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November 14, 2009
Man’s Best Friend – Part 3
Pastor Philip De Courcy
Time:
John 14:15-18; 16:5-7
Scripture: 
Topics: 

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In this series of sermons, Philip De Courcy warns the church not to settle for two-thirds of God. Christians often fail to grasp that through faith in Christ, they were not only given the gift of eternal life, but they were also given the giver of eternal life—the Holy Spirit—as a further gift. That puts the Christian at a great advantage because the Holy Spirit lives to bring God, vast as He is, within the narrow circumference of our lives.

More From This Series

Transcript

Let’s turn to God’s word. Then, we’ll read a couple of passage, John 14:15-18 and then John 16:7. If you’re joining with us this morning, we’re in a series of messages on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Have entitled the series, You have the advantage as believers. This side of the cross, this side of the resurrection, this side of Pentecost, you and I live at an advantage. We have the advantage of enjoying the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit. We’re coming for the last time to look at a message I’ve entitled Man’s Best Friend.

This is really an introduction to the whole series, and we’ve been just trying to get our heads and hearts around the issue of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, the indispensable person that he is and the critical nature of the work that he does. Listen to the words of the Lord Jesus in John 14:15. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever. The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. Skip over to chapter 16 in verse 7. In fact, let’s back up into verse five. But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me. Jesus is still speaking. And none of you asks me where are you going? But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I depart, I will send Him to you.

After I came to Christ and settled into life at Rathkeale Baptist Church, I came to appreciate two of the senior saints in our church, two older ladies. One was called Mrs. Price and the other Ms. Houston. And as I got to know them, I came to realize that both of them had come to Christ early in the 20th century under the ministry of an Irish evangelist by the name of W. P. Nicholson. In fact, as we look back upon that time, many believed that it was a genuine work of God as a revival tide swept across the province of Northern Ireland.

Many people were saved. Christians were revived. Churches were transformed. It is said that some pub owners came to Christ and were found the next morning pouring the liquor down the grates of the roads. It is said that there was so much stuff brought back to the shipyard in Belfast that had been stolen and brought back by those who had come to Christ that they had to build a warehouse to house it. These were days of renewal. These were days of revival. And Mrs. Price and Ms. Houston had lived through that.

But in the preceding years, they watched the oil of God’s spirit burn low. They watched the church enter the world, and they watched the world enter the church. And as I went to the midweek Bible study and prayer meeting at our church on a regular basis, these women would pray like clockwork. That the church indeed would again be enveloped and infused with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, like clockwork, every Wednesday night at Rathkeale Baptist Church, I could hear these two women alternatively pray, “Oh God, the need of the hour is Holy Ghost power.”

And as a young Christian, that was tattooed under my memory and became part of my Christian experience. And I was reminded and learned from these two saints that the need of the hour every hour is Holy Ghost power. And we have been trying to establish that fact early on in our series here on the Holy Spirit, You have the advantage. We have sought to remind ourselves of the indispensable person of the Spirit and the critical nature of his work.

I think we have already established in the two earlier sermons that you cannot be a Christian without the Spirit and you cannot live as a Christian without the Spirit. High central, high critical, high indispensable is his work, and we see it in the history of the church. As redemptive history turns the corner at Pentecost, we see the Spirit come and he is God’s dynamo and dynamite in the life of the child of God and the Church of Christ. Before Pentecost, the disciples find easy things hard to do.

After Pentecost, they found hard things easy to do. Oh, the difference of the dynamic of the Holy Spirit. We have established two realities and we have sought to comprehend two truths about the Holy Spirit so far. And I want this morning to come and finish the thought on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We saw high indispensable the Spirit of God is when we considered his centrality, his centrality. Let me take you back to that earlier study.

We saw that the centrality of the Holy Spirit is established in the fact that he is able to replace the Lord Jesus Christ in the life of the church and in the life of the early disciples without loss. I’m going to go. He’s going to come. He’s another helper of the same nature and kind as myself. That was an astounding fact that we uncovered. The centrality of the Spirit is established in the fact that he’s able to replace Jesus without a loss to his disciples. And we went on to look at his critical work.

