In the firing line (John 15 v 26 – 16 v 4)Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Are you a hero who goes it alone? There seems something brave and romantic about fighting valiantly alone—but it’s not like that for the Christian.
The Spirit bears witness
Read John 15:26
Jesus has told them about the “Counsellor” in John 14:15.
• Who sends the Counsellor, how is He described, and what will He do?
• Who sends the Spirit…
• in John 14 v 16?
• in John 16:7?
While sent by both, the Spirit is not junior to either—He is God the Holy Spirit.
This is “the Spirit of truth”, because He always speaks the truth. He bears witness to Jesus. He is the divine Witness to the truth of Jesus, who He is and what He came to do. He is in charge of the business of bearing witness to Jesus.
The apostles bear witness
Read John 15:27
• Who else will witness about Jesus?
• Why are they qualified to do this?
This period began when John the Baptist began his ministry: they have seen it all. It’s not that the apostles bear witness and the Spirit helps them. No, He does not help us; we are caught up into His work. The Spirit is in charge! The Spirit testifies through their words—and now ours.
Coming into the firing line
Read John 16:1
• Why was Jesus telling them this?
• Why didn’t He tell them this sooner (v 4?)
Once He's gone, they'll replace Him in the firing line.
• What kind of people will hate them most (v 2)?
• What will their enemies think they're doing (v 2)?
We can see this happening throughout history: for example, a sermon was preached when Archbishop Cranmer was burnt at the stake. And we need to expect this hatred today, in our lives.
• What’s the danger for Christians who forget Jesus’ warning (v 1)?
Thank God for the witness of the Spirit accompanying what we say about Jesus. Pray for opportunity and for courage to “testify” to those around you.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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