THE COMFORTER

Pastor Floyd Koenig

INTRODUCTION

The night before His death, at the Last Supper, our Lord spoke of His betrayal and of His coming death and departure. Though Christ had taught His apostles of this for some time (Mt. 16:16-21), yet it seems that only then did they come to realize what He meant.

The apostles had long seen the clouds of trouble gathering, but they felt secure in Christís presence. Our Savior had stilled each storm, fed the multitude when they were helpless, and cast out the demon which they could not. He had been their infallible guide and their teacher. Now their hearts sink as He speaks of leaving them.

Against the dark background of His soon departure, our Lord spoke the comforting words of John chapters 14-16. It was at this time that He gave to them the promise of another Comforter (Jn. 16:7).

As with the apostles of old, all of our strength and guidance comes from the indwelling Spirit of God.

In this lesson, we want to look into the mission of the Spirit as our Comforter.

I. THERE IS A NEED FOR COMFORT A. THIS WORLD IS FULL OF TROUBLES FOR THE CHILD OF GOD

1. Before Christís departure, He assured the apostles that trouble would be their lot in life (Jn. 16:1-4).

2. The child of God is not to expect a trouble-free life, but rather to be comforted in the midst of his trials.

B. GOD INTENDS FOR HIS CHILDREN TO HAVE COMFORT AND JOY IN THIS WORLD.

1. The Comforter will give us peace in the midst of tribulation (Jn. 14:27; 16:33; Rom. 14:17).

2. A miserable Christian is guilty of unbelief, and is a poor witness (Rom. 15:13).

3. The joy of the Lord is our strength and the key to success in service (Neh. 8:10; Ps. 51:12-13).

4. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can find comfort in our afflictions, and be able to rejoice in our trials (Jas. 1:2-3; I Pet. 4:12-16).

II. THE PERSON OF THE COMFORTER A. THE HOLY SPIRIT, AS A COMFORTER, IS OUR HELPER, OUR COUNSELOR, OUR ADVOCATE.

B. LIKE OUR LORD, THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A DIVINE PERSON WHO CARES FOR US IN CHRISTíS PHYSICAL ABSENCE.

1. Being omniscient, He can teach us Godís will.

2. Being omnipotent, He upholds us in the world (I Jn. 4:4).

3. The Holy Spirit loves us in the same way that Christ does, and holds communion with us (Rom. 15:30; II Cor. 13:14).

III. THE WORK OF THE COMFORTER A. THE SPIRIT TEACHES CHRISTIANS.

1. Christ had taught His disciples, but at His departure, they still had much to learn.

2. He, therefore, promised to send "another Comforter" who would continue to teach them (Jn.14:26; 16:13-14).

3. Because He teaches Truth, He is called the "Spirit of Truth" (Jn. 14:17).

4. The Spirit was even to give them the words to say when they were brought before the magistrates (Mt. 10:17-20).

5. In Apostolic times He taught by both revelation and illumination.

- Since the completion of the New Testament, His work is confined to illumination.

B. THE SPIRIT INTERCEDES FOR CHRISTIANS.

1. The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us by inciting our prayers (Rom. 8:26-27).

2. On the basis of Christís finished redemptive work, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf before the Father (I Jn. 2:1).

3. How good it is to know that when we kneel to pray, we have One guiding us who knows the will of God and can lead us in our desires and petitions (Rom. 8:27; Eph. 6:18).

C. THE SPIRIT SEALS CHRISTIANS.

1. Saints are sealed by the Spirit until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).

2. It is comforting for the believer to know that the indwelling Spirit will never depart from him (Jn. 14:16-17).

D. THE SPIRIT ASSURES CHRISTIANS OF GODíS LOVE.

1. The Holy Spirit comforts Godís elect people by making known to their souls the love that God has toward them (Rom. 5:5; Eph. 4:6).

2. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, both to make us feel the love of God, and to fill our hearts with love to God.

3. The Spirit reveals to us all that God has prepared for us as a result of His love (I Cor. 2:9-10).

E. THE SPIRIT PRODUCES FAITH IN CHRISTIANS.

1. The Holy Spirit is the producer of all faith and hope in the believer (Rom. 15:13).

2. He sustains these graces which act as an anchor to our souls (Gal. 5:22-23).

F. THE SPIRIT PRODUCES JOY IN THE CHRISTIAN (Rom 14:17; Gal. 5:22).

G. THE SPIRIT SANCTIFIES CHRISTIANS.

1. The Holy Spirit comforts the believer by strengthening his graces and giving him victory over sin (Phil. 1:6).

2. The Spirit will not let the work begun in regeneration be overcome or destroyed by Satan (Rom. 6:14).

H. THE SPIRIT EMPOWERS THE GOSPEL.

1. The Holy Spirit comforts the saint by giving success to his work in the Great Commission (Acts 1:8)

2. We are not left alone to do an impossible task, but are endued with Heavenly power (I Pet. 1:12; I Thess. 1:5).

I. THE SPIRIT EQUIPS THE CHURCH.

1. The Holy Spirit is a comfort and a help to Godís people by placing in the churches those gifts that are necessary for edification (I Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:11-12).

2. The next time we are blessed by the ministry of another saint, let us remember Who enabled that person to be a blessing.

CONCLUSION

It is the blessed Holy Spirit who teaches, guides, empowers and blesses us as we serve our Lord.

 

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