From Genesis to Revelation, we established that without him there would be no creation, without him there would be no Bible, without him there’d be no virgin birth, without him no Christians, without him no church. The need of the hour is certainly Holy Ghost power. He is critical for the advancement and maturation of God’s people. We went on then to look at his character. We reminded ourselves that he’s not a spook. We have a tendency to associate corporality with personality.

But although the Holy Spirit is hidden and invisible, he’s no less a person. We established his distinct personhood and his divine personhood. He is God. He’s not an ammunition from God. He’s not a third God or a third of God. He is the third person within the Godhead, equal to the Father and equal to the Son, yet distinct in his divine nature and person. He’s not simply an exertion of God’s energy. But that brings us to the thought I want to consider this morning. We’ve looked at the centrality of his person.

We’ve looked at the character of his person. Let’s look at the comfort of his person. We are in the Upper Room Discourse here in John 14, 15, 16, and 17 and comfort is the signature tune of this passage. In verse one of chapter 14, Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” In the same chapter in verse 27, he says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled.” The signature tune of this passage is that Jesus wants to comfort his disciples.

He wants to bolster their flagging spirits and their anxious hearts, because their world has just been turned upside down and inside out by the news that Jesus is about to leave them. He’s about to depart and go back to the Father. The glory that he had before his humiliation is now about to be restored. His work is finished, the victory has been accomplished, and the news of that has brought them to a great state of sadness. Look at verse six of chapter 16, “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.”

Jesus in the Upper Room Discourse is addressing broken-hearted disciples, and he seeks to comfort them. And he does it with the truth of two comings. He does it with the truth of two comings. One coming is in the future, the other coming is in the present. One coming is ultimate, the other coming is intermediate. One coming is heavenward, the other is earthward. One coming is visible, the other coming is invisible. The future coming speaks of his second coming again for his church.

The present coming speaks of the descent and coming of the Holy Spirit to the church. Look at John 14:3. This is the future coming. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, you may be also. Jesus says, “I’m going to the Father. The glory that I once had is going to be restored. But while I’m there, I’m going to prepare a place for you.” How fantastic is that? But in the intermediate, I’m going to come to you by the Spirit. This is what he says, doesn’t he, in John 14:18? 14 verse 18.

I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. But the preceding verse tells us he’s going to come to them by means of the coming of the helper, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit himself. And we established that God the Son and God the Spirit, although distinct in person, are the same in nature. There’s such a oneness within the Trinity that to have one is to have the other. And so Jesus is saying, “I’m going to go and someday I’m going to come back in the future to receive you unto myself.

In the intermediate, the Spirit’s going to come and I’m going to come to you through him. There’ll be no loss. You’ll not sense a distance from me. And he’s going to come and indwell you.” Jesus is saying to his disciples something wonderful here. He’s telling them, “You know what? I will bring you to heaven someday. But in the meantime, I’m going to bring heaven to you in the coming of the Spirit.” That’s the comfort of his person and you and I need to nail this down. The God who was with them among them and for them will shortly be in them.

That’s a glorious change. That is the marking of a new phase in the work of God and the life of the believer. Jesus tells them that, doesn’t they? Verse 17 of John 14. You know him. That is the helper, the Spirit of truth. You know him for he dwells, look at those words, those prepositions, with you but will be in you. This is a marked change in the way God operates. There is the promise here of a real and lasting dwelling of the believer by God in a new way and in a greater dimension compared to times past.

This is what Jeremiah speaks about and Ezekiel speaks about in the promise of a New Covenant. Well, there’ll be a new inwardness to God’s work, a new intimacy between God and his people, where God’s people will enjoy personally the permanent presence of God within. Under the Old Covenant, the Lord would work from the outside in temporarily as in the case of Gideon in Judges 6:24. We read of how the Spirit of God comes upon Gideon and clothed him temporarily specifically for an assigned task.

That’s the way God operated in the Old Testament. That’s why David prays something that you and I don’t have to pray and should not pray. In Psalm 51:11, David says, “Take not your Holy Spirit from me.” That is a prayer that the New Testament Christian doesn’t need to pray because that’s an impossibility. It was true in the Old Testament, but it’s not true in the New Testament. God worked from the outside in temporarily. In the New Testament, God works from the inside out permanently.

