WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? – A STUDY OF THE LIFE OF JESUS (45)

MORE ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT; GOD, THE DIVINE ALCHEMIST, HE TURNS PAIN AND SORROW
INTO JOY- JOHN 15:26-27; 16

As Jesus continues to comfort His disciples and to prepare them for His impending
death He talks more about the work of the Holy Spirit:
V. 15:26 – The Holy Spirit "will 1) testify about Me. (No one can come
to Christ apart from the witness of the Holy Spirit. Lost people are dead –
Eph. 2:1; blind – 2 Cor. 4:4 and captives of Satan – 2 Tim 2:26) – V. 15:27
-Yet, 2) you also must testify about Me by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8; Eph. 5:18) Vv. 16: 8-11 – He will convict the world of 3) guilt in
regard to sin (of rejecting Jesus) and 4) righteousness and 5) judgment:
in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me (rejecting Jesus is the unforgivable
sin); in regard to righteousness,(Jesus’ perfect righteousness is the righteousness
a righteous God must require for one to be right with Him – 2 Cor. 5:21) because
I am going to the Father, (the vindication of Jesus as Lord – the proof of His
Divinity -Rom. 1:4) where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment,
because the prince of this world now stands condemned (and all those who reject
Jesus are condemned and will be eternally condemned with the devil and his angels
unless they repent and receive Jesus ( Matt. 25:41, 46). When he, the Spirit
of truth, comes, 6) he will guide you into all truth. 7) He will not speak on
his own; he will speak only what he hears, and 8) he will tell you what is yet
to come (e.g., the book of Revelation and other future events). 9) He will bring
glory to me (not to Himself) by taking from what is mine and making it known
to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said 10) the Spirit
will take from what is mine and make it known to you." (i.e., the teaching
ministry of the Holy Spirit -16:13-15; 1 Cor. 2:10-15)

Sin is the problem. Jesus’ perfect righteousness is the answer, and judgment
is the motivation to act – to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. As shown
by the two thieves at the cross, there are only two possible responses to Jesus
– accept Him or reject Him. He has offered everyone the gift of eternal life
at the high cost of His death on the cross. By not receiving this gift we are
rejecting Him. So do so today! (John 1:12; 2 Cor. 5:21)

V. 16 "In a little while" you will see Me no more (His death) and
then "in a little while you will see Me" (His resurrection only three
days later).

Vv. 20-22 – God doesn’t take away our pain to bring us joy. He transforms our
pain into joy. A mother experiences the pain of labor in childbearing but soon
forgets it as she rejoices over her baby. The disciples mourned when Jesus died
(Mark 16:10) but were soon rejoicing when they saw Him resurrected. (Matt. 28:8;
Luke 24: 50-53) And they continued to rejoice even in the midst of great suffering
and martyrdom until the Lord took them home. (See the book of Acts -e.g., Acts
5:41) This is a picture of the pain we experience living in a fallen world but
only for a brief time and the joy of our resurrection into heaven where there
will be no pain or sorrow and great joy forever and ever. (Rev. 21:1-4, 19:7-9)
Paul says our afflictions are light and momentary compared to the glory and
joy of eternity. (2 Cor. 4:16-18; Rom. 8:18)

Understanding this can be a life-changing principle. God doesn’t take away
our pain or give us substitutes but He transforms our pain into joy as we
come to Him in our pain
. The parent that always quickly replaces every broken
toy of her child teaches him to grow up expecting quick fixes and substitutes
("new toys") when they have pain. As adults this turns into new cars,
new hobbies, a new house, a new body, even a new spouse as people seek someone
or something (other than the Lord Himself) for that elusive thing called happiness.
The Lord says He will be our comfort, our refuge, our strong tower and He will
renew our strength when the pain of life makes us weak and weary – if we will
come to Him and "wait on the Lord." (Isaiah 40:28-31) "Wait"
in Hebrew means to "bind together" and as we wrap ourselves around
God we receive His strength and power to finish the race marked out for us.

"Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in
our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction
and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude)
develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character
[of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal
salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love
has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given
to us." (Rom. 5:3-5) In the King James it says patience in trials produces
"experience" (rather than "character"). This means experiencing
God in our pain and finding Him able to be all we need and even able to bring
us joy in our pain as we turn to Him rather than substitutes. God is never to
be the means to an end but the End in Himself. We are to want Him for Himself
and not just what He can do for us. (Psalm 73:25)

V. 33 This all fits in with the last verse in this chapter "In this world
you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." And
in Him so have we. (See 1 John 5:4-5)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Where do you see the Holy Spirit working in your life?

What "substitutes" or "new toys" have you tried, or are
tempted to try, to relieve your pain of living in a fallen world. ("In
this world you will have trouble.")

Share a time when you found the Lord to be all you need and even more as He
gave you joy in the midst of your pain.

Is the Lord Himself your goal, your end, or only a means to an end? See Jer.
9:23-24; Psalm 73:25; John 17:3

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