Monday, April 27, 2015

Jesus Wasn't Enough

Don't worry, I'm not talking about salvation! You can put the intervention plans on hold and get rid of your tar and feathers for the time being. But, seriously, Jesus Wasn't Enough.

Please hear me out, or at least hear Jesus out.

Jesus Himself said He wasn't enough. We needed something else... Or I should say, we needed Someone else.

In John 14:26 in the Amplified Bible Jesus said,
"But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you."

The Holy Spirit was sent to represent Jesus and act on Jesus' behalf. He is just like Jesus. He has our best interests in mind at all times. He wants to teach us. He wants to remind us of different things.

In John 16:7 & 13 the Amplified Bible says,
"However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth- giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]."

It is the Holy Spirit's job to be our Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby. He is to guide us into truth. He is to tell us things to come in the future. He has a lot of jobs, and He is great at them all.

It is profitable for us, good, expedient, and to our advantage that Jesus left this earth and sent us the Holy Spirit. If Jesus did not leave the earth, then He could not have sent the Holy Spirit to give us the power to be effective witnesses. (Acts 1:8)

Even Jesus Himself didn't begin His earthly ministry or perform miracles until He had the power of the Holy Spirit! (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, John 1:32-34)

Why would we be any different?!

Considering Jesus needed the Holy Spirit for His earthly life, surely we need the Holy Spirit for our earthly lives.

It is to our advantage to have the Holy Spirit with us, rather than having Jesus with us. Or another way of saying it, we are better off now than what the disciples were 2,000 years ago. Having the Holy Spirit living with us is better than having Jesus living with us.

Those aren't my words, those are Jesus'!

Let's look at the huge change in Peter's life once he received the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus was living with him physically, Peter denied Jesus 3 times. (Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:15-27)

When Jesus left this earth and sent the Holy Spirit, Peter preached the Gospel and led 3,000 people to the Lord immediately following Pentecost! (Acts 2:1-4, 14, 41)

If I didn't know any better, I would say these are two different men... and they kind of are...

Peter received a boldness and effectiveness he did not possess earlier in his life. Peter received that power once he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit!

I won't pretend to know all of the reasons we are at an advantage by having the Holy Spirit, but I do know at least one. When Jesus was here physically, He could only be in one place at a time physically. The Holy Spirit has the ability to be with every believer, all at the same time.

Jesus was limited. He could only be in one place at one time. He could only be with a set number of people at any given moment.

The Holy Spirit is not limited in this area. He can be in MANY places at one time. He can be with many, many people at any given moment.

Most Christians think life would be so much easier and they would accomplish so much more if Jesus was walking side by side with them, but that's just not true. According to Jesus, we would be at a disadvantage to have Him here with us physically in comparison to having the Holy Spirit with us spiritually!

In the book Forgotten God Francis Chan writes,
Have you ever thought about the significance of having “another” Counselor who is “just like” Christ? Right now, imagine what it would be like to have Christ standing beside you in the flesh, functioning as your personal Counselor. Imagine the peace that would come from knowing you would always receive perfect truth and flawless direction from Him. That sounds amazing, and none of us could deny the benefit of having Jesus here physically, guiding and enabling us every step of the way. Yet why do we assume that this would be any better than the literal presence of the Holy Spirit?

Jesus needed the Holy Spirit. Peter needed the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit.

Challenge: Here are a few questions to ask ourselves:

Am I utilizing the Holy Spirit in ALL of the ways mentioned in John 14 and John 16 in MY life? (Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) (teacher, reminder, guider into truth, teller of things to come)

Am I letting the Holy Spirit do the job Jesus sent Him to do?

Am I a bold and an effective witness for the Lord?

Am I led by the Spirit? (Romans 8:14)

Do I have ALL of the Holy Spirit I can have? Or is there more of Him, or another experience with Him, I am missing out on?

If you have any questions on this subject or how you can receive the Holy Spirit, then feel free to contact me!
- Joel

photo & graphic design by Jennifer Juni of Jennifer Christi Photography

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