THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT

[SW422] 03/14/2020 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn

“The Work of the Spirit”

Text: John 16:5-15

 In John 14:16-26, Jesus Christ introduced the Eleven to the Helper, the Holy Spirit. He began to tell them the work of the Holy Spirit, within them. Now, He speaks about the work of the Holy Spirit, in and through them, when they carry out His commandments to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). 

These truths are essential — absolutely necessary to know —  both for the Twelve and for believers today. Today, I will show you that if you are filled with the Holy Spirit —

He will speak through you to warn the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment, and

— He will teach you all the truth that Jesus Christ and the Father possess.

Again, Jesus speaks these things to the Eleven, before He was arrested and then crucified. But He also speaks these words to you, beloved. So I will teach these things to you, just as He has commanded me to do.

Verse 5 —

“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’” 

In John 14:5, Thomas asked Him the question they all wanted answered — “. . . we do not know where you are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus rebuked Thomas and the rest, because He had told them many times, in many ways. So they did not want to be rebuked by Him again!

As I have said, they could not understand His words, because they believed He was an earthly Savior who would deliver them from Roman rule, reestablish the kingdom of Israel, and sit on a throne in Jerusalem. Therefore, it made no sense to them that He announced that He was about to leave them.

It is the same for today’s infants in Christ who are not yet spiritual — that is, not yet filled with the Holy Spirit (see 1Corinthians 3:1). They have a flawed understanding of who He is and why He came. So, many of Jesus’ words make no sense to them.

But beloved, if you are an infant in Christ, stay and wait until you are filled! Then you will understand why He had to die, rise, ascend, be glorified, and pour out the Holy Spirit. Then you will understand His words, for He and the Father and the Spirit will fully and permanently indwell you (John 14:23)!

Verse 6 —

 “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.” 

Because Jesus Christ told the Eleven that He was leaving them, their hearts were filled with sorrow. Their hearts overflowed with grief, for they loved Him as a friend. They loved Him with human love. And if He left, He could not save Israel from Roman rule.

Do you sorrow, wishing that Jesus was still here, walking beside you? Then you are like the Eleven. But when you stay and wait to be filled with His Holy Spirit, you will rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Peter 1:8)! Why? He and the Father and the Spirit will fully and permanently indwell you, as He has said in John 14:23!

Verse 7 —

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage (better) that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if (literally, when) I go, I will send Him to you.” 

Their hearts were filled with sorrow, but Jesus Christ told them and tells you this essential truth — had He not died and risen and ascended and been glorified at the right hand of the Father, He would not have sent the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to fill the hearts of those who stay and wait. 

Filled with God! Now that is an advantage — immeasurably better than having Jesus Christ walk beside you! Why? It means that —

— He died, rose, ascended and was glorified, and poured out His Spirit, fulfilling all scripture about Him. And because you are filled with the Spirit, you are His witness here (Acts 1:8), living proof that He is indeed the Christ, for you could not be who you are and do what you do if you were not filled with Him!

— He is literally within you, fully and permanently indwelling you, along with the Father and the Spirit (John 14:23)! So, you experience Him in a holy, intimate way — far, far better than having Him outside of you.

— He has crucified your sin nature and filled you with His divine nature (Galatians 5:24, 2Peter 1:4), and He has purified your heart (Acts 15:9). Therefore, you are no longer powerless against Satan, for sin is longer in you, and your heart is filled with God, against whom Satan has no power! Hallelujah!

— And because you are proof to all mankind that the God the Father sent God the Son, who took the punishment you deserved on the cross, you therefore proclaim that all mankind must either believe into Jesus Christ or face God’s judgment and eternal perishing.

Verse 8 —

“And He, when He comes, will convict (warn) the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment . . .” 

Remember “the world” is the world system that defies God, and those who worship that world system. The Holy Spirit will warn the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. 

How will He warn them? Jesus has said that the world cannot see the Holy Spirit or know Him (John 14:17). 

But if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the unbelieving world will see Him through you. And they will hear Him speak through you, because you will boldly (frankly and bluntly) speak to them, in the Holy Spirit’s power!

You will warn the world, and the outwardly religious who continue to sin, just as the Spirit-filled disciples in the Book of Acts did. 

You will warn the world, and sinning believers, just as Paul, Peter and the rest did, in the epistles. 

You will pray for even greater boldness, despite extreme persecution from the world and the sinning church, just as Paul, Peter and the rest prayed for even greater boldness (Acts 4:29, Ephesians 6:20)!

Verse 9 —

What did they warn the world about, and what will you warn the world about?

“. . . concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;”

In the Holy Spirit’s power, you will tell the unbelieving world that all of mankind has sinned against God, but that God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ to save them from God’s wrath. Therefore, you will warn them that they must turn from their sin and believe into Jesus Christ, or they will be judged by Him, and will perish. 

And you will also warn sinning infants in Christ that they also must repent, or they also will be judged and perish, just as Paul and Peter and the rest warned such ones.

Verse 10 —

“and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me . . .”

