- Sermon Notes
We Need the Helper
In John 16, Jesus is continuing to prepare His disciples for His departure. Only a few hours from this point, Jesus will be arrested and the disciples will be scattered.
Last week Jesus spoke to them about how to produce the fruit God desires in their lives. We saw that God is serious about wanting fruit in our lives. God is serious about transforming our heart and our lives.
The key to bearing godly fruit in our lives is to abide in Him. When you are abiding in Him, you are like a branch abiding on a vine; you are receiving the sap, the life, the strength, and the power of the author of life right into your soul. It has to produce the fruit of God.
Jesus said that we need to abide in His Word. He said we need to abide in His love. That’s when you’ll see God moving in power and igniting your soul.
But many people are like dead sticks attached to the vine. The reason they’re dead is because they don’t receive anything. There’s no sap from the vine coming into their hearts and so there’s no life of God within them.
When you’re abiding on the vine and the sap of God’s love and His word is flowing into your soul, you are also being filled by the Holy Spirit. In other words, it’s not just the love of God, or the Word of God, it’s the very presence of God that God pours into your soul.
They needed to know this, we need to know this. He’s leaving them, but He’s not leaving them as orphans, Jesus said. He is giving them a Helper. So much so that they can ask the Father and He will answer in Jesus’s name.
Imagine walking with Jesus as the disciples did for three years. Hungry? He can feed 5000 with five loaves and two fish with 12 baskets of leftovers. Sick? You’re one touch away from the God who heals. Lost? He is the way, the truth, and the life. He’s there to lead you in the way you should go. Puzzled? All the treasures of wisdom are found in Him.
Imagine living like that for three years and then He has to go? What will they do…? The same thing you’ll have to do. They’re going to have to walk by faith and not by sight.
In these verses Jesus says, “It is to your advantage that I go away; if I go, I will send the Helper to you.”
Jesus was present with them physically. He had a body and so could only be present in one place. But the Holy Spirit will be with all of them wherever they turn, wherever they go. The presence of God will not just be with them, but with-in them.
The problem for a lot of people is that they walk by sight and not by faith. Imagine our reaction if Jesus were physically present right here in this room. We would fall on our faces and our hearts would practically be bursting within us.
But Jesus said that it is to our advantage that He went away so that He would send the Holy Spirit, the Helper who would come. In other words, we need the Helper.
Jesus then describes what the Holy Spirit would do, the purpose for which He would be sent. Jesus is not physically present, He is present spiritually through the Holy Spirit.
We need to take hold of the significance of the Holy Spirit in our lives because Jesus said that He is sent for our advantage, He is our Helper, and God wants us to walk by faith spiritually and not by sight.
All we have to do is look at the disciples themselves. Before Jesus left they were confused, thick-headed, lacking in faith, afraid, selfish and self-centered. After Jesus left and after the Helper had come, they were men of faith, surrendered, bold, and having the fruit of the Spirit in their lives!
I. He Convinces the Heart
- Immediately after saying that it was to their advantage that Jesus go away, He said the Holy Spirit will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment.
- That word convict is important to understand. It doesn’t mean “to accuse,” the enemy does that. The Spirit works on the heart to convince.
- The Spirit convinces us that we are sinners and need to turn to God. When we recently had Harvest America a couple weeks ago and so many people responded to the gospel, they responded because the Spirit had convinced them that they needed a Savior.
- And after we ask Christ into our hearts, the Holy Spirit continues to convince us about sin. This is to our advantage, otherwise, can you imagine the mess?
Illus - When I was 21 I remember a time when I made a very poor decision. I know it was a poor decision because the Spirit convinced me. So much so that I got up in the middle of the night, took out my Bible and started reading in the Psalms. I wanted to be near to God.
- In the book of Acts, Peter was speaking to a crowd in Jerusalem about what God has done through Jesus
Acts 2:37, When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “What shall we do?”
Illus - The famous preacher, Jonathan Edwards, once gave a powerful message on the significance of sin in a person’s life. He had poor eyesight and held his notes close to his face and couldn’t see that people were streaming to the front to repent before God. The Spirit was convincing people of their sin.
