The Holy Spirit Is Our Counselor

16996219_1289168974472400_2003409848268179538_nSermon Notes and Audio

Scripture Focus- John 14:12-31

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Jesus was on His way to the cross, it was His last evening before He would give His life on the cross for sinners. Chapter 14 of John is in the midst of a section in John called The Farewell Discourse, from John 13-17. The disciples were without a doubt, experiencing a range of emotions- sorrow, confusion, helplessness, maybe a bit of panic. They had sacrificially followed Jesus, and already had encountered quite a few difficulties. The disciples were anticipating being alone, and were concerned about it. Loneliness can be quite painful, and affect us deeply.

Jesus told the disciples He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Without Jesus The Way there is no going. Without Jesus The Truth there is no knowing. Without Jesus The Life there is no living.

Jesus said, whoever believes in Him will do the works that He does, and greater works than these because He was going to the Father. Whatever we ask in His name, He will do, so the Father will be glorified in the Son. The reach of the disciples, and all who would follow after, would be greater than the immediate ministry of Jesus. This would begin to be fulfilled at Pentecost, where Peter saw 3000 people come to faith in Jesus at one time. This would be possible, because Jesus was going to the Father, and was sending the Spirit. Greater things will continue in the mission of God through His church until Jesus returns. The disciples did not need to fear that Jesus’ physical absence would be a lack of His power. He gave a glorious promise for those who keep on believing in Him. The prayers of God’s people in Jesus’ name, doing God’s work, for God’s glory, are powerful! The works of Jesus will be carried on not in spite of His departure, but because of His departure back to Heaven. The mighty work begun in Jesus, would continue and expand.

Jesus said, if you love me, you will keep my commands. The way to keep His commands, and express our love, is to believe in Him and live out that faith. Jesus was not leaving them as orphans, alone, for no one to care for them. He would send the Holy Spirit.

Parakleton- Translated as Counselor (HCSB) Comforter (KJV), Helper (NASB), Advocate (NIV). The reason is, there is not a simple word in the English language that expresses with fullness, the meaning of the word in the original language. Para in the Greek means “alongside” and the root of “kleton” means “to call.” So the Counselor that Jesus promised to send would come alongside the people of God, as a gift from God, to those who believe in Jesus. Jesus would be crucified, resurrected, and then ascend back into Heaven and send the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The coming of the Holy Spirit rests on the finished work of Jesus in salvation.

The Spirit is spoken of by Jesus as “another Counselor” because Jesus Himself is also a Counselor to us. 1 John 2:1 If anyone sins we have a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. The Risen Lord is seen in 1 John as our Paraclete, Counselor, Advocate in Heaven, pleading our cause.

The Triune God is Father, Son, and Spirit- Coequal and coeternal, one in essence, three in person. There is a lot of confusion about the Holy Spirit, and His role, particular with a lot of charismatic nonsense that is propagated and is patently unbiblical.

BFM2000 The Holy Spirit- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

The Holy Spirit convicts, converts, cultivates and counsels.

The Holy Spirit remains with you forever.

Jesus’ departure, Pentecost that followed, and the coming of the Holy Spirit marked a change. In the Old Testament, the Spirit would anoint and empower God’s people for serving Him, but would not remain with them. God made His presence known to His people in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and the Temple. Now, we are the Holy of Holies in Jesus, covered by His blood, indwelt by His Spirit.

When you come to faith in Jesus, God takes up permanent residence in you, in His Spirit.

Jesus said- V17 He remains with you, and will be in you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

The Holy Spirit brings spiritual life to a soul that is dead in sin. Titus 3:5 He saved us- not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit seals you for the day of redemption, your guarantee. Ephesians 1:13-14 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.

The Holy Spirit baptizes you into the family of God. 1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

The Holy Spirit gives you spiritual gifts at salvation to serve God in His church. 1 Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.

The Holy Spirit bears testimony that you are a child of God. Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Jesus came as God with us, and He is God for us. The Holy Spirit is God in us.

