I want to talk this morning about Jesus’ promise of a Spirit-Empowered life. Last Sunday, we talked about how in the wilderness days, the Tabernacle was a place (tent, “mone”) where God would tabernacle (camp, remain, “meno”) with his people. According to the exact specifications laid out in Leviticus, they setup a big tabernacle (“mone”, place) for God, and little tabernacles (“mones”, places, booths) for themselves, and God’s presence would burn in their midst! Cloud by Day; Fire by Night. What a spectacular experience for God to be within such a place, alongside you!
But then later during the reign of the great Kings, God’s people built a dwelling for God in the Great City of Jerusalem—a Temple (a place, a house, “mone”) where God would dwell (“meno”) among his people. Now what’s cool about the Jewish people is they never forget their history. In Deuteronomy 16:16, they were commanded to remember their deliverance from Egypt with a festival of tabernacles in which they were to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which He shall choose.” Just like in the wilderness days, they would take tree branches (probably palm branches) and make little places to camp in Jerusalem, in the shadow of the Temple, in the place God chose as a dwelling for his name,
In John 14:1-3, Jesus seizes this imagery, and declares that “In my Father’s house are many rooms.” That he is going to the Father “to prepare a place” especially for us. And that if he prepares this place he will come and take us to the place so that “where I am you may be also.” Just like in the past God made a special place for his people in His presence, so for all eternity Jesus would make a special place for all who believe in the Father’s presence! This is our heavenly hope!
In the past, God dwelt with his people in a Tabernacle or Temple. In the future, he’s preparing a place for us to do the same. But what about the present? It was back in John 7:37-39, during the Feast of Tabernacles, “On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” Now John tells us: “39 He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
Now it’s here in John 14:15-17 Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.”
Do not let the incredible power of these words escape you. In the PAST they experienced God’s presence in a special place. In the FUTURE Jesus would prepare a special place for them to be in Father’s presence. But in the PRESENT, that is upon Jesus’ departure from earth, they themselves, those who believe in Jesus’ name, those who love God, those who keep his commandments… would become that “place.” Just as the Father abides in Christ, so Jesus says, the Spirit of God will “remain in you and will be in you.” “Another Counselor will come and be with you forever! He is the Spirit of the Truth”
Later in John 15:26 Jesus again says, “When the Counselor comes, the one I will send to you from the Father —the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—he will testify about me.” In John 16:7, “Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you.” In John 20:21-22, after his death, Jesus appears to the Twelve in the upper room and says to them, “Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” It’s good I’m cutting out of this world. . . until I come again to take you to be with my Father… the Spirit of God will “meno” or tabernacle in you. You will be the “mone” or tabernacle for Spirit. He will remain in you, and will be in you.
This is why the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Don’t you know that your body is a temple (place, dwelling) of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.” In Ephesians 1:14 Paul says, “The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.” The possession is you. God’s put his Holy Spirit in you, he has marked you, and laid claim on you, until the day our of redemption when he comes to take us to be with him forever. 2 Corinthians 1:20-23, “For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in [Christ]. Therefore, through him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who strengthens us together with you in Christ, and who has anointed us. 22 He has also put his seal on us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.”
Acts 2:17, “And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all people;” Acts 2:38-39, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” The Holy Spirit, the Counselor, “He” is the gift that keeps on giving. HE is our helper, teacher, mentor, advocate, defender, intercessor, our guarantor. We are his temple. I wonder do you know him?
The other gospel writers, especially Luke, explicitly tell us about Jesus’ special relationship with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was “conceived” by the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit. Led by the Spirit. Driven by the Spirit. Raised to life by the Spirit. But it’s John who tells us that the same Spirit who dwelt in Christ now dwells in us. If I go I will send him. He will remain with you, and indeed will be in you. Receive my Spirit! Romans 8:11, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.”
The same spirit that inhabited Jesus, inhabits us. In John 14 we discover five marks of a Spirit-Indwelt person. Who is the Spirit-Indwelt person? It’s the one who believes God, who loves God, who obeys God. This morning I want to introduce these things, but next week unpack them deeper.
The Believer is Filled with Power
In John 14:12 Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:13-14, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
This made me think of Matthew 17, when a bright light shone, and Jesus was suddenly transfigured, and appeared with Moses and Elijah, talking to them. Peter says to Jesus, in Matthew 17:4, “it’s good for us to be here. I will set up three shelters (tabernacles/place) here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Shortly afterwards in Matthew 17:20 Jesus tells them, “. . . For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
The correlation in John 14 and Matthew 17 is that if God is dwelling alongside you, there ought to be evidence of real power in your life! Mountain moving prayer. Nothing will be impossible. Whatever you ask. You’ll be able to do even greater works than what I’ve done. What does it mean to be filled with God’s power? How does his Holy Spirit power manifest itself within us, how does it work, what mountains does it move?
You can name some of Jesus greatest works. Turning water into wine was pretty amazing right? How about feeding 5000? Walking on water? How about giving sight to the blind man in John 9? Or how about raising Lazarus from the grave? A feature of John’s gospel is these seven “great” signs. What could we ask God for, or even do, that could possibly be greater than these great signs?
Every miracle or sign Jesus ever worked was done to evoke faith—to make men believe. Everything recorded in John’s gospel, was written that men might believe. Jesus allowed Thomas to see, to touch his nail scarred hand, that Thomas might believe. But greater is he who believes though he doesn’t see! It’s pretty great when God works a miracle and people see and believe. But it’s greater when people just believe though not seeing.
It’s great to see men believe, it’s even greater to see faith have its effect on a man. To see a man filled with the Holy Spirit. Filled with power. Filled with love. Filled with Knowledge. Filled with Hope. Filled with Peace. God’s grace washing a man. God’s grace enabling a man to pass from death to life, God’s wrath no longer remaining on, forgiven, free of condemnation, receiving a resurrection body. We get to watch all the gospel seeds Jesus planted, bear out their fruit! We get to pray Kingdom moving prayers—thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as heaven. We get to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to raise up workers. We get to pray for gospel to spread rapidly and be received, for great and effective doors to be open. The full power of the Spirit is at work in and through us, through our prayers!
Again, what is greater? Healing decaying flesh, or a stubborn heart turning toward faith? The miracle of belief is greater than the sign or miracle that begets that faith. The eyes of the blind man were healed for something even greater—that he might see and believe Jesus. Billions upon billions have believed on Jesus. God’s power is on full display all over the world, and in our lives, and in our prayers! God is moving mountains—the most stubborn mountain being stubborn hearts unbelief. Here are some things we will talk about next week…
The Believer is Filled with Love
John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” John 14:21, “The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.” John 14:24a, “The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words.”
The Believer is Filled with Knowledge
John 14:16-17, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.”
John 14:24-26, “24 The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me. 25 “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”
The Believer is Filled with Hope
John 14:18-20, “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you.”
John 14:22-23, “Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it you’re going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
The Believer is Filled with Peace
John 14:27-31, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. 28 You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. 30 I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me. 31 On the contrary, so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do as the Father commanded me. “Get up; let’s leave this place.”