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Mixtape: John 16:5-15

• Greg Boyd

Early Church fathers said that every movement of God toward us begins with the Father, comes through the Son, and is accomplished in the Holy Spirit, while every genuine movement of humans toward God originates in the Holy Spirit, and goes through the Son to the Father. So if God’s movement toward us is accomplished in the Holy Spirit, and if our genuine moves toward God originate in the Holy Spirit, then we need this Spirit! Today we learn more about the Holy Spirit, and why Jesus left the earth so the Holy Spirit could come and fill it – and us – with God’s love!

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The Jews thought that the Messiah would redeem, and stick around to rule, their country – so they were confused when Jesus often talked about leaving them. Why would Jesus leave us? Because we’re actually better off with the Holy Spirit moving about the earth than with Jesus on the earth in a human body. For example, if Jesus had stayed, he’d be confined to one place on earth whereas the Spirit can live in each of us simultaneously. God wants to have a relationship with each of us, but if Jesus had stayed in human form, imagine how difficult it would be for all of us to spend any decent amount of time with him! We’d have a Jesus-honoring faith, but not a Jesus-transforming faith – it would be a religion of people trying to conform, not a gift that empowers people to be supernaturally transformed.

The Holy Spirit’s role is to be our comforter, our friend, our advocate that lives in us. The Spirit takes Jesus’ “DNA” and splices it into ours, so to speak, so that we can truly become like Jesus. That’s why Paul said in Galatians, “…my dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth UNTIL CHRIST IS FORMED IN YOU…” It’s Christ that is formed in us by the work of the Holy Spirit. We look more and more like Jesus as his character becomes our character. We take on his compassion, his patience, his love, his humility… You’ll always be you, but the Holy Spirit helps you to become a Jesus-like version of you – the “you” that God created you to be.

This is a spiritual thing that we either choose to participate in or to ignore. The Holy Spirit won’t do this “to” us, we have to invite him to do it “with” us. 1 Thessalonians 5 says that we should not suppress or grieve the Holy Spirit. In other words, we have to be willing to crucify the bad parts of us so that the Holy Spirit has room to “splice in God’s DNA”. God wants us to be in loving relationship with him, others, ourselves, and all creation, but we can’t do that if we decide to hang on to the things that get in our way of experiencing all that love. We suppress and grieve the Holy Spirit when we hold on to something that hurts us or others – as well as when we try to look Godly without actually letting the Spirit transform us from the inside out. The Holy Spirit’s job is not to force us to change, it’s to help us to change as we decide that we’re ready to.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Truth means “uncovered” or “unconcealed”. So through the working of the Holy Spirit, we who are in Christ are people who don’t have anything we need to conceal from one another. This doesn’t mean that we’re instantly perfected so we no longer have struggles to report. On the contrary, it means that we’re to be people who look as messy as we really are because we no longer need to conceal our struggles and shortcomings. Where the Holy Spirit is at work, we’ll be confessing our sins to one another, encouraging one another because we sometimes need to be encouraged, and we’ll be honest about our “highs and lows” as we walk with others in obedience to Christ. In this way, even though some “lows” will still happen while we’re walking together through this world, the Holy Spirit frees and empowers us to live in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control every day of our lives. We’ve got our best friend living inside of us, his intention for us is entirely Godly and good, we can talk with him anytime we want, and he’ll transform us from the inside out if we’ll let him!

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Topics: Holy Spirit, Transformation, Trinity

Sermon Series: Mixtape


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Focus Scripture:

  • John 16:5-15

    5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7 Nevertheless 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.

    12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 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.

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9 thoughts on “Mixtape: John 16:5-15

    kevin says: Monday August 3, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    So, in Greg’s supposition, had Jesus somehow remained on the earth and we then tried to carry out His instruction in the earth, “we would have to do that in our own power and we wouldn’t be transformed.” Well, if we knew we were actually carrying out the dictates of Jesus, through texts or memos or whatever, wouldn’t we still be following the Lord? To me, in that scenario, we would be going about the Father’s business, by Jesus’ command, under and by the authority of Jesus….how could this be ‘doing so in our own power’? Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me”….empowers me, by His authority. I wish i could grasp Greg’s analogy. Is the answer in what Greg says, that ‘God doesn’t want us to have merely a Jesus honoring faith; He wants us to have a Jesus empowering faith’? That kinda makes sense.

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    kevin says: Tuesday August 4, 2015 at 9:58 am

    On transformation by the Spirit, i get that we are not to just sit around waiting on God to change our behavior, as Greg suggests; would that logic apply towards healing as well? My poor mom is in pain; she says she’s “waiting on the Lord for her healing.” Humph…..What is then the Spirit’s role in healing? I would say that physical transformation is as important to our restoration as is our psychological and spiritual transformation, yeah?

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    Carol says: Tuesday August 4, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Dear Kevin, I’m sorry to hear that you’re suffering because you love your mom and she is suffering from pain. Greg and other teaching pastors at WHChurch have addressed issues of people who pray and are not healed, pray and are still suffering pain. These sermons inspire me and enlighten me. I hope you can locate them to encourage you during this difficult time. I am praying for you and your mother. Blessings and peace be yours.

    Reply
    kevin says: Wednesday August 5, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Thank you for that word Carol; you are very sweet

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    Dave Pritchard says: Wednesday August 5, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I really loved Greg’s analogies in reference to “The Fly” movie – That was definitely Goldblum’s best work by far. The sequel, “The Fly II” has a lot of great spiritual metaphors as well we could get into, like…… well, never mind – Ha!

    I would say though that habitual Sin does tend to transmogrify our character and if ones “True Self” were to be visually revealed, that’s how it might appear. But to think that we could be spiritually that heinous and yet, be so loved by God as for Him to come and dwell in us for the purpose of our transformation, is the ultimate magnanimous gesture of all Creation and Time. Reminds me of the revitalizations described in “The Great Divorce” where awakened souls begin glow with love and light upon the acknowledgment of their predicament.

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    AG says: Wednesday August 5, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Kevin – praying for your mom, that God will meet her at her point of need. And may He take away that pain and make her whole.

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    kevin says: Saturday August 8, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Thank you so much AG! You have unsurpassable worth!

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    Blaine Stone says: Sunday August 9, 2015 at 10:45 am

    When I taught teenagers I always had a hard time explaining the Holy Spirit and the Trinity. I prayed about it in my upstairs office once, and then noticed the fan blowing on me. I kind of came together. The fan in all its parts and what it does is a fan – or an example of the Trinity. The electricity that powers the fan is God the Father, yet to truly bring about the outcome He wishes, he sent Jesus in the flesh – the actual fan. When God interacts with Jesus the Son, the output of this tremendous love is the Holy Spirit, or the wind produced by the fan. Made it easier to express to a bunch of teenagers who find it difficult to listen to in-depth theological discussions 😉

    Reply
    kathy d says: Sunday August 16, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Blaine Stone, BEAUTIFUL analogy!

    Greg Boyd, the exercise at the end of this sermon – FABULOUS!! For more of those for us, I ask, thank you.

    God bless.

    Reply

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