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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

“God is Love”

John 16:1-11

Jesus in this passage is preparing the disciples for the opposition they will face as his followers.  We don’t often think of the fact that people throughout history have given their lives for their faith in Christ.  In the first century those who worshipped the emperor thought they were offering true worship by attacking Christians.

Jesus presents these warnings in the context of telling the disciples that he will soon be leaving them.  His crucifixion and resurrection awaits.  It is no surprise then that the disciples are sorrowful.  Jesus however consoles them with the promise that he will send the “Advocate.”  This obviously is the Holy Spirit.  Advocate here suggests a legal role, someone who defends another in court.  A court trial should be about trying to discern the truth.

This is exactly what he Holy Spirit does.  The Spirit aids us in giving us the truth about life in a hostile world.  The Spirit will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.  The world is a place of moral confusion.  The Spirit will expose the delusions of the world.  The Spirit makes abundantly clear that racism is wrong, that pride and wealth can never be identified with true success, that children cannot be separated from their parents as a matter of policy.

The Spirit bears witness to Christ through the scriptures (John 5:39).  The Spirit also condemns the “ruler of this world.”  This of course is Satan who also works through his many antichrists (I John 2:18).  All of this is to say that we should not be fearful nor should we retreat from the world.  John reminds us that the one who is in us in greater than the one who is in the world (I John 4:4).

The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, both clarifies and condemns.  We need to follow him as he in turn leads us more and more into scripture.

Faithful and merciful God and Savior give me the grace to see your Spirit at work exposing the truth of the world around me.  Give me the confidence and hope that comes from you alone.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.