As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
Introduction—Promises are made all the time. Many of them are kept, but you know a lot of them are broken.
One of the most famous promises of all time happened in 1988. The promise went something like this: Read my lips, no new taxes. For those of you that remember that famous promise, you know that it come from George Bush Sr. during the Republican Nation Convention. He probably won the presidency because of that one promise. 2 years later after many, many, vetos, George Bush caved into the pressure to have legislature pass and he agreed to raise taxes on the American people. That broken promise probably lost him the presidency in 1992 to Bill Clinton.
Jesus made us a promise that He has kept for centuries upon centuries. He promised that He would send a comforter to help us and to be with us as we walk through life. He said that we will have the Holy Spirit forever, and He is the Spirit of Truth.
Wow-what a promise! What comfort. What a gift for you and for me.
Read: John 14:15-31
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
- The promised Holy Spirit will never leave you, verses 15-21
Jesus’s promised to leave with us with a comforter, a counselor, a helper, and an advocate. These characteristics allow us to understand the role and person of the Holy Spirit.
- Verse 15—if you love me, you will keep my commands. Easy enough to hear, but very difficult to follow. Following Christ was never meant to be easy. Creating character in you is hard work. It requires discipline. Jesus said
- Verse 16—Jesus said He will ask the Father to help you keep His commands, but here is the key: not in your strength or your understanding. He is going to give you an advocate. One who is by your side. In the original Greek, the word used here is Paraklete, which means one who comforts or consoles. John’s Gospel explains that it is another advocate who is coming, meaning that Jesus Himself is also our advocate. Now we have One who is on the same level as our Lord. Jesus tells us that this Paraklete will be with us forever. He will never leave us.
- Hebrews 13:5—Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
- In the Greek language there is something called a “double negative.” The double negative occurs slightly less than 100 times in the New Testament. Although double negatives are considered bad speech in English (i.e., I ain’t got no money), double negatives are proper in the Greek language, adding emphasis where necessary.
- One of the most precious Scriptures in the Bible is Hebrews 13:5, our verse we just read. There are 2 double negatives used and then another single negative. There are 5 total negatives in Hebrews 13:5, reassuring the us that the Lord will never, ever, no not once, never forsake nor leave us. This is a beautiful truth. God has PROMISED never, no, not ever, never, to leave nor forsake us.
- Verse 17—Worldly standards do not understand spiritual standards, nor should they. We know who God is as we pray, study, believe, and see Him at work. So, you can understand – if Christ is alive in you.
- Verse 18—Jesus promises not to leave us as orphans. He reassures us that we won’t be helpless because as Jesus is our strong spiritual parent that we can call on at any time! He will come to us.
- Verse 19—Jesus knows that once He leaves the physical presence of His followers, the unseen world is all they will have. But as a person lives, talks, and becomes a Christ follower, the unseen world is becomes visible. How do I know that? Can you determine whether or not a person follows Christ without them ever saying that they follow Christ? Of course we can. Therefore, the invisible is now visible. Last Sunday we as we studied John 13:35, Jesus tells us the world will only know that you are His disciples by the way you love each other. It is not by how great the music is, how good the preaching is, how wonderful the ministries are. The criteria by which an unchurched, non-believing person can see the invisible risen Lord is through your love for each other by the power of the comforter, know as the Holy Spirit.
- Verse 20—On that day when Jesus Christ was nailed to the Cross for you and for me, physically leaving His earthly body behind, we have this assurance that He (Jesus) is “IN THE FATHER,” and “YOU ARE IN ME (Jesus)”, and I (Jesus) am “IN YOU”. This coming of the Spirit to indwell us bring to a realization that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are untied in purpose and operation so that there would be a new intimate relationship between God and us like never before.
- Verse 21—If you have the commands of God and keep them, then you love God. Your obedience to Jesus is a direct reflection of your worship of Jesus.
Application—Did you know that the Holy Spirit will never leave you?
Verse 22—Judas (not the betrayer) wants to know how Jesus would be seen by only the disciples and not by everyone else. Do you know anyone who doesn’t know Jesus as his or her Lord? Exactly. The can’t see Him.
- The promised Holy Spirit allows you to live in freedom, verses 23-24
- Verse 23—Another testimony to the truth of the Trinity. If you have ever wonder what the Trinity was or meant, here is a verse to help you understand.
- Verse 24—Here is where the freedom comes from having the Holy Spirit. We are free to love Jesus under the influence of the Holy Spirit. So you can follow Christ, you can understand His will, and you can obey Him. Of course you can’t do it on your own, that why He sent the comforter.
Illustration—What does freedom look like of feel like? You came to church as a choice, well some of you did anyway.
Application—Have you asked the Holy Spirit of God to free you today?
- The promised Holy Spirit gives you peace and comfort, verses 25-30
- Verse 25—Jesus never said anything He didn’t mean. He has always spoken Truth.
- Verse 26—Jesus tells His followers and us, and whoever would believe that the Holy Spirit is the representative to act on His behalf. As Jesus represented God here on earth, the Holy Spirit would make the living Christ real to His followers. The Holy Spirit will teach us all things.
- 1 John 2:27—As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
- The Holy Spirit will cure your memory loss. He will remind us of everything that Jesus said.
- This verse reiterates the fact that the Holy Spirit will never leave forever.
- Verse 27—I am going to leave you peace, I am going to give you peace, and it won’t be like any other peace. It will be that comforting peace; one that says everything is going to be all right. You don’t have to afraid anymore. You don’t have heavy hearts anymore. The comforter has come.
- Verse 28—Jesus reminds His disciples that it is a good thing that He is leaving. You want to why? If Jesus doesn’t go, then He doesn’t take up our iniquities, or sins, and our transgressions. He stays and tries to convince others of His Lordship. That not what God sent Him here to do. He was sent here to become sin on our behalf so that we might be saved into eternal life. He was done convincing the crowds that He was the Messiah. It was time to prove it. He says it is good for me to go away.
- Verse 29—Jesus says these things so we can believe it is true.
- Verse 30-31—Jesus was constantly aware of Satan and his tactics. He knew Satan would be ready for Jesus. He had already tempted Jesus. He got to Judas and had him betray Jesus. He has frustrated the hopes of many. And now, Satan would try to convince many that death would be the end of Jesus. We know that is not True. Jesus conquered death because there is an empty tomb that proves out Savior lives.
Application—Do you have the peace that only Jesus gives?
Conclusion—I wish I could say the magic words, or pray, or lay hands on you to receive the Holy Spirit, but it doesn’t work that way. The only way to receive the Holy Spirit is to believe in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross as the payment for your sins, your transgressions, and your iniquities.
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,