The Holy Spirit Pt 5: The Comforter

The Holy Spirit Pt 5: The Comforter

The Comforter: “He shall teach you all things”

John 14:25–27

25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

We are given in this passage a knowledge of the Holy Ghost (AKA: Holy Spirit) that provided the disciples of Christ the certainty needed to preach the good news of the Gospel to all people, and change the world for over two thousand years.

The news that God reached down to man, to reveal to him what God has provided to restore the eternally broken relationship between him and man because of the sin of man. That Jesus Christ, the Son of God and God the Son, was sacrificed for the sin of man and all who believe in him would have eternal life. 

That is the Gospel, and it was the Spirit of God, God the Spirit, who would comfort them, give them the confidence they need; teach them, give them the knowledge they needed; and empower them, through that confidence, knowledge and peace to have the courage the share the light of Christ in an ever darkening world.

How did TWELVE MEN transform the world for over 2000 years?

We don’t often think how it can be that twelve men, many of whom were unlearned in the things and wisdom of the world, unschooled, of rough demeanour, average men with no special training in social engineering or subterfuge, could have been the very men God would employ to bring the greatest news concerning the infinite hope of heaven to a completely hell bound world, and yet in large measure the answer is given us in the text above.

It was the giving of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, is here identified as “The Comforter”, Jesus said he would be sent by the Father for at least four distinct purposes.

The First is that the disciples and all those who come after should be COMFORTED BY CONFIDENCE;

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things,

It is through the Spirit teaching you and I the truth of “All things” that we become confident in the ‘knowledge’ of the truth.

The Second, is that the disciples and all those who come after should be COMFORTED THROUGH CONTEMPLATION

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 

It is the Spirit of God who leads us through our purposeful CONSIDERATION of all things, remembering what Christ has done and continues to do in your lives.

The Third, is that the disciples and all those who come after should be COMFORTED IN CONTRAST to the world;

Jesus said, 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Lastly, is that the disciples and all those who come after should be COMFORTED TO COURAGE.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

We find that through learning, recollection and experience, we can live our lives with the courage to tell of the hope of Christ in spite of the persecution that will come as we shine that light in the darkness.

Comforted By Confidence

Comforted Through Contemplation

Comforted In Contrast

Comforted To Courage

 

Comfort By Confidence

John 14:26

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things,

The text begins by referring to the Holy Spirit as “the Comforter”. 

Identified first by Title “The Comforter”, then by Trade, a teacher, for “he shall teach you all things”.

He is also identified as “The Spirit of Truth” in Jn 16:13.

He is the third member of the Godhead we identified last time, and he is an educator who brings comfort through teaching you the TRUTH of, as the passages states, “All things”.

All things that pertain to THE TRUTH of a matter, from the words of Christ, as is seen in the text, to the discernment of that which is good and evil, as is testified to in Hebrews 5:14 .

THE PROBLEM

One of the greatest causes of consternation in a person, is not KNOWING the truth of a given matter. 

The choice of a given relationship, the choice of a job, the choice of important decisions that need to be made in life, the knowledge of how to get out of a certain situation, who to vote for, what to vote for etc;

You can quite literally find yourself lost!

If you are driving and don’t know where you are, and you take out your phone with its inbuilt GPS and all you see is a blue dot with no map, its causes a certain level of distress. 

Comfort ONLY begins to come when the map appears, and you begin to have CONFIDENCE you can identify the truth of where you are in order to make your way home.

This is indeed the truth of each one of you BEFORE you were saved. Most who are here have only recently believed the Gospel, but ALL OF YOU FIRST NEEDED TO KNOW you were lost BEFORE you could be found.

Many tried to find hope and peace in a world that kept promising BUT never delivering, until finally someone shared with you about Jesus.

But as we mentioned last time, It was the SPIRIT OF GOD that worked in you to both convict you of your own sin (Why you are lost) and direct you to the TRUTH of Christ.

The work of the Spirit of God is to lead you into all truth, and those of you who are born again don’t need to seek him somewhere OUT THERE, because the Bible tells us that he now dwells in you, almost like an internal GPS.

Before we were saved, he was like a prod from the outside, like he was to Paul before he saw that light;

Acts 9:5

5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

But NOW he is “…IN YOU”

Go back a little to verse 16;

John 14:16–17

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

It is this SAME SPIRIT that dwells IN YOU that gives to you discernment toward the truth. 

Turn to

1 John 2:27

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him

But, be careful. Simply having the Spirit of God in you ONLY provides the potential to know the truth of a given matter, because it works hand in hand with the word of God. 

If you are NOT reading the Word of God, you may indeed lose the fundamental tool to have your senses excessed to discern between good and evil. 

That radar that is now inbuilt, becomes like the “blue” dot in our navigation system without a map.

Turn to Hebrews 5

Hebrews 5:12–14

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The greatest comfort an individual can ever have is knowing they have eternal life!

