7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
There’s no doubt the Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood and ignored member of the Trinity. I recognize that we cannot possibly cover everything the Bible says about Him in one message so we’re going to ponder the promises that Jesus gives us in our text. We will be having another Bible Study on “The work of The Holy Spirit”.
The Holy Spirit is often the most overlooked person of the triune Godhead. The Holy Spirit is not a force or power… He is a person. He is God – God, the Holy Ghost. His mission is to bring glory to God the Father by declaring the work of God…the Son. The Holy Spirit dwells within every believer seeking to bring them into full spiritual maturity and empowering them for service.
From our selected text, we’ll lock into four passages that will help us understand and engage with the Holy Spirit. After learning about the person of the Holy Spirit we’ll conclude with ways we can live in the power of the Spirit.
Here’s some brief background to put these texts into context. Jesus has just announced that He will be leaving His disciples and they are now distraught and no doubt disappointed. They are extremely unsettled and so the Savior takes three chapters to assure them that they will not be left alone.
I want to draw your attention to the word “Helper” that is used to describe the Holy Spirit in all four of these passages in John 14:16-17…
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
“Helper” literally means, “One who comes forward on behalf of and as the representative of another, one who is called alongside to assist. It’s meaning is rich and deep and can be translated with words like… “comforter, counselor, attorney, encourager, adviser, pleader, proxy and advocate.”
Notice the entire Trinity is involved here, Jesus asks the Father who gives another Helper, the Spirit of Truth. That in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct… harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
The word “another” means, “one of the same kind or quality.” The idea is that of “sameness.” Jesus is saying the Holy Spirit will be like Himself and will take His place.
The Helper will be us forever. In the Old Testament the Spirit is mentioned nearly hundreds of times and came upon people to enable them to accomplish God-given tasks and then would depart. That’s why David prayed in Psalm 51:11…
Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
We don’t have to worry about that now because the Holy Spirit comes in at conversion and stays forever. In John 14:18, Jesus says, “I will not leave you as orphans.”
He is the Spirit of truth. Those who don’t know Christ cannot receive the Holy Spirit. Believers “know” Him, meaning He is personal, not just a mystical force like in Star Wars or an impersonal power. He’s not a power to experience but a Person to know. Related to this, the Holy Spirit is a “He” not an “it.” Bible uses masculine pronouns “He” and “Him” to refer to the Holy Spirit. He’s not an “it,” He’s a He!
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Notice the Trinity again – the Father sends the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to teach believers. He brings new truth to the disciples and also helps them remember all that Jesus has said in the past. BTW, that’s why the Holy Spirit was so involved in the inspiration of the Scriptures. We’re taught and we’re reminded as we study the Word of God.
Surprisingly enough, one Jesus’ Apostles would say this…from our bible study…
2 Peter 1:21
For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Although the Bible came to us through redeemed men, and therefore displays many of their traits and unique ways of communicating the message…the message is directly from God and relays what He wanted to say. That is why I cannot stress enough or encourage you all enough of the importance of reading your Bibles. Your Bibles are your very source of life in this world. It is through Scriptures that we can know, learn, live, be transformed into the image of Christ.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
The word “nevertheless” is used as a contrast to what the disciples are feeling. Jesus then says something to get their attention, “I tell you the truth…” Jesus always told the truth but it’s as if He’s saying, “Listen up guys. This is really important.”
What He says next is shocking, “it is to your advantage that I go away…” This word means, “useful, profitable or beneficial.” There was no way the disciples were thinking that it was a good thing that Jesus was about to leave them. How could it be to their advantage that Jesus was going away? Of what benefit would it be for Jesus to be gone from them?
Jesus tells them why His departure would be profitable for them, “for if I do not go away, the Helper (there’s that word again), will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.” to help the disciples understand that He was about to leave them. But it would be to their advantage because the Helper could then arrive. His going is essential to the Spirit’s coming.
