“The Comforter: the Holy Ghost” Sunday School Lesson, John 14:15-26, March 8, 2015

 

 

John-14-18

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March 8, 2015

“The Comforter: the Holy Ghost”

John 14:15-26

Uniform Series: “The Promise of a Comforter”

PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy!  Blessings.

(Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited)

Introduction:

In a poem I wrote titled “His Promise” it says:

“His promise says I’ll never leave nor forsake you,

Even when the skies are no longer bright blue;

When the clouds and the roaring crash of thunder,

Threaten to overwhelm and drag me under.

 

His promise says I’ll be with you until the very end,

When people turn their backs and you can find no friend;

When troubles and trials make you cry at your wit’s end,

When life unravels, leaving a broken heart that needs to mend.

 

His promise says that this will work together for my good,

Though the confusion can’t be hardly understood;

 When life is filled with “I wish I would,”

 Taking me through all the could and should.

 

His promise says I lived and died for you,

Giving you everlasting life to help you make it through;

 His salvation, sin’s stain erased and undo,

 Bring through Him a victorious breakthrough.” (Copyright © Word For Life Says)

 

Most of this poem deals with issues of feeling alone, forsaken and forgotten; written from man’s point of view of having loved ones abandon them and turn their backs on them.  Then, the promise of God steps in to save the day.  NEVER is what He declared He would do in these instances.  Never would He leave.  NEVER would He forsake.  His promises are as enduring as He is.

How often do we need that type of reassurance in our Christian journey?  Let’s face it, times do get discouraging along the way and it becomes hard to stay focused on the mission.  Discouragement is a pit.  The more you swim in it the deeper it takes you under.

But, Jesus had great plans for His disciples and He has great plans for each and every one of us.  We must be fortified in His promise that we are not in this alone.  No matter what it may appear to be on the outside, He has a promise of a Comforter that will come and live on the inside.  With that abiding presence come joy, peace and guidance through even the most difficult times of life.  The Holy Ghost is the Comforter He sent to be our helper in this Christian journey.

John 14:15

15) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

This verse may seem odd to be placed in the beginning message of us discussing the Holy Ghost as our Comforter.  Yet, we must be reminded of why it is placed here.  This chapter is filled with great encouragement for the saints of God.  Right at its onset we are told, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you,” (John 14:1-2).

Jesus said these things as points to bless the heart of the believer; of those who would continue to follow Him even after physically He departs from this earth.  A true believer of Christ will have his love for Jesus manifested through his life (i.e. through the choices one makes to live for Him through His commandments).

Jesus once taught, “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” (Matthew 7:16a).  True believers hold on to His teachings; they treasure and cleave to what has been passed down to them through Jesus.  The psalmist once said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,” (Psalm 119:11).  A lot of people serve God with a lot of lip service but it’s the one’s whose actions match up with their confession that really love Him.

What are you looking for in life?  What’s your goal?  Who are you trying to please?  Jesus exhorts His followers to travel down the real road of success.  He teaches them about the real key that needs to be found to secure one’s future.  “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matthew 6:33).  This message of instruction comes on the heel of a message teaching one what not to worry about in life, which in turn follows the message that, “No man can serve two masters . . .” (Mt. 6:24).

Many have their attentions divided in what they are seeking after.  Divided attentions are what cause individuals to obsessively worry about the basic issues of life, which then leads one to always pursuing the things that care for the natural side of man, thereby, neglecting the spiritual.

We are to put the spiritual as a priority in our lives.  Our love for Him is manifested in our obedience to Him.  Put Him first through obedience and everything else will fall into place.

Obedience is a mark of a true believer and one who will receive the rest of this message.

John 14:16-20

16) “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither know him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

19) Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

20) At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

Here, is the rest of this message from the previous verse: Jesus has a promise for them that are in Him and not the world.  When we are talking about the “world” in this sense we are talking about those who are walking contrary to His commandments.  This once again shows us the importance of following His commandments and why it belongs here with this promise.

The “world” doesn’t understand the things of the Spirit.  The two are contrary to one another and fight continually against one another (see Galatians 5:17).  The world caters to the things of the flesh; to the things of the devil while the Spirit hones in on the things of heaven; the things of God.  The two cannot coexist here now or in the time to come.  There will and must always be a separation of the two.

