Nothing for Which Jesus Cares So Much (Part 7)

Today’s message from John 14:15-24 is now on the web. You can listen to the audio here.

Here is how I tied together the entire passage in our last look at this section of the farewell discourse:

Genuine faith that knows the Father and the Son who is in the Father demonstrates itself through obedience to Christ’s commandments. There is no love for Christ, no genuine belief in God, apart from a treasuring of Christ’s commandments. This alone will suffice for the measuring rod of your faith as to it genuineness. Do you evaluate it in these terms? Christ alone can give you this kind of faith. If you admit your rebellion against him and failure to keep all His commandments and put your trust in His death on the cross for your sins, He will forgive you and He will send you His Holy Spirit to indwell and empower you and He Himself and the Father will indwell you and strengthen you and aid you in every way as well.

Do you wonder if you ever will overcome that besetting sin? There is a Niagara of help in the Godhead. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4). Here is where we must focus in our battle against the flesh. Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world (1 John 4:4). The good news of the gospel is that because of Christ’s finished work on the cross and His going to the Father, all the resources of the gospel now envelop our hearts and lives. No wonder R. A. Torrey said: I can think of no thought more humbling or more overwhelming that the thought that a person of Divine majesty and glory dwells in my heart and is ready to use even me. He does indeed. One God. Three persons. More than enough for our every need.

On this Palm Sunday may we praise God for the Triune provision that is mutual indwelling and the promise for all we need for a life of treasuring Christ’s commands and walking in obedience to Him.

The Three "Rs" of the Spirit

Yesterday I attempted to apply the teaching from John 14:16-17 about the role of the Holy Spirit with three “so whats.” I want to review them quickly here in this post.

First, find rest in the Spirit’s foreverness. The Son asks the Father to give us the Spirit and promises a forever relationship. We never need concern ourselves that the Father will renege on the promise of the Spirit. We are sealed with the Spirit (Eph. 1:13). He will never leave us or forsake us and always gives us exactly what we need for every circumstance and situation.

Second, take responsibility for the Spirit’s infilling. The Spirit’s indwelling, enjoyed by all Jesus’ followers, does not guarantee His fullness in our everyday lives. We make choices all the time that influence that one way or the other. Ephesians 5:18-21 is the key text:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Notice the corporate nature of the means that affect the Spirit’s infilling in our lives. Participation in singing and praise from the heart with thanksgiving and a submissive spirit towards others all come into play dramatically in terms of whether or not we enjoy the Spirit’s in full measure.
Third, think relationship with the Spirit as family. He is, after all, a person. A Christ follower has no more intimate relationship than he does with the indwelling Spirit. Talk with the Spirit. Pray to the Spirit. Remember that the Spirit goes with you wherever you go and can be grieved (Eph. 4:30) or quenched (1 Thess. 5:19) by whatever you do.
There are some bizarre teachings out there about the Spirit, but we should not let the fear of those excesses keep us from cultivating a prayer-without-ceasing, keeping-in-close-step with the Spirit.

Nothing for Which Jesus Cares So Much (Part 5)

Today’s message from John 14:15-24 is now on the web. You can listen to the audio here.

I summarized the flow of the argument this way:

We could spend multiple messages unpacking the doctrine of the Spirit, but I will resist that temptation for we will encounter His ministry nuymerous times to come in this discourse. But before we move on next time to the role of the Son of God, the second person of the Godhead, I do want you to see in verses 16-18, in addition to the identity of the Spirit as Helper, four other particulars that Jesus identifies about Him – His perpetuity, His priority, His exclusivity, and His intimacy. All of these contribute to the force of the advantage that comes to Jesus’ followers upon the loss of His presence in so short a time (John 16:7).

Praise God for the extraordinary help of the Holy Spirit in whom we find rest, are filled, and enjoy intimate relationship!