Redemption drama and the Spirit





TITLE: Redemption drama and the Spirit

TEXT: John 16:5-15

TONE: Encouragement

TARGET: Believers

TASK: To encourage believers to rely fully upon the Holy Spirit as God’s plan of redemption unfolds perfectly.

TEACH: Last week, our evangelism teams had the opportunity to partner with Shields Blvd Baptist in their evangelism efforts. It was truly a humbling and rewarding experience to witness God at work in the lives of those we encountered. Our efforts included 48 meaningful contacts, we shared the gospel 21 times, and rejoice as we saw 7 people make profession of faith in CHRIST. Of course, all the glory belongs to God for the success of our mission endeavors. We recognize that apart from His guidance, provision, and transformative power, our efforts would have been in vain. We stand in awe of His faithfulness and grace, which enabled us to step our in faith, follow the plan laid before us, and witness the life-changing. Impact of sharing the love of Christ with others. But no matter how well plans are made they are always prone to frustration, and even disruption. Our plans can be thwarted by weather, Satan, the flesh, and just mere ignorance. But God’s redemptive plan never changes. It continues to progress as decreed before the foundation of the world. It cannot be thwarted, disrupted, nor frustrated. God is LARGE AND IN CHARGE.

TRUTH: (UNDERSTANDING CONTEXT) The ramifications of Jesus’ departure can be understood only from a salvation-historical vantage point. In other words, In the grand drama of biblical redemptive history what is Jesus doing here? What is He teaching here? Contrary to what the announcement of Jesus’ departure may signal for His followers, His work on earth has not come to an end; it will be continued by the Spirit. So, rather than hold up God’s purposes, the crucifixion expedited it.[1]  For, by eschatological necessity the Spirit cannot come unless Jesus has first been exalted.


What is undeniable here is that the disciples are filled with deep grief (lype) recurs in vv.20, 21, 22. What they need to hold onto is this: It is for your good. Unless He departs the Counselor will not come. The major events of redemptive history are as follows:


(1)     Creation: God created the heavens, the earth, and all living creatures, including mankind in His image. Adam and Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden and given dominion over creation.

(2)     Fall: Adam and Eve disobey God’s command and sin enters the world, leading to separation from God and the brokenness of creation.

(3)     Covenant with Abraham: God chooses Abraham to be the father of a great nation through whom all nations will be blessed. God promises to give Abraham and His descendant the land of Canaan, and to make His descendant as numerous as the stars.

(4)     Exodus and the Covenant at Sinai: God delivers the Israelites from slavery in Egypt through Moses. God enters into a covenant with Israelites at Mount Sinai, giving them the Ten Commandments and establishing guidelines.

(5)     Monarchy and Prophets: The Israelites establish a monarchy with kings such as Saul, David, and Solomon. The prophets arise to call the people back to faithfulness to God and warn of the consequences of sin.

(6)     Exile and Return: The Israelites are exiled to Babylon due to their disobedience. Some Israelites return to Jerusalem under Persian rule and rebuild the temple.


What is next ¯¯


(7)     The Finished Work of Christ: Jesus said, “But now I am going to Him who sent me…” Jesus’ statement carries emotional weight as it alludes to the culmination of His earthly ministry, leading up to His sacrificial death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, then ultimately, His ascension. It is a moment of acceptance, surrender and completion of His earthly mission, paving the way for the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption.  


Rather, than hold up God’s purposes, the crucifixion actually will expedite it.[2] Out of necessity the Spirit cannot come unless Jesus has first been exalted. Jesus said, “…it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” Only through the internal presence of the Spirit will the disciples truly understand Jesus. Thus, John paints successive events on the salvation-historical canvass.


(8)     The Coming of the Holy Spirit: “And when He/Helper comes He will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment….” The coming of the Spirit is equivalent to the indwelling of Jesus. OT prophetic literature is full of anticipation regarding the inauguration of the age of the kingdom of God by the pouring out of the Spirit.[3]


John simply introduces in summary fashion what is spelled out in greater detail in 16:9-11. John 16:8-11 deals with the Spirit’s judgment of the world, and 16:12-15 with His revelatory ministry to believers. It’s ultimately the world that is on trial.


Therefore, redemptions drama is right on pace with God’s eternal decrees. Everything is on pace and fulfillment is almost here. God has sent the Spirit as our Helper as the drama unfolds according to God’s sovereign oversight. How does the Spirit help?