Now, let me be quick to say that that the Holy Spirit will never be taken from us but it’s worth asking ourselves what is it that we’re doing in our own power. Would you notice if the Holy Spirit was no longer in your life? The Holy Spirit will not be withdrawn but we can withdraw from Him. Notice if you will… “We can grieve the Holy Spirit.”
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
So…How do we grieve the Holy Spirit? By continually doing the things mentioned on v31.
To “grieve” means, “to make sad or sorry.” We can grieve Him by holding on to gross stuff in our lives. We can also, quench the Holy Spirit….
1 Thessalonians 5:19
Do not quench the Spirit.
To “quench” means, “to put out a fire.” When we ignore the Holy Spirit by continuously, compromising our morals and biblical convictions, the fire of the Holy Spirit can be reduced to smoldering embers. One of the best ways to make sure we’re not “grieving or quenching” the Holy Spirit is to keep short accounts with God and with others. When you mess up, own it. When you sin, confess it. When you’ve wronged someone, make it right.
We’ve learned about the Holy Spirit and now we must live by the Holy Spirit…
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
This is a military term meaning that we’re to march in a straight line, taking our orders only from Him. As we yield to the Spirit, we will experience His power and people should notice. I like what Francis Chan wrote…
“I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power.”
You see… I just love hearing testimonies like this. A saint, not taking any credit for what he’s done. Or for who he is but gives all glory to God.
Here then are some ways we can keep in step with the Spirit. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s so easy to fill our lives with things that don’t satisfy, isn’t it? Some of us are drinking deeply of substances that end up controlling us.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.
This is a command that literally means, “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” I’m reminded of what the great preacher Charles Spurgeon did before he climbed the stairs to the pulpit every time he preached. For every step he would take, he would say these words…
“I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Ask Him to fill you every day and many times during the day.
The presence of the Holy Spirit should have a purifying affect in our lives. Before Christ came, God’s Spirit dwelt in the tabernacle and now… He dwells inside His people and within His church. If you are born again, your body is now the temple of God!
God displays His beauty and glory today through believers, and as such, we must treat our bodies carefully and make sure they are dedicated to His purposes. This is spelled out clearly in…
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
The way we live should declare to the world that the Holy Spirit is present within us. Or to say it another way, the world will learn about God based upon the way we are living. That’s a weighty responsibility and a holy charge. There should be evidence in every believers of the Spirits fruits…
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Don’t be surprised that this is what…to be expected in the lives of every believer. Our bodies are not our own. The life of the believer belongs to God, purchased by the blood of His Son.
I do hope and pray, that this message has given all of us a clear understanding of the Holy Spirit.
Again…the Holy Spirit is not an “it”, but a person of the Godhead. He has a very important role in ones’ salvation, especially in knowing and becoming like Christ!
I want to speak to two different groups of people….
1: Christians who need to surrender. If you’re saved, you have all of the Holy Spirit. But here’s a question, “Does the Holy Spirit have all of you?” Have you been living in your own might and do you think you’re always right? Have you been saved by grace but now you’re trying to do everything in your own grit or through you own wit? Paul addressed this issue of self-praise when he said…
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
It is all the work of the Spirit. By Gods Spirit, one is drawn to His Son. By believing in The Son, the gift of the Spirit is given. By the Spirit, the believer is being transformed into the likeness of His Son.
2: Non-Christians who need to get saved. If you’re not saved, you are in a very dangerous position. There will be a final exam one day and you will fail it if you don’t put your faith in Jesus Christ. Listen to what the Holy Spirit is doing right now according to John 16:8-11…
8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Who is the “He” here? the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin. The word “convict” means to prove one is wrong and He does it in three main areas.
• Concerning sin, because they do not believe in Jesus. Admit you are a sinner. According to this verse, the biggest sin is to not believe in Christ.
• Concerning righteousness, because I go the Father. Jesus is our standard for righteousness. Admit that you are unrighteous.
• Concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. Where sin and unrighteousness meet, judgment follows. If you do not believe in and receive Jesus Christ, you will be judged forever in a place called Hell.
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ paid the price for all of your sins and when you repent and receive Him into your life you will be declared righteous and will avoid the judgment you deserve. Believe in Christ and Christ alone!!! No one else can save you!!!
Listen to what Jesus said…our last verse for tonight…
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Cry out to Jesus and be saved!!!
Let us Pray!
Thanks To Calvary
1 Peter 4: 1-6
4 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh but live according to God in the spirit.
We just had just finished our studies in the letters of Peter, so this will be a great reminder of what we had learned. Tonight, we will be examining the change that the believer goes through, thanks to the work of Christ in Calvary.
On August of 2004 everything in my life changed. Of-course it didn’t happen all at once or instantly. That was the day I met the real Jesus of the Bible. The day I was drawn to Christ. I am far from perfect, you have been around me long enough to notice that. Nor did I ever claim to be. I have my weaknesses, and reach failures from time to time, just like everyone else. Any type of victory in my life is all because of Christ. I knew who I was before Jesus came into my life. That is something that I cannot deny. A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE!!!
The Apostle Paul puts it clearly when he said…
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
If you have been saved, then you are a new person. You were lost and now you are found... You have gone from death unto life... You were a sinner now you are a named a saint... You were condemned now you have been set free. And this is possible because of the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. I would like to walk through these verses and consider the thought "Thanks To Calvary”, things are different. The first thing I would like to examine is…
1: Because Of Calvary We Have A Different Calling.
The Christian life begins with a calling. The Holy Spirit calls us unto repentance. Jesus gives us an invitation to salvation! This calling does not end with our conversion. It is not enough to trust Jesus as Savior we must make Him Lord of our lives.
Notice if you will, as Christians we are called to follow the Savior…
1 Peter 4:1
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.
Peter says that we should "arm ourselves with the mind of Christ". We are to continually focus on Him. And we are to follow Him each and every day of our lives. Even if this means that we will face some sort suffering from time to time. Christ suffered the cruelty of the cross of Calvary for us. We should be willing to suffer for Him if that is God's will. The Christian life is a constant battle. Here Peter uses the terminology that Peter refers to that battle - "Arm yourselves". Before we will reach a place of willingness to suffer for Christ. We must put Him in His proper place...as our number 1 priority.
There was a time in Peter's life where he professed that he was willing to suffer for Christ. In fact, he was so bold as to say that he would die for Christ. But peter failed, he denied Christ 3 times in one night. But that was not the end for Peter. Jesus did a great work in his life and Peter did suffer greatly and he did so willingly. Even as he penned these words, he knew that there would come a day when he would die for the cause of Christ. Jesus told him that there would come a day when he would be killed for his faith. Knowing what he knew and enduring the suffering that he had endured Peter still faithfully followed his Savior.
Peter was called to be an Apostle. And if you are saved you have been called to follow Jesus. Your life should not be the same as it was before Christ. Your plans, purposes and priorities should be different. Are you faithfully following Jesus each day? Are you willing to continue to follow Him even if it brings suffering and pain? Remember this... the worst that can happen to you and is death. And when you look at what is waiting for you on the other side it is also the best thing that could happen to you!
“Death for the Christian is to fall asleep in the arms of Jesus and waking up and finding out that youre home”.
We are called to follow the Savior… as Christians, we called to forsake/fight sin…
1 Peter 4:2
2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
We have been changed by Jesus and we have been cleansed by His blood. We are not to return or to continue in the sin that we have been delivered from. We are to pursue the Holy will of God. This is not possible if we follow after the desires of the flesh! As I mentioned Jesus is not only Savior, He is Lord. When Jesus is Lord of our life, we are controlled by His Spirit. We cannot forsake sin on our own, but it is possible through Christ! Paul said it clearly, when he said…
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Thanks to Jesus' work at Calvary you have the opportunity for a different life. Do not waste your time pursuing the lusts of the flesh and the pleasures of this world.
