The following is taken from the sermon preached January 27, 2019, at Miller Heights Baptist Church by Pastor Justin Childers. The sermon is titled ‘Jesus Sends The Spirit of Truth,’ inspired by John 16:4-15. You can listen to the sermon here. Check out the previous sermon summary here.
John 16:4-15, KJV
4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
5 But now I go my way to him that sent me…
The disciples are sorrowful because of what Jesus has said (v. 6).
Jesus’ departure is to the follower’s advantage and benefit (v. 7). The disciples benefit primarily because of the coming Crucifixion. Secondly, the disciples benefit because Jesus is sending the Holy Spirit.
Implications of John 16:4-15
Beloved, do not be sad because we didn’t see the incarnate Christ. Take heart that now is the age of the Spirit of Truth. We are dependent upon the Spirit for all aspects of life as a Christian. We are not dependent upon having seen Jesus as the disciples did.
The church frequently tries to work without the Spirit. This work takes many forms, including endless programs, methods, marketing, and curriculum. Christian fruit in life and in the church does not exist apart from the Spirit. As believers, truth begins in the Word as the Spirit reveals it to us.
Therefore, as illustrated in the above text, the Spirit convicts the world, and the Spirit serves the church.
The Spirit Convicts The World
Convicting the world starts with the Holy Spirit (v. 8). The Spirit illustrates the world’s guilt to bring it to repentance. Note, it is not the job of a Christian to function as the mechanism of conviction. Since conviction is of the Spirit, it is an act of graciousness.
Verse 9 illustrates how the sin of unbelief is damning to those within the world. The next verse illustrates how unrighteous the world is, primarily by comparing the world’s righteousness with Christ’s. Verse 11 illustrates how the ruler of this world, its prince, has been judged by God. Judgement should strike fear into the heart of the unbeliever and unrighteous.
Note the Holy Spirit’s role in salvation. Repentance is impossible without conviction, and the Spirit brings the grace of conviction.
When your sin is revealed, are you convicted, or are you rebellious? As a Christian, are you attempting to convict others, or do you rely upon the Holy Spirit to convict? When mankind attempts to convict, it looks an awful lot like a guilt trip instead of gracious conviction. In light of the Spirit’s role in conviction, Christian’s can joyfully share the Gospel.
The Spirit Serves The Church
Moving on to verse 12, we see the Spirit guiding Christian’s to the Truth. All Truth can be found in Scripture. Submitting to the Spirit assists interpretation, just as the Spirit submits to Christ’s sending, and Christ submits to God’s plan. For the Christian, the world’s claim of ‘my truth’ is unintelligible.
Verse 14 shows Christian’s how the standard of Truth applies to the Spirit’s influence. If something glorifies Christ, it is of the Spirit. If something does not glorify Christ, it is not of the Spirit. Notice the difference between someone who is ‘spiritual’ and someone who is with the Spirit. If something is ‘spiritual’ but does not glorify Christ, then it is the spirit of this world.
- Knowing Scripture glorifies God.
- Scripture points mankind to Christ.
- In every aspect of life, ask yourself ‘who is this glorifying?’.