I feed my babies milk" mooed Mrs. Cow.

Then the WIDE MOUTHED FROG went to Mrs. Horse and asked, "Mrs. Horse, what do you feed your babies?"

"I feed my babies hay" neighed Mrs. Horse.

Next, the WIDE MOUTHED FROG talked to Mrs. Snake.

"Mrs. Snake, what do you feed your babies?"

"Well" hissed the snake, "I feed my babies wide mouthed frogs!"

"oh" replied the frog (not so widely ...)

It's the same with us.

When we hear about how much people don't like Christians, it's real hard to speak up at times.

And so our Lord goes on with His teaching.

:26-27 The Holy Spirit

:26 But when the Comforter is come,

It may have been a time for us, but Jesus has already talked about this person known as the "Comforter".

He said:

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

And then even more clearly,

(John 14:26 KJV) 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.

The word "Comforter" is a translation of the Greek word "parakletos", which means "one called alongside to help".

Jesus had been a "Comforter" to the disciples, being there to help them and guide them.

And He would be sending another "Comforter" to take His place.

:26 whom I will send unto you from the Father,

Jesus is the one responsible for sending the Holy Spirit to us.

John the Baptist said:

(Mat 3:11 KJV) I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Jesus is the one that baptizes with the Holy Ghost.

He's the one that immerses, that soaks us in the Holy Ghost.

Jesus Himself said,

(John 7:37-39 KJV) In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. {38} He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. {39} (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Lesson:

Come to Jesus for the Holy Spirit.

Why make this point?

Because we tend to think that if I go to some certain person and have them pray for me, then I'll "get the Holy Ghost".

Or if I just go to a certain church where amazing things are happening, then I'll find the Holy Spirit.

In reality, you have to go no further than Jesus Christ Himself.

Over and over throughout history, you can find accounts of individuals who have come into a full relationship with the Holy Spirit, who were ALONE with Jesus!

I've read to you lots lately about Charles Finney, so I'll share with you today about Dwight L. Moody, a great American evangelist of the late 1800's.

Illustration:

He was already well into his ministry as an evangelist, when it became evident to two of the sisters in his church that he needed the Holy Spirit.

At a camp meeting in June 1871, "a burden came on me for Mr. Moody that the Lord would give him the baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire." With her friend, a widow named Mrs. Hawxhurst, Auntie Cooke settled in the front row, and while Moody preached they prayed in an obvious manner.

"We have been praying for you," they said afterwards. This nettled him. "Why don't you pray for the people?" "Because you need the power of the Spirit." "I need the power?" Moody puffed. He had not a chance. "No opportunity was lost after that in urging upon him his great need." They pursued him like the Hound of Heaven; in the mist of tears he hid from them, and under running laughter. They found "little conviction of his need" at first, but their unhurrying chase

"set me thinking. I asked them to come and talk with me, and they poured out their hearts in prayer that I might receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. There came a great hunger into my soul. I did not know what it was. I began to cry out as I never did before. I really felt that I did not want to live if I could not have this power for service."

But instead of coming that summer in Chicago, it didn't come until late fall in the city of New York.

In broad daylight he walked down one of the busiest streets, Broadway or Fifth Avenue - he scarcely remembered which - while crowds thrust by, with the clop-clink of cabs and carriages and the shouting of newsboys in his ears. The last chain snapped. Quietly, without a struggle, he surrendered. Immediately an overpowering sense of the presence of God flooded his soul. "God Almighty seemed to come very near. I felt I must be alone." He hurried to the house of a friend nearby, sent up his card, and brushed aside an invitation to "come and have some food." "I want to be alone. Let me have a room where I can lock myself in."

His host thought it best to humor him. Moody locked the door and sat on the sofa. The room seemed ablaze with God. Moody dropped to the floor and lay bathing his soul in the Divine. Of this communion, this mount of transfiguration, he later would comment, "I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand." Turmoil of mind glided into peace, and conflict of character snapped into integration. That masterful strength which had hammered at the gates of hell and charged full tilt at the world, the flesh, and the devil was melted and remolded, leaving him gentle as a babe and utterly dependent upon a power beyond his own.

He had been known as "Crazy Moody", but from this point he had been changed into Moody, the man of God.

From Moody The Biography, by John Pollock, pgs 103-108.

If you need the power of the Holy Spirit in your life, you need to come to Jesus to receive it.

:26 even the Spirit of truth,

As we saw back in John 14:16, this is one of the titles for the Holy Spirit.

