Sunday School Material 3-15-15: The Spirit of Truth

(John 16:4b-15; 3/15/15)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus is preparing to depart and send the Spirit of truth. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to trust God’s provision for His people.

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Read John 16:4b-7

I. Coming of the Spirit. Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure. In our Sunday School material He talks about how He was waiting for the right time to tell them certain things. The Advocate/Holy Spirit will be sent, after Jesus is gone.

Applications –

- Timing. Notice in vss. 4b, 12 that timing is important. Jesus knew when to teach what. In like manner, there are some things that people cannot handle right now. And there are a number of things that they can handle.

Let’s seek God’s wisdom and spiritual courage to know when to teach and when not to teach. Every healthy marriage has stories of when someone knew right but held on to sharing until the right time.

- Grieving. Notice in vss. 5-6 of our Sunday School material that when we think about where the dying Christian is going, there should be no sorrow for him/her.

When we cry at the funeral of a Christian, we are crying much more about our lost, how we are going to miss the person, and perhaps regrets about what we could have and should have done.

We should not be crying about them going to a much better place than being down here with us.

Let’s work on understanding and processing our grief, in healthy ways. Coming to grips with the real basis of our grief and figuring out how to respond to those issues can help us get through our grieving.

- Trusting God. Notice in vs. 7 that even in death and grieving, God is working things out for the good of His people. First, we should make sure that we are saved (i.e., one of God’s people). We do this by accepting Jesus as our savior by faith.

Second, we should learn to trust that God is always at work working things out for the good of His people. In this life, it is not strange for us to have to experience the death of one situation to experience the birth of another.

Growth often calls for death and life. We often have to leave one job for a better one, have to shed some friends for those who are better for us, and have to lose some weight to experience greater health. Let’s make sure that we are saved and trusting God to work things out for us.

Read John 16:8-11

II. Work of the Spirit. The Spirit will prove the world wrong about several issues. Sin, righteousness, and judgment will be made clear. Those who don’t believe in Jesus, Jesus’ being with the Father, and the condemnation of the prince of this world are mentioned.

Applications –

- God’s will verses opinion polls. Notice in vss. 8-11 of our Sunday School material that Christians are called to live by God’s will not just opinion polls. The opinion polls are wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment.

The only way to true freedom from the penalty of our sins, so we can stand righteous before God, instead of under judgment, is by accepting Jesus as our savior by faith. Let’s make sure that we are saved and striving to live by God’s will, instead of simply opinion polls.

As our country deals with the legality of homosexuality and smoking marijuana, I remind us that everything that is legal is not necessarily godly.

The use of condoms among consenting adults may be legal, but sex outside of marriage is still sin. Getting drunk in your home may be legal, but harming the temple of God (i.e., your body) is still sin.

Read John 16:12-15

III. Testimony of the Spirit. In our Sunday School material Jesus has more to share with His disciples than they can hear at the time. The Spirit of truth will continue to guide and teach on behalf of Jesus.

All that belongs to the Father belongs to Jesus. And the Spirit will speak only what Jesus gives Him to say.

Applications –

- The Spirit’s guidance. Notice in vs. 13 that the Spirit is to be our guide. This implies that we are to follow His guidance. No one would offer an intelligent argument against the Holy Spirit still doing His job. The challenge of our day is to follow the guidance of the Spirit.

Let’s work on discerning and living by the Spirit’s guidance. The prayerfully study of God’s work with a mind to obey it and with the support of other disciples will go a long ways in following the Spirit’s guidance.

- Teamwork. Notice in vss. 13-14 of our Sunday School material that we see an excellent example of teamwork. The Father, Son, and Spirit all know and execute their roles.

So much more would be done in our families, churches, and communities, if everyone would understand and execute their roles, instead of trying to do what is beyond their role or simply criticizing what others are doing. Let’s work on teamwork.

Conclusion: Let’s work on trusting God’s provision for His people. God has much for those who obey His will.

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