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What in the world is the Holy Spirit?

What in the world is the Holy Spirit?

APRIL 4, 2023

/ Programs / Key Life / What in the world is the Holy Spirit?

Steve Brown:
What in the world is the Holy Spirit? We’ll answer that, on this edition of Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
That was Steve Brown. He doesn’t want to be your guru and he’s not trying to be your mother. He just opens the Bible and gives you the simple truth that will make you free. Steve’s a lifelong broadcaster, author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. No, yeah, I’ve got two Matthews and it’s confusing to old guys. Matthew Porter, whose voice you hear on this broadcast. And then Matt Heard, who’s a voice of Key Life, who’s joining me this week as we take a journey to the Cross on this Holy Week. By the way, I told you this yesterday, but you never listen to me. Matt Heard is a man that is anointed by God and used in incredible ways in education, in business, in academia, with people in the church who are saved, but know there should be some more, something more than that. And that’s where the title of his ministry comes from. It’s Thrive. And you need to go to ThriveFullyAlive, And as I said, we’re in the Book of John and we’re going through the chapters as we move to the Cross. And if you were listening to the program yesterday, you know that we talked about abiding with Jesus. He’s the vine and we’re the branches. And then as you move into the 16th chapter, this is something that Jesus says, and I’m going to read from the fifth chapter, fifth verse to the 11th verse. Listen to this.

I did not say these things

and remember, this is the last time that Jesus is going to teach, these chapters, these words will be remembered long after the blood had dried on the Cross. So Jesus said.

I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I’m going to him who sent me, yet none of you ask, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away,

here it comes

the Counselor will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment: of sin, because they don’t believe in me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me know more; of ,judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.

That’s a pretty heavy statement.

Matt Heard: Phew. Powerful. Powerful.

Steve Brown:
It really is.

Matt Heard: And he, I keep coming back to when, and I want to encourage all of our listeners during this week to spend some time each day. Yesterday, chapter 15, if you didn’t read it, then you’ve got two to do today. But today, chapter 16, but picture in your mind, an after dinner conversation. Jesus and his disciples, this is where he is washing their feet, but he is having some very intimate time. He knows the urgency, they’re fairly clueless, they’re not going to put it all together until after the resurrection, and he spends that 40 days saying, remember us talking. But right now he’s saying, okay, this is important. And one of the things he’s wanting to ensure, and you see about five times during, in John’s gospel, in this context of the Upper Room where Jesus is, he’s emphasizing over and over the Holy Spirit’s ministry, and throughout John’s gospel, he brings up the Paraclete, the helper, the one who comes alongside. But Jesus’s saying, you’re not going to be alone. I’m going so that the Holy Spirit can come. And he’s wanting to make sure that they understand that and that’s going to be ricocheting around in their heads, after the resurrection and especially after the ascension saying, okay, he hasn’t left us, he actually is here. He says It’s necessary that I go, that I might come through my Spirit and be with each of you continually. And in this passage he talks about the Holy Spirit’s role.

Steve Brown:
And that is cool. You know, when you recognize, the things that the Holy Spirit does and doesn’t get credit for because he’s always pointing to the first and second persons of the Trinity. But the Holy Spirit, when you’re reading the Scripture and all of a sudden something jumps out and you go, wow, that was the Holy Spirit. When you are having a fine time and you realize, you said something, you shouldn’t. And you need to ask forgiveness, that was the Holy Spirit. When you are called to spend time with somebody, who’s going through a tough time, who told you to do that? I had our daughter, Jennifer, when she was little, we were driving someplace and she said, daddy, you’re always talking about, talking to God. I don’t hear God, tell me how I can hear God. And I said, and I’m not that smart, so it was the Holy Spirit. But I said to her, do you know the little girl in your class who’s new and doesn’t have any friends and you decided to be her friend? And she said, yeah. And I said, who told you that? And then she was very quiet and she said, oh, that was him. But at any rate, talk to us some about the Holy Spirit.

Matt Heard: Well, I think Jesus gives a summary statement, you just read it, regarding when he comes, he’ll prove, and by the way, the Holy Spirit is not an it, not a gas, he’s the person of Christ. And so, that’s why that personal pronoun, he says, I’m going to, unless I go away, the advocate’s not going to come. But if he does come, into your life, he’s going to do something. And he describes it, he gives a, basically a summary statement. What’s wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment and we think, okay, now wait a minute, is that, is there a condemnation role that the Holy Spirit takes on in my life? And of course not, but there is a conviction. So, when I trust Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in my life, and now all of a sudden, it’s kind of like a, we’re all cars without engines when we’re born and all of a sudden when we come to Christ, we now have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ that has brought us to life and we’re now equipped to do what we weren’t equipped to do before.