- Today, it’s not politically correct to mention the word ‘sin,’ yet God sends the Spirit to convict the world about it. Can you imagine saying to the Holy Spirit, “You shouldn’t do that, we’re much cooler today, we don’t mention the word sin.”
- Jesus said the Spirit would convince the world regarding righteousness because He was going to the Father.
- If the Spirit convinces us about our sin, then the Spirit also convinces us about our need for righteousness. In other words, we need Jesus as Savior and Lord.
- In another place Jesus said that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
- “How can that be?” someone might ask, “I thought they were experts at keeping the law.” No, they were not experts at keeping the law, they were experts at looking like they were keeping the law.
Matthew 23:27, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, for you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
- They were experts at putting white paint over a mess. The Holy Spirit goes far deeper than white paint; He touches the heart so that your desires change. You want to live right before God.
- The Spirit convicts the heart and then when it responds, He blesses the heart. There is a reward that comes when we respond to the Holy Spirit.
- Somebody might say, “Really, there is a reward when we respond to the Holy Spirit?”
Hebrews 11:6, Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Hebrews 11:24-26, By faith Moses… chose rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
Illus - That puts it in perspective. Saying no to the passing pleasures of sin brings with it the reward of having the fruit of the Spirit. I want that. If your focus is what you’re saying no to, there’s no reward, it’s all about suffering. That’s like dieting and focusing on all the chocolate cake with all of its chocolatey goodness that you’re missing out on.
- In this chapter and those before it, Jesus has promised them peace, fullness of joy, greater faith, abiding love, and the fruit of God. Great rewards.
C. The Spirit convinces about judgment
- The Spirit convicts about judgment, Jesus said, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
- Clearly He is referring to Satan, who is called the prince and the power of the air, the ruler of this world.
Ephesians 2:1-2, You were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince and the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
- In other words, Satan stands condemned, and all who follow after him will share the same fate. The Holy Spirit convicts the world so they understand that one day they will stand before the Judge of all.
- But Jesus defeated Satan having triumphed over him through His death, burial, and resurrection.
- Therefore, in Christ, you no longer share that condemnation and can stand in the presence of the Lord with confidence.
Hebrews 10:19,22, Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus… let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.
- That confidence comes because the Holy Spirit convinces us of our relationship to God as our Father. If someone says to you, “Are you ready to stand before the Judge of all the earth?” You can respond, “Of course I’m ready, He’s my Father.”
II. The Spirit of Truth will Help You
- Jesus said that the Father will send the Spirit of truth to help you.
- Jesus called Satan the ruler of this world, that he is the father of lies and a liar from the very beginning.
- God sends the Helper, who is the Spirit of truth because the truth will set you free. Many people have been living in a world of lies and the enemy has held many in his grip by the power of lies.
A. He will guide you into all the truth
- The Spirit of God moves on our hearts and guides us into all that is right and true and good.
- When Jesus said that we must abide on the vine in order to see the fruit of God in our lives, He was referring to the Spirit pouring the word of God and the love of God into our hearts.
- But we have to open our hearts because the Spirit can be resisted. That’s why Jesus said, “Him who has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Illus – Our dogs kept barking and I read in a book that if you growl like a dog they’ll get the message. I don’t think they read that book, because it didn’t work.
In contrast, Monty Roberts discovered the language of horses and can guide a wild horse to joining up and carry a rider in 30 minutes.
- The Spirit guides you to help you
- We need to connect the dots; God sends the Spirit of truth and tells us to abide in His Word because, as Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.”
- Truth is something you can learn, but to become true, that is a condition of the heart.
Luke 6:45, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills the heart.”
- The good man out of the good treasure of his heart becomes like Jesus, because He is the truth and He uses the Word of God to reveal that truth.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God might be adequate, equipped for every good work.
- How important is the truth? It makes all the difference in the world. When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, the Roman asked famously, “What is truth?” The answer has everything to do with our eternal future.
John 18:33-38 Jesus and Pontius Pilate
- Sometimes I am asked why I do what I do. The answer; because I believe that all of this is true.
- I believe that life here is for a moment, and there is eternity in either heaven or hell. I believe that God sent His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him would have eternal life.
John 16:1-15 NASB