That deserves an amen. This is a great truth. This is a great truth. This is a heart healing, yet mind-numbing truth that Jesus conveys here, that God would take up permanent lodging in the lives of the disciples. He’s been with you, but now he’s going to be in you. You’ve heard it said, but it bears repeating and it should never grow old. That in the Old Testament, God had a temple for his people, but in the New Testament, he has a people for his temple. We’ll get to this in a minute, but that’s found in 1 Corinthians 3:9 and 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 6:19.

You are the temple of God. You’re his building. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The God of whom it is said that the heavens cannot contain him has contracted into the narrow spaces of our lives permanently and personally. We can enjoy his abiding presence. The great truth. For a time God was with us through the theophanies in the Old Testament and supremely through the incarnation in the New Testament, but now he is with us and in us permanently and personally through the indwelling and overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was saying, as we’ve just said, “Someday I will bring you to heaven.” That’s the future coming. “But in the meantime, I’ll bring heaven to you.” That’s the present coming. One speaks of the second coming, the other speaks of the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Think about this, the Holy Spirit personalizes the presence of God. That’s his role. He mediates and maximizes Christ to us. In fact, one writer, Calvin Miller, describes the Holy Spirit in this way, and I think it’s rather imaginative and engaging.

He says that the Holy Spirit… He says, “I like to think of the Holy Spirit as the near side of the Trinity.” Let me quote him. “The Holy Spirit lives to bring God, vast as he is, within the narrow circumference of my life. In my life, I have learned to think of him as the near side of the Trinity. God the Father pervades the universe, yet remain at a holy distance from my need. God the Father is all around me. Omnipresent,” the theologians say.

“Yet for all his splendor, he rides the world on inaccessible thunderheads. Jesus the Son remains in heaven awaiting the grand moment of his return, but the Holy Spirit lives and walks in my small world, calling like a pleading lover to summon me to grace.” Now, he goes on to qualify that to say he doesn’t mean by that that we should divide up the Trinity, because Jesus will say that the Father and the Son will come to dwell in the hearts of the believer. But I think he’s just trying to help us grasp this, that the Holy Spirit brings the Trinity near to us in a very unique way.

In fact, Reese and I came across an illustration that Gary Inrig used on a message on the Holy Spirit where he tried to give us the idea that the Holy Spirit to some degree makes available to us a reducible form of God’s power. And here was his analogy. He says imagine a hydroelectric plant, and from it goes out the large, high tension, high voltage cables and they crisscross across the landscape. Now, imagine you just directly connected your home to one of those high voltage wires.

What would happen? He said you’d blow the roof off your home if you were lucky and you’d reduce it to a pile of burnt timbers and broken walls. No, that power from the hydropower goes along those high tension, high voltage wires to where? To a transformer. And then it reduces that power to domestic consumption.

And he says it’s not a perfect analogy, but it gives you something of the role of the Holy Spirit, that God contracts himself to live within the narrow circumferences of our life and we get to enjoy through the indwelling, overwhelming presence of the Spirit, a reducible form of God’s power in us. Because if we had the full thing, we just explode. This is the truth and the disciples are getting the grasp of this. And all of this is possible because of the cross and the redeeming work of Christ on our behalf.

Christ came to dwell in human flesh for us to give himself as sacrifice for sin, to remove the barrier of sin, to reestablish the lines of communication between man and God through repentance and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. And having come to dwell in human flesh for us, he has established and made available the reality and the experience of him dwelling in us and our flesh by his Spirit. Now, let me quickly try and establish some things about the comforting indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit.

I want to establish them as we find them taught by the Lord Jesus here in John 14, 15, and 16. With the coming of the Spirit to indwell us, there is first of all a new immediacy. A new immediacy. One of the great and clear benefits of the ascension of Christ to the Father and the procession of the Spirit from the Father is a new level of immediacy to God’s presence within the believer. Listen to this. This is one of the fruits of Jesus’ ascension and the Spirit’s coming to earth at Pentecost.

