************ Sermon on John 14:16 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on May 31, 2020
Jesus is speaking to the disciples. Jesus told them He is going to be arrested, beaten, mistreated, tried, crucified. Jesus also told them He is going to rise again. Worst of all, He also says that He is leaving them and going back to the Father in heaven.
The disciples have trouble with this. That's why Jesus begins by saying, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me" (Jn 14:1).
Put yourself in the place of a child who has lost his or her parents. Frightened, scared, terrified, anxious. Because dad and mom are everything. All of life comes through them. Dependent upon them for everything: food, drink, clothing, shelter, love, instruction, discipline, family, religion. It all comes down to the love and care of the parents. That's how the disciples were feeling. They were so dependent upon Jesus. He was their life, their hope, their teacher, their Lord. He fed them, taught them, called them, comforted them. And now that He is leaving they are troubled, anxious, upset, lost.
Jesus knows the disciples need Him to comfort, strengthen, encourage. So He is unfolding, unpacking, and laying out the promises of God. Promises that thrill our hearts on this Pentecost Sunday. The promise of the Spirt:
(Jn 14:16-17) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- (17) the Spirit of truth.
I What the Spirit is - Five Words
A As we listen to this promise we see five words or phrases that are important. First, the word "give." The Father will give. This means the Spirit is a gift. Like grace, the gift of the Spirit is unearned, unmerited, undeserved. The Spirit is not something God owes us. The Spirit is not something we have the right to claim.
The Spirit is given by the Father at the request of the Son. The Son asks and the Father gives.
B Second, look at the word used for the Holy Spirit: He is called "Counselor." Other translations use Helper, Comforter, Advocate. The Greek word is Paraclete. The word means "called along side." Somebody called alongside.
Called alongside for what. For whatever you need. For anything you need. Somebody called alongside as an intercessor, advocate, comforter, encourager, counselor. Somebody called alongside who has more wisdom, more power, more knowledge, more truth, more experience than you have. Somebody called alongside who is not less than you but more than you.
That's the Spirit. That's the role of the Spirit -- somebody greater than you called alongside to help, comfort, strengthen, encourage.
C Third, we also note the word "another." That's a very important word in our text:
(Jn 14:16-17) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- (17) the Spirit of truth.Another Counselor. Meaning there is a first Counselor. Who is the first Counselor? It is Jesus. It is Jesus who first came alongside. It is Jesus who first was intercessor, advocate, comforter, encourager.
I need to get technical about the word "another." In the Greek language, there are two words for "another."
The first word, heteros, means another of a different kind. Apply this to computers: there are IBM compatible computers; Apple computers and Chrome books are computers of another kind. Milk: there is milk from dairy cows; milk of another kind comes from goats and camels. Cheese: I love cheddar; cheese of another kind is swiss and mozzarella. Some churches and pastors preach a Jesus of another kind: one who isn't divine, who doesn't die for our sins, who is not part of the triune godhead.
The second word, allos, means another of the exact same kind. That's the word Jesus uses in our text: "another Counselor, a Counselor of the exact same kind." A Counselor, Intercessor, Advocate, Comforter, Encourager exactly like Jesus. Look at the ministry of Jesus. What did He do for the disciples? He called them. He taught them. He answered their questions. He healed their diseases. He led them and guided them. He told them the meaning of what He was doing. He explained to them what was going to happen. He helped them to understand the promises of the Old Testament.
God is sending another Counselor exactly like Jesus. Doing the exact same things as Jesus. Like Jesus, He teaches, warns, points to God, illumines Scripture, inspires, leads, guides.
D A fourth word we need to note is "forever." Remember, Jesus was going to leave the disciples. He was ascending into heaven. He was with them for three years or so and then He would be gone. This other Counselor will be with them how long? Forever! Forever! During their entire life and ministry. Always there. Always present. Always. Not in another building or town. Not in another dimension or galaxy. Someone with them forever. With them on earth and even in heaven. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Isn't that awesome to think about?
E Fifth, note the phrase "to be with you" (Jn 14:16). Further explained by "he lives with you and will be in you" (Jn 14:17).