1 John 2:15-16
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
Our life before Christ was empty and meaningless. Now that we are saved, we have a purpose. We have been called to be a part of something special. And this is possible “Thanks to Calvary”.
2: Because Of Calvary We Possess A Different Character…
1 Peter 4:3
3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
Here, Peter describes the life of the believer before their conversion. It was a life of sin. Their actions were marked by evil and wickedness. These are the same actions we see in the lost man today. "Immorality, lust, drunkenness, wild parties and idol worship" - Many of Peter’s readers had been involved in such sins before salvation. Here they are told that they must never return to this lifestyle ever again. All of the sins mentioned are results of following the lust of the flesh. Christians must separate from this type of lifestyle.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Because of Calvary we run with a different crowd. In the past I ran with a different crowd of people. By the world's standards they were "bad" people. And so was I. And we were more than acquaintances, we were close friends.
But when I fully surrendered to the Lord these things changed. There were things that I did that I quit doing. There were places that I went that I quit going to. My conduct changed... My conversation changed... My interests changed. Thankfully the Lord brought a new crowd into my life. I don’t call them friends, but my family. The people that I spend the majority of my time with now are born again believers. Ones with the same interests…to follow Christ.
But there are some of those old friends who just don't understand our new life. Consider if you will, why we avoid our old selves, our old crowds…
1 Peter 4:4
4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
Peter says, “They think it strange”. The old crowd does not understand the change that Jesus has brought in our lives. They may become offended or resentful when we refuse to do what we used to do. When we are no longer interested in the wicked pleasures of this world the old crowd may become confused. Not only do they not understand our new life, they may attack us because of it.
“speaking evil of you”. These people who you thought were your friends may begin to slander you. Some will mock you. They will watch you and wait for you to fail, then they will quickly point out your faults. When you refuse to partake in their sinful acts, they will call you self-righteous. When you do falter, they will call you a hypocrite. And, this hurts! These actions may come from people who you have known your entire life. But Peter gives us some encouragement a few verses down.
1 Peter 4:14 (NIV)
14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
When we live as faithful Christians in front of our lost friends and acquaintances it will convict them! The question we must ask ourselves is, are we living in such a way? Do we offend the old crowd because we follow Christ? Or, do we still belong to the old crowd, because we never really followed Christ?
Whether we realize it or not, our example leaves an impression on others. We should live as examples in front of the old crowd and we must be concerned about their spiritual condition.
Consider for a moment, the condition of the old crowd…
1 Peter 4:5
5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
"Those who are not saved"... those who are guilty of walking in the wickedness that is descried in verse 3, will one day stand before the Great White Throne. Jesus Christ will preside at that judgment. There they will "give an account to Him". And it is there that they will be condemned to the Lake Of Fire…FOREVER!!!
That old crowd may mock you for your faith, they may blaspheme the name of Jesus, but on that day… they will bow before Him! This should motivate us to live as examples in front of the old crowd, and not join them. Or else we too, will face the same judgement!
“Thanks to Calvary”, We are on a different course…
1 Peter 4:6
6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh but live according to God in the spirit.
"Those who are dead", in this verse refers to those who had been saved while they were alive but had died before Peter penned this epistle. Though they were dead physically, they were alive in their spirits. These people heard the preaching of the Gospel and trusted in Christ as Savior. And those of us who have heard the preaching of the Gospel and have been born again can live this life with the same hope that they possessed.
Because of Calvary we walk a different path, we are on a different course. We have a different future and eternal destiny. We possess eternal life through Jesus Christ! Jesus spoke of this in…
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Those who are saved are on the path that leads to eternal life. And this is only possible because of Jesus' work at Calvary.