He's the Spirit of truth.

truth - aletheia - truth

Dennis Agajanian: "Truth is truth, lies are lies"

Webster: the body of real things, events, and facts; the body of true statements and propositions.

Lesson:

Be a person of truth.

If the Holy Spirit is working in you, then He's working to make you like Himself, He's working to make you a person of truth.

Ps 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (AV)

Ps 86:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

1Jo 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (AV)

Admit the truth.

Some of us need to admit that we're not as great as we make ourselves out to be.

Some of us are hiding deep, dark, secrets from others, from ourselves, and even from God.

We're not going to receive any help from God or from others until we admit that we need help.

John writes:

(1 John 1:9 KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It's not until we confess our sin that we receive help.

Some of us need to admit that we're a whole lot more valuable to God than we give ourselves credit for.

Some of us like hiding behind the "poor, worthless me" facade.

We like the attention it brings us.

We like not having to be responsible to actively serve God, because we're "too worthless to be any good".

Paul prayed:

(Eph 1:17-19 KJV) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: {18} The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, {19} And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

If the Holy Spirit is working in us, He'll be drawing us closer to the truth.

We won't be trying to hide so much from God or from others.

:26 which proceedeth from the Father,

Jesus had talked many times how He had come from the Father, and was going back to the Father.

The Holy Spirit comes from the same place as Jesus.

:26 he shall testify of me:

testify - marturew - to be a witness; i.e. to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something.

This gives us a clue as to the ministry, or the job, of the Holy Spirit.

His job is not to draw attention to Himself, as if to say,

"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 hold Holy Spirit meetings and show everybody how great the Holy Spirit is."

His job is to be a witness about Jesus.

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

Lesson:

A test of the Spirit's presence is to see Who's in the spotlight.

How do we know when the Holy Spirit has been really at work during church?

Is it by the amount of teary eyes we see?

Is it when everybody starts swaying to the music, or lifting their hands during worship?

Is it when people are "slain in the Spirit"?

Is it by the number of "hallelujahs" shouted out during the service?

Is it when everybody begins to speak in tongues?

Some of these things may indeed be a work of the Holy Spirit, but the main test of whether the Holy Spirit has been allowed to do His job, is whether or not people are talking about JESUS!

The Holy Spirit isn't trying to draw attention to Himself.

That's our human response to him that causes the Holy Spirit to be glorified.

The Holy Spirit is working the most unhindered when we all come out talking about Jesus.

How do you think the Holy Spirit would testify of Jesus?

How would an invisible, spirit-being, be a witness concerning Jesus?

Hang on that's next.

:27 because ye have been with me from the beginning.

Jesus is talking to his eleven remaining disciples.

He's giving them an extra special command to be witnesses of all that happened while Jesus was alive on earth.

The things in the gospels aren't just stories cooked up by a bunch of guys looking to make a fast buck.

They were eyewitness accounts.

Peter wrote:

(2 Pet 1:16-18 KJV) For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. {17} For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. {18} And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

:27 And ye also shall bear witness

This is the same Greek word that's translated "testify" in verse 26.

The disciples will be doing the exact same thing that the Spirit is doing.

martureo is the same word we get our "martyr" from.

We think of a "martyr" as being someone who serves the Lord by giving up their life in a horrible death.

But in reality, a "martyr" is simply a witness, someone who tells what he's seen or heard.

It's just that in some parts of the world, at various times in history, if you told about Jesus, you may have lost your life doing it.

Lesson:

Being a witness.

Ready to feel guilty?

I was thinking that about here, it would be appropriate to make us all feel guilty about not witnessing like we ought to.

Quote:

"It is here that Christians fail most."

A.T. Robertson

Illustration:

The late Roland Q. Leavell in his book, Evangelism: Christ's Imperative Commission, stated that of all the reported Church members:

5 per cent do not exist,

10 per cent cannot be found,

20 per cent never pray,

25 per cent never read the Bible,

30 per cent never attend Church services,

40 per cent never give any money to the church,

50 per cent never go to Sunday School,

60 per cent never go to Church Sunday night,

70 per cent never give to missions,

80 per cent never go to prayer meeting,

90 per cent never have family worship, and

95 per cent never win a soul to Christ.

Illustration:

Blunt common sense always characterized Mr. Moody. Once a man rose in one of his meetings to give his experience. "I have been for five years on the Mount of Transfiguration," he said.

Instantly Mr. Moody interrupted him by the sharp question, "How many souls did you lead to Christ last year?'

"Well, I don't know," answered the surprised man.

"Have you led any?" then came sternly from the preacher.

