Sunday, May 16, 2010

Exaudi: A Devotional Commentary

John 15:26-16:4 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you."

Just before His ascension, Jesus promised to send the "Helper"--the Holy Spirit. What does the Holy Spirit do? He testifies of Jesus. If somebody claims be filled with the Holy Spirit but is speaking of someone or something other than Jesus he is a liar. The Holy Spirit is not sent to testify on national Israel, money, America, or anything else. The Holy Spirit can't stop talking about Jesus. The Holy Spirit doesn't even testify about Himself. The Holy Spirit only speaks of Jesus. Regardless of the claims that a church may make to miracles or tongues, if it's message is not all about Jesus it is not Spirit-filled. Regardless of how moved people may feel, the Holy Spirit is absent if something other than Christ is being proclaimed. Some people are moved when they go to rock concerts. Others feel such a religious fervor that they are willing to fly an airplane into a building. Excitement is no indication of whether or not the Holy Spirit is present. The Holy Spirit is present when the Gospel is being preached. The Holy Spirit is present when people are baptized. The Holy Spirit is present when Christ gives us His body and blood.

Jesus says that the church will testify of what the Holy Spirit testifies. The Holy Spirit speaks of Christ and so the church will also. Because the church preaches Christ, it will be persecuted. The world will kill the church just as it killed Jesus. Most of the Apostles were killed for preaching Christ. Jesus tells us to expect this. He doesn't promise protection from slander or even death. He tells us to expect it. Expect to be kicked out of religious societies. Expect people to hate you. Don't fall away from the faith when persecution hits. Persecution is proof that the Words of Jesus are true.

Even in the "Christian" church, those who insist on preaching Christ-crucified and are critical of those who do not suffer persecution. Even in the "Christian" church those who replace "Christ-crucified" with something else think they are doing God a service. Even in the "Christian" church, those who persecute people who upset the establishment by insisting on "Christ-crucified" think that they are carrying out the will of God. But the Holy Spirit is not present.

The Holy Spirit is with those who preach Christ. The Holy Spirits comforts us in the midst of our suffering. The Holy Spirit comforts us in the midst of our persecution. The Devil comes along and says, "God must not love you. If God loved you, all these people wouldn't hate you. If God loved you, the church would love you. Your message must not be from God." You can say, "Jesus Christ was crucified for me. Why should I expect better treament than He received. Jesus told me to expect all of this. Jesus speaks truth. Jesus is the truth. Everything else is a lie regardless of how many people vote in favor of it."

No comments: