Romans 8:37

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors [hupernikomen] through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

Friday, May 27, 2016

Prayer needed even in the "obvious" decisions.

"So the leaders partook of their provisions, and did not ask direction from the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them, guaranteeing their lives by a treaty; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them."  Joshua 9

Here we see Joshua sizing up a situation that seems so obvious and straightforward,  that he doesn't think to seek God's will in it. However,  the true story was entirely different than what Joshua perceived. This is a lesson to us that we cannot rely solely on our own senses and logic, but need to seek the Lord in all matters, even those that seem to be "no-brainers".

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Holy Spirit from Jesus' Baptism through Pentecost.

The following notes mostly follow a line of thought presented in F.F. Bruce's commentary on the Gospel of John, where he emphasized John's teaching on the Holy Spirit as it developed throughout the Gospel, and especially in the Upper Room Discourses. Since the origin of this understanding is provided by Jesus and manifested through the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the Acts of the Apostles, we are not surprised to see the theme carried consistently through the Acts and Pauline letters. 

Below you will see a summary of the activity and statements about the Holy Spirit in John's Gospel, (following Bruce's outline), and the powerful emergence of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  These short statements provide a bird's eye view of the Holy Spirit from Jesus' baptism through Pentecost and in consideration of the Fruit of the Spirit in Paul's letter to the Galatians.


Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit [John 1.32f; Cp. also Acts 2:38]

Only those born of water and the Spirit may enter the kingdom of God [John 3.5-8]

True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him [John 4.23f]

It is the Spirit who gives life. Jesus' words are spirit and life. [John 6.63]. There is unity and cooperation between the Son and the Spirit.

Spirit will come after Jesus is glorified [John 7.39].  The Spirit seems to delight in seeing Jesus glorified. Conversion glorifies Jesus. Note: Re-birth makes a new creature in a new kingdom. We are meant to worship in spirit and truth. Spirit gives life in the Word. Spirit came in power after Jesus was glorified [Cp Acts 1:8; 2:4]


The disciples will do greater works [John14.12] Cp Day of Pentecost – there were more conversions on Pentecost than when Jesus was humanly present. The greatest work is being instrumental in others coming to Christ.

Disciples know the Spirit because he dwells with them and in them. [John 14.17]

I will come to you. (1) Presently through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, (2) Eternally, through the Resurrection [John 14:18]

You [will] see me. The present tense “implies continuity stretching indefinitely into the future.” [Bruce, p. 303] After the ascension the world no longer sees Jesus, but his followers will see him. Because he lives; we live. [John 14.19]

Love for Jesus includes keeping his word and receiving the Trinity who makes His home in us. [John 14.23]

Jesus breathed on them. Disciples indwelled by the Holy Spirit will have authority to forgive and withhold forgiveness [John 20:22, 23]

Ascension. When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be my witnesses. [Acts 1.8]

Peter to brothers: the Holy Spirit inspired old testament prophecy by the mouth of David. [Acts 1.16]


Spirit filled them and gave them utterance in multiple languages [Acts 2.4]

Spirit drove people to repentance and conversion [Acts 2:38-41] The Church grew.


“But the fullest teaching about the Spirit . . . is given in five passages in these upper-room discourses: (I) John 14:15-17; (ii) 14:25 f. ; (iii) 15:26 f. ; (iv) 16:4b-11 ; (v) 16:12-15. In these the Spirit is presented successively as helper, interpreter, witness, prosecutor and revealer.” - F.F. Bruce [The Gospel of John]

  1. John 14:15-17 HELPER - Another helper (Jesus is the first). Forever. Who dwells with you.
  2. John 14:25 f. INTERPRETER – He will teach and remind you.
  3. John 15:26 f. WITNESS – He will bear witness about Jesus.
  4. John 16:4b-11 PROSECUTOR – He will expose and convict the world of sin and righteousness.
  5. John 16:12-15 REVEALER - Guide you into all truth [13]. Declare (a) things to come, (b) what is mine from the Father [13-15] . Glorify Jesus through the declarations given to the disciples [14].


  1. Jesus' followers are recipients of these promises.
  2. Spirit-filled followers, and a Spirit-led Church will exhibit these traits (fruit) of the Spirit. (See I-V above.)


Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. [Ephesians 4.30]

Quotes and references are from FF Bruce – The Gospel of John on chapter 14 [pg 302-303]