#3 SERIES ON THE HOLY SPIRIT
"THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES"
TEXTS: Jn. ; ; 16:7-16; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 Jn. 2:26-27
INTRO: Without the Holy Spirit's teaching ministry we would have no love or interest in Spiritual things:
ILLUS: LIKE THE WOMAN WHO PURCHASED A BOOK AND READ A FEW PAGES OF IT BUT FOUND IT BORING AND UNINTERESTING. SHE LAID IT ASIDE AND RARELY LOOKED AT IT. THEN ONE DAY SHE BECAME ACQUAINTED WITH THE AUTHOR AND A TENDER LOVING RELATIONSHIP BEGAN TO GROW WITH HIM. FINALLY IT RIPENED INTO DEEP LOVE AND BETROTHAL RESULTED. NOW SUDDENLY THE BOOK WAS NO LONGER DULL, EVERY SENTENCE WAS FULL OF MEANING, EVERY PAGE HELD HER HEART, SHE WAS ENTHRALLED BY EACH CHAPTER. THE ONLY THING THAT HAD ACTUALLY CHANGED WAS THAT SHE NOW HAD BEEN TOUCHED BY THE AUTHOR AND THIS BROUGHT A WHOLE NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE BOOK ... THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AUTHOR BROUGHT ALIVE THE BOOK'S CONTENTS! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
This is a main ministry of the Holy Spirit ... to teach us truth, God's truth! This is also why the Bible is considered by those who are not saved as just a boring uninteresting book, they often see little value or power in it. Unless they have the author, the Holy Spirit revealing it to them they are lost in its pages.
In several places in the Bible the Holy Spirit is called, "the Spirit of truth" ... He is our teacher!
PROP.SENT: The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is our great teacher; primarily He does this through the written Word by revealing to us its meaning. His role is to lead us into all truth!
I. SPIRIT OF TRUTH! Jn. 16:7-11
A. Plan 16:7
1. Up until the day of Pentecost living for God had been tough and stormy!
a. Jesus' presence had been a great help, but when He left for heaven the disciples would need the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide them!
b. The Holy Spirit would be able to be with each one of them all the time, unlike Jesus which at the time He was on earth was limited mostly to time and space; thus it was necessary for Jesus to finish His work so He could leave and send the Holy Spirit to help them all!
2. The presence of the Holy Spirit would make dramatic changes in believers, it would change the whole meaning of living for God.
a. Now storms would become great opportunities rather than setbacks.
b. The Holy Spirit would teach them in ways their own intellect had failed.
ILLUS: ONE OF THE FIRST ADVENTURERS ON THE MIGHTY OCEANS WHO SAILED TO SOUTH AMERICA WENT AROUND A CAPE ON A STORMY SEA. HIS SHIP WAS THREATENED TO BREAK INTO PIECES; SO HE CALLED THE PLACE THE "CAPE OF STORMS." BUT VASOC DA GAMA, WHO CAME LATER CHANGED THE NAME TO THE "CAPE OF GOOD HOPE" FOR HE SAW AHEAD OF HIM THE JEWELS AND TREASURES OF INDIA. HIS VISION SAW BEYOND THE REALITY OF THE STORMS TO A BRIGHT FUTURE! THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO SEE BEYOND THIS WORLD TO A FUTURE THAT IS BRIGHTER THAN ANYTHING HERE, AND SO HE TEACHES US TO VIEW LIFE NOW IN A DIFFERENT WAY THAN THE WORLD DOES! HE TEACHES US A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
3. And so, God's plan was to send the Holy Spirit, this new age of the Spirit of God would bring spiritual knowledge and understanding to ordinary believers. It was thus imperative for Jesus to return to Heaven so this new age could come in its fullness!
B. Purpose 16:8-11
1. The Holy Spirit's coming would be to teach about 3 main areas:
a. SIN (16:8a, 9)
(1. The Holy Spirit will reveal and convict about sin ... even unbelievers understand man is a sinner, the Holy Spirit reveals the truth about our fallen nature!