Some Deacons were questioning young boy who wanted to join church and was asked about his salvation. How'd you get saved? He said, "Well, I done my part & God done His part." When asked about what he meant, he said, "My part was the sinning. God's part was the saving".
That is true for each of us. who are saved, And all thanks to Christ's finished work at Calvary!!!
When Miracles Happen
22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me”? 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
True living faith says, that God is in control. God has given each and everyone of us a measure of faith. (Rom 12:3) “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” And, God expects us to believe it
To overcome our fear and worries.
You see… “faith”, tells us that God is in control. And we need trust in Him fully. Every Christian home has at least three bibles at home. Every Christian…regardless of age has heard of every miracle that God has done. And yet…still, at times we tend to doubt Gods power. We question the Creator of heaven and earth.
People today are searching for many things. Things that would satisfy the need, even if its just temporary….
Some are looking for love. Some are looking for money. Some are looking for opportunity.
Some are looking for answers. Some are looking for fulfillment. And some are just looking for a miracle!! Whatever the reason, they are facing certain situations and their only answer is a miracle.
Webster’s defines a “miracle” as: an event that appears to be contrary to the laws of nature and is regarded as an act of God.
You may find yourself at a place where you cannot solve your problem on your own, you have tried everything and looked everywhere with no success. Through your struggle you have failed to look to the One who can do what no other can do. We serve a miracle working God and nothing is beyond His power. Just think for a moment about all of the miracles that Jesus has performed in the Gospel up to the time of this miracle from our text…
Turned water into wine. Healed the sick. Cast out demons. Healed Peter’s mother-in-law.
Cleansed a leper. Healed a paralyzed man. Raised the widow’s son. Calmed the raging storm.
And many more to mention.
As we come to our selected text, we find one miracle being interrupted by another miracle…
22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him.
We arrive in the midst of the story of Jairus and his sick daughter. She was young and at the point of death, in fact she did die. Jairus went to Jesus for a miracle and that is exactly what happened, Jesus raised the little girl from the dead. Here is another account of this same story according to Matthew…
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”
Same story, same characters. God made a miracle happen. As they are headed to Jairus’ daughter, Jesus is interrupted by the lady that we read about in verses 24-34. She is described as a “woman subject to bleeding” This was a lady who was searching for answers …she needed a miracle. Keep in mind, Jesus was on His way to Jairus’s daughter, then all of a sudden, a miracle happened for this young lady. A young lady who was in desperate need of a miracle.
24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
You see, when it comes to miracles, we don’t need answers or explanations on how or when it will happen. We just need to believe in the One that can make it happen. People get real skeptical when they hear that word, (Miracle) Even amongst Christians, they roll their eyes when you speak about God working a miracle. We fail to realize that miracles still happen today just as they did in the time of Jesus.
It is one thing for an unbeliever to be skeptical about a miracle, but if you are saved you have already experienced the greatest miracle of all time, your …SALVATION!!! Some people have to reach a devastating situation before they are willing to open their eyes and see that God is their only hope and to see that God can & will work a miracle in their life.
Now, look at this young woman’s situation. “And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.” (An issue of blood) - speaks of hemorrhaging, or bleeding, from some part of the body.
This woman endured a continual flow of blood. Due to her blood loss, she would have been weak and anemic. She would have been pale in appearance and would have had no energy at all. Do you know what it is like to have no energy at all? It is frustrating and discouraging. We can assume that as a result of her illness, she may have also experienced depression and discouragement.
Let’s look at the facts here…she endured her illness for 12 years. Not only did she face serious health problems, but she also found no relief. She had endured this disease for 12 years …over a decade of sickness. This woman would have been considered unclean according to the Law. This would have resulted in social isolation…away from everyone else….
25 ‘If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean. 26 Every bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her as the bed of her impurity; and whatever she sits on shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity.
Could you imagine 12 years of isolation and separation? Because she was pronounced, “Unclean”. Sad right!!! Not only did she feel all alone, she could not get any help from anyone, not even from any doctors/healers…
She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.
