2Francis Chan, author of The Forgotten God, says that the lives of many Christians are virtually indistinguishable from those of their non-Christian neighbors. Is this what we want for ourselves? Our children? Is this what Jesus wanted for his followers?
3In John 16. 5-16 Jesus tells his disciples he is leaving them In John Jesus tells his disciples he is leaving them. The Holy Spirit, the Counselor, Spirit of Truth, will take his place to their advantage. The Spirit can communicate with any and every disciple no matter where or when they live. The Spirit will fulfill Jesus’ promise---”Lo, I am with you always, to the end of the world.” (Matt28.20)
4The Spirit he said would do several things: Prove Jesus’ ministry as righteousShow that resisting Jesus was wrongThat it was Satan, prince of this world, who truly deserved condemnation and judgment
5Moreover, Jesus said, the Spirit would guide them into a deeper understanding of truth. In so doing he would glorify Jesus. To glorify means to bestow honor, praise and admiration. We must always remember that the Spirit does not glorify himself!
6Jesus is worthy of our attention, love, commitment Jesus is worthy of our attention, love, commitment. In him is life, meaning, hope, power, love, truth, salvation. But how did the Holy Spirit do this with the disciples? How does he do so today? By laying a foundation of truth.
7All the apostles did and said rested on the basic facts about Jesus---his actions, his teaching, his death and resurrection. Without a firm grasp of what was true subsequent generations, including our own would have lost sight of who Jesus is.
8The Bible gives us a story, a true story about God, man and the universe, and his plans to save us from human selfishness and cruelty. It shows us the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness. It shows how God is working out his purposes for our lives through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
9The Holy Spirit glorified Jesus by emphasizing the truth about him in several ways. 1ST, by inspiring some of the Apostles to write down what they knew of Jesus so that future generations would have a solid record of his life.
10The Gospels----Jesus’ life, teaching, death, resurrection Acts of the Apostles----the birth and spread of the early church The letters of Paul, Peter, James, John---the work of the Spirit in the lives of congregations & individuals Revelation---a glimpse of the future, Jesus’ return, the new heaven and earth
112nd, the Holy Spirit encourages us to honor Jesus through highlighting his moral teaching. Though more than a moral teacher, he was not less. Jesus continually taught his followers to honor truth, to do good, to love God and neighbor and even enemies. Jacob Klausner said, “It is universally admitted that Christ taught the purest and sublimest ethics…” Richard Dawkins, prominent atheist and scientist, thinks religious people irrational, if not insane. But is atheism a good source of moral authority?
12Roy Hattersley, English politician and self-confessed atheist, wrote this in The Guardian: “We atheists have to admit that most believers are better human beings…[M]ost aid groups who stayed in New Orleans after Katrina when the first wave of relief workers left have a religious origin and character, [but] notable by their absence are teams from free thinkers’ clubs and atheists’ associations…The only positive conclusion is that faith comes with a packet of moral imperatives that influence enough of them to make them morally superior to atheists like me.”
13Where did these moral imperatives come from. Jesus Christ Where did these moral imperatives come from? Jesus Christ! A 3rd way in which the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus is through highlighting his moral character. As Peter said, “Jesus went about doing good,” healing the sick, feeding the hungry, treating women and children as he treated men, challenging those who misused religious or political power…
14There were also the extraordinary claims Jesus made for himself, namely that he was one with God the Father: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” Then, and now, there were those who scoffed. Some thought him guilty of blasphemy, and worthy of death, others that he suffered from delusions of grandeur…
15In response, consider this comment by U2’s Bono: “So what you’re left with is that either Christ was who he said he was----or a complete nutcase. I mean, we’re talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson…I’m not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half the globe would have its fate changed and turned upside down for a nutcase, for me that’s far fetched!” What do you think?
16Until we are convinced that Jesus Christ is Lord, one with the Father, and that his teachings are those of God, we will not trust or obey him. That we do believe is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. But it is one thing to believe, another to become a disciple---a thoughtful, committed, disciplined believer.
17Jesus calls for commitment, a willingness to face ourselves, to die to ourselves, to embrace his teaching of love and compassion day in and day out. If you’ve tried you know it is not easy to face your fears, lusts, prejudices, or other selfish desires. It’s not easy to forgive, to care for those you don’t like, make apologies, speak up for what’s right, always be honest. This is what Jesus asks for, while offering forgiveness when we fall short.
18The ideals of Jesus are absolute, but is his offer of grace and forgiveness and mercy. His gift of the Holy Spirit is one aspect of the grace he offers. In all these ways, and more, the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus and invites us to honor him. When we are open to the working of the Spirit in our lives, we too help to glorify Jesus and to make the truth about him known.