ILLUS: A WEALTHY HINDU BOARDED A SHIP AT BOMBAY LOADED DOWN WITH CHAINS; HE COULD MOVE ABOUT ONLY WITH THE HELP OF SERVANTS AND COULD NEVER KNOW PEACE OR COMFORT. SQUATTED ON THE DECK IN THE MIDST OF THESE CHAINS HE EXPLAINED THAT WHILE STILL A YOUNG MAN HE HAD VOWED TO PUT ON A LINK FOR EVERY SIN HE COMMITTED AND NOW THAT HE WAS OLDER HE WAS HELPLESS UNDER THE CRUEL WEIGHT OF 600 POUNDS OF IRON LINKS! HE HAD COME TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH ABOUT SIN ... BUT HAD YET TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS AND FORGIVENESS! THE HOLY SPIRIT HAD HELPED HIM TO UNDERSTAND HIS SINFULNESS BUT AS YET HE HAD NOT OPENED HIS HEART TO RECEIVE CHRIST AS SAVIOR! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
(2. The work of the Holy Spirit is available for all people ... they cannot be saved unless they come to understand that they are sinners!
(3. This is the general work of God's Spirit in the world, to reveal the truth, to teach us about sin!
(4. When someone gets saved it is because the Holy Spirit has awakened in them the realization that they are a sinner first!
(5. No one could get saved without this ministry of the Holy Spirit first, thus He teaches the world about sin. The first step toward salvation has to be a realization of the nature of sin, and the truth about sin.
b. RIGHTEOUSNESS (16:8b, 1O)
(1. This teaching work of the Holy Spirit is critical for salvation for it is the truth that no human works can save us, only the righteousness of Christ which comes by faith!
(2. Without the teaching of the Holy Spirit on this subject men will try to save themselves ... they will do good works as a means of salvation, or turn to vain teachers and mystics for promises of salvation.
(3. This work of the Spirit is critical for gaining salvation, He convicts us about the true nature of righteousness, that it can only come through Christ and not through our own efforts or goodness!
(4. How different the concept of salvation is in Christianity than in most other religions!
(a. In most other religions salvation always has something to do with our works.
(b. In Christianity works are important as a result of salvation, but not the means of salvation, salvation comes by grace and faith in Christ!
(5. This is a true revelation for man, for we would never have thought this up ourselves, only the Spirit of God has revealed this!
ILLUS: THE VERY CONCEPT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS TAUGHT BY THE VERY CHARACTER IN CHINESE CHOSEN TO REPRESENT THE WORD "RIGHTEOUSNESS." WHEN CREATING A CHARACTER FOR THIS CONCEPT THEY TOOK TWO OTHER CHARACTERS AND BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER, THEY TOOK THE CHARACTER FOR "LAMB" AND PUT UNDER IT THE CHARACTER FOR "ME!" THIS REPRESENTED THE TRUTH ABOUT RIGHTEOUSNESS, THAT ONLY AS I AM UNDER THE LAMB OF GOD CAN I TRULY KNOW GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS! THUS I AM RIGHTEOUS IN GOD'S EYES NOT BECAUSE OF WHAT I DO, BUT BECAUSE OF WHAT THE LAMB OF GOD HAS DONE FOR ME! THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD'S SPIRIT TEACHING US IN THE NEW COVENANT OF CHRIST, THIS WAS QUITE A BIT OF NEWS FOR BELIEVERS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT REVELATION! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
(6. This teaching of the Holy Spirit primarily from the pages of Scripture thus frees us from bondage and penalty, it enables us to enjoy our relationship with God and gives us peace!
(7. Thus the New Testament saint is free from the tyranny of guilt and shame all the time for we are righteous by being clothed upon by Christ's righteousness!
c. JUDGMENT (16:8c, 11)
(1. This work of teaching by the Holy Spirit has to do with judgment and justice, the fact that Christ's death and resurrection assures a future time of judgment against sin and sinners, of which Satan is already now condemned, and when real justice will be served!
(2. This work of the Spirit breeds into the hearts of men and women a sense of eternal life that yet awaits all, a future of either judgment or heaven!