This is one of the advantages that Jesus hints at. I got to go away and it’s to your advantage that I do. Here’s one of them. God will be more available to you through the Spirit than I can be to my disciples. Jesus told his followers that unlike himself, the Holy Spirit would be with them forever, and not only with them but in them. That’s what we read, didn’t we, in John 14:16-18? That’s why they’re better off. Now, quickly we need to say that doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit’s superior to Jesus, but only that the incarnated word was physically limited and located.

The Spirit of God faces no such confinement and no such constraint. Let me try and bring that home. You can get close to a person outside of you, but you can get closer to a person inside of you. If a person is inside you, then they will be with you wherever you go and with whatever you do. The disciples could step outside of the presence of Jesus. He could be in one place, they could be another. He could be left behind, as was the case with Mary and Joseph. Remember that? They’re halfway home when they realize, “Hey, where’s Jesus?”

He’s back in the temple talking to the wise man and the scribes of his day. But that is not true of the Holy Spirit. You cannot be where he is not because he is with you and he is in you forever. Wherever you go, he’s there. Whatever you do, he’s there to help and empower you in the doing of it for God’s glory. That’s a powerful life-altering thought. Think about this. There is no qualitative difference between knowing Jesus today in California than if you would’ve been alive and in his company historically when he was on earth in Israel.

You need to think about that because that’s true. We get caught up in this. Wouldn’t it have been fantastic to live when Jesus was alive? Well, I get that to some degree. God in flesh on the earth, the footprints of God in the sands of Israel, that is a powerful thought. And tourists go to Israel today often and they like to find a place where they can realistically say, “I stood where Jesus stood.” Well, I’ve been there, done that. And then there’s something to that. There’s something to that, but the import of these words shouldn’t be missed.

When it comes to the New Testament Christian, wherever they are, it is Christ in us the hope of glory. It is one thing to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, it’s another thing for Christ to walk in your footsteps. And that’s what he does through the Spirit of God. You see this new immediacy, this new access to God? It’s immediate. There’s no taking a number and waiting your turn. That’s a beautiful thought. There’s no taking a number and waiting your turn. He shall be in you, the one who’s been with you, and he’s going to be in you forever.

We’re moving from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. We’re moving from that outside in temporary work of the spirit in Israel to that inside out permanent work of God in the church through the baptism of the Spirit, through the indwelling of the Spirit. And it’s a powerful thought. I think it was Henry Drummond, one of the old writers, who said, “Okay, just imagine Jesus is alive. Okay? Let’s imagine Jesus didn’t leave and he is physically in Israel today. Can you imagine the boats and the planes making their way to Israel?

Can you imagine the letters that would be jamming up the post office in Jerusalem? And you might even get onto that plane. You might even get onto that boat, and you’ll get yourself to a port in Israel, to an airport in Israel. And you know what? You’ll go looking for Jesus and you probably won’t see him because there’ll be so many people in front of you.” And that’s the point here. It’s to your advantage that I go away. Because if I go away, the Spirit’s going to come permanently and personally in you.

You can go back into the gospels and you see a number of characters who wanted to get to Jesus. You know blind Bartimaeus having to cry out because he couldn’t get to Christ. The crowd was pressing in on him. We don’t have to take a number and wait our turn. That’s the new immediacy. Secondly, I want you to see the new intimacy. With someone on the inside, there’s not only a greater immediacy, there’s a greater intimacy.

Whatever the disciples had experienced of God through the incarnate Son pitching his tent among them, Jesus in the Upper Room Discourse is promising them that he will come to them again through the Spirit in a new way with a new inwardness and intimacy to what he is going to do. His leaving and returning to the Father in heaven wouldn’t bring distance or detachment, but would bring a greater closeness. That’s his point. I will not leave you orphans. I’m going to come to you.

We read in Romans 8:9 of how the Spirit of God dwells in us. We read in Ephesians 3:17 again of how the Spirit of God dwells in us. The transcendent God has become imminent at Pentecost. Someone has said at Bethlehem, we have God dwelling among us. At Calvary, we have God working for us. At Pentecost, we have God living in us. We want to get our head around this that we are now the temple of God. We are his building. Our bodies have become his home and his habitation, and we enjoy his presence permanently and personally.

