Advantage

It was a classic good news / bad news situation.
The bad news was that Jesus was leaving them. The good news was that He would send them the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to the earth on a divinely appointed mission. He never married, set up a business, and settled down to stay. In a very real sense, in the same way that He was born to die, He came here to leave. His rightful residence is Zion, God’s ruling and dwelling place, where on His throne of majesty, He receives the worship of thousands of angels, dozens of elders, and a gallery of faithful believers.

The good news is this: because of this sequence of events in His mission:

  • The Incarnation,
  • The sinless life,
  • The atoning death, and
  • The Resurrection,

Jesus makes the hearts of those who follow Him and worship Him, an outpost of Zion. He dwells and rules in the hearts of those who love Him.

Better for Them
When Jesus spoke of terrible events soon to commence, sorrow filled the hearts of His men. What He had to get across to them was that this was all to their advantage. This was difficult to believe. How could it be an advantage to them for Jesus to go away?

“I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”

Because they had not yet experienced the power of the Holy Spirit, they could not understand what Jesus was telling them. On the Day of Pentecost, they would suddenly understand, as the flood of the Holy Spirit gushed through their hearts. On this night, all they could do was listen and try to make sense of what Jesus was saying. They knew that if Jesus promised to send the Spirit to them, it must be a good thing to anticipate. How would the Spirit help them?

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
These are some of the most important words of Jesus. He explains the work of the Holy Spirit among us. These are the things Spirit will do:

He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come.

“…of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

It would not be the job of the disciples to browbeat people to faith in Christ. All they had to do was tell people about Jesus and the Holy Spirit would do the convicting.

He will guide believers into all truth.
There were many details of the Christian life that Jesus did not address. For instance, He told us to baptize believers but did say how it should be done. The same is true for the Lord’s supper. These men and the ones they taught would continue to hear from the Spirit as to the details of how to live out the teachings of Christ.

He will glorify Jesus.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is all about revealing Jesus to believers. Anything we know about Jesus, we know because the Spirit has revealed it to us. That is His job!

“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

The Holy Spirit leads the church in worship. When true worship happens, it is all about Jesus.

We are truly advantaged to have the ministry of the Spirit with us!

Scriptures:
John 16:5-15

“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank You for the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He abides in my heart because You have taken my sins away and made my heart a fitting place for the Spirit to dwell. I can function beyond the limits of my talent and skill because Your anointing rests on me, lifting my efforts to a higher level. Oh Holy Spirit, sanctify my heart and my mind, keeping my inner life pure and simple. O Lord, help me represent You well in my world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Song:
Spirit of the Living God

Traditional

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.
Melt me. Mold me. Fill me. Use me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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