Nothing, simply nothing comes close to the level of confidence you can live in life, no matter what happens around you; no matter which way a vote falls, or what war is coming next, or what events might occur in life, but the confidence that at its end you have eternal life through the forgiveness of your sins.

Do you KNOW that you are safe when you die?

Do you KNOW where you are in order to get home safely?

FOUR WEEKS AGO today, the Walsh family were making their way to this very church. They left home on the Belarine Peninsula and were traveling an hour and forty minutes to attend this Church when tragedy struck them. 

At 10 am, the two older boys, Joseph and Elijah were ten minutes from here and were startled by a telephone call to tell them the rest of their family, some twenty minutes behind them, endured a head on collision, which took the life of their father, and placed their mum, little brother and little sister on hospital.

They were on their way here, not home. 

Their plan was to arrive, enjoy the day and have lunch with the McKinnon family. 

Their life was interrupted in the most devastating way.

Grant, the father, however, is 100% in heaven. He long ago believed the Gospel and received the comfort of the Holy Ghost and thereby both he and the entire family have confidence he is home with the Lord.

What about YOU?

Are you COMFORTED BY SUCH CONFIDENCE?

Grant planned to be here four weeks ago, but his life was interrupted. You no doubt plan to go home after this service…. Are you safe?

Are you safe, do you have confidence no matter the outcome?

Beloved, I don’t mean to startle you, but this is the reality of life! 

This same Holy Ghost, titled as The Comforter, is the one who teaches the truth of ALL THINGS, is he this morning teaching you that you may NOT be ready to die?

 

COMFORT THROUGH CONTEMPLATION

John 14:26

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 

Quiet contemplation is something we don’t do enough of in these very noisy days. 

Not only are we the product often of our own “White Noise” with multiple distractions, but we can’t seem to go anywhere where there is just silence.

The noise pollution of the world becomes a distraction to steer our minds away from the realisation that we don’t know that we don’t know.

You see, if you don’t know that you don’t know, you can never learn anything. But its when you know you don’t know, then and ONLY then can you be taught that you MAY know.

It’s like being lost but believing you know where you are, and being distracted from knowing you are lost, gives you a form of comfort. 

Sadly, many children are being trained in just this way today almost from the very beginning.

When I was growing up we had a television in almost every room and there was ALWAYS a TV running somewhere, my mum loved the distraction. She said it kept her company, but what she inadvertently admitted was that she was terribly lonely. The distraction of the TV kept her from the realisation that she had nothing to comfort her.

Sadly, we as Christians, often do the same thing. 

We don’t look for the QUIET place needed to spend time with the Lord. Prayer, contemplating the things concerning him, is one of two of the most important things we need to do in our day, but we are distracted by the noise of a busy or distracted life.

We have “filled our jar” with the sand of things that don’t matter, and we cant fit in any of the larger stones that do matter. 

The disciples were promised to be given the Comforter who would not only TEACH them all things, but also bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 

Time of quiet contemplation on the things of life with Jesus in the midst, brings to us the invaluable knowledge of him as we compare ourselves to him. 

King David did this often and was comforted in the many trials he endured. Turn to Psalm 8 

Psalm 8:3

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 

When we KNOW where we stand before a holy God, then we come to wonder as David did, “LORD, of all you are and all you do, why do you even care about me?”.

David was a shepherd before he became king.

How many were the nights he sat in quiet contemplation as he looked up at the starry sky?

Turn to Psalm 19 for a moment

Psalm 19:1–6

1  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy to reveal God to us, it doesn’t need to.

In 2011, a massive undersea earthquake meaning 9.1 on the victor scale struck off the coast of Japan and caused a Tsunami that devastated the City of Sendai and plunged much of the Island into darkness.

If you look at Japan through a night time satellite image, it looks like a light bulb. 

It’s not NOISE POLUTION, but Light pollution in every city hinders the view of the Heavens that declare the glory of God. 

In Japan, the people had never before seen a starry sky. It took a tragedy to open the heavens for them, to reveal the glory of God.

What pollutions are you permitting in your life that prevents you from getting a glimpse of the Glory of God?

What it is that stops you from that quiet contemplation that permits the Holy Spirit to show you more of him?

Comfort In Contrast

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Jesus promised a peace he would leave both the disciples and those who would follow after them, but it would be a COMFORT IN CONTRAST to the world;

27 … my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

The world can never know this peace because the peace of this world is one that is governed by the Lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. 

1 John 2:16–17

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

All that is in the world is contrasted with that which is of the Lord. 

The world is temporal, it “passeth away” says the passage here in 1 John, but that which is of God “abideth for ever”. 

This is a diametrically opposed contrast!

Look around you, see for yourself and think of how many people in the world truly understand all that is happening: 

They think they wrestle with flesh and blood, they have no IDEA of the principalities and powers… the rulers of the darkness of this world, the spiritual wickedness in high places that we know about in Ephesians 6:12,

They think all that they see is all that there is, they think only the material is real. They deny there is more to life and so fight for ONLY the pleasures of this life and are confused when things don’t work in the way they thought it might.