By the power of the Holy Spirit, you will say that the Father reveals His righteousness to a world who defies Him and religious ones who rebel against Him. How? By sending His Son, Jesus Christ to bear God’s wrath, taking upon Himself the punishment they deserve.

You will say to them that Jesus Christ is no longer on the earth, because after He died and rose, He ascended and was glorified by the Father. This truth is the proof that the Father has indeed righteously offered to an undeserving world both salvation from His wrath and reconciliation to Him. And it is proof that He righteously keeps His promises, exactly according to all the prophecies about His Son.

You will say to them that He does not desire that any should perish because of their sin, but that all come to repentance (2Peter 3:9), and you will exhort them to repent and believe that He righteously offered His Son.

You will say to them that the Father has given the Holy Spirit, just as He promised (Acts 1:4-5), and that you are the proof that He has done it. They will know it is true, for His power is unmistakable in the words that you speak and the miraculous acts that you do, even if the listener knows nothing about Him. 

And you will warn them that if they reject this righteous act of God and refuse to believe into Jesus Christ, they will be judged and will perish.

Verse 11 — 

“. . . and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

Who is the ruler of this world? Satan. He has now been judged (John 12:31), and awaits His sentence — the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). 

What is the evidence that Satan has been judged? Though he is still prince of the world system that defies God, He has no power over you, and you are not under His rule. Your sin nature has been crucified, so sin is longer in you! And your heart is permanently filled with God, against whom Satan has no power! 

Therefore, you will boldly warn worshipers of the world system, and sinning believers, of this truth —

— Satan has been judged because he defied God, and lied about Him.

— Therefore, those who worship the world system that defies God and lies about Him will also be judged, if they do not repent.  

Verse 12 —

 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them (take them up) now.”

The Eleven could not take into themselves and understand all that Jesus would later say to them. They could not yet absorb and comprehend such truth. 

But later, when they were filled with the Holy Spirit, He spoke to them through the Holy Spirit, and they understood all that He said! It will be the same for you, if you stay and wait! 

Verse 13 —

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into (teach you) all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you (tell you) what is to come.” 

When you are filled with the Spirit of truth, you will suddenly understand the Word of God, and all of Jesus Christ’s words. Why?  The Holy Spirit will constantly teach you. He will immediately teach you the most essential truths, and teach you all truth as you continue to constantly hear His teaching.

The Holy Spirit will not speak anything but what the Father and the Son speak. 

Likewise, you will speak the truth He teaches you, and will not teach anything but what the Father and Son speak to you through the Holy Spirit.

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will repeat to you what Jesus Christ and the Father are saying. And He will tell you what is to come, giving you —

— prophecies of coming famine and persecution, as with Agabus (Acts 11:28, 21:10), 

— prophetic words like He gave Peter, that Ananias and Sapphira were lying about the price of the land they had sold (Acts 5:3, 9), and

— prophetic visions, as He gave Peter and Paul visions (Acts 10:11ff, Acts 9:5, 9:12, 2Corinthians 12:2, etc.).

 

Verse 14 —

“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose  it  to you (tell you).” 

The Holy Spirit will tell you truths He hears from Jesus — things that you cannot possibly know by your own human understanding. Therefore, it will be obvious that you are filled with the Holy Spirit. 

And Jesus Christ will be glorified — given the praise and honor He so richly deserves — because when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are the proof that Jesus Christ died and rose and ascended and poured out the Spirit. Therefore, it is evident that Jesus is the Christ, and that His gospel is true, because there is no other way that He could speak through you, by the Holy Spirit, and no other way you could know what you know.

Verse 15 —

“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of (takes from) Mine and will disclose it to you.”

What things will the Holy Spirit teach you, when you are filled with Him and the Father and the Son? All things (truths) that the Father and the Son have, for the Father possesses all truth, and the Son possesses all the Father has.

So, the Spirit will teach you all of God’s truth and speak all of God’s truth through you. And because He teaches you all of God’s truth, you will also possess all of God’s truth, as the Spirit continually teaches you.

Beloved, does the Holy Spirit work in and through you, speaking through you to warn the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment, and teaching you all the truth that Jesus Christ and the Father possess? If not, you are not yet spiritual (filled with the Spirit and the Father and the Son), and are yet an infant in Christ. 

Are you still sinning, though you have been saved by claiming Jesus Christ as your Savior? Then you are in a perilous position! The Holy Spirit has warned you, through me, that you will be judged and perish unless you repent.

But if you repent from the heart and carry out Jesus Christ’s commandments to stay and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you will be saved and filled with God.

And if you disobey and refuse to repent and ask to be filled, the Father has already said that you do not love Him, nor do you love His Son (John 14:24). Again, you will be judged and perish unless you repent. So repent while it is still today, as the Lord has warned you   

Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. 15 While it is said, “Today,” if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts (by sinning), as when they (Israel) provoked Me.”

Lord Jesus, may the hearts of many infants in Christ be pricked by the words You have given me to speak today, so they do what you command them to do. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.