The promise is that the Spirit will be with us just like He was with Jesus. It was the Spirit who gave Jesus life in the womb of Mary. It was the Spirit who came down upon Jesus at His baptism. It was the Spirit who led Jesus into the wilderness. It was the Spirit who empowered Jesus to do miracles and to teach with authority.
The world cannot accept the work of the Spirit in and through Jesus. The world is blind to the work of the Spirit in and through Jesus. We see an instance of this in Matthew 12. Jesus healed a man who was blind and mute by casting out a demon. Remember what the Jewish leaders said about this? They said Jesus did this by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons -- not by the power of the Spirit. As Jesus says in our Bible reading: "The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him, nor knows him" (Jn 14:17). The world is blind.
But believers aren't. Believers aren't blind to the work of the Spirit. Believers aren't blind because "he lives with you and will be in you" (Jn 14:17). A personal presence. A living presence. An empowering presence. Working in us and with us and through us just like He worked in, with, and through Jesus.
II Who the Spirit is for
How does verse 15 fit into this? "If you love me, you will obey what I command" (Jn 14:15). This tells us that the promise, the comfort, the encouragement, of the Spirit is not for everyone. In verse 15 Jesus qualifies who are the recipients of the promises and comfort He is about to give. Who does the Spirit of Jesus comfort, strengthen, encourage? Those who love Jesus and obey His commandments.
Those who love Jesus and obey His commandments. This is a definition. This is a description. Of Christians. Christians are those who love Jesus and obey His commandments. This is John's favorite definition for Christians: those who love Jesus and obey His commandments. He mentions this three other times in chapter 14 alone:
(Jn 14:21) Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.How do you know you are a true Christian? How do you know if others are true Christians? A true Christian loves the Lord and, out of love, obeys the Lord. Love is the motive, the reason; obedience is the result, the consequence.
(Jn 14:23) If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.
(Jn 14:24) He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.
Or, listen to what is said in John 15. There we find a statement basically saying the same thing:
(Jn 15:10) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.How do you know Jesus loved the Father? Simple, really. How do you know? Because He obeyed the Father. So Jesus is our model, our example, the pattern we are to follow.
As we have been going through 1 John we have come across similar language:
(1 Jn 2:3) We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
(1 Jn 5:3) This is love for God: to obey his commands.
So how do we define a Christian? How do we identify Christians? Love and obedience. Love for God and joyful obedience to His commands.
As He is about to leave them, Jesus promises the disciples the presence of the Spirit. The promise of the Spirit is for all true Christian believers -- for all those who love Jesus and obey Him.
III What the Spirit Does
A Jesus calls Him "the Spirit of truth." Why? Listen to verse 26 of John 14:
(Jn 14:26) But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
(Cf Jn 15:26; 16:13)
What is the job of the Spirit? To bring truth, to deliver truth, to teach truth, to testify about the truth, to guide into truth.
How does He does this? When does He do this? What is Jesus talking about? Jesus is talking about the inspiration and writing of Scripture. Keep in mind what Peter said:
(2 Pet 1:21) For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.Peter tells us Scripture does not come from man or man's will. Scripture comes from the Spirit. All Scripture is God-breathed through the Spirit.
I want you to notice how connected this work of the Spirit is to the other two persons of the Trinity.
(Jn 14:26) But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.It is the Father's revelation. The Father discloses the revelation to the Son. Then the Holy Spirit comes, takes all of it, and reveals it to the apostles, who then write it down. Truly, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
B So what? What difference does this make? Think about it. We have a God who is truth. We have a Christ who is truth. We have a Spirit who is truth. We end up with a Bible that is truth, reliable, inspired, infallible. The God of truth revealed His truth perfectly in His Son. His Son then sent the Spirit to reveal His truth perfectly in Scripture.
This means if you attack the Bible you are attacking the Triune Godhead. Which is blasphemy!
This further means the Bible is all we need. We don't wait for revelations from heaven. We don't look for extra-biblical revelations. We don't look for lost books of the Bible. The Bible is all we need. All that is the Father's, He has given to the Son. All that is the Son's, He has given to the Spirit. And all that is the Spirit's is given to us in Scripture.
(Jn 14:16-17) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- (17) the Spirit of truth.Great news, wonderful news, as we celebrate Pentecost.
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