I want to ask you to turn to the 16th chapter of John. From John 13 through John 16, essentially, there is everything that related to Christian life. It’s all here. It is an inexhaustible resource. It is a bottomless well. It is an incomparable treasure. But we have found our way, finally at last, to chapter 16 and verse 12; chapter 16 and verse 12, John 16:12; and I just want to have you look at verses 12 through 15 with me this morning, and I’m going to read that to start this morning.
“I have many more things to say to you – ” Jesus says, “ – but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own Initiative. But whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”
This is a good place for me to say that we do something here at Grace Community Church, as is done in all faithful churches, that is extremely rare in the world. In fact, it is outside the true church of Jesus Christ, utterly unheard of. That is day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, we study one book, one book, the Bible. Everything that we need to know from God is contained in this one book, this one book. This one book is made up of 66 smaller books: 39 of them in the Old Testament before Christ, and 27 in the New describing God’s revelation from the time that Christ came until the end of human history and on into eternity.
This church is open all week long and people come here. They come here to study this one book. There are men from all over the world – I think 70-some countries – that are here to study at the Master’s Seminary, and they study one book. There are professors who are highly skilled and highly trained, and have Ph.Ds from schools all over the place, and they are skilled in teaching one book. We are committed as believers to reading this book, believing this book, understanding this book, loving this book, and proclaiming this one book. Any other book that claims to be the Word of God is not true. Any other religion but the true Christianity represented in this book is satanic. This is the one revelation of God, this book.
And I know it may seem strange to people to think that we come together to study this book – not in general, but in specific; not just looking at general thrusts or general concepts or general ideas, but boring down into every book, and every chapter, and every paragraph, and every sentence, and every word, because every word is from God. This is the revelation from God. And that is precisely what our text that I just read to you is talking about. It is our Lord Jesus speaking concerning the Holy Spirit’s work in giving us, in particular, the New Testament.
Now, our Lord believed in the Old Testament, He quoted it very often, and He explained it, and He interpreted it, and He called on people to study it because it was the Word of God and revealed the truth of God. Our Lord completely upheld every word in the Old Testament. He actually said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 “that not one letter or one stroke would ever, ever be removed from the Word of God until it was all fulfilled,” Matthew 5. And then in John 10 He said, “Scripture cannot be broken.”
It is one continuous revelation from beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation, that cannot be broken. It is a chain that cannot be broken. Our Lord made massive theological points about Himself from the tense of a verb in the Scripture, from one word in the Scripture. He upheld the truth of the Old Testament. It was His Bible, it was the apostles’ Bible, and Jesus believed the Old Testament.
When we think about Jesus knowing what was coming in His life, we may think that He knew what was coming in His life because He was omniscient, because He knew everything. Let me back you up a little bit to understand that in the incarnation, in the incarnation, He limited His knowledge, He limited His knowledge. Specifically He said, “The Son of Man doesn’t even know when the full future unfolding of God’s purposes will come to pass.” And as a child, He grew in wisdom and knowledge. As He grew in wisdom and knowledge with His perfect mind, He came to a perfect understanding of the Old Testament. And because He perfectly understood the Old Testament, from the very revelation of God in the Old Testament, He knew what was ahead of Him, because the Old Testament detailed His career, detailed His life, detailed His death, detailed His resurrection.
It wasn’t just that He knew because He was God, it was that He knew because He had a perfect mind and a perfect understanding of the Old Testament Scripture. He believed the Old Testament to be the Word of God. And the writers of the New Testament even say about the Old Testament, “Every word is God-breathed. Every word comes from the Holy Spirit.” And here in our passage, the same Lord Jesus who affirmed the Old Testament now declares His affirmation of the coming New Testament, which will also be authored by the Holy Spirit.
This is then a really monumental moment in our Lord’s life, and it’s almost as if He puts it in at the very last hour. After all, where are we in John 16? Same place we’ve been since John 13: Thursday night, Passion Week, with the disciples, giving them His final instruction, His final promises, His final warnings, His final pledges.
The night starts with a Passover meal in a rented room. And then after the Passover meal, they sing a hymn and they go out, and they start to walk through the dark streets of Jerusalem; and in that walk, He begins again to teach them and instruct them, and He gives them some promises about bearing fruit, and being fruitful, and having lives that influence eternity, that matter everlastingly. And at first, it’s all about love and all the gifts that heaven is going to pour because of God’s love. And then in chapter 15 and verse 18, we find a new word introduced, the word “hate,” and it turns from an evening of love to an evening of hate. Heaven’s going to pour out gifts of love and the world is going to pour out hate.