"I-ah-don't know that I have," said the man.

"Then," snapped Mr. Moody, still more sternly, "we don't want that kind of mountaintop experience. When a man gets so high that he can't reach down and save poor sinners, there is something wrong."

Illustration:

An artist, seeking to depict on canvas the meaning of evangelism, painted a storm at sea. Black clouds filled the sky. Illuminated by a flash of lightning, a little boat could be seen disintegrating under the pounding of the ocean. Men were struggling in the swirling waters, their anguished faces crying out for help. The only glimmer of hope appeared in the foreground of the painting, where a large rock protruded out of the water. There, clutching desperately with both hands, was one lone seaman.

It was a moving scene. Looking at the painting, one could see in the tempest a symbol of mankind's hopeless condition. And, true to the Gospel, the only hope of salvation was "the Rock of Ages", a shelter in the time of storm.

But as the artist reflected upon his work, he realized that the painting did not accurately portray his subject. So he discarded the canvas, and painted another. It was very similar to the first: the black clouds, the flashing lightning, the angry waters, the little boat crushed by the pounding waves, and the crew vainly struggling in the water. In the foreground the seaman was clutching the large rock for salvation. But the artist made one change: the survivor was holding on with only one hand, and with the other hand he was reaching down to pull up a drowning friend.

That is the New Testament picture of evangelism -- that hand reaching down to rescue the perishing. Until that hand is extended, there is no Gospel -- and there is no hope for the world.

-- Robert E. Coleman, In The Heartbeat of Evangelism

Quote:

"Too many Christians are no longer fishers of men but keepers of the aquarium."

Paul Harvey

It's really not all that hard.

A witness is someone who simply gives testimony to something that he or she has witnessed.

Illustration:

It's like the scout ant.

Those are the lonely ones that roam aimlessly until they come across some source of food.

But instead of pigging out on the food until they get sick, they go back to the colony and bring the others back to the food.

We've tasted of the Lord. We bring others to Him.

Sometimes it starts with just learning to love other people.

Illustration:

Top ten best acts of kindness towards non-Christians:

10. Offer to help a neighbor with their yard work.

9. Call them; encourage them; tell them you enjoy their company.

8. Send them cards on special occasions.

7. Help them work on their car.

6. Give them a free night of babysitting.

5. Ask if you can pray for them; then really pray for them.

4. Cook them something and take it to them.

3. Treat them to a sporting event.

2. Build trust by asking them to help you with something.

1. Stay up late sharing about family matters, then watch Letterman together.

Hey, who made this list ... David Letterman???

Illustration:

There's the story of the Filipino man who came to know the Lord as a student in America. The first Sunday his roommate appeared in the doorway, an umbrella under each arm. He offered to show him the way to his place of worship and then planned to go on to his own church. As they started down the street he thought, "If this man has this kind of faith and interest in my spiritual life surely I should find out what his faith is like." He asked his friend to take him to his church and he attended it all four years. As a result, the man came to know the Lord, eventually went to seminary, and went back to the Philippines as a pastor.

How do people come to the Lord? Usually through people with two umbrellas.

It's the work of the Holy Spirit.

That's the whole point of this verse.

The Holy Spirit's job is to witness of Jesus.

If we're filled with the Holy Spirit, it will happen automatically inside of us.

Jesus said:

(Acts 1:8 KJV) 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.

That's what happened to the apostles.

But when Jesus was arrested, they all fled in terror, hiding out from the authorities so they wouldn't be arrested.

Until they were baptized with the Holy Ghost.

After the coming of the Comforter, Peter was changed from a man who denied Jesus three times, to a man who boldly got up in front of a crowd, and preached the gospel, bringing 3,000 into the kingdom at once!

Quote:

People say that it is so hard to bring Jesus Christ and present him before the lives of men today. Of course it is, it is so hard that it is impossible except by the power of the indwelling Holy Ghost.

Oswald Chambers (18741917)

We talked about how Dwight Moody "melted" under the power of the Holy Spirit, and was changed into another man ...

Illustration:

During the reign of Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), there was a shortage of currency in the British Empire. Representatives carefully searched the nation in hopes of finding silver to meet the emergency. After one month, the committee returned with its report. 'We have searched the Empire in vain seeking to find silver. To our dismay, we found none anywhere except in the cathedrals where the statues of the saints are made of choice silver.' To this, Oliver Cromwell eloquently answered, 'Let's melt down the saints and put them into circulation.'

If we would only allow ourselves to be melted down by the power of the Holy Spirit, perhaps He might put us into circulation.