Bible Study from Calvary Chapel Newberg
with Tom Fuller
What\'s in Your Bag?
I have something in my trunk that I carry with me at all times. Actually for a long time it was two bags. I created these bags when I worked as a television reporter. Setting out for work each day I never knew where I would be sent that day?what story I might have to cover. I had to be prepared for anything?including floods and forest fires, snowstorms or cop shootings, in the schoolyard or the prison yard.
So, I would wear my suit or sports jacket and tie, ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille. But in my bag I could pull out waders or a heavy ski jacket and gloves, even a hard hat, leather gloves and an emergency shelter in case a forest fire got out of control. I also had extra clothes and overnight supplies because I basically never knew when or if I would make it home on any given night. I had to be ready for anything.
In a sense, that is the Christian life as well. We get up in the morning and have no idea what trial or adventure awaits us. We could be faced with persecution or difficulty, trial or temptation, an opportunity to shine or share the Lord at any turn. We also face loneliness, rejection, even lack of direction. But we don?t need a bag or two in our trunks because we have the ultimate source of anything we could possibly need in the Holy Spirit.
We?ve been talking about the Holy Spirit over the past few weeks in our study of John. Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit comes to make a permanent home in the heart of the one who trusts in Jesus. This residency isn?t silent, like a college roommate who is never there, but He is active in transforming you into someone who thinks and acts like God. We?ve talked about the Holy Spirit in us, and through us. Now we talk about Him for us.
But it?s not just about us living, it is about us living in this world as ambassadors for Christ. When we become friends with Jesus we become enemies to the world?and the enemy in charge of the world system, Satan, doesn?t take his adversaries lightly. So Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be there whenever we needed Him, for some very specific purposes which He outlines in chapter 16.
Jesus has just gotten done telling His disciples that the world will hate them just like it hates Him. He is preparing them that difficult times are coming. He doesn?t want them to be surprised or ?tripped up? as the words for ?fall away? mean in the Greek. We might say ?forewarned is forearmed?.
Now God doesn?t always tell us what kind of trouble awaits us, just that there will be trouble. I, for one, am glad He doesn?t give the details or I probably wouldn?t go. What he does promise is to be with us powerfully to help us through it and even be victorious in the difficulties. It is not the difficulty of the road that matters, but who is walking with you on it.
2 ? 3
Jesus? words would come true very soon with Saul of Tarsus, who had Christians put to death and thought he was serving God doing it. The disciples were expelled from the synagogues (and separated from their families, friends, and business associates at the same time). They, and we, need to know that this is happening not because of us but because they do not know Jesus. It helps. Jesus said ?Father forgive them for they know not what they do.? The focus is on unbelief, not on how rotten that person is.
Jesus is preparing the troops for invasion, like a pep talk and final instructions before D-Day. He couldn?t tell them these things until He had done lots of preparation?years of teaching and example.
4 ? 7
In Chapter 13 Peter had asked Jesus where He was going but it was a casual question and no one pressed him on his plans. They were more interested in themselves and the knowledge that they would not have Jesus physically around any more.
When I was first learning how to ride a bike I was so glad to have my dad holding on to the thing while I tooled down the street. But he couldn?t go out with me every time I wanted to ride so I needed to learn to do it myself. Though not a precise analogy, while Jesus was on earth his men had a buffer against the world. They could ask him questions any time they wanted. He was like a big brother or a father holding on to the handlebars. But if Jesus didn?t go away he couldn?t send the Holy Spirit on all flesh to exponentially increase his work in this world.
So now, Jesus explains just what the advantage of having the Spirit is in their lives.
The role of the Spirit as spoken of here involves 1) The proclamation of the truth of the gospel to the world, 2) the declaration of truth into the life of the believer, 3) for the purpose of fellowship and to glorify God.
8 ? 15
The Spirit?s role is to ?convict? which is a legal term meaning to pronounce a judicial verdict by which the guilt of the culprit is defined and fixed. As the Holy Spirit works in the world, He brings not just a sense of sin, but a personal sense of responsibility, or culpability, for that sin.
The purpose is not to punish but to bring a real sense of our helplessness and need of a Savior.