And He said to the disciples in chapter 15, verse 20, “They’re going to persecute you.” And in chapter 16, verse 2, “They’re going to throw you out of the synagogue, literally dispossess you from any social identity in the Jewish culture, and then they’re going to kill you.” And He explained to them why they hate the disciples and why they hate all believers, and why they will continue and do continue to hate true Christians even up to this very hour, and will until Jesus comes. It is because we are not of the world, we’re not part of that system, and that system is Satan’s system; we’re aliens. It is because they hated our Master; and we bear His name, so they hate us. And it is, finally, because they don’t know God. They are cut off from the life of God; therefore, cut off from spiritual reality. So the evening becomes very puzzling.
First of all, Jesus has said, “I’m leaving. I’m going to die,” and He was very explicit about the things that were going to happen leading up to His execution, and they are terrified of this, they’re frightened of this. They’re morbidly afraid. They don’t even want to hear about it. They don’t want to think about it. They don’t want an explanation about it. They want to just push it away. And so as they get closer and closer to the reality of the death of Christ, the fears escalate.
Judas, the betrayer, has now been dismissed from the upper room, and he’s out now working his plan by which the leaders – Jewish leaders, religious leaders, and the Roman soldiers, and the temple police – will all show up in the garden in the middle of the night to arrest Jesus, push Him through a fake trial, an illegal trial, and have Him executed the next day on the cross. While Judas is doing this, the eleven are walking with the Lord, headed for the garden of Gethsemane where He will agonize in temptation, and where they will fall asleep in prayer. And in that same place – the Mount of Olives, the garden of Gethsemane – He’ll be arrested and then brought to the cross.
There’s not much more that He has to say. The only thing left really is from verse 16 down to verse 33, the end of chapter 16. He still has that to say, and that’s a mixture of the promises that love gives – talking about peace, and joy, and love – and the threat of hate, and trouble, and persecution, and tribulation. But that’s all that’s really left to say. And then He prays to the Father in chapter 17, then the arrest, and then His death.
So they’re in the midst of this terrible, fearful confusion: “How are we ever going to get to heaven? You say You’re going to prepare a place for us. We don’t know where You’re going and we don’t know how to get there. You say You’re going to give us peace, joy, love; we don’t feel any of it. We’re terrified, we’re distressed, we’re anxious; and we have no peace, we feel no joy. We’re concerned about how much You love us if You’re leaving us. And You tell us not only that, but You expect us to represent You and to proclaim Your gospel to the world, and then You tell us the world will hate us, they will throw us out of the synagogue, and they will kill us.”
And it was true. Essentially, all the apostles were murdered except John who was exiled to Patmos. “So how in the world are we supposed to reach the world and influence them and bear fruit that remains? How are we supposed to have any fruit in a hating world? How are we going to receive the promises You’ve given us? How is it that our prayers will be answered? How is it that we’ll have power to preach the gospel? How is it that we’ll have love, joy, peace, and all of that? How is that possible if You’re not here?” because He was the source of everything: He was their teacher, He was their provider, He was their protector, He was their present, and He was – in their minds – their future.
So He answers that by saying, “I’m going to go, but I’m going to send somebody else.” Who is that? Back in chapter 14, verse 16, He said, “I’ll ask the Father. He’ll give you another Helper, another Paraklētos, another one to come alongside and help you, who will be with you forever.” Who is it? It’s the Spirit of truth. It’s the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit.
Same thing is stated again down in verse 26: “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, bring to your remembrance all that I’ve said to you.” Said it again at the end of chapter 15: “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, again, it is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and so you will testify also because you’ve been with Me from the beginning.”
He says it again in chapter 16, verse 7: “It is to your advantage that I go away. If I don’t go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I’ll send Him to you.” He says it again in verse 13, I just read it: “When the Spirit of truth comes, He’ll guide you into all truth.” The answer is the Spirit is going to come. “He is going to take My place. The Spirit has been with you in Me, and now He will be in you.” This is the great promise that was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came. And since then, every Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
And the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. This is the mystery of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus says, “I’m going, but the Spirit is coming, and He is the same as I am, the same as I am. The Spirit will provide you all the truth you need so that you can prosecute the world.”
