March 15, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
The Spirit of Truth
Bible Background- John 16:4b-15
Key Verse- John 16:7
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” . – John 16:7
As children, we can not imagine having an absent parent. Despite our fight to be independent, it is a certain comfort in knowing you always have someone to give you direction or even make a decision on your behalf. Today’s “In Focus” section highlight’s a terminally ill mother with cancer who has to encourage her daughter that she will be able to make decisions on her own. This is very similar to the Disciples that grew accustomed to having Jesus physically with them, teaching them and guiding them everyday. Like the parent that we never want to depart from, Jesus too had to physically leave us for awhile. Last week, we were reminded of his promise, the Holy Spirit who would comfort and guide us. He is ever present today.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit (John 16:4b-7)
Zebedee’s son and one of Jesus’ closes disciples, John, declares that his purpose for writing the book is so that we “may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name (20:31, NLT). In the Upper Room, Jesus prepares the disciples for his death. They respond like any concerned child would do in fear of losing a parent. They start to wonder about their future without Jesus. Jesus assures them that he is not leaving them alone. That the Holy Spirit will come and be an advocate for them, helping them make decisions and giving them power to handle adversity.
Point to Ponder: Do you trust you have the Holy Spirit?
Work of the Holy Spirit: Conviction ( John 16:8-11)
We must be mindful that there are two types of spirits that are at work in the world and spiritual realms: the divine and diabolical. The Holy Spirit that Christians posses is of divine nature. He is the Spirit of Truth that reveals the things of God and letting us know when things offend God. The other spirit is anti-Christ; therefore, seeks to control us and have us working against God’s kingdom. This spirit works daily to cause confusion, division and fear. This is why there is a pressing fight for unbelievers not to be saved. This is why we struggle with making decisions and living right because we do not allow the Holy Spirit to totally lead us. This is why prayer and repentance are important and necessary. In Romans 1:28, Paul gives us the outcome of not allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us: “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper”.
Point to Ponder: Do you yield to the Holy Spirit’s conviction?
Work of the Holy Spirit: Guidance (John 16:12-15)
Not only does the Holy Spirit convict the world, but He guides believers. Those that have confessed Christ and have chosen the Christian faith are able to be guided and taught by the Holy Spirit. When we witness people making ungodly decisions, this is a great indicator that they do not have the Holy Spirit or not allowing the Holy Spirit to completely guide them. Have you ever made a decision that you were so urged to make because it was “just something” that made you do it? When it is good and does not seek to harm you, this something is the Holy Spirit. God is a God of peace and not the author of confusion. Whenever I am faced to make a decision, my rule of thumb is to follow peace. It is not God’s will to lead us into chaos and have us filled with anxiety. Surrendering to the Holy Spirit will cause us to live more abundant lives.
Point to Ponder : Do you allow the Holy Spirit to daily work in your life?
In an ever changing and cruel world, Believers must use the armor of God as our warfare. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us when dealing with the issues we wake up to. This doesn’t mean we do not live in reality or that we do not exercise action. But we have to be guided to know when to speak, what to say, when to act and how to take action. This is the role of the Holy Spirit. When God allowed kings to go to battle, he gave them instructions to win the war. He is the same God today. Trust him to order our steps!
Commentary by, Evangelist Shulanda Hastings
Lesson guide, Direction-Urban Ministries
Senior Ministry Leader
Spirit Realm Divine Manifestation
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