This is the Wednesday evening sermon for December 16th, 2009.

John part 70

Conflict, comfort, and conviction.

John 16:1-11.

John 16:1-11 ESV – 1“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.  “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

INTRODUCTION

Jesus and the Eleven are on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus will be betrayed and arrested.  Jesus is not wasting this evening walk to the garden.  He has many things to say to the Eleven.  Some of what He speaks are warnings, and some are words of comfort.

Tonight’s sermon will be dealing with three issues that both the original eleven disciples and all Disciples of Christ throughout history have had to deal with: conflict with the world; the comfort found in Christ’s words; and the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  Let’s begin.

Conflict with the world.

John 16:1-4 ESV – 1“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.  “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

What Jesus is referring too here is what He has just finished speaking to them about in John 15:18-27.

What did Jesus mean by “falling away” in verse 1?

  • The Greek word is skandalizo (skan-dal-id`-zo).  It means, “to entrap, trip up, stumble, entice to sin, to go into apostacy, to fall away, to offend.”
  • This Greek word was used in Roman literature to describe a baited trap to catch animals.
  • We get our English word, “scandal” from the Greek.

So if Jesus had not told them of the upcoming opposition, it would be like Him baiting a trap for their turning away from the faith.

John Calvin in his commentary concerning the expression, “keep you from falling away” describes this as Jesus meaning the Eleven would not be in danger of anything forcing them aside from the right course, because He gave them warning.

You see, not only is God’s Word comforting for us; it is also given as a warning.  We should heed the warning passages.  If we abide or continue in the warning passages, like we do the comforting passages, we will be secure in Christ’s hands and He will keep us from falling.

The first four verses are very similar to what Jesus spoke about in the parable of the Sower.

Matthew 13:20-21 ESV – 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.

We do people a great disservice when we try to reach them with the Gospel and don’t warn them of suffering, persecution, and the hatred of the world.  Sometimes Christ is presented like a Genie in a bottle; ask and every need will be supplied.  But when the Genie in the bottle myth’s bubble is burst, many are offended and walk away; the main reason is they were not presented with the real message of Jesus Christ and the believer’s crucified life.

The comforting words of Christ.

John 16:5-7 ESV – 5But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

He has told them that He is going away: yet He is not leaving them alone.  The Holy Spirit will come and be a comfort in the midst of sorrow; joy in the midst of mourning.  This is not just a great comfort to the Jewish Eleven followers; but to us 21st century Gentile Disciples of Christ as well.  Notice what Paul says in Ephesians.

Ephesians 2:11-22 ESV – 11Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:11-22:

  • We were Gentile in the flesh and separated from Christ (vv. 11-12).
  • But we have been brought near through the blood of Christ (v.13).
  • Christ our peace broke down the dividing wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles (vv.14-16).
  • It was done through the preaching of Christ as the peace between God and man to both Jew and Gentile (v.18-19).
  • We are now citizens of the kingdom (vv.19-21).
  • We are also a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (v.22).

The conviction of the Holy Spirit.

John 16:8-11 ESV – 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

The word, “convict” in Greek is elegeho (el-eng`-kho).  It means, “to admonish, convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.”

The Holy Spirit’s ministry here is to the fallen world that hates Christ and His followers.

Three areas of conviction:

  • Sin. The Gospel reveals the sinfulness of man and the need for God’s righteousness.  This is done by preaching the Law lawfully; followed by preaching the grace of God found through Jesus Christ in the Gospel.  An example of this would be what Paul does in Romans 3 onward.  The greatest sin of man in unbelief, which is what Jesus is speaking about here.
  • Righteousness. The Law exposes man’s sin; the Gospel reveals the righteousness we have through the crucified, resurrected, and ascended Lord of Glory – Jesus Christ.
  • Judgment. Satan stands in judgment.  Those who refuse the convicting message of the Holy Spirit are under God’s wrath and will be judged if they continue in unbelief.

CONCLUSION

As we conclude this evening remember as a Disciple of Christ the world will hate us and persecute us.  But Christ promises to comfort us through the ever abiding Holy Spirit.  And while the Holy Spirit brings comfort to believers; He brings conviction to the world that hates Christ and His disciples.

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