She’s already suffering from her disease, and doctors/healers, can’t even help. For a long time this lady had been looking for answer but to no avail. The Doctors were no help at all, you can read into this verse that they did more harm than good for this woman. “instead of getting better she grew worse”. And…not only did she not get the help that she needed, she put all her money/all she had, hoping to be healed. (had spent all she had)
The doctors and their useless remedies had not helped her. But they apparently took her money anyways. After all of her searching and suffering now she had spent everything she had. Here she is, sick, separated and broke! Yes, I would say she is in a place of severe desperation!
As I mentioned, sometimes folks have to come to a place of “severe desperation” before they are willing to look to Jesus for a miracle. You may be here and spiritually you are in the same situation as this woman. You are looking for help, hope & happiness. You have searched everywhere with no success, you have tried everything, and still no answer. You have looked to other people and they couldn’t help you.
You have spent much money trying to buy things that will provide you with happiness …it didn’t work. You have dedicated yourself to you career and you are miserable, you have a void that cannot be filled. You thought a new relationship might solve your problem. You thought that more material goods & money would make life better. You turned to drugs & alcohol to numb the pain. You have tried it all AND NOTHING IS WORKING!!
YOU ARE MISERABLE AND YOU NEED HELP NOW!
If that sounds familiar in your situation, then you are at a place of “severe desperation” and that may be the best place for you to find the answer that you need! This woman was at that point in her life and she found the answer… but how? That is the next thing I would like for us to see…
27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”
Notice her statement… “when she heard about Jesus”. How did she hear about Jesus? There was no such thing as, News, social media, newspaper. She heard of Jesus because there were some excited people in the area talking about the Man (Jesus) who had done so many miracles. We have already reviewed the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. It is possible that she has had a first-hand encounter with one of the people who were healed. Maybe she had heard from someone who witnessed one of the previous miracles. Maybe she heard from someone who heard from someone who witnessed the miracles. Regardless, we know that somebody told her about the healing power of Jesus Christ!
Another clue from this story, is the fact that when Jesus came…a great crowd pressed against Him. No, common man will enter a city, and get such welcome. Now, I don’t know how big or small this young lady was, but she fought her way through that crowd, just to get to Jesus. As weak as she was, she needed to get to Jesus. “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”
Jesus was her only hope, and she knew it. She didn’t care about the crowd, she had one goal in mind…she was desperate. And in front of her, was the only ONE that can help her! Then, by her efforts of fighting through the crowd, we see a miracle, the whole crowd didn’t even see…
29 Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
This woman showed great faith in her determination to get to Jesus. In past miracles the people were healed by the words of Jesus Some were healed when Jesus reached out and touched them. This lady says, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Her determination is also seen in the fact that she fought her way through the crowd to get to Jesus.
What did Jesus do when this happened. Keep in mind that there is a crowd pressing on Jesus when this happened…
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”31 “You see the people crowding against you,” His disciples answered, “and yet You can ask, ‘Who touched Me”? 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.
There was a great crowd gathered around Jesus. This weak, frail, sickly and desperate woman fought through the crowd with what little strength she had. She finally gets to where Jesus is and she reached out and touches “His clothes” We are told that “immediately” she was healed. The miracle that she had been looking for and longing for had happened. The thing that she had spent so much time, money & effort on was wiped away in an instant. This woman who was deemed unclean by the law is now clean/healed, because of Jesus! Let me ask you, ARE YOU AS DESPERATE AS THIS WOMAN? Later on, I will tell you how far you need to go to get to Jesus, and you don’t even have to fight a crowd to get His attention.
You see, here is something many had missed from this story. As big as this crowd was, and as many trying to get their hands on Jesus, only this desperate woman received a great miracle. What happened to the rest of the crowd? They were all pressing on Jesus. What miracle did they receive? Even Jesus’ disciples didn’t see the miracle that happened, look at what was said..
