The Big Idea: Even when Jesus does not act as we think he ought to, he gives both the world and the apostles the necessary ministry of The Holy Spirit.

Photo. Okoboji. 2011

IX. The Sermon: The Spirit of Truth – Rev. Kyle McClellan, Senior Minister, Grace Presbyterian Church

The Sermon Passage: John 16:4b-15

How is it that any of us can not make hash of who Jesus is and how he relates to the Father and the Holy Spirit?

The Big Idea: Even when Jesus does not act as we think he ought to, he gives both the world and the apostles the necessary ministry of The Holy Spirit.


I. What will you do when Jesus doesn’t give you what you want? (vv. 5-6).
The disciples are so focused on what will now happen to them that they forget to ask Jesus where HE is going. Jesus is not acting in the way that they think he should. They think he should stay with them forever. What we think we need and what we think we want is often not even close to what we really need.

Jesus said that it actually is BETTER for them that he goes back to the father. How so? How is this to their advantage? Next point.

II. Know how Christ’s leaving is to our advantage (v. 7).
1. Jesus is fully human – he can’t be in multiple places at once.
With the Holy Spirit, however, this is entirely possible. In Acts 2 this happens.

2. We need our High Priest seated at the right hand of the Father (cf,.: Hebrews 4:14-16).
This is good news for us because Jesus non-stop, incessantly prays to God for our faith to be made strong! He empathizes with us in all ways as he has been through everything that we have been through. Therefore, we can approach God boldly because Jesus is our mediator that perfectly understands how we feel and lovingly talks to God on our behalf.

III. What does the Holy Spirit do in the world? (vv. 8-11).
He will speak on Jesus’ behalf. God is not on trial or in ‘the docks’ – we are. 1. Sin (v. 9; cf.: John 3:16-20).
The Holy Spirit convicts us sinners that we live in Gods world and want nothing to do with God and his son. We love the darkness. We love our sincere than we love God’s son.

2. Righteousness (v. 10; cf.: Acts 2:36).
What does Jesus going to the Father have to do with righteousness? What is the logic in the grammar here in verse 10? In Acts 2, Peter is speaking at Pentacost. Jesus is under the condemnation of God. Jesus was born under the law. Jesus was not condemned because he was a false Christ but because he was actually God’s judgement offering. He was killed for our sin not his own and according to the perfect plan of God. By God raising Jesus from the dead, he proves that he is God’s son and our righteousness.

3. Judgment (v. 11; cf.: Ephesians 2:1-3).
We stand justly condemned before God for our sin. But we don’t know it. Evangelism is a miracle ministry. It is a miracle that the tomfoolery stops. It is a miracle that we do not see Jesus as a nut case. It is a miracle to see him as the real son of God and have deep affection for him.

IV. How firm a foundation! (vv. 12-15).
Two problems to overcome: the disciples are facing two challenges. 1. Remembering (cf.: 14:25-26).
How can they remember all that they heard Jesus say these past three years, and what he has done? The Holy Spirit will do that in the disciples.

2. Proclaiming a Trinitarian Gospel.
The Bible we have is accurate because the Holy Spirit oversees all of it – how the Bible was written, what was said, what was recalled, etc. We may get it confused but the disciples did not as they wrote because the Holy Spirit guided the whole process.

Jesus is not a magic genie. He cannot be our savior but not our Lord. It is the Holy Spirit that applies these truths to our lives. Why? Because it is a miracle when we get it right about God and Jesus – we get it right not because we are good but because the Holy Spirit applies it to our hearts!

The passage.
4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. The Work of the Holy Spirit “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, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 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 go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

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 authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

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