Jesus’ promise of a “Comforter” is for those who have already and continually willingly live for Him.  Notice here that the word “Comforter” has a capital “C.”  In the English language we capitalize for proper names.  This lets us know that the Spirit is not an “it” as some seem to refer to Him.  He is a He; a member of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus departs from this earth in the physical form He is sending back “another Comforter;” He is sending back a “Helper,” one that is in His likeness to do what He would do if He were still here in the physical.

Why was this necessary?  Jesus, at this time was at the Last Supper; the last Passover dinner He would enjoy before His crucifixion.  By the time this evening was over He would be betrayed and handed over to His enemies; to those who hated Him.  During that process, the disciple’s world would change forever.  Their teacher and friend would be killed.  They themselves will flee and run away leaving Him by Himself (Mark 14:50).  Yet, Jesus wanted them to know that though they left Him alone, He would never leave them “comfortless.”

His promise was that though they may crouch in fear at times (see John 20:19) and feel they have lost all hope there is never a time when they are left alone.  The Comforter that He sends will be with them a permanent force.  He will “abide with you for ever” which is crucial to one’s faith during the difficult days.  To know there is a present help with them is the encouragement they and we need to press forth in the mission.

“I will come to you,” is what He boldly states.  Jesus is giving assurance like no other with His “I will” statement.  To Him it is a done deal though He had not actually been crucified as of yet.  He’s coming back!

He is not in the business of leaving His people in a helpless state as if we are orphans with no parents.  He loves us too much for that.  He is not in the abandoning business.  “For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance,” (Psalm 94:14).  We are not a neglected people!  We are cared for and Jesus says, “I will come to you!”

Again, Jesus reiterates that this is beyond the comprehension of the “world” because they won’t see Him any more after this.  Unbelief will cause you to miss out on seeing Jesus.  Unbelief will rob you of resurrection opportunities.  Jesus is coming back.  When His time comes, the grave will not hold Him down forever.

Jesus spoke it into existence already: “I live!”  He told them, “Ye see me.”  He knew that in Him was eternal life already.  1 John 5:20 says, “And we know that the Son of God is come . . . This is the true God, and eternal life.”  Jesus was not just going to be resurrected but He said at one point, “I am the resurrection, and the life . . .” (John 11:25).  Jesus knew who He was and He knew what He was going to do.

“Because I live, ye shall live also” is the promise attached to a promise.  Wow!  Because Jesus got up out of the grave the promise is those who are endowed with His Spirit; those that have Him living on the inside will do the same as their Lord.  They will get up and rise to new life, eternally to dwell with Him.  “For the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23a).  This will be the portion allotted to the unbelievers and all who turn away from His free gift of salvation; all who are of the world that denies He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).  “But” the Bible tells us, “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” (Romans 6:23b).  Those of us who believe “shall live also!”

“And in that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”  Jesus has consistently maintained that everything He did on this earth was in accord with the Father’s will.  Nothing was of His own accord.  There is and was an inseparable unity that exists.  He told those that were having trouble believing who He really was to at least look at the works He did and evaluate; “believe the works” and accept that as proof that “the Father is in me, and I in him,” (John 10:38), but many could not and did not.

They would miss out on one of the world’s greatest events “in that day”: the resurrection of Jesus.  It was only His disciples; only those that really believed that had the privilege to bear witness of Him walking around on this earth for forty days before He was ascended to heaven (compare John 20:19, 26; 21:1, 14; Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

As Jesus stated at the beginning of this lesson, so He states again, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.”  Real love for Him will be manifested in an obedient life.  There’s a big difference in having the “commandments” and keeping them.  Keeping them is applying the word to one’s life.  It is putting into action what one says they believe.

Jesus said this is how we really show that we love Him.  The same is true in any basic relationship.  Take a husband and a wife for instance.  If one spouse is always telling the other that they love them without ever showing it then it may cause the other spouse to doubt the sincerity of the other’s love.  That’s why we often hear the phrase, “Actions speaks louder than words.”  Here, Jesus is saying something very similar.  I’ll know it when you show it!  How do we show it?  By doing what the word says.

God’s Word is not an aquarium.  In an aquarium we view the fish from the outside.  We don’t go in and interact with them.  We just watch them swim along thinking how beautiful and peaceful they are.  God’s Word is beautiful and peaceful but it is also meant to be lived out; it is meant to be interacted with.  One is not just to be an observer or a “hearer” but a “doer.”