(3. Only those who shut out the voice of the Holy Spirit will have no sense of a coming eternity, the Holy Spirit is at work in hearts to reveal to us the truth about our eternal soul!
ILLUS: TWO SOLDIERS ON AN AMERICAN TROOPSHIP CROWDED AROUND THEIR CHAPLAIN AND ASKED HIM, "DO YOU BELIEVE IN A HELL?" HE RESPONDED WITH "I DO NOT!" THEY THEN RESPONDED WITH "WELL, THEN CHAPLAIN, WOULD YOU PLEASE RESIGN, FOR IF THERE IS NO HELL WE DO NOT NEED YOU, AND IF THERE IS A HELL, WE DO NOT WISH TO BE LED ASTRAY BY YOU!" – SOURCE UNKNOWN
(4. These men knew instinctively the truth about eternity, even an unbelieving chaplain couldn't convince them of any other truth other than what the Holy Spirit taught them in their hearts!
(5. The work of the Holy Spirit to teach is critical!
2. Thus, the Holy Spirit is at work in the world to teach in these 3 ways … to teach about:
3. The Bible is the foundational tool of the Holy Spirit for teaching truth.
a. The principle tool the Holy Spirit uses for His teaching all men and women is the Word of God, the Scriptures!
b. That is why it is the most important book the world has ever known!
c. Men and women of all ages have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ many times by merely reading the Bible and having the Holy Spirit convict them through those words.
d. Or many have come by hearing the Word of God preached.
e. Or by seeing the Word of God lived out by a believer.
f. In any case, it always is connected with the Word of God!
4. This is one of the main purposes of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to teach all people truth, and in doing this lead them to Jesus Christ: "the truth shall set you free!" JOHN 8:32
II. SPIRIT WHO TEACHES! Jn. -16; ; ; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 Jn. 2:26-27
A. Problem 1 Tim. 4:1 1 Jn. 2:26-27
1. One of the problems in the last days will be people following deceiving spirits, buying falsehoods, and abandoning truth!
a. It is disturbing to read here that there will be "some who will abandon THE FAITH…"
b. If we are not tuned into the Holy Spirit and this means Scripture, it may be that many may be led astray even if they originally accepted Christ!
c. Any movement that emphasizes experience over the Word of God is headed down a dangerous path!
2. Without the Holy Spirit's teaching us through the Word of God we are apt to become gullible, ready to swallow anything that appears to be spiritual!
a. The Word of God is the textbook for Christianity ... the Holy Spirit is the teacher!
b. It doesn't matter how interesting any other teacher is, if their teaching is not found in THE BOOK it should be avoided and held suspect!
3. It is most important who you allow to be your teacher, the Holy Spirit is the only reliable teacher!
4. John writes about this also in 1 Jn. 2:26-27:
a. Here John warns the early believers to be on guard against a group within the church known as “Gnostics” ... these were people who made great claims of deep spirituality and deep understanding about spiritual things, they claimed knowledge superior to all other Christians!
b. They were marked by their arrogant attitude toward other Christians and even toward the Apostles, claiming they knew far more about the Holy Spirit that even the Apostles or the written Word!
c. They emphasized experiences over Scripture and so they were in danger of leading the church astray!
5. John writes here to the believers reminding them that they have the "anointing" (a reference to the Holy Spirit) in them as a teacher already … and that human teachers are not above the Spirit of God, this Holy Spirit would "teach them all things"…
a. This was not a reference to literally "every" thing ... but all the "things" they needed to know about salvation and walking with God!
b. The body of this teaching was in Scripture and the Apostle's doctrine!
6. John's point was simple; the Holy Spirit by revealing truth from God's Word had taught them how to live in the light, they are being warned not to be tempted to leave that light lest they be in danger of spiritual apostasy!
7. These false teachers tried seducing the saints by their apparent deep spirituality which characterized itself by:
b. Harshness and a claim of great and new knowledge that even the Bible supposedly didn't have.
c. They were judgmental toward those who would question them!
d. They were not accountable to anyone or anything other than God alone ... or their definition of God!
