Jesus said that we would do greater works than he did. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).
One of the central problems with modernity and the Christian faith is the belief that being a Christian and walking with Christ is just a matter of getting the propositions of truth right. While that’s important, it’s only important insofar as the propositions/doctrine/theology point to a reality. Other than that, doctrine doesn’t matter.
For instance, there is a difference between the doctrine of the resurrection and an encounter with a dead man.
For instance, how do you know you’re a Christian? “Well, I affirm the divinity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ and the truth of Scripture.” Big deal. The devil affirms all of that.
I know people who are totally orthodox in their doctrine...and are self-righteous jerks. And I know some Christians who say things that make me wince and Jesus blush...and who deeply love Jesus and who are deeply loved by him.
One of the central problems with modernity and the Christian faith is the belief that being a Christian and walking with Christ is just a matter of getting the propositions of truth right
This truth is particularly apparent when we talk about the person of the Holy Spirit. We define the Holy Spirit more by what he does than by propositions about him.
Nicodemus, in John 3, is puzzled when Jesus says that we must be born again. In the context of that conversation, Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes...” (John 3:8).
Where does the “wind” of the Holy Spirit blow?
The authorization of the Holy Spirit: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).
Acts is the acts of the Holy Spirit. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
My friend, Allan Emery, said, “When you see a turtle sitting on a gatepost you know he didn’t get there by himself.”
Talk about a turtle sitting on a gatepost...Look at the First Century church. They were sinners, selfish, hypocritical, uneducated and shallow. And they took the world by storm. Do you know how? It was the Holy Spirit.
Talk about a turtle sitting on a gatepost...Two thousand years before the birth of Christ, Jews developed the highest form of monotheism the world had ever known.
Talk about a turtle sitting on a gatepost...The early church was incredible. Nobodies took the world, cripples threw their crutches up into the air and danced, and blind men’s beggars’ cups clanked on the rocks by the side of the road. That’s true today too. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit.
It’s him...the Holy Spirit.
The preparation of the Holy Spirit: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him...” (John 14:16-17).
“When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour” (Matthew 10:19).
It’s a promise that God will prepare you and give you whatever you need to do whatever he tells you to do.
When you go out into the world...Don’t be afraid. Don’t be worried. You know a lot more than you think you know. You understand much more than you think you do. You have far more power than you think you have. You are much more prepared than you think you are.
Trust in God’s Spirit. You can’t hide the smell of smoke or the smell of Jesus. So just show. You smell like Jesus. And you have the mind of Jesus.
It’s him...the Holy Spirit.
The consolation of the Holy Spirit: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).
In the midst of all the pain, questions and doubt, you’re still here. You belong to God. You’re not going anyplace else. Neither is he.
I try to remember that every time I talk to 10 people, 7 of them will have a broken heart. The abused, the sick, the struggling and the fearful. Those who have lost loved ones. Those who have secrets they cannot share.
We simply cannot face all that on our own.
Jesus said, in John 6, “Do you want to go away as well?” Peter replies, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:66-69).
We’re still here. So often when I complain to Jesus about all the pain and the hurt, he says in response, “I know, child...and you’re still here.” And in his comfort, that is due to the Holy Spirit.
It’s him...the Holy Spirit.
The edification of the Holy Spirit: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth...These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:16-17, 25-26).
Jesus said that he was the truth. Wherever truth is spoken, Jesus is present. And not only that, God’s people know it when the truth is spoken. God’s people rise up and call blessed the preacher or teacher who preaches truth. You know why? It’s because of the Holy Spirit.
“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:3-4).
I’m probably the most religious person you know. I know a lot, but that doesn’t really matter.
You already know.
The sheep know the Shepherd’s voice.
That’s him too...the Holy Spirit.
Read more from Steve Brown here