We have access to God. God is happy to live with us 24/7. And that’s striking and it’s stunning when you go back into the Old Testament, you look at the manifestations of God’s presence. Besides his theophanies, beside the supernatural manifestations of pillars of fire and such like, God came closest to his people were in the tabernacle or later on in Solomon’s Temple. If you think about the temple, we read back in the Book of Exodus that God would meet his people above the mercy seat, the place of Atonement.

We read that the Shekinah glory hung over the temple almost like a cloud. God dwelt among his people. The Israelite went up to Jerusalem during the feasts and festivals because God was there. And he was among those people and he was in that nation unlike any other. But nevertheless, as you went up to the temple, there were a whole series of no entry signs. Isn’t that true? There were no Gentiles allowed in the outer court. There were no women allowed in the next courtyard.

There were no laymen allowed in the inner court. That was for the priests. But there was that place curtained off called the Holy of Holies and only one person was allowed in there, the high priest, and only once a year on the Day of Atonement. Leviticus 16. And it is said from Josephus that a rope was tied around his ankles just in case he messed up and they had to pull him out. This is the place where God dwells under the Old Covenant. You’ve got a temple for God’s people, but the no entry signs are posted all over it.

But the Old Testament prophets talked about an age to come when the law would be internalized, when the Spirit of God would be poured out. And that day dawned when the dayspring from on high visited. And it is no coincidence that when Jesus Christ allowed his flesh to be torn on the cross, to remove the barrier between man and God’s sin itself in a final satisfactory offering for sin, because we can’t be cleansed by the blood of bulls or goats, when his flesh was torn, what does it say happened at the temple?

The curtain outside the Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom. You think that’s significant? Yeah. I tell you what Jesus was doing in his death, in his resurrection, and then in the coming of the Holy Spirit. He was throwing away all the no entry signs. He was making access to God available in a new and a living way. Hebrews 10. And this is where we get this idea that God now has come to us in Christ and he has come to us to be in us through the Spirit. And you have got to nail this down.

You are living on the other side of Pentecost. You have privileges that the Old Testament saint didn’t enjoy. You don’t have to get on a plane and go to Jerusalem. You don’t have to get on a boat and go to Israel to worship God or see Jesus. You, yes you sir, are the temple of the Holy Spirit. I have no time for holy sights really because the holiest sight on planet earth is the living soul of a man indwelt by the Spirit of God. I don’t care whether he lives in Compton or Anaheim Hills because he’s indwelt by the Spirit of God.

And that’s the point in the New Testament. 1 Corinthians 3:16, go there and we’ll make our point. I’m enjoying this series on the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 3:16. Now, this is being addressed to the whole church. This is in the plural. Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy and the temple you are. If anybody undermines the work of the church, if anybody undermines the work of the gospel, God will destroy them.

But in the personal realm, we read in 1 Corinthians 6:19, do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. I want to bring something out. I only discovered this some time ago. There are two words that are used in the New Testament to describe the temple, haron, which spoke of the whole structure, or there was another word, nawas, which spoke of the Holy of Holies.

There was the outer court in the inner court. And within the inner court, there was the Holy of Holies. Do you realize that when Paul describes the church and the Christian as the temple of the Holy Spirit, he does not use the word haron? He uses the word nawas. You are to God a Holy of Holies. But now, that doesn’t reside in us. We have become that because of his presence within. We have been made righteous in Christ. We have been sanctified by the presence of God, the Holy Spirit.

I think that is a mind-blowing idea. Only once a year one man into the Holy of Holies. Now, every living saint of God and this dispensation of the church has been made a portable temple and their hearts and their lives become a very Holy of Holies. That should redefine and refine how you live and how you think and how you act. Everything we do is an act of worship. Everything we do is an act of worship. We don’t go up to this place to worship God, right?

Because Jesus said to the woman in John 4:21, there’s coming a day when you’re not going to go up to this mountain, you’re not going to go to Jerusalem, because there’s coming a day when you’re going to be the temple. And everything you do can be an act of worship and everywhere you go is holy ground. There’s no dichotomy between the secular and the sacred. I’m going to bring this down to real life. Let’s talk about sexuality because this is what Paul is getting at when he actually addresses the whole issue of our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Go over to 1 Corinthians 6. 1 Corinthians 6. Let’s read verse 15. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the member of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not. Or do you not know that he who has joined to a harlot is one body with her for the two shall become one flesh? That’s a whole sermon in itself. The sexual act is not just the colliding of two bodies, it’s the joining of two souls. And why do people get messed up psychologically, emotionally, spiritually as they hop from one bed to another?

Because they’re tearing themselves apart. They’re leaving a bit of them here and a little bit of them there. And that’s the point. The two shall become one. The sexual act is a profound thing, and that’s Paul’s point. In verse 17, but he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. Paul’s point is this, you’re joined to the Lord. And if you join yourself to a harlot, are you going to join the Lord to the harlot? Are you going to implicate Jesus Christ through the indwelling Spirit in a sexual immoral act?

God forbid, Paul says. And they were living, remember where, Corinth, the Temple of Aphrodite, where there were statues of human sexual organs all over the place. They said there was upwards of a thousand temple prostitutes that served the needs of the worshipers. And Paul is saying, as you walk about Corinth, this lewd sexually saturated society, and you see the temple and you see the lewdness. Do you remember that you’re the temple of the Spirit of God? That’s what he’s saying, verse 18, flee sexual immorality.

Every sin that a man does is outside of the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your Spirit, which are God’s. Let me piece this together. In the context of Corinth, Paul was arguing that sexual immorality characterized the Temple of Aphrodite, but it is no place in the temple of the Holy Spirit.

And so radical is his teaching and the implication of the indwelling Spirit of God that to join yourself to something is to join him to that thing, whether it’s idolatry or immorality. And here’s the implication of this, to have sex outside of the will of God, given the fact that you’re the temple of the Holy Spirit, is akin to having sex on the front pew of the church. That’s the implication, because the church isn’t a building. And in our minds, we couldn’t imagine the sacrilege of somebody having sex in the front pew of a church building.

It actually happened, right? Remember? 2002 New York, Shock Jock radio station was encouraging a couple who were on a sexual odyssey across the city of New York to have sex in public places, and one of the places they did and they got arrested for it was they had sex… How far has our society come? They had sex between the pews or somewhere in the building of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. And people were up in arms, rightly so. But Paul’s point is this, you join yourself to a harlot, you’re having sex in the front pew of the church.

You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. And that’s just one example of the implication of this. Everywhere we go is sacred ground. Everything we do can be an act of worship. Do you see the new immediacy? Do you see the new intimacy? Finally, for five minutes, the new intensity? God the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us. But not just to indwell us, but to invigorate us, give us new strength and intensity for kingdom service. Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as what? In John 14:16 and verse 26, plus 15:26 and 16:7, the Holy Spirit is described as in the New King James the comforter, the helper.

In the Old King James, it’s the comforter. This is a term that’s been variously translated, comforter, advocate, helper, counselor maybe in your translation. But it’s a very difficult word for an English word to absorb, to contain the full meaning of the Greek. This is a compound word, parakletos. In the Greek, it means to come alongside to help or to be called alongside to help. That’s what Jesus is saying about the Holy Spirit. He is one whom God sends to our side to help us.

In fact, the word was used in Jesus’ day of a person who would go to court and argue for the accused, stand with them, speak up for them. But even there, it’s more than that. It’s identifying with someone. It’s coming to their aid. It’s standing alongside them in the challenges and crisis of life. And we have been given that exponentially in the gift of the Holy Spirit. Carlene, he says, the picture presented by this word is that of a long battle involving troops who are weary and fatigued, but then the news comes that the long awaited reinforcements are on their way.

Some new troops to join us in the trenches and to carry on the campaign. That’s the Holy Spirit. He comes down into the trenches. Saturday morning for me, I used to watch all the old westerns. And invariably, it would always come to a climax where the Indians would’ve surrounded some of the Frontier People or the settlers, and they put their wagons in a circle. They were down to their last bullet and you were getting on seeing how they’re going to get their head scalped. And then all of a sudden you hear the bugle noise and the 7th Cavalry comes over the hill.

