Today we continue on our theme of the Holy Spirit – the third of the three in the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

Samuel Chadwick writing back in the 1920s reminds us that “The gift of the Spirit is a distinguishing feature of the Christian religion. It is a very soul of our faith”.   Or at least it should be.  For a very long time in the mainstream church we have sidelined the Spirit in favour of the other 2 in the Trinity, despite the fact that the Holy Spirit is the power for all that we do as Christians.

He indwells the body of Christ; and administers the kingdom of Christ. He calls, equips, and appoints for service. By him, and of him, and through him are all the gifts and power of the kingdom of God. No soul is begotten of God without him. No advance of the kingdom is made but by him. No victory of grace is won without him. He is the sole source and medium of grace and power; but in all things it is “in Christ Jesus”.  

Today I want to look at 5 functions mentioned in the Gospel of John that the Holy Spirit does in this world.
The first is that he is a witness 

(John 15:26)
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 

The Spirit is not our Advocate, but Christ’s advocate. An advocate appears as representative of another and the Holy Spirit comes to represent Christ, interpret and vindicate Christ, administer for Christ in his Church and Kingdom. 

The Holy Spirit has a pivotal role in relation to the making of God known to humanity.  The Holy Spirit reveals the Godhead to us. He tells us and the world about Jesus. He goes before us and prepares the minds and souls of those who do not yet know of Jesus. He reveals who Jesus is.

The second role is that of a teacher 

(John 14:26)
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 

The Holy Spirit takes the things of Christ, and makes them known to us. 

Charles Spurgeon wrote that “The Holy Ghost takes the things of Christ, and shows them to those who are babes compared to the wise men of this world.”    

Interestingly Eastside Invasion went to Invercargill Christian Centre last Sunday night and Pastor Ian Wright was speaking on blockages to us operating in the Holy Spirit and one of the 6 he identified was our intellectual brain. We put our rational mind in the way of allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us. We should allow the Holy Spirit to teach us as the babies we are.

Chadwick again: Pride of logic, pride of skill, pride of personality, pride of power perpetuates the spirit of Babel in the Church of God with the same inevitable result. It ends in defeat, disaster and dishonour. There is no conquest of the world for God but by the Holy Ghost. 

Not only does the Holy Spirit remind us of Jesus’ teaching, he also interprets that teaching for them, like in John 2:22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. 

His role is to bring true understanding of the significance of the revelation in Christ. One writer describes it this way: “Jesus brings the truth, and makes it present through his coming into the world; the Spirit opens up this truth and creates the entrance into it for believers” (Porsch, 300) 

Thirdly the Holy Spirit is judge 

(John 16:7-11)
 … I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

 The Holy Spirit prosecutes the case against the world by exposing it with relation to sin, righteousness and judgment. 

In relation to sin because the world has a wrong view of sin; 

in relation to righteousness because of its faulty view of what that is; 

in relation to judgment because the world organised Christ’s death.  

The Spirit convinces the world of these things by revealing the truth and teaching the significance of the truth 

The Holy Spirit is a guide 

(John 16:13-15) 
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 

As we live and breathe, the Spirit, the breath of God, cleanses and empowers us.   The Holy Spirit enables us to grow in Christ likeness.  He empowers us with courage and fearlessness to do the things that we are called by Jesus to do.

He guides us into truth – living the truth and how to live in truth but he does not expect us to do that in our own strength, which brings us to the final attribute:

The Holy Spirit is our helper 

(John 14:16-18)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

The Spirit takes the will of the Father and the work of the Son and seeks to make them a reality in our lives. 

He gently points out areas in our lives that are not God honouring and he helps us to be overcomers of these shortcomings.

We need to recapture the essence of the early Church. The early church was Spirit-centred.  
As the centuries have gone on, we seem to have replaced the power of the Spirit with our own organised effort.  

The church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure…The real work of a Church depends upon the power of the Spirit. 

We need to remember that our faith is energised and motivated through the Holy Spirit and through nothing else.

Not only in evangelism but everything we do as Christians and as the church is enabled by the Holy Spirit. 

Where there is no Spirit, there is no life. Lack of Christian growth and vitality are reliable indicators of the need for the Spirit in our life. 

We need to remember that there are 3 equal parts to the Trinity. 

We address the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit.  All are equally relevant and important in our walk with Christ.

How much of your life have you kept from God and wanted to retain control over?

How much have you let the Holy Spirit have control of your life?  

How much of your life have you released to the power of the Holy Spirit?

Without surrender, we are ineffective and inefficient as witnesses to God’s goodness. 

But when we surrender to God, we “will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8