The plethora of protests almost on a weekly schedule today is described for us in Luke 21 when Jesus spoke of the days before us saying;

Luke 21:25

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

The reference for the “sea and the waves roaring” refers to the people of the world beloved, and what we are witnessing today is the manner with which those of the world think to find peace.

Beloved, both our source of peace and comfort, as well as our knowledge has its source in contrast with that of the world, consider 1 Corinthians 2 for a moment;

1 Corinthians 2:12–14

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The Holy Spirit teaches those of those things which are infinitely higher than the vain contemplations of the wisest heathens of history. None of the wise men of the world have EVER found peace through the wisdom of the world.

People have LONG held high regard of Plato and Aristotle, or even that of Socrates, but beloved, if you would just read some of their writing and compare them to that which has its source in TRUTH, you too will find them as the contemplations of fools.

The ideas of peace and wisdom of one is denied by another, who is denied by one that follows and so on, until we come to the confusion of today that thinks there is no truth at all.

But is it true that there is no truth?

Their vain efforts to deny the truth only prove it.

They stand upon the elephant to deny his existence.

I am reminded of the old Indian fable of the learned blind men as they contemplate the elephant. They don’t know the truth, and so imagine none can, but forget the one telling the story is not blind.

Allow me to please read how the world searches for the Truth or of God, and then allow me to reveal to you the an answer for the MORAL at the end, which is actually revealed in the text itself;

I.
It was six men of Indostan 
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

II.
The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side, 
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! — but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

III.
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried: “Ho! — what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ‘t is mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

IV.
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

V.
The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he; 
“‘T is clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

VI.
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

VII.
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

VIII.
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong.

MORAL.
So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

Now it was many years ago that I learned of this ancient Hindu tale and thought to myself that the argument was strong but also did not make sense, I wondered how it was possible that the writer of the tale could KNOW they were all wrong and only knew a part of the truth? 

You see, that while the vast majority of the people could not see the truth as they grope around being blind, the narrator clearly could.

Now, there are many version of this story and I discovered an account that revealed the observer to be the Rajah looking down from his balcony. This was the only part of the story made sense, but it’s also nullified the point the story was trying to make.

Beloved, most people in the world are blind to the truth and thereby their source of comfort and peace; each taking their own portion, partly right but largely wrong and therefore ALWAYS being somewhat discontent, but not you. 

1 John 4:4–6

4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

 

Comforted To Courage

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

In Acts chapter 27 the apostle Paul is a prisoner on a ship that has been caught in a terrible storm that will ultimately destroy the vessel and risk the lives of 276 souls. While panic filled the hearts of all in the ship, Paul stood calm and confident, facing the danger with a level of courage that would confuse the average man.

Paul warned of the danger if his voice was ignored, but the centurion did not believe him and took the chance to set sail.

Turn to Acts 27

Acts 27:14–25

 14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. 15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. 16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: 17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. 18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; 19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. 20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. 

21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

Beloved, nothing can give a man or woman courage in the face of great trials than their KNOWLEDGE of the Truth they have long been taught and remember concerning their LORD. 

Hearts simply cannot, and should not, be troubled if the hope people have is in Christ, not in their job, not in their leaders, not even in themselves, but in Christ alone.

The Holy Spirit is given to us to teach us, and to remind us of HIM, but if we will not avail ourselves of the Lord, through reading his words EVERY DAY and spending time in quite prayer with him EVERY DAY, you will no doubt find yourself fearful when the times of trial come.

Just as Jesus told Paul he “must be brought before Caesar” in this passage, so too did he tell his disciples on the Sea of Galilee “Let us pass over unto the other side” and then, when “he was in the hinder part of the ship”, was “asleep on a pillow”. 

No wind or storm would ever have awoken Jesus, and should never have disturbed the disciples; did he not say “Let us pass over unto the other side”?, did not that mean they would pass over regardless of any storm they met along the way?

Was there not a reason he rebuked them saying “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40).?

If you have received the “Comforter”, which is the Holy Spirit, you have the CONFIDENCE to live your life without fear.

If this same Spirit if Truth is your teacher, and you are willing to spend time each daycontemplating the truth of the Lord, remembering all he is and all he has done in you and around you, you can live your life with the peace that passes all understanding.

If you will not be carried away by the sins of this world, indulging the Lust of the Eyes, the Lust of the Flesh and the Pride of life, you will not be thrown about on the waves the world is tossed over, your emotions will be temperate, your life moderate and your peace and comfort assured.

If, and only if, you will trust the Lord and the Holy Spirit within you, your hearts will never be troubled, niether will you be afraid. 

If you have NOT yet believed the Gospel, You remain lost. You will try to make sense of the world, you will continue to distract yourself with the treasures of this life, but the more you receive of this life goods, the POORER you become as you deny the next.

Matthew 16:26

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

What I see evident today, is that the Lord is coming quickly, Amen, even so come Lord Jesus.

Maranatha. 

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