CLOSER THAN EVER
With Us, Week 3
Sunday, December 18, 2016
- Everything in the Bible points to and is predicated on Christ’s birth. All of the OT looks forward to the day when “God with Us” would be fulfilled. And everything after Jesus’ story in the NT points to how new life is possible because God is with us.
- But Jesus, “God with us,” told His closest followers, “You won’t always have me with you.”
TEXT: John 16:4-7; 12-13 (753)
4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
- 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:13-14 (814)
The Holy Spirit is God being actively present with us…
- As we gather.
- Whenever and wherever Christ-followers gather, God is right in the middle of us.
- 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:19-20
2. As we grow.
- Jesus: “He will guide you into all truth. He will remind you of what I taught you.” (John 16)
- Everything positive about the Christian life is the result of the Spirit’s empowering in our lives.
- 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
- Paul: Things that make sense to those who have the Holy Spirit seem foolish to those who don’t
- 9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him – 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
- 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 2:9-10; 14
3. As we go.
- God’s presence isn’t just for my enjoyment and personal benefit. It’s also joy for others, both near us and in the far corners of the world.
- 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
When we go…
- The Spirit inside you is greater than Jesus beside you.
- That’s what Jesus told His followers in John 16. He said it is for your good (some versions, “your advantage”) – it sounds crazy. What could be better than to have Jesus right there “with you”?
- Jesus said the presence of the Holy Spirit as “God with Us” would empower – In Acts 1 He told them NOT TO GO until the Holy Spirit was poured out on their lives
2. We will perform great works because of His power and presence!
- Jesus: You will – Make disciples / reach every nation to tell them about Me / teach them about My ways /
- 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, – Ephesians 3:20
3. His power and presence are permanent! He never leaves.
- Jesus became God with us so we could be with Him.
- Paul in Ephesians – HS is a deposit to guarantee God’s presence in our lives for eternity.