“Who touched my clothes?”31 “You see the people crowding against you,” His disciples answered, “and yet You can ask, ‘Who touched Me”? You see…if you are as desperate as this woman was, only you can/will receive the miracle that is meant for you only! The disciples said “Really, everyone is bumping up against you… LOOK AT THIS CROWD!” You see many bumped into Him, but this woman touched Him with purpose.
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at His feet and, trembling with fear, told Him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
As Jesus spoke, this woman “fell at His feet and, trembling with fear” She came behind and touched the hem of His garment because, she was afraid of rejection! She must have expected Jesus to rebuke her for touching Him. According to the Law her touch would have made Him ceremonially unclean until sundown. Jesus’ response was far from what she had expected. - v34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” She was not just another face in the crowd… This woman was special. There was a “Special Connection”
With all of the other people there, even “Jairus”, who was waiting on Jesus to heal his daughter, Jesus stops and takes time for this social outcast. Notice this one on one conversation between this lady & Jesus - "Daughter," "Your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering" What a beautiful verse… You can have a personal relationship with Jesus as well. A “special connection so to speak”. A miracle happened in her life because of Jesus. Jesus can…and will do the same for you, when you come to Him in FAITH and not in doubt!
Now if you’re wondering what happened to Jairus’ daughter, she also received a miracle her whole family never expected…
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
The whole household lost hope…
38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at Him. After He put them all out, He took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with Him and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
Two very special miracle happened because of their faith in Christ. While many doubted, Jairus believed that only Jesus can heal his daughter. When the crowd pressed on Jesus, a desperate/ill young woman saw her only Healer and fought through the crowd.
Do you need a special touch from the Lord today? Are you in need of a miracle that only Jesus can provide? You have a choice, you can bump into Jesus like so many in the crowd that day or you can reach out and touch Him with purpose. Earlier I had mentioned that I will show you how far you need to go to get to Jesus, without having to fight a crowd!
18 inches! Maybe 15 for me. I’m short. 18 inches is how far your knees are from the floor. In times of desperation, we need to get down on our knees and pray. A lot of the greatest spiritual battles are won by Christians, who fall down on their knees in prayer. It shows great humility when approaching the Lord. Get down on your knees in faith…and not in doubt and see “When Miracles Happen”.
Pressing Towards The Goal
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
What is Paul saying here? Well, if we look back at verses 10 and 11 we see that Paul is telling us that the goal of his life is to know Christ and the power of His resurrection, to share in the fellowship of His suffering, and to become like Him so that he might attain to the resurrection from the dead.
You see, in life...we like to set goals right! We’re in a new year, and many like to make, “New Year resolutions”. Eating healthy, smarter decisions, change of lifestyle, financial goals, and so on. We al have done it at one point or another. Because that is what everyone else is doing every New year. It never changes. But what happens? Is the goal met? Every resolution that we make, did we finish it?
As you can see from our text, the Apostle Paul wanted none of that. He didn’t care about worldly things. His mind was set. “I want to be like Christ”, that was his goal for his new life.
“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead”. You see, setting goals, requires the person to persevere. He/she, pushes itself to get to the goal, whatever it is. “Pressing Towards The Goal”. Because that is what the heart desires.
“I have to do this, I have to finish”. “I have set a goal for my future, I can’t fail”.
Basically, Paul is saying he wants to be made Christ-like. He wants to know Christ personally and intimately so that through the power of Christ’s resurrection he might be made perfect in Jesus.
Now he tells us in verse 12 he hasn’t reached that goal yet. He’s not perfect but he presses on toward that end.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
The price of salvation in its fullness has not yet been won, a point Paul makes against ideas of being perfect. This is the Apostle Paul here church. As good and as faithful as he was, he never claimed to be perfect, in his life in the flesh.