Remember that last time in verses 8 to 11? “When He comes, He’s going to put a tool in your hand so that you can prosecute the world for sin because they believe not on Me, for righteousness because I go to My Father and you see Me no more for judgment because the prince of this world is judged.” In other words, “You’re going to the be the world’s prosecutors, and you’re going to a have a tool to prosecute them, and it’s going to be the revelation that the Spirit of God puts in your hands – namely, the account of Me and My life and My ministry in the New Testament.” We talked about that last time.
Yes, the Holy Spirit works in the heart of a sinner, but that’s not what He’s talking about here. He’s saying, “I’m going to give you the revelation of the Holy Spirit that indicts the world.” You indict the world by measuring people against the revelation of God. And the New Testament condemns the world for failure to believe in Jesus Christ: “If you love not the Lord Jesus Christ, you’re damned,” that’s 1 Corinthians 16. The New Testament condemns the world for its lack of righteousness by saying that Jesus was the only one who by His own holiness could enter into the presence of God, the only one. Nobody else can.
So we condemn the world as being unholy and unacceptable to God; and the only way any sinner will ever go into the presence of God is if he possesses the righteousness of Christ, because He alone is acceptable. And if you think you’re going to be escaping judgment, guess again, because the New Testament shows us that the ruler of this world, Satan, has already been judged and sentenced. And if the most powerful force for evil in the universe has been judged, you that are lesser are not about to escape.
The New Testament is going to empower you to prosecute. We use the Scripture to prosecute the world. But there’s more than that. In 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul turns to the positive side and says regarding the gospel, “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. And then He appeared to Peter and the twelve,” and so forth.
We indict the world with the Scripture, and then we preach Christ crucified and risen and the gospel using this Scripture. And the Holy Spirit is the author of the Scripture, and that’s what our Lord is saying here. It’s just an incredibly important portion of Scripture.
Now, before I look at these verses in particular, let me just say this: whatever view of Scripture Jesus has is the right one. Would you agree to that? Whatever Jesus thinks of the Scripture is correct. We know what He thinks of the Old Testament, that it can’t be broken, and not one stroke or one letter can ever be removed from it until it’s all fulfilled. Here we fid out what He thinks about the New Testament, that it is all the product of the Holy Spirit, just as Paul says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, God-breathed,” just as Peter says, “Men moved by the Holy Spirit wrote.” That is our Lord’s view laid out in verses 12 to 15.
Now, there’s another element of this. As I read that, did you notice that it refers to the Father, it refers to the Father down in verse 15, it refers to the Spirit in verse 13, and then Jesus speaking refers to Me and Mine. So you have in these few verses the entire Trinity involved in the revelation of the New Testament. It’s an amazing portion of Scripture.
What we could say is this: here is our Lord Jesus providing pre-authentication of the, as yet, unwritten New Testament. This is pre-authentication of the New Testament which is yet to come. He even speaks of it at the end of verse 13: “He will disclose to you what is to come.” Not all the revelation was done in the Old Testament, there is more to come.
Now, let me sort of sum it up so you know where we are. Our Lord told the disciples and all who will believe through all of human history that the Holy Spirit will come to dwell in all believers. We all possess the Holy Spirit, we’re the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is in us to fulfill all the promises of Christ. To fulfill all the promises of Christ, “He takes of Mine and delivers it to you,” He says in verse 14.
He is in us also to empower us for testimony, for witness, as we saw back in 15:26 and 27. He is also in us to provide all the graces necessary to enjoy the fullness of a rich Christian life. And then He puts in our hands His revelation by which we can prosecute the world and then preach the gospel to the world. The New Testament is critical. Where would we be without it? We have to have the record of Christ; the New Testament is that record. So here is our Lord offering a pre-authentication of the New Testament, and it’s all tied up in the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Now, I just want to give you four things to think about, all right. Number One: The need for Holy Spirit revelation. The need for Holy Spirit revelation. I think it would be pretty obvious to all of us that we’d be in a dire situation if we didn’t have the New Testament. If we were running around, trying to find out what Jesus did, and what He said, and what He accomplished, and what it meant apart from the New Testament, that would be a hopeless effort. We’d be trapped and lost if we didn’t know the truth as revealed in Scripture.
