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The Spiritual Power Of Love

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The Spiritual Power Of Love

John 16:5-16               March 23, 1997

Scripture:   Responsive Reading, John 16:5-16, #644 in Hymnal

         

Prayer:      

Introduction:

          Love is costly to give, especially in the sense that it is not well received even by those who need it the most.  People tend to test the value of our love by testing our endurance to give it.  They test it by checking out our reaction to hate and persecution to see if it is real.  Only when love has stood the test is it then received as believable by those who have lived through so much actual and perceived hatred all their lives.  We might ask who the perpetrator of all this hatred is.  It must certainly boil down to the father of lies, Satan himself, who deceives us about love, especially God’s love, since God is the ultimate source of love.  In standing the test of love, we prove God and expose Satan.

          Since love costs so much, as seen in the greatest sense by the death of Jesus on the cross, love has proven value.   And that brings us to the subject of today’s message.  You see, the real value of love lies in its spiritual power.  The more your love costs, the more valuable it becomes because of the greater spiritual power it produces.  That spiritual power is from the throne of God, given for our good to convict us of his righteousness, truth and glory.  Love comes from God and draws us to God.  It does this by releasing God’s spiritual power to draw us to himself.

          On Palm Sunday, that we celebrate today, Jesus rode into Jerusalem upon a donkey.  The people proclaimed him king but most of them had no concept of his kingdom.  The donkey was a dead give-away.  You see, his kingdom was not a worldly kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom that exists in the hearts of those who love God.  Those who had become children of God had seen, heard, and experienced the love of God through Jesus Christ and believed it enough to confess him as Lord and forsake sin.  But now he would be leaving this world, prompted by many of those same people who welcomed him upon the donkey.  He was waved in with palm branches but booed out with catcalls.  The value of his love was going to be tested.

          How would his ‘kingdom come’ when he would have to leave this world before its completion?  The spiritual power of his love from dying upon the cross would be so great that it would insure the permanent presence of God in the world through the Holy Spirit to complete his kingdom (John 13:1b).  It would be as if Jesus were still here proclaiming truth and righteousness.  The Holy Spirit would complete the testimony of his love in the hearts of those who would believe.  The Holy Spirit would continue to wave the palm branch of victory over sin and death because Jesus rose from the grave to live eternally.  The localized geographical witness of God in Jesus Christ would, through the spiritual power of love, become a worldwide witness through the release of the Holy Spirit made possible by the extent of that love.  The Holy Spirit would act in the world to convict the world of the act of love that brought him.  Let us look at the text.

I.       The spiritual power of love works for the good of others.  (vv. 5-7)

          A.      The spiritual power of love overcomes self-interest.

                             John 13:36

36 ¶ Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."

37  Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."

          B.      The spiritual power of love overcomes self-consumption.

          C.      The spiritual power of love overcomes self-existence (offers us                          the richness of God’s presence).

          It is necessary for Jesus to go since the coming of the Spirit is dependent on his death/glorification (cf. 7:39).  In some fashion the Spirit and Jesus are mutually exclusive; or, as we find in ch. 19-20, the Spirit comes in the midst of Christ’s glorification.  The Spirit is Jesus’ Spirit and is released in his death (cf. 19:30; 20:22).  (Elwell, ECB, p. 871)

          It is as though the H.S. became embodied in Jesus at his conception and was not released until Jesus gave up his body upon the cross at death. This release then made the H.S. available to all who believe in his death for sin and his resurrection for life.

Jesus’ Predictions of the Holy Spirit:

Mat 1:20  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Luk 1:35  The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Joh 1:32  Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

Joh 1:33  I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

Joh 3:6  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Joh 3:8  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Joh 3:34  For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.

Joh 4:23  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Joh 4:24  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

Joh 6:63  The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

Joh 7:37 ¶ On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.

Joh 7:38  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

Joh 7:39  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

#1-Joh 14:16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--

     Joh 14:17  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

#2-Joh 14:26  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

#3-Joh 15:26¶  "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.

#4-Joh 16:13  But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

#5-Joh 16:15  All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

Joh 19:30  When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Joh 20:22  And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

          J.B. Phillips said “Every time we say, ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit,’ we mean we believe that there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it.”

II.      The spiritual power of love works for the conviction of others.  (vv. 8-11) 

(The Ministry of the H.S. to the world - conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment.)

          A.      The spiritual power of love is convicting.

                             1Pet. 2:12

12  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

          B.      The spiritual power of love stirs the conscience about things that             are wrong.

                             Mt. 12:31-32

31  And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

32  Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

          C.      The spiritual power of love stirs the conscience about things that             are right.

                             1John 3:5; Acts 3:14-15; 2Cor. 5:21

5  But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

14  You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.

15  You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

21  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

          D.      The spiritual power of love stirs the conscience about                               accountability.

                             Rom. 3:21-26

21  But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

22  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

25  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--

26  he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

 

III.    The spiritual power of love reveals truth for the glory of God.  (vv. 12-16)

(The Ministry of the H.S. to the disciples - direction and truth.)

          A.      The spiritual power of love is sensitive to our state of maturity.

          B.      The spiritual power of love speaks the whole truth of God.

          The Spirit will be a guide into truth, especially that which pertains to future disclosures, but will not diverge from the historic revelation of Jesus.

(The Ministry of the H.S. to Jesus - revealing him more perfectly to and through those who represent him.)

          C.      The spiritual power of love brings glory to Jesus by continuing                         his ministry (channels the glory of God back to Himself).

                             Heb. 13:5

5  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

          D.      The spiritual power of love testifies to the richness of God.

                             Eph. 3:16-19

16  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

17  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

18  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

19  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

          E.      The spiritual power of love always resurfaces.

                             1Cor. 13:6-8

6  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 ¶ Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Timeless Truth:   Love is the catalyst that releases the spiritual power of                                       God.  Put yourself into the formula.  It’s dynamite. 

Conclusion:

          The spiritual power of love is the Holy Spirit.  The spiritual power of love is the very presence of God.  The spiritual power of love may just work through you.  Be available.  Ps. 51:10-13

10  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13  Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.

          I am part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed." I have Holy Spirit power.  The die has been cast.  I've stepped over the line. The decision has been made.  I am a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals! I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by presence, learn by faith, love by patience, live by prayer, and labor by power.

          My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let go, or slow up until I've preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ.

          I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops. And when He comes to get His own, He'll have no problems recognizing me.  My colors will be clear.

 

   -- Anonymous



The Spiritual Power Of Love

John 16:5-16                 March 23, 1997

I.       The spiritual power of love works for the good of others.  (vv. 5-7)

          A.      The spiritual power of love overcomes self-i _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

          B.      The spiritual power of love overcomes self-c _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

          C.      The spiritual power of love overcomes self-e _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _                              (offers us the richness of God’s presence).

II.      The spiritual power of love works for the conviction of others.  (vv. 8-11)

          A.      The spiritual power of love is c _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

          B.      The spiritual power of love stirs the conscience about things that             are w _ _ _ _ .

          C.      The spiritual power of love stirs the conscience about things that             are r _ _ _ _ .

          D.      The spiritual power of love stirs the conscience about                              a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

III.    The spiritual power of love reveals truth for the glory of God.  (vv. 12-16)

          A.      The spiritual power of love is sensitive to our state of

                   m _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

          B.      The spiritual power of love speaks the whole t _ _ _ _  of God.

          C.      The spiritual power of love brings glory to Jesus by continuing                         his m _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (channels the glory of God back to Himself).

          D.      The spiritual power of love testifies to the r _ _ _ _ _ _ _ of God.

          E.      The spiritual power of love always r _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

Timeless Truth:   Love is the c _ _ _ _ _ _ _  that releases the spiritual power of God.  Put yourself into the f _ _ _ _ _ _ .  It’s d _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .



 

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