SanLo Community, an update for the week of June 30, 2019…
You’ve Always Got a Friend in Me – John 14:25-31; 16:4-15 – Pastor Eric
You’ve Got a Friend in Me, is the famous song from the movie Toy Story which captured the hearts of many both young and old. It represents the love of a friend. For every child, parent, and person, there is always the longing in the human heart for companionship. We all need a friend to be there when the chips are down, someone to talk to and share life with, and even a good friend to correct us when we are wrong. Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit in this way.
Unfortunately, the Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity that most people misunderstand. People don’t understand who He is and what He does. This misunderstanding leads to other errors or mistreatments. Sadly, many Christians have become afraid of the Holy Spirit or neglect Him. Thus, it is imperative we understand the Holy Spirit and His workings.
(1) The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. He works to reveal and to expose our sinfulness and blindness to self-righteousness. Like a good friend, the Spirit lets us know when we’ve got it wrong and He corrects us. (John 16:4-11)
In these verses, Jesus is explaining to His disciples the time has come for His departure is at hand. Jesus is going to go to the cross to be crucified and hung for our sin. Jesus encourages the disciples that it is to their advantage and benefit for the Spirit to come.
When the Spirit comes He will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Spirit brings us to a place of guilt within our own hearts so that we know that we are sinners in need of a Savior. This is the gospel work of the Spirit.
Secondly, the Spirit convicts us of our own self-righteousness. The world believes that it is righteous on its own or that it can save itself. Every world religion preaches a self-righteous salvation. The Spirit exposes our inability to save ourselves. This too is the transforming power of the Spirit to alter a stubborn heart.
Thirdly, the Spirit convicts us of our wrong judgment against God and ourselves. At this time, the world believed they were right in crucifying Christ and believed that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy, even though He was innocent. The Spirit shows us our own misguided judgments about Christ. The Spirit also convicts the world of its disbelief in Hell. It takes the transforming power of the Spirit to change our minds about Christ and eternity. Like a good friend, the Holy Spirit convinces and convicts us that we are wrong and sinful.
(2) The Spirit communicates to us through the Word. The Spirit moves in us through the Scriptures. This is the primary way the Spirit speaks to us about His desires and plans for our lives. (John 14:25-26, 16:12-13)
The Spirit will teach us all the things that Jesus said to us. This means that there is no need for new revelations since we have the all-sufficient and all-powerful Word to save and to transform our lives. The Spirit teaches us and speaks to us in conjunction with the Word. Therefore, there is no need for a human mediator, because we have the Spirit who does so for us. This is what makes the Word of God dynamic and active because the Spirit speaks through it. (Hebrews 4:12-13) The Spirit is that good, faithful friend who is always speaking to us through His enduring Word.
(3) The Spirit comforts us in our pain. The Holy Spirit works to encourage and to strengthen us in times of weakness and suffering. There is a deep and powerful way in which only God can care for us through life’s most stressful circumstances. (John 14:27)
This peace of God gives a person composure under trouble and distress to dissolve fear and anxiety. This is a peace that the world can’t give, because the world is powerless to give peace. Just turn on the TV, surf the web, or read the morning paper, and you’ll find a world full of violence, hatred, racism, anxiety disorders, and fear.
Yet, God’s peace is transcendent. It supersedes the cares of the world. It overcomes even our own most difficult tragedies, fears, and anxieties. If you live in the Spirit of God, you won't be shaken or moved by life, but you will be held by the most powerful force in the universe, the Spirit of God. So that when life gets a little rocky and the seas of life seems too big, the Spirit is there to calm us, to reassure us, and to give us His everlasting peace.
You always have the Spirit of God as a friend, who is there to lift you up out of despair, pain, and suffering in order to bring you to a place of peace, comfort, and joy.
This is why the Spirit matters so much that we always have a friend in God who stands by our side, one who loves us unconditionally, and who can correct our mistakes. Let us never ignore, neglect, or forget the Spirit who is always with us both now and forevermore.
Because He Lives; Hungry; All Who Are Thirsty; Doxology
Thank you Jane Lee for sharing about who the Holy Spirit is. John 14:7 – the Holy Spirit hears us. John 14:18 – the Holy Spirit will not leave us. John 14:26 – The Holy Spirit teaches us; John 14:27 – the Holy Spirit gives us peace.