8. John's point is simple; the real Holy Spirit doesn't divide God's people, He unites them, and the Holy Spirit teaches us all primarily through the Word of God which is available to all believers!
9. These false teachers are going to be everywhere in the last days and the sad fact is that many Christians who are not as knowledgeable about the Bible will only mean that they are more likely to be drawn aside.
a. We need the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.
b. And we need the textbook of the Holy Spirit, the Bible!
B. Protection Jn. 16:12-16; ;
1. Jesus here states that He would like to teach them more but because the Holy Spirit had not yet come as in the New Covenant they couldn't understand yet, but when the Spirit comes “He will guide them INTO ALL TRUTH!”
a. Again, this is "all truth" in the sense of those things we need to know about salvation and eternity ... not all truth in the scientific sense!
b. Notice John states that the Father will do this by speaking only what He has heard from the Father and the Son ... a clear reference to the Word of God.
c. His focus will not be on Himself; the Holy Spirit's ministry doesn't draw attention to Himself, but to Christ!
2. This will bring protection to the saints of God, everything can be tested by the Word of God!
3. The greatest test must be that it looks and sounds like Jesus, and this picture is found only in the Word of God!
ILLUS: ONE RAINY SUNDAY AFTERNOON A FATHER WAS BABYSITTING HIS CHILDREN AND HAD THE TASK OF KEEPING THEM ENTERTAINED. HE ASSIGNED SPECIFIC TASKS TO EACH CHILD. TO KEEP HIS 10 YEAR OLD SON BUSY FOR A WHILE HE TOOK A PICTURE OF A MAP OF THE UNITED STATES FROM A MAGAZINE AND CUT IT UP INTO LITTLE PIECES AND ASKED HIM TO REASSEMBLE THE MAP CORRECTLY. THINKING THIS WOULD TAKE SOME TIME, HE WAS SURPRISED ONLY MOMENTS LATER TO HEAR HIS SON CALL HIM BECAUSE HE WAS DONE ALREADY! AS THE FATHER LOOKED IN AMAZEMENT, THE SON HAD PUT THE MAP TOGETHER PERFECTLY, FAR FASTER THAN EVEN HE COULD HAVE DONE AS A DAD! HE ASKED HIS SON HOW IN THE WORLD HE HAD DONE IT SO WELL, SO QUICKLY! THE BOY ANSWERED, "WELL DAD, I PROBABLY COULDN'T EXCEPT I NOTICED THAT ON THE BACK WAS A PICTURE OF A MAN, I SIMPLE PUT THE PICTURE OF THE MAN TOGETHER CORRECTLY AND THE WORLD TOOK CARE OF ITSELF!" THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO US WHEN WE HAVE A CLEAR PICTURE OF JESUS TAKEN FROM HIS WORD ... THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF AND WE WON'T BE LED ASTRAY! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. If you are not studying the Word of God, the Holy Spirit as a teacher will not be able to ground you as you ought to be!
5. The role of the Spirit is to take Jesus and His Words and help us understand them! He will teach us truth and this will protect us from false teachers and false teaching!
a. The Spirit will thus teach us "all things" ... "all the things needed!"
b. The Spirit will testify about Christ, the truth of God!
6. Without this role of the Holy Spirit we would be adrift on the road to truth, each man doing that which is right in his own eyes and never sure about salvation!
7. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is our guide, our teacher, the Spirit of truth ... and we don't have to be driven by every wind of doctrine or practice that comes down the pike! We can stand on solid ground as the Holy Spirit teaches us!
CONCLUSION: Without the Holy Spirit we could not clearly understand the true nature of sin or the nature of salvation! The role of the Holy Spirit as our teacher is critical! His role is to direct attention to Christ, not Himself. He reveals the truth about Jesus and salvation so that we might be saved. The Spirit's role is to make known the Scriptures and God’s plan for salvation ... any work of the Spirit will be deeply rooted in the Word of God. The Bible is the textbook; the Holy Spirit is the teacher! What kind of student are you?