Our Need for the Spirit's Witness

Notes Outline


    1. As disciples of Jesus seeking to faithfully follow our king in an age of darkness, we are in need—in need of the one who comes to our aid when we need help, who strengthens us when we are weak, who encourages us when we are disheartened, who exhorts us when we need urging on, who consoles us when we are broken, who makes appeals to God on our behalf when we are afflicted, and who pleads our cause before God and advocates for our message before the world (Gk. ho paraklētos, from parakaleō—wide range of meaning)

But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage (“for your benefit” [HCSB]; “for your good” [NIV]) that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper (Gk. ho paraklētos; “the Advocate” [LEB, NET]; “the Counselor” [HCSB, NIV]) will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin (Gk. hamartia; “concerning its guilt” [BHT]; cf. L-N, 88.310) and righteousness (Gk. dikaiosunē; range of meaning, depending on context; vindication, victory, innocence, justice, what is right; “concerning my vindication” [BHT]) and judgment (“certainty of judgment” [Barclay]; “concerning the certainty of judgment to come” [BHT]): concerning sin (“concerning its guilt” [BHT]), because they do not believe in me (“it refuses to believe in me” [NLT]); 10 concerning righteousness (“concerning my vindication” [BHT]; cf. Ac. 2:26), because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer (cf. Ac. 2:32-33); 11 concerning judgment (“concerning the certainty of judgment to come” [BHT]), because the ruler of this world is judged (“doomed is the ruler of this world” [future certainty; see BHT Notes). (Jn. 16:5-11, ESV)

  • 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. (Ac. 2:32-33, 36, ESV)


    1. The Spirit’s confirming testimony

2:1 Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2:2 For if the message spoken through angels proved to be so firm that every violation or disobedience received its just penalty, 2:3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first communicated through the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard him, 2:4 while God confirmed their witness (“God also testifying with them” [NASB]; “while God added his testimony” [NRSV]; “God added his witness to theirs” [TEV]) with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Heb. 2:1-4, NET)

26 “When the Counselor comes, the one I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 You also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. (Jn. 15:26-27, CSB)

14 Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed (Gk. apophthengomai; speaking boldly and clearly by divine aid/enablement; “declared with clear and divinely-aided words” [BHT]) to them, “Fellow Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words….” (Ac. 2:14, CSB)

    1. Evangelism

5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. (Ac. 8:5-6, NIV)

    1. Judicial context

19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Mt. 10:19-20, NIV)

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains (Paul writing from prison). Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Eph. 6:19-20, NIV)

    1. Stories: KC Softball field (guy’s knee); story from VOM


    1. Personal transformation and victory over sin

16 I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh….22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. (Gal. 5:16-22, CSB)

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Cor. 10:13, ESV)

    1. Corporate edification

1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up….12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church (“try to excel in gifts that build up the church” [NIV]). (1 Cor. 14:1-5, 12, ESV)

    1. Guidance

29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” (Ac. 8:29, NIV)

When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. (Ac. 16:7, CSB)

    1. Understanding unto godly conduct

9 For this reason we have always prayed for you, ever since we heard about you. We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will, with all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives (cf. Is. 11). 10Then you will be able to live as the Lord wants and will always do what pleases him. Your lives will produce all kinds of good deeds, and you will grow in your knowledge of God. (Col. 1:9-10, TEV)

    1. Strength and patient endurance

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Rm. 8:26-27, ESV)

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being…(Eph. 3:14-15, ESV)

    1. Story: The Counselor’s “heart squeezing” exhortation to Bill; Psalm 27 (friend’s garage)


    1. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to us (see, e.g., Ac. 2:38, 10:45). We cannot become who we are supposed to become, or carry the mission that we are to carry out, without this gift. It is a sad thing that this precious gift has at times become such a source of division at times (whether as a result of immature stewardship, lack of understanding, or other factors). Our prayer is that God will use this conference to help us to grow in our understanding of how to relate to this gift in a manner that pleases the Lord, and in a way that is faithfully aligned with the truth of the gospel.