Fairmeadow Community Church of The Nazarene
May 23, 2021
  • The Comforter Has Come
  • John 15:26–27 NRSV
    26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.
    John 16:4–15 NRSV
    4 But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

    How will we know what to do?

    Jesus was leaving. The disciples may not have understood it fully, but perhaps they could feel it. Either way, Jesus knew it was going to happen and he knew he needed to get them ready for what was to come.
    They were going to need a direct connection to God. They were going to need help. They were going to have to live in new ways without Jesus standing there as a physical example to follow.
    It’s kind of mind-blowing if you think about how much God had thought all this through and designed a relationship to make it all happen.
    Father, Son and Holy Spirit make up all of God as we know and experience him. But this had not all been revealed just yet. But the disciples were understanding that Father and Son were a big part of helping them experience God. What they were missing was the role of the Holy Spirit. Jesus ascending is what paved the way for this transition to happen. Evidently, they had to experience the absence of Jesus before they could open themselves fully to the presence of the Holy Spirit.

    We need God’s Guidance

    Today, we stand in need of the same things. We rely on the news or our phones or our friends. These days if you’re not careful you can factor God right out of the equation. If the Holy Spirit totally withdrew from your life would you even notice?
    We have the Scriptures. If we spend time there with open hearts and minds, we are getting off to a good start. Jesus and the Holy Spirit can open our minds to understand the Scriptures.
    We have prayer. Through prayer we communicate with God. It should involve as much listening as it does talking.
    But we need to truly open ourselves to God’s deep leading to really make progress in our journey. We call that being sanctified. God begins the work of truly making us holy, by filling us with the Holy Spirit.
    The Spirit works in the life of every Christian, guiding us as we read the Scriptures and helping us pray. But there’s so much more when we truly wait for God’s power to fill us. If you were with us last Sunday you know that’s what Jesus asked the disciples to do.

    The Comforting Holy Spirit Guides Disciples

    There was a continuing message and a continuing mission
    The disciples needed to remember Jesus’ words. The Spirit reminded them and led them to deeper understanding, beginning with the Scriptures.
    The disciples were empowered to testify about all that Jesus did.
    The source and the power were one in the same...
    They waited in Jerusalem until the Day of Pentecost, which was a great feast for Jews. But the Spirit made it a day to remember for very different reasons.
    What we remember is how the Holy Spirit filled the lives of the disciples. It rested on them like a tongue of fire. Most importantly it transformed them into Apostles: ones who were sent with the message of the Gospel. That Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God who became a man, was crucified for our sins, then was raised up and ascended into heaven. Now he is the Lord of all. Everyone who calls on his name, which means to repent of your sins, confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead—everyone who does this will be saved.
    The Spirit showed up in a new way that day. 3,000 people responded that day. That’s why we remember the Day of Pentecost. The Spirit filled them and enabled them to speak the message in a way others could understand and receive. What they were testifying to was not their own power, but the power of Jesus. People understood it. They didn’t feel judged. They felt called to a new kind of life. They responded.

    We can testify in the Spirit’s power

    Today we need to hear from God and we can in the same way. The power of the Holy Spirit can fill us. The Spirit will guide us into all truth.
    But here’s the tricky part. Sometimes when people are filled with the Holy Spirit they forget to humble themselves. There are those people still around who try to compare who’s the most holy or who’s more filled with the Holy Spirit. Every few years people like this rise up and try to claim they are the true holiness people apart from everyone else.
    But these people are not remembering Pentecost correctly. Because the message of Pentecost was about tearing down the walls. It was about complete surrender to Jesus and losing yourself in the Holy Power of God. When you come out the other side, you don’t have a clipboard and a measuring rod. You have a heart of stone that’s been softened to a heart of flesh and the love of God writ large across it.
    You are filled with compassion. You’re done judging others. Judging is what the Pharisees did. The Apostles presented a message of faith, hope, and love.
    So friends, God is calling on us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Please do surrender all to him. Don’t get ahead of God. Wait patiently for God to fill you and to fill the lives of those around you. And let the holy love of God flow through you in the true Spirit of the Day of Pentecost. A day when all kinds of people from all kinds of places called on the name of the Lord and were saved. A day when all kinds of people were filled with the Holy Spirit.
    The Holy Spirit will testify to you about who Jesus is and all he has for you. He will help you understand the Scriptures. He will help things click in your mind and heart so you can say a great big yes to God.
    Then, you can turn and tell people how the love of God changed your life. I hope there are stories of victory and how you have overcome sin, how he’s helped you to have peace and joy. But I also hope you keep your focus on Jesus and his power. Because if we start to think it’s about us we fall right back into trusting in the flesh again. The arm of flesh will fail you. It’s all about the work of the Holy Spirit. He is all about Jesus, who is all about the Father.
    Since the Holy Spirit is humble and Jesus is humble, I know that truly being filled will make you humble also.
    Today we remember and celebrate the Day of Pentecost. The Day when Jesus’ promises about sending a comforter, an Advocate, the promise of sending power from on High, power to make us witnesses, they day all that came true for the first time. It’s been coming true in every generation since.
    Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Be filled with all the fullness of God.
    Ephesians 3:14–19 NRSV
    14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
    Let’s pray...
      • John 15:26–27NRSV

      • John 16:4–15NRSV

      • Ephesians 3:14–19NRSV

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