I.                             He Convicts the World of Depravity (8-11)

a.        The Holy Spirit’s mission extends not only to believers, guiding and empowering them in their faith journey, but also to the lost, drawing them into relationship with God. No one can be saved apart from the Spirit’s work in regeneration.


b.       Despite the recent comment made by the Pope, the Bible teaches that all people by nature are in rebellion toward God. They are hostile enemies, dead in sin (Eph. 2:1); by nature children of wrath (v.3); darkened in understanding and excluded from the life of God because of ignorance. In John 3, Jesus states one must be born of the Spirit. Again, in John 6:44 Jesus declared, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”


c.        Jesus said, “when He comes He will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement.” The beginning of the Holy Spirit’s saving ministry to the lost is revealed in this word convict. In this context it refers to the judicial sense, like a criminal convicted of a crime. Ultimately, those who die without Christ is suffer eternal punishment in hell.


d.       The Holy Spirit convicts concerning sin (hamartias) more than likely because the word is singular, Jesus has the sin of unbelief in mind. How people respond to the Spirit’s convicting on this issue determines their eternal destiny. Second, Jesus told His disciples He convicts concerning righteousness. Not only does the Spirit convict people of sin, but also the necessity of having perfect righteousness. Finally, the Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning judgment. Not that they will be condemned, but that they are condemned already. Not that they will experience (even though that is true) but they are under wrath even now.


II.                         He Reveals the Truth (16:12-13a)

a.        Jesus said, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth…” In addition to convicting the world the Spirit also guides. Some may say like Pilate, “what is truth.” Jesus tells us in John 17 when He, speaking of His disciples says, “Sanctify them in truth Thy word is truth.”


b.        Only the Holy Spirit, since He is God, knows all that God knows and thus is qualified to reveal divine truth to man. I believe this is primary a reference to the writers of the NT. But is also extends in a secondary sense to the Holy Spirit work in illumination. (see 1John 2:20,27). As we pray, study, and accurately handle the word the Spirit provides illumination.


c.        The Holy Spirits leading will always be consistent with the Word of God. He will never lead anyone to violate the truths contained in this book.


III.                      He Glorifies the Son (16:13b-15)

a.        Here Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit, also know as the Helper, to believers after His departure. The primary role of the Holy Spirit, according to Jesus is to testify about Him (15:26) and to glorify Him (16:14). This points to the Holy Spirit’s mission to exalt and magnify the person, work, and teachings of Jesus.


b.        The relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit within the Trinity is characterized by perfect harmony, mutual glorification, and unity of purpose. The Holy Spirit’s ministry of glorifying the Son reflects the unity of the Godhead and demonstrates the divine love and cooperation among the three persons of the Trinity. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit’s role in glorifying the Son is part of the intricate and mysterious work of God.


c.        The Holy Spirit glorifies the Son by revealing Christ love to us. Throughout the New Testament, we see the Holy Spirit at work in illuminating the Scriptures and helping followers of Christ understand the significance of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. By drawing attention to Christ’s redemptive work and pointing people to Him as the Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit ultimately glorifies the Son.


d.        The Holy Spirit also empowers believers to witness. When the Holy Spirit fills and indwells believers, He equips them with spiritual gifts, wisdom, boldness and power to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). As believers share the message of salvation and demonstrate Christ-like character through the Spirit’s enablement, they bring glory to the Son by reflecting His love, grace, and truth to the world.


e.        Still, the Holy Spirit transforms hearts and lives. The Holy Spirit works in the hearts and lives of individuals to bring about spiritual transformation and conformity to the image of Christ. Through the process of sanctification, the Spirit convicts, comforts, guides, and empowers believes to live lives that honor and glorify Jesus. And as the character of Christ is increasingly manifested in the lives of believers the Son is magnified.


Of course, so much more could be added, but this will have to suffice us this morning.


TIE-UP: The Holy Spirit empowers each of us to serve God as He progresses the mission of redemption. What is our role?


1.        To abide in Christ.

a.        Abiding keeps us from grieving the Spirit.

2.        To love one another.

a.        Loving keeps us from grieving the Spirit.

3.        To win the lost.

a.        Evangelism keeps us from grieving the Spirit.


TIE-UP: The week before last, we also went canvassing to help a smaller sister church. Through our mission efforts we made 52 contacts, 21 gospel presentations, and 8 professions of faith. In two weeks, that’s a total of 100 contacts, 42 gospel presentations and 15 professions of faith, with an approx. 300 homes. The drama of redemption continues to unfold and as it does our job is to keep in step with the Spirit.









[1] Andreas J. Kostenberger, Baker Exegetical Commentary: John (Grand Rapids: Baker Academics, 2004), 470.


[2] Ibid, 470.


[3] Ibid, 471.


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