1997-10-16 - The Helper
The Cross Series, Part 13
John 16:7-12 "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12 "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
Here is a turning point for the disciples. The things you didn't want to hear that had to be said have been said. The encouraging part begins from this point. Jesus begins to tell them about the Holy Spirit, who is the Helper, who can only come, if Jesus completes His earthly ministry. There finally is an up side to this after the talk of coming persecution and Jesus' departure. The Lord begins to go into what this Helper will do, so they can recognize Him.
The Holy Spirit will:
Isa 14:12-17 "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! 13 "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. 14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' 15 "Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit. 16 "Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, 17 Who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?'
The Holy Spirit is a person, like the Father and the Son. Our language tags the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost as Him. Thank our paternal past for that. But, like the Father (a paternal reference most appropriate in the setting of salvation) who is a spirit, male or female is not the issue. He can be grieved (Eph 4:30), angered (Heb 10:29), lied to (Acts 5:3) and resisted (Acts 7:51). He is intelligent (1 Cor 2:10-11), He commissions (Act 13:4), intercedes (Rom 8:26), teaches (John 14:6) and speaks (John 15:26).
Many times we the name given gives us the impression of an impersonal entity. He is far from that. Romans 8:26 shows how personal His relationship to a believer is:
Rom 8:26-27 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Because of this deeply personal ministry, when we hurt beyond our ability to speak, He stands with us before the Throne of Heaven and speaks for us to the Father. He is never away from us, but is with us in our darkest moments when life doesn't make sense anymore. When a spouse stands beside the bed of a dying wife or a parent stands with a child, when help is beyond human thinking, when we have done our very best, prayed and reached the end of our resources, He is there with us.
Rom 8:14-17 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
Likewise, He bears witness to us of the truth of Jesus claims and the freedom of the new life we have. Adoption in Roman society gave that person the very same rights as anyone born into the family. There was no distinction made. When I look back at my life, and I peal back the layers with God's truth, the more I stand amazed that God would love me and want to make me His child. And yet, at the same time, the Holy Spirit assures me that this is true. It is truth beyond explaining, and yet I am more sure of that than the sun rising of the east tomorrow morning.
Lord Jesus, Help us to see more and more the person and ministry of the
Holy Spirit. In seeing these things, they become more tangible to us, and
more and more trustworthy to us. Nothing externally will have changed, but
the perception of our hearts will have become clearer. The truth will not
have changed, but it will be reveled to our hearts and minds.
Holy Spirit, please lead us, teach us and convict us. Continue to point
us to Jesus and His finished work, as Jesus points us home to the Father.
Your assurance is such a blessing in good and bad times. Your constant presence
and work in our lives is gracious and more than we deserve. Thank You.
Father God, I have sons, and can barely consider the thought of willingly
allowing them, let alone me sending them, to suffer for anyone's sake.
Your gift to us is matchless, and shows us the depth of your love and commitment
to us. As we see that love, teach us to emulate it for Your glory. Amen.
Holy Spirit, please lead us, teach us and convict us. Continue to point us to Jesus and His finished work, as Jesus points us home to the Father. Your assurance is such a blessing in good and bad times. Your constant presence and work in our lives is gracious and more than we deserve. Thank You.
Father God, I have sons, and can barely consider the thought of willingly allowing them, let alone me sending them, to suffer for anyone's sake. Your gift to us is matchless, and shows us the depth of your love and commitment to us. As we see that love, teach us to emulate it for Your glory. Amen.
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.