Monday, January 23, 2017

My Closest Companion

The Holy Spirit is a powerful friend that the believer is privileged to have.

John 15:26-27  “But I will send you the Advocate, the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry."

John 16:5-9 "But now I am going away to the one who sent Me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. 6 Instead, you grieve because of what I've told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don't, the Advocate won't come."

"If I do go away, then I will send Him to you. 8 And when He comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world's sin is that it refuses to believe in Me."

In the previous post on the book of John, Jesus was teaching his disciples that "God's Children Are Hated," we saw that the hatred that came at Jesus will be directed at his children after he is gone. We have to remember how incredible and huge the love of God is toward us because the world's hatred of us is almost the same size.

The opposition that they will face requires some help from a source that the disciples have never heard of. They knew they had a great friend in Jesus, so great that it is distressing to see him go after only three years, but Jesus tells them that there is a better relationship that will come about after he leaves.

The Holy Spirit doesn't get mentioned very much, we shy away from him, maybe it's because the spirit world seems too scary or magical and there are a lot of wrong ideas in religious circles about him. He does not typically draw attention to himself and put himself in the spotlight, most of the time the Holy Spirit’s work in your life is quiet and unassuming. His work is subtle and many times we give the glory he deserves to someone or something else.

Each member of the trinity performs their role with the full cooperation of the other members, God the Father creates, the Son redeems us, and the Holy Spirit sets us apart.
"The Holy Spirit: Jesus’ Closest Companion"
Pastor and theologian Sinclair Ferguson

Not only has the Holy Spirit been the Son’s eternal partner in the uncreated fellowship of the Trinity, but the Spirit was there with the Father and Son at creation (Genesis 1:2). He was there overshadowing Jesus’s conception (Luke 1:35), and there at his baptism (Luke 3:22) and temptation (Luke 4:1–2). Jesus performed his miracles through the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14–19).

When Jesus’s closest earthly companions betrayed him, denied him, and scattered, the Spirit walked with him all the way into the jaws of death, empowering him to offer himself freely (Hebrews 9:14). And the Spirit was there on Easter Sunday to raise him in power (Romans 1:4). Indeed, what a companion he is.

Jesus closest companion can be mine as well

The Holy Spirit is often neglected and we avoid talking about him but we need to remember that he is a powerful friend that the believer is privileged to have. He assisted Jesus in his ministry and we can enjoy the benefit of his power in our ministry as well.

The Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus for salvation, he makes the gospel clear and gives us faith to believe. We have such a tendency toward being self-sufficient that makes it so difficult to think that we can't even believe without help.

The Holy Spirit gives us gifts and helps us to use them properly. It is tempting to use our gifts for our own interest or to just say that we are naturally talented in a certain area and ignore the source of that talent. It is an ugly thing to see a gift being used in a self-serving or unloving manner.

The Holy Spirit strengthens us in the face of suffering and persecution, enabling us to confront a hating world and a supernatural enemy with all of his demonic helpers, such a powerful foe would be impossible to defeat without the power that Jesus told his disciples to wait for. (Acts 1:8)

The Spirit guides me toward being obedient, it is easy to believe that being more like Christ is a product of our own efforts but really it isn't us at all, the ability to change comes about by the Spirit's power within us.

I need to be sure that I am as powerful as I can be by staying in the word each day and praying for the Holy Spirit's direction in every detail of my life. I need to give him credit for my abilities and use those abilities to glorify God.