There are lots of lies about Jesus floating around in the name of gnostic gospels – all kinds of lies, false representations – and we measure all of that against the Book, so the need is obvious. But look at verse 12, and this is where he identifies that: “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” Listen, the Bible is where Christ speaks. It is where God speaks. So when you open your Bible, it is God speaking, it is Christ speaking. “I have many more things to say to you, many more.” The revelation is not over; it is not over.
Now, He’s leaving – back to verse 6: “Because I talk about leaving, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away. If I don’t go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him. And when He comes, when He comes, He will take all that I promised and give it to you; and that’s the internal work. And then externally, He will produce the Scripture, and the Scripture becomes your everything.”
Wonderful to have the Holy Spirit in you as your teacher. But what’s the text? That’s the New Testament. So He says, “I have more.” Well, what is the more? Everything contained in the New Testament: so much more, so much more.
Yeah, that night, He had a few more words – as I pointed out, verses 16 to 33 – but so much more to say. But He says, “You can’t bear it now. Bastazō is the word. It’s a word that simply means to pick up a stone with your hand, to lift up a stone. “You can’t handle it. It’s too much for you; it’s too weighty.” By the way, that same verb is used in John 10:31 referring to the Jews lifting up stones to stone Jesus. “This truth is more than you can handle. What I have yet to say to you, you can’t handle it.”
There are a couple of reasons why they couldn’t handle it. Reason Number One, back in verse 6, their judgment is completely clouded by sorrow. They can’t get past the sorrow that He’s leaving. But there’s more reason than that. They’re muddied because – and we’ve kind of looked at this – they had an idea of Messiah that doesn’t fit what’s going on. They thought He would come, conquer the Romans, throw them out, and establish the supremacy, the world supremacy of Israel; there would be a spiritual revival, salvation would come to the nation; all the promises to David and Abraham, all the old covenant promises would be sort of renewed in the new covenant; and none of it happened.
He didn’t overthrow the Romans, the leaders of Israel hated Him, there was no revival in the nation, and now He’s talking about dying, He’s talking about being executed. “Where’s the kingdom? Where’s the glory?” They wanted that. And whenever Jesus spoke about suffering, they didn’t get it. They were so, so hard and fast locked down to a triumphalistic view of Messiah’s first coming that they couldn’t even receive what He said when He talked about dying.
Listen to John 2. Go all the way back to John 2 early in His ministry, verse 19: “He says, ‘Destroy this temple; in three days I’ll raise it up.’ And the Jews then said, ‘It took 46 years to build this temple – ’ they’re referring to the Herodian temple ‘ – and You’ll raise it in three days?’ But He was speaking of the temple of His body.” So He’s talking about dying and rising from the dead.
But look at the next verse: “So when He was raised from the dead – ” much later “ – His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken,” which means when He said it, they didn’t believe it, they didn’t believe it. It was just not the plan. It wasn’t what they expected or anticipated. And they never did believe it until after the resurrection.
If you go to chapter 12, just a couple of other illustrations. Chapter 12 of John, Jesus enters Jerusalem. In verse 12, large crowd. They’re all saying, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” Jesus finds a donkey and sat on it to fulfill Zachariah 9:9, “Fear not, daughter of Zion! Behold your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
Wait a minute; it’s supposed to be a white horse. He’s supposed to ride in triumphantly. Verse 16: “These things His disciples did not understand at the first. But when Jesus was glorified after the resurrection, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.” The point is, up until the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christ, they didn’t get it. There was a lot more Jesus wanted to say to them, but they were not in any position to receive it
In the 20th chapter, we see this even after Christ dies. Simon Peter, verse 6, comes to the tomb, goes in, sees that the Lord is not there. Verse 8: “The other disciple, John, who had first come to the tomb also entered. He saw and believed. For as yet, up to that point when they – ” when John saw that the body was not there, “ – up to that point, they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” That just wasn’t in their thinking.
In Mark, another very significant event, was the transfiguration of the Lord in chapter 9. And after the transfiguration, they were coming down off the mountain in Mark 9:9 and “He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man rose from the dead. They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant.” Well, how hard is that? Well, the problem was, they didn’t want to acknowledge that He was going to die.