You go back to eating your breakfast and thinking, everything’s right with the world. That’s the picture. I’m not sure that’s a politically correct illustration, but I hope it doesn’t offend you and I hope you get the point. The Holy Spirit comes over the hill to meet us. And even at that, that’s not right because he’s not coming over the hill. He’s in us. But the analogy is he’s there alongside us to help us through the thick and thin of life. And as we close this morning, we need to grasp that new intensity.

In fact, you see it played out in the life of the disciples. Take Peter, for instance. I mean, at the end of the gospels, he’s a whipped dog. He’s behind closed doors with the rest of the disciples, shivering, frightened about the future. But when we meet him in the Book of Acts in the Day of Pentecost, he’s not a whipped dog. He’s a bold lion preaching the gospel. Save yourself from this untoward generation. And you know what? He preaches that not far from the place where he actually denied the Lord.

And yet on this day, he’s speaking to thousands as a bold witness to Christ. Not the same man, yes and no. It’s the same man, but not the same man because in the intervening period, the Holy Spirit has come. The Holy Spirit that was with him is now in him. And the mighty wind of the Paraclete of God has blown life into the flagging seals of Peter’s spirit, and he’s moving again invincibly.

As we take away from the sermon this morning, may we take away this truth, that within the believer today in this dispensation, in the New Covenant, the believer has residing within him the never ending spring of refreshment and resolve and resource in the Holy Spirit. John 7:37-39. If I go, the Spirit will come. There will be rivers of living water bubbling up from within. This artesian well of grace upon grace. John 1:16. In Christ by means of the indwelling, invigorating presence of the Spirit, the Christian is able to go from strength to strength.

We’ve got to stop looking and living like we just gone 16 rounds with Mike Tyson. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4. And as I quoted in the first sermon, I quote at the end of this series of three sermons on introducing the person of the Spirit, that Adrian Rogers was right when he said, “If the average Christian realized that they were inhabited, they would be less inhibited.” We’ve seen his centrality. We’ve seen his character. And now today, we’ve come to be confronted by his comfort.

With his coming, we have been given a new immediacy, a new intimacy with God, and we have been given a new intensity, a new invigoration of the Spirit’s work and presence within. The story is told of A.B. Simpson. You heard of A.B. Simpson, one of the early leaders of the Christian missionary movement? He was out walking one day in a rural district and he noticed in a distance a man beside a house furiously pumping water, just furiously pumping water. And as he watched, as he kept walking, getting closer, the guy never let up.

But as he got closer still, he realized that the man was a painted wooden figure that was attached to the handle of the pump, and the pump itself was being operated by an artesian well. And A.B. Simpson stood for a moment, and then he came to this conclusion. The man wasn’t pumping the water, the water was pumping the man. And that’s how New Testament Christianity ought to look.

When people see you and I living victoriously, standing valiantly, not falling to temptation, not being crushed under trials, they should come to us and they should say, “You know what? That’s because the Holy Spirit is in him, Christ, the hope of glory.” Let’s pray. Oh God, we thank you for our Lord Jesus Christ and his work upon the cross. We thank you that he has indeed thrown away the no entry signs, that he has opened up a new and a living way through his flesh. We thank you for his death on the cross.

We thank you for his triumph over the grave. We thank you that there’s now a way back to God from the dark paths of sin. There’s a door that has opened and all may go in. It’s at Calvary’s Cross. That’s where we begin when we come as a sinner to Jesus. We thank you that we not only come to him, but he comes to us and he comes to us through the gift of the Holy Spirit. We thank you for our baptism in the Holy Spirit, that one time baptism that took place at the moment we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And we came to inherit the indwelling and overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit. And God, we thank you for the great comfort of that. We thank you for the fact that wherever we are, you’re with us. We thank you that where we walk is holy ground. We don’t need to take a number and wait our turn. Lord, your ever present help. And though God, we pray we’ll live in the good of that, help us to not live such defeated disastrous lives. Help us to be filled with the Spirit. Help us not to clench him.

Help us to live in the good of his power and strength, which is an internal artesian well that pumps us day by day. For we pray and ask these things in Jesus’ name, amen.