Being a “doer” not only shows our genuine love for Him but it solidifies our own relationship with the Father.  “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments,” (2 John 6; see also 1 John 2:5).

Jesus said, “He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”  Let’s just quickly deal with that word “manifest” which means to reveal or make known.  First, we are already told how to show Him love (through obedience).  Now, because of that love we get to experience something of Him that the world cannot comprehend.  He will “manifest” Himself in a special way, through His Spirit, to His people.

John 14: 22-26

22) “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23) Jesus answered and saith unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.

24) He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

25) These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

“How is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?”  Was this the question you were asking too?

Here in verse 23 we see Jesus emphasize again the need to have one’s love for Him validated by keeping “my words.”  There can be no separation between the two.  Through that, Jesus said, “We will come unto him and make our abode with him.”

We sing this old church song that describes what’s being said here.  It’s titled: “I Feel God Stretching Out in Me” by Elder Oscar Richardson and it says:

“Well I feel God stretching out in me

I feel God stretching out in me

I cleaned up my house

And kicked the devil out

I feel God stretching out in me.”

 

When one is committed to living according to God’s word, there is no room for the enemy there.  That’s means we have made it a place that welcomes Him to come and stretch out in us, or as the lesson states to “make our abode with him.” 

Jesus wants to be where His people are.  He said in John 14:2-3, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  But until that day, He wants to live on the inside of us through the Spirit.

Jesus tells them all of this ahead of time while He is “present” with them.  He is preparing them before everything that is destined to happen come to pass.

They may struggle in the future to remember all of His great sayings, teachings and lesson but the “Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost” will be there to instruct and guide them.  “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

He the “Comforter;” He the “Holy Ghost” is so much more than a good feeling on a Sunday morning when we proclaim “I feel the Spirit moving inside of me.”  He’s more than that.  He is our Helper; our Advocate; our Guide; our Teacher; our Intercessor!

Conclusion:

Christ promised that though He may be gone in the body His people would not be left alone without any help.  We have “The Comforter: the Holy Ghost.”

(Click here for PDF: The Comforter the Holy Ghost Sunday School Lesson, or simply click the print button below.  Enjoy!)

Below are activities to support this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!

Word Search: The Comforter the Holy Ghost Word Search  Answers: The Comforter the Holy Ghost Word Search Answers

Crossword: The Comforter the Holy Ghost Crossword  Answers: The Comforter the Holy Ghost Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: The Comforter the Holy Ghost Word Scramble  Answers: The Comforter the Holy Ghost Word Scramble Answers

Below are more Activities/Links/Resources to support this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!

“The Comforter” (Group activities, coloring and worksheets.  Enjoy!)

“The Promise of the Holy Spirit” (Activity sheets and coloring sheets expounding from John 7.  Enjoy!)

“The Holy Spirit” (Here is an interesting object lesson to describe the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Note: using cardstock or construction paper handprint instead of a glove can turn this into a craft activity for children to make.  Enjoy!)

“The Holy Spirit Mystery Bible Lesson for Kids” (This is sure to be an asset to your lesson with several learning activities to incorporate making learning interesting and fun; including the use of eggs.  Enjoy!) 

“Guided in Truth” (Bible game that demonstrates are we are guided by the Holy Spirit.  Enjoy!)

“God Sent Down the Holy Spirit Song and Coloring Sheet”

“Game: The Mystery of the Holy Spirit” (This game involving balloons is not only guaranteed to get the point of our lesson across, but for students to have a good time in the process.  Enjoy!  I have my eye on this one for my class 🙂 ).

“The Trinity Snowman Felt Activity and Poem” (Children can also make their own snowmen (appropriate for the weather now 😉 or make a yummy marshmallow snowman snack.  The possibilities are endless.  Enjoy!)

“The Unseen Power Activity Sheets and Group Activities” (But what I really like is the metal car, magnet and cardstock object lesson to demonstrate this lesson.  Enjoy!)

“Come Holy Spirit: Fizzy Explosion Prayers” (UNIQUE! is all I can say in regard to this activity.  What a way to demonstrate the transforming power of the Spirit.  Enjoy!)

 

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