And, again, this is common stuff in Luke 18 – I’ll just give you one more illustration. Luke 18, down at verse 31: “He took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘Okay, here’s the plan. We’re going to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. He will be handed over to the Gentiles; He’ll be mocked, and mistreated, and spit upon; and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again. But the disciples – ” verse 34 “ – understood none of those things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.”
The point is this – go back to John, chapter 16 – He couldn’t say anymore about what was coming because they didn’t even understand what He said up to that point. It wasn’t until after the resurrection it began to dawn on them; and it dawned first on John when he showed up at the tomb and the Lord wasn’t there: “Ah, now I remember that He said He was going to die and rise again.” And then it took a long while for the rest of them. There were a few on the Road to Emmaus who were moaning and groaning and saying, “We thought He would have been the Messiah.”
And then do you remember what Jesus did? He went to the Old Testament, and went to the sections of the Old Testament, and spoke from the Old Testament of all the things related to Messiah’s suffering and glory, and it dawned on them. And then that night of the resurrection, Sunday night, He went to the room where all the rest of the disciples were, and He showed up, at the end of Luke 24, explained that this was all in the Old Testament, and that He had fulfilled the Scripture. And then the light went on.
It wasn’t until after the cross, after the resurrection that they began to grasp it. And they didn’t fully grasp it until He instructed them out of the Old Testament, “And then spent 40 days – ” Acts 1 says, “ – speaking to them of things concerning the kingdom. And then the Spirit came and really illuminated their minds.” So He says, “Look, I have so much more to say, a whole New Testament worth, everything from Matthew to Revelation. But you can’t handle it. You can’t handle it. I can’t even get you up to where you should be, let alone the things that are beyond that.” There is a profound need for the New Testament, profound need for the New Testament, the rest of the story, right? So that’s the need.
Secondly, the extent. What is the extent of this Holy Spirit revelation? Well, it’s in verse 13: “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” There it is: “All the truth.” You can underline that or remember it in your mind: not some of the truth, all of it, all the truth.
May I be so bold as to say the simple interpretation of that with a definite article “all the truth” is that all the truth which God wanted to reveal is contained in the Scripture. Regarding the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 4:2 and Deuteronomy 12:32 says, “Don’t add anything to this and don’t take anything away.” And Revelation, regarding the New Testament – the last book, the last chapter, the last few verses – the Bible ends there, “Don’t add anything to this and don’t take anything away, or it shall be added to you the plagues that are written in the book.”
Wow. All the truth is here. “The Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth. He will bring things to your remembrance; that is, He will allow you supernaturally to remember everything Jesus did and everything Jesus said to write it down in the four gospels.” The apostles and those who were associated with Him, who wrote the gospels, will have Holy Spirit-inspired remembrance. And then He will inspire the story of the church in the book of Acts, and then He will inspire the theology of the gospel in the Epistles, and then He will inspire the great book of Revelation – all the truth, all the truth: from the virgin birth to the eternal state; from Matthew, chapter 1 all the way to Revelation, chapter 22. The Holy Spirit will give you all the truth, all the truth. Just those little words “all the truth,” so important.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 2 for just a quick moment, 1 Corinthians 2. Paul says, “I don’t come with superiority of speech – ” in verse 1 “ – and wisdom. I proclaim to you the testimony of God.” Never forget that: the Bible is the testimony of God, the testimony of God. It starts with the Father, to the Son, through the Spirit, to the writers of Scripture. It is the testimony of God. “So my message – ” verse 4 “ – my preaching, not persuasive words of wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so your faith doesn’t rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
Now here he speaks, in verse 6, about the Scripture itself. “We do speak wisdom among those who are mature – ” mature meaning believers, Christians who’ve come to maturity. “It is a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away. It’s not accessible to any human being, not accessible. It is wisdom – ” verse 7 “ – that is a mystery to the world. It is hidden, which God has predestined before the ages to our glory; this wisdom, none of the rulers of this age has understood. If they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. It is – ” verse 10 “ – revealed through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?”
A simple analogy. It is your spirit in you that knows your thoughts. Your hand doesn’t know your thoughts, your feet don’t know your thoughts, it’s the spirit in you. Even the tissue in your brain doesn’t know your thoughts. It’s the spirit in you, the life spirit in you who knows your thoughts. And the Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God and He reveals them so – ” verse 12 says “ – that we may know the things freely given to us by God. How has he revealed them? Look at verse 13: “Not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.”