Sin - The bottom line of sin is unbelief. Rejecting Jesus is the only thing that will separate you from God for all of eternity. It is the only sin that cannot be forgiven because it is only in trusting Jesus that we can be washed into order to be fit for living in God?s dimension.
Righteousness ? Jesus? rising from the dead and returning to the Father is the proof that His sacrifice for our sins ?took?. It is the only way to get ?rightness? or ?goodness.? Jesus is also the standard by which all are compared. Unless we are like Jesus, perfect, we cannot live with God.
Judgment ? Satan is the father of sin. It is his rebellion and self will that inspired Adam and Eve to disobey God in the Garden and thus pass down guilt to us and make us with a predilection to sin. Jesus destroyed that hold sin has on us and judged Satan (the ruler of this world).
12 ? 15
The gravity and totality of what Jesus was doing would not settle on the disciples until after Jesus rose from the dead. Instead of having them drink from a waterfall, Jesus gives them sips of truth. Later the Spirit would reveal a lot more to them.
I for one am glad that God doesn?t just tell me everything but doles it out when I can handle it.
The main task of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all truth?what truth is that? The truth about Jesus Christ?His identity and purpose.
The Holy Spirit?s role is to shine a light on Jesus. It is not to shine a light on Himself (which I think some churches do) and it is not to shine a light on you. We take a back seat and everything we do should be done in a way that people are impressed with Jesus.
The disciples were not given the ability to predict the future. The Holy Spirit would give them insight into what was to come to them?namely the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, then, perhaps, His second coming. We sometimes get confused and think that prophecy is all about future telling?when it is really God telling?declaring God?s truth. Very rarely does that involve prophesying about the future, except that which is already revealed in Scripture.
That?s why we need to be especially suspicious of any ?new? revelation that is not in line with what God has already revealed.
Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
16 ? 24
Sometimes we humans are a bit thick in the skull. Though Jesus had told them on a number of occasions that he was going to die and rise and go to the Father, they still just didn?t get it. ?You are going to be very sad,? Jesus tells them, ?but like after a mother gives birth, that pain of my death will turn into joy at my resurrection.?
Isn?t it true that when we realize that it is because of our evil that Jesus died that we are filled with sorrow? Then that sorrow turns to joy as we realize that His resurrection means our sins are washed away forever!
The disciples at this point have no idea what power will be at their disposal?power to point to Jesus and bring people into His kingdom. They will just be so happy that He rose that they won?t think of the next steps but Jesus encourages them to do so.
25 ? 28
In other words??because of Me you can have a direct relationship with Yahweh??something unthinkable.
29 ? 30
I picture Peter being the one speaking here. ?Oh, we get it now, Jesus!? they say. Not even close.
31 ? 32
We should be glad that Jesus predicted this, or his men would have been totally lost when, in just hours, they would be filled with fear and would abandon Jesus despite Peter?s assertion that he would never betray him. Jesus didn?t need his men to stand by Him, all he needed was the Father.
Just as Jesus had the Father, we have Jesus (which means we too have the Father and the Spirit) to go with us in times of trouble.
Satan and the world system under his control will give us terrible trouble when we cling to Jesus. But Jesus says we can have peace in the midst of the trials because Jesus has already won victory over Satan and his system. Jesus ends as he began?a promise of trouble with a promise of peace.
What are the realities that we as Christians face?
Loneliness, ignorance, selfishness, opposition, temptation, grief, and listlessness. The Holy Spirit becomes the answer to facing each of these difficulties.
What?s in your bag?
The Holy Spirit is like that bag I have in my trunk. I?m prepared for any and all circumstances with Him living in my heart.
-????????? An encourager when we face of rejection (vs 1-4)
-????????? A herald trumpeting the message of the gospel through your life when we feel ineffective (vs 5-11)
-????????? A spotlight on Jesus when we start turning the light on ourselves (vs 12-15)
-????????? A bringer of joy in times of sorrow and isolation (vs 16-22)
-????????? A provider of anything we need to bring glory to Jesus (vs 17-24)
-????????? A connection to the Father?s great love and provision for us (vs 25-32)
-????????? A peaceful presence in the face of tribulation (vs 33)