This is the sermon for Wednesday January 6th, 2010.
John part 71
The Spirit of Truth.
John 16:12-15 ESV – 12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
The setting is the same as it has been the last few weeks: Jesus and the Eleven are headed toward the Garden of Gethsemane. This hasn’t been a relaxing quiet walk; Jesus has been giving both words of warning and words of comfort to them along the way. He knows that His time with them is short; just a few hours later He will become the sin sacrifice through His death on the cross. He is not wasting this walk.
Last time we looked at the ministry of the Holy Spirit: He will comfort Christ’s Disciples and convict the world that is hostile toward God because of their sin.
Now we are going to see Jesus say more about the promised Holy Spirit. In our text, Jesus calls Him the Spirit of Truth. Let’s begin.
The Disciple’s limitation.
John 16:12 ESV – I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
Jesus could go on and on telling them about His betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming; but the disciples were limited in what they were able to receive and understand.
It is like when you start a new job and they give you all the information at once – you feel weighed down and confused.
In fact, that is what the word “bear” means.
- Greek word bastazo (bas-tad`-zo).
- To bear, carry, take up.
- The term is used of an animal carrying something physically heavy.
Right now they could not bear all of what Jesus was saying because they didn’t understand what He meant by: His suffering, His resurrection, and their mission to the world.
They would receive this understanding after Christ is resurrected and ascended, and the Holy Spirit filled them. These events will eventually fulfill the next points taken from the text.
The promise of understanding truth through the Spirit of Truth.
John 16:13a ESV – When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…
We are now looking at the bigger picture from our vantage point today and rejoicing in the Spirit’s coming and revealing truth to all believers through the Word of God. And we should rejoice in this; but sometimes we fail to focus our attention on the main context this passage is found.
The Disciples don’t quite understand what Jesus is telling them about His death and resurrection. But when the Spirit comes, He will bring understanding concerning the truth of the cross. This happened in the first Christian sermon preached at Pentecost.
Acts 2:22-24 ESV – 22“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
It is my belief that this is the truth that Jesus is referring too that the Holy Spirit reveals. It is the same truth that He has revealed throughout all history: Christ crucified for our sins and raise for our justification.
Romans 4:25 ESV – who (Jesus) was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
The Spirit’s ministry of glorifying Christ.
John 16:13b-15 ESV – for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
- He will not speak on His own authority. NASB says, “Initiative.” His declaring doesn’t come from Himself, but from Christ and Christ’s from the Father. This is a very Trinitarian passage.
- He reveals only what He hears from the Father and Son.
- The declaration is what is yet to come. Not so much future events; that is not what the Greek word for, “Things that are to come” refers too. It has to do with redemptive events: Calvary, resurrection, ascension, Pentecost, the second coming, etc…
- He glorifies Christ by declaring what comes from Christ. He will lift up and explain the person and redemptive work of Jesus of Nazareth.
- In turn, Jesus receives all His authority and revelation from the Father. The Trinity is equal in essence, yet there is order in the Godhead. One commentator states it this way: “Jesus reflects the Father, the Spirit reflects Jesus.” There is perfect harmony.
The Holy Spirit has come. He still reveals truth. The truth He reveals is not some new truth or philosophy, but the truth that Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins; that He has risen, and ascended into heaven where He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, ministering as our faithful High Priest; and that He is also coming again for His bride – the church. At this coming He will also come as a judge to those who are His enemies.