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Jesus in HD 187: The Mysterious Member of the Trinity (Part 3)

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“when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8)

Welcome to Part Three in this 3-part mini-series within a series concerning the Mysterious Member of the Trinity, AKA The Holy Spirit.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, here in the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus presented to His disciples the first extended discussion of the Holy Spirit to be found anywhere in the Bible.

Yes, the Holy Spirit was very present and quite active in the Old Testament, making His first appearance in second verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:2.

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

But not-so-strangely enough, there is within the pages of the Bible no extended discussion of the Holy Spirit until we break the seal on John 14-17, the Upper Room Discourse.

I say not-so-strangely because of a tantalizing little detail that Jesus shared with His men right in the middle of the Upper Room Discourse, in John 15:26,

“I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help you and will tell you about Me.”

The Holy Spirit, third person in the Triune Godhead, did not inspire the biblical writers in either the Old nor the New Testaments to write about Himself; He inspired them to write about Jesus. So it is not-so-strange, is not surprising, that it’s not until the 43rd book of the Bible (John), in the final Gospel of the four (John), and in the last of Jesus’ sermons (the Upper Room Discourse) before we are greeted with, and treated to, an exposition of the person and purpose of the Holy Spirit.

BTW, given that the Jesus-mandated-mission of the Holy Spirit is (Jesus’ words, not mine) “to tell you about Me,” I must briefly interject a most important word of caution concerning various ministries, certain denominations, and some peoples’ personal prophetic pronouncements.

You see, when someone’s, or a group’s, theology centers more on the Holy Spirit than it does on Jesus, they are not following Biblical theology. I know that this is a strong statement. There are even some who may assert that I was blaspheming the Holy Spirit by saying so.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Our spiritual lives depend – in earnest – upon the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit. You and I could not stand for one second victorious against the onslaught of the devil and his minions without the resident power of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and me. There is no question about that.

However, that being said, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives ALWAYS is to point us exclusively to Jesus Christ… never to Himself.

Those are Jesus’ words, not mine.

“The Spirit will help you and will tell you about Me.”

Therefore, churches, ministries, or individuals who focus obsessively on the Holy Spirit are working in violation of this Biblical principle. Now, I’m not going so far as to say that they are not saved. I don’t think that extremely charismatic Christians are apostates. I know several personally who sincerely love the Lord, but – in my opinion – have simply not been taught correct Biblical theology. That’s all.

I understand how prevalent the Holy Spirit is in Scripture. He is mentioned in the New King James Version of the New Testament 97 times. That is no small number! But, if we’re keeping score, Jesus is mentioned 1,042 times. Numerically alone, it is clear to see God’s intended emphasis.

Paul summed up this discussion perfection when he described the theology that he embraced in Galatians 2:20,

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

What a stunning statement – Christ lives in me. Didn’t we learn last week that Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit lives in us?

He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth… you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. (John 14:17)

The truth is this: Yes, the Holy Spirit lives in you, just as He lived in Paul. Yet, as an example, the focus of Paul’s daily spiritual life was not on the Holy Spirit, but on God’s Son Jesus Christ.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to point us to Jesus, never to Himself!

So, with that in mind, let’s look at what Jesus taught us about the Holy Spirit in His final sermon – the Upper Room Discourse…

The Holy Spirit relates to the truth by inspiring the Biblical writers when they wrote the New Testament. He relates to us by bringing us followers of Jesus comfort while we are in a very uncomfortable world.

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit part 3

Image: QuoteFancy

And, He relates to the world – as uncomfortable as it may be – through conviction. As Jesus said:

“when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8)

And, even as the world flaunts its sin, arrogantly boasts its disdain for all things that are Bible or God related, claims intellectual superiority over Christians… in spite of all of that and more, they know.

They know.

They know because the Holy Spirit has been sent to convict, expose, and shed light on their deeds, attitudes and thoughts.

And since they know, they are faced with two choices: repent or resist.

And, if they resist, then they face God’s righteous judgment. By definition, it is “rightly deserved”, just as Paul wrote in Romans 1:19-20,

They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:5)

Even militant atheists or anyone who chooses to justify or deny their sin… they know. They know He exists. They know He is holy. And they know they are guilty.

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