Steve Brown:
So true.

Matt Heard: And I think if, when I look at that, some of what the Holy Spirit does, it addresses those core. We talked a little bit about the longings yesterday, but we all have a yearning for fulfillment, but we just don’t know what’s going to fulfill us. And he says, Hey, I’m going to, the Holy Spirit’s going to come and convict you about sin. What? That, that’s not shaming us.

Steve Brown:

Matt Heard: It’s just exposing that the sin is not going to be what fulfills us ultimately. And so often we get all discombobulated about what’s really going to satisfy our thirst. And Jesus is saying, my Spirit’s going to be within you. And if you’ll listen, he’ll point you in the direction, not of the counterfeit fulfillment, which is what sin does because basically all my sin is, is me saying, God, I don’t need you to be fulfilled or normal, I can do it on my own. And the Holy Spirit says, no, it’s kind of like they’re calling our bluff.

Steve Brown:

Matt Heard: He says, you know, you’re bluffing thinking, you know best, and you don’t. So, listen to my Spirit. So he says, convicting us regarding sin, but he also says it’s not just regarding our sin, but it’s this whole notion of righteousness. He’ll convict the world regarding righteousness. And when I allow him into my life, it moves from him just exposing it to leading me down the path. What is righteousness? It’s rightness, it’s rightness before God, but it’s not rightness by behaving good. It’s a righteousness that God gives, you know, that’s what Paul says at the beginning of Romans.

Steve Brown:
Clothed in his righteousness.

Matt Heard: Yeah. It’s righteousness from God. And so, the Holy Spirit, you know what I, you hear a lot of legalistic folks that, they talk about, living righteously and it’s all about performance based sometimes. And it just, it, it’s a wince factor because you wonder how, I don’t think the Holy Spirit is authoring that kind of talk because the Holy Spirit just glorifies God saying he alone can provide the righteousness that it, that gives us assurance of God’s smile. And man, that’s what we all yearn, for the smile of God and the Holy Spirit can bring that. But it’s not a matter of me behaving in order for him to smile. It’s a matter of me understanding he’s smiling and now that I’m clothed with that righteousness, I can start pursuing righteousness.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. And what you said about this is not condemnation, you get to the third thing that he says about the Holy Spirit and you think there it is, judgment, condemnation. But please note the text doesn’t say that. The text says of judgment because who’s going to be judged? Old slew foot, the ruler of the world is going to be judged, not you, so you don’t have to be afraid.

Matt Heard: Oh, you know, earlier in John, he talks about, did you say slew foot?

Steve Brown:
Yeah, that’s a good name for him.

Matt Heard: That is a good name for him. It’s like, it’s almost like Screwtape. But Jesus, I’m sitting here scrambling, looking it up. John 8:43 says.

Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. But he was a murderer from the beginning, and not holding onto the truth, there’s no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language for he’s a liar and the father of lies.

And so, when he promises by his spirit to convict us and guide us regarding judgment. It’s not just regarding the judgment of God regarding the world in our sin, but it’s our ability to do accurate judgment about what is going to glorify God.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. And add to that, that the devil himself has been slain, but his tail still swishes. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thank you Steve Brown and Matt Heard. If you’re just joining us, Steve and Matt are taking us on a fascinating journey through the book of John, steadily moving toward the cross. This is really good stuff, so good that we are doing it all of Holy Week, including Friday. Hope you’ll join us again tomorrow. So, let me ask you, are you an early adopter? You know what I mean? A new product or service is introduced and the early adopter is at the front of the line, wanting to be the first to give it a try. Well, I am not an early adopter. I am a late adopter. I am not in a hurry. And if you haven’t gotten a copy of Steve’s new book, Laughter and Lament, you may be a late adopter too, and in case my point isn’t clear. That’s cool. It’s for you that we created the new Laughter and Lament booklet. It features several excerpts from the book. Can we send you a copy of that, for free? Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that booklet. Or to mail your request, go to for our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of the Laughter and Lament booklet. Finally, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? You can give by charging a gift on your credit card or by including a gift in your envelope. Or you can now give safely and securely through text. It’s easy, just text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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