The Christian life is about communion with God. Communion is God’s communication to us and our response to Him. You can’t grow close to God by attending church occasionally, or even by having a daily devotional. Communion with God, friendship with God, grows through continuous dependence on Him and communication with Him. Have you ever thought, I wish I could speak to Jesus face to face and share my concerns and fears in His physical presence? If you could you would find great comfort and strength. What Jesus is telling us is, having the Holy Spirit is the same as having Jesus physically accessible, only better. We have access to the Holy Spirit right now.

We live out the entirety of our lives against the backdrop of a constant relationship with God. He is always there, always loving us, always ready to listen to us. As we recognize His unwavering commitment to us, we are able to live in the day to day adventure and challenge of His presence. John Guest in Only a Prayer Away. Christianity Today, Vol. 40, no. 2.

The Holy Spirit is with us always.

The Holy Spirit is truth.

V17 He is the Spirit of truth.  Literally, Spirit of THE truth.

This is interesting, because Jesus had just described Himself as “the truth” v6 and earlier in John we learn those who worship the Father must do so “in truth” Ch4:23-24.

Truth is that which corresponds to reality. God is Truth in His character, He reveals Truth in His Word, He embodies Truth in His Son, He imparts Truth by His Spirit.

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are interdependent. The Father would tell the Spirit what to teach the Apostles about the Son. He will guide you into all the truth.

To say that the Spirit of God guides in the Truth is to say that He leads the way in truth. I don’t know if you have ever been somewhere unfamiliar and had a guide to take you. The guide is security of sorts, a solid resource of information and insight.

There was no way the disciples could know, where the mission of Jesus would take them in the years to follow. But the Spirit would guide them and illuminate the truth about Jesus, and He does the same for us. Life and eternity are unknown territory for us. The Holy Spirit guides us in the truth so we don’t lose our way. He takes us deep into the essential truths about God, ourselves, and eternity.

The Holy Spirit will teach you all things.

V26 will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

Teach. . .Remind- These are almost identical. For the disciples, it was an immediate application to their spiritual memories. This promise was made primarily to the Apostles, as a guarantee of the accuracy of what they would communicate to the world about Jesus. Yet the principles apply to all believers. He glorifies Jesus, all of His teaching focuses on Jesus. He reveals to us the deep things of God which the natural man cannot understand.

The Holy Spirit brings truth to our minds when we need them for service to God, direction in life, or comfort for our souls. He teaches us all things, there is no better teacher. He tells us of the things to come. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God are always consistent, never contradictory, and never confusing. Sometimes people say, well God told me to do such and such. Many times, they are blaming something on God that they want to do. At other times, I have heard someone say, well, I know what the Bible says, but I think God wants me to be happy, so I am going to do this. Let me tell you, God will never lead you in a way that is contrary to His Word!

The Holy Spirit is not a builder of new revelations. He confirms what has come from God in Jesus. He is always making clear the teaching and ministry of Jesus. How can we know what to do? Look to the Word of God and trust the Spirit of God.

The disciples had trouble understanding Jesus at times in His earthly ministry. John 12:16 “These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.” Jesus entrusted His teaching to the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit revealed the written Word of God as we have it today. 2 Peter 1:21 No prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. He is the Author of the Word of God.

The Holy Spirit guides God’s people, through the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. He communicates and makes clear His own revelation. He interprets what He has revealed. Need wisdom? Direction? Discernment? The Holy Spirit will guide you in the Word of God.

The Word of God is living. It is not a dead book from an ancient past, but a living book with an impactful present.

The Word of God is effective. Just as God’s spoken Word brought forth his beautiful creation, so His Word makes new.

The Word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword. The doubled-edged sword was the sharpest weapon available in the ancient world. We read about the sharp doubled-edged sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus as John saw him in the Revelation. The Word of God judges the ideas and thoughts of the heart.The Holy Spirit applies the Word to our hearts.

The Holy Spirit empowers us to communicate the truth to others. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our Gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance.

The Holy Spirit Is Our Counselor!

 Dr. James (J. I.) Packer calls the ministry of the Holy Spirit, “a floodlight ministry in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit is the floodlight shining on the Savior. It is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over our shoulder on to Jesus who stands facing us. The Spirit’s message to us is not ‘Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me’, but always, ‘Look at him, and see his glory; listen to him and hear his word; go to him and have life; get to know him and taste his gift of joy and peace.’ The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together.” (Your Father Loves You, 1986)