What is the Bible? Spiritual thoughts in spiritual words. The Holy Spirit is going to give you words, not feelings and impulses and experience: words. So verse 16 says, “You have the mind of Christ. You have the mind of Christ.” You know how Christ thinks, and that’s how God thinks, because that’s what the Holy Spirit has revealed. So you pick up your Bible you have, written by the Holy Spirit to basically reveal the mind of Christ, which is equal to the mind of God. This is, therefore, the Word of God: the Word of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. That is, in particular, the New Testament. So the need and the extent is laid out in simple terms.
Let’s look thirdly at the source, the source just briefly; it’s a brief passage. Where does this come from? The Spirit comes, He guides you into all the truth. We’ll follow verse 13: “He will not speak on His own initiative. He will not speak on His own initiative. Whatever He hears, He will speak and disclose to you what is to come.”
He’s going to give you the rest of the revelation to come, but He’s not going to be the source of it. The source of it is God. He’s going to speak what He hears from God; not only from God, but from Christ as well: “He will take of Mine, disclose it to you.” “He will take of Mine,” He says it again in verse 15.
So this is the source: God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, all saying the very same thing. He doesn’t speak on His own initiative; He doesn’t act independently. Now, they would understand that because that’s exactly what Jesus said to them constantly. When Jesus was their teacher, He would tell them repeatedly, “What I’m teaching you is not My own word, not My own.”
Back in John 5:19, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it’s something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to whomever He wishes.” In other words, He follows whatever the Father gives Him to do.
Verse 26: “As the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son to have life in Himself.” Verse 27: “He gave Him, the Son, authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man.” Verse 30: “I can do nothing on my own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true.”
Verse 36: “The testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works the Father has given Me to accomplish – the very work that I do – testifies about Me, that the Father has sent Me.” He always went back to the Father: “I do what the Father tells me to do, shows Me to do. What the Father does, that’s all I do.” He says that in chapter 7, says it again in 8, says it in 14. So they’re used to that.
“Now, when I go away, I’m going to send another like Me. And guess what? He going to say the same thing to you: that I don’t initiate this. I speak as I hear the Father speak.” So the Holy Spirit then is exactly to us as Christ was to them, only even more. Christ said to them, “The Spirit is with you in Me; now He’s in you, which is better.”
The Bible then, that the Spirit inspires, is consistent with everything I’ve said and everything the Father has said. To reject Scripture is to reject the Trinity. It’s to reject the word of the Father, the word of the Son, the word of the Spirit inspired through the writers of Scripture. “The Holy Spirit is going to hear from the Father, He’s going to from Me, and He’s going to disclose to you whatever He hears about what is to come.”
And what is to come isn’t just prophetic; it’s what is to come revelatory, what is to come as the Word of God He’s going to reveal. And what is to come? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and all the way to Revelation. If you reject the Scripture, you reject the Spirit. If you reject the Spirit, you reject the Son. If you reject the Son, you reject the Father.
You hear people say, “Well, I believe the Bible.” And then if you say to them, “Is the Bible without error?” “Well, I don’t believe that.”
“Oh, I believe the Bible is inspired by God.” “Is every single word true?” “No, I don’t believe that.”
“Then who broke the chain? Who’s the liar? Was it the Father who lied in the beginning, was it the Son who lied, or was it the Holy Spirit who lied to the apostles? If the apostles lied, then the Holy Spirit failed, and every word is not inspired by the Holy Spirit. But the Scripture said every word is inspired by the Holy Spirit to such a degree that you’re not allowed to add anything or take anything away. So who’s the culprit if it’s not true? That’s a foolish thing to say that you believe God inspired the Bible, but there’s error in it. You’ve just assaulted the Trinity.”
A final word: The purpose of the revelation. We saw the need for it, there’s much more to say. The extent of it, all truth. The source of it, Father and the Son. The purpose of the revelation, verse 14, here it comes, “He will glory Me. He will glorify Me. He will glorify Me.”
It is fair to say that there is much in the Old Testament about Christ, right? It’s fair to say there’s much in the Old Testament about Christ because that’s what Jesus said: “Search the Scripture, for they are they which speak of Me.” And then on the Road to Emmaus and in the room together the night of the resurrection, He went to the Old Testament to all the Scriptures that spoke about Him and explained the prophecies of His suffering and His glory to them.
Now, let me say this: not all the Old Testament is about Christ. There is a very popular approach to Scripture that wants to find, that actually demands that you find Christ in every Old Testament text. He is not in every Old Testament text. And if you find some way to put Jesus in every Old Testament text, you have just obliterated the very idea of expository preaching and interpretation.
People say things like this: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful,” and they launch and say that’s Christ, that’s Christ. If everything is Christ, if everything in the Old Testament is Christ, if you read Christ into everything – which is very popular now among reformed young evangelical preachers even – if Christ is everywhere, then the reality is you’ve just confounded every passage, because every passage is not about Christ, not in the Old Testament. But when you get to the New Testament, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and show it to you.”
What are the four gospels? Who’s the main person in the four gospels? Jesus Christ. Who’s the main person in the book of Acts preaching the gospel by the apostles to establish the church and becomes the head of the church? Christ. Who’s the main person in all the Epistles that explain the meaning of the gospel? Christ. Who’s the main person in Revelation? Christ.
He is not everywhere in the Old Testament, He is many places: Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, many others. But He is everywhere in the New Testament. The writers of the New Testament write to explain either the history of His life, the significance of the gospel as He builds His church, or an explanation of the theology of the gospel and the Epistles, or the glory of the revelation. “These are written about Christ that you might believe – ” as John says, “ – and believing in Him, have life in His name.”
The gospels record His birth, His life, His ministry, His death, His ascension. The Acts record the preaching about His death and resurrection, suffering, and glory, and establishment of His church, which He is the head. The Epistles explain the doctrinal significance and application of His life and work. Revelation presents Him as the coming Judge who will set up His kingdom on earth and rule forever in eternity.
The New Testament is about Him. “The Spirit will come take of Mine and show it to you.” So we preach the New Testament; it’s about Christ. And then we go back and we compare it with the Old Testament; and that’s what we should be doing.
In Acts 18, there was a preacher by the name of Apollos, and he gives us a kind of a good model, Apollos. It says in Acts 18:28, “He powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.”
Now, if you’re going to demonstrate by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ, you have to have the record of Jesus and compare it with the Old Testament, right? That’s exactly what we do. We compare the Old Testament prophecies of Christ with the New Testament revelation of Christ to demonstrate that He is the promised Messiah. So this is what the Holy Spirit is going to do: “He is going to come and He’s going to testify about Me. He’s going to glorify Me,” and Christ dominates. Doesn’t He dominate the New Testament?
So the Holy Spirit has given us then this Christ, exalting Christ, glorifying New Testament. That’s an external word outside of us. Then “He has taken up residence inside of us – ” 1 John 2:20 and 27 says “ – to be the anointing that teaches us all things, so that we don’t need a human teacher because we have anointing from God that teaches us all things.”
What is that saying? We have the book written by the Holy Spirit in our hands, and we have the Holy Spirit in our heart. So we have the author of the book as our private instructor. We have an inspired book and an illuminated mind. So we have this immense, immense incalculable, necessary gift. What a gift is the Word of God. And then to have the Author living in us and working through us. By use of this word, He regenerates, and converts, and sanctifies, and edifies. Psalm 119:130 says, “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
So we have all we need, because all the promises of Christ are here, and the Spirit deposits them in our lives. All the theology of Christ is here and the Spirit instructs us as to its reality. All the necessary truth to prosecute the world and then preach the gospel that saves is here. So our Lord makes a promise to the disciples that is so essential: where would we be without the New Testament. Consider the treasure we have, right?
Father, we thank You for our time this morning. It is an obvious thing. We hold the Bible in our hands all the time, and yet sometimes we fail to grasp the treasure that it is, the gift that it is. We, perhaps, can look back in history, and even now around the world, and find groups of people who have no New Testament in their language; and therefore, they don’t know anything about Christ. There will be people who have maybe a portion of it, a little of it, but not the full story.
I met so many people years ago behind the Iron Curtain who had maybe a few chapters translated into their language with pencil and that’s all they had. You have so much to say, and we have all of it, from Matthew to Revelation. May it be to us as precious as it really is. And with the New Testament in our hands and with the Spirit in our hearts, we can go forward to prosecute the sinners of the world, and then in compassion and love, to present the saving gospel that rescues them, as it did us, and gives eternal life. Use us to that end with the Word, we pray. Amen.