Believers do not yet fully experience all the benefits of redemption, for we all await our glorification, at which point the Lord will remove us from the presence of sin. Yet the saving process for every believer will be revealed in the day od Christ and the resurrection from the dead has already began. Therefore, Paul has said, believers presently experience the power of Christ. This salvation will surely be consummated for all who have put their faith in Christ alone.
To get there he says he forgets what is behind him, the past, and he strains forward to what lies ahead, the goal of winning the prize of the upward calling of Christ. In other words, eternal life, and resurrection from the dead, where he will finally be made perfect and be able to enjoy the kind of relationship God intended for us to have with Him.
I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of things in my past that I wished never happened. I have a lot of regrets. Why can’t we just erase our mistakes? Why can’t we just delete them from our minds like we do with our texts, emails? Sadly, that is the reality of life. Those mistakes, the pain, the sufferings that went with it, came with a lesson. But our past, should never determine our future.
You see…if we continue to live our lives, by re-living our past, then we will never make it to the finish line. We will never make it to our goal. It is like living in this life carrying a bunch of heavy luggage on your shoulder. The weight of it can wear the person down. Let them go, put them down, and never pick them up again. Its just too heavy and pointless to run a race with a heavy baggage.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
7 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
This is what it means to have this new life. Let us live in this life, pressing towards the goal that God has set. Lets never pick up those, heavy baggage again, they have done their job as a lesson learned. And continue on what Christ has laid in advance. Again, our past should never determine our future.
Paul spelled out his focus and that was the prize set before him at the finish line of life. In order to gain the prize, we have to be moving toward it.
There are many Christians who are content to live in what used to be. They are content to dwell in safety and not take risks for the Lord. In their walk with God they feel it is much easier and safer to preserve what they have than to reach out for more that God has for them.
For example. Imagine with me that life is like the 110M hurdles. The runners start the race with their gaze straight ahead toward the finish line. When the gun goes off the runners takes off like a bullet, flying down the track. After a few steps, this thing pops into their consciousness, and they think, “Whoa, I’m going to have to hurdle over this obstacle to continue the race.” So, they jump over the hurdle and continue running. Then what? You got it, another hurdle, and another, and another.
Now the runners don’t stop after making it over the first hurdle and proclaim, “I’ve made it!” Of course not. The runners keep going, jumping over all the obstacles till they finish the race. The goal is not to clear the first hurdle, or the 2nd or the 3rd. The goal is to finish, and hopefully win, the race. That must be our goal, as well.
Paul indicates that there is one major threat to us achieving our goals of the future, and that is our past. Paul says, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind, I press on toward the goal to win the prize.” Our pasts, good or bad, can cause us to miss out in the future. But we don’t want that to happen. So, like Paul, we have to forget our pasts and keep our focus ever on the future.
Many people in churches today are simply preserving spiritually. They are holding on to the past and by doing so are forfeiting their future. They are forfeiting the possibilities of what could be because they can’t let go of what has been.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. His Word is unchangeable. But we are changeable, and we should not be the same today as yesterday, and especially not in the future. I don’t want to just preserve my relationship with God. I want to progress in it daily, because if I’m not progressing, Then… I’m not growing.
We won’t make it to the prize if we are preserving. We have to be moving forward! We should be continually striving to be, and to become, all that God wants us to be. In our walk with God, if we are going to progress, it’s all about action. Notice the action words Paul used to describe his pursuit of his goal. “but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead”.
Paul had a passion about knowing Christ and it was not a passive thing, it was very active. In order for us to progress in our walk with God we have to be doing the same thing. We have to be active spiritually.
If you are satisfied and have no desire to go on further with Christ, to be more holy, to pray more, to study your Bible more, and to do more for Christ, my only conclusion is that you must already be like Him (Perfect) or you just have no appetite for Him.
You know what it means when you have no appetite? It means you’re sick. Paul is insinuating that if you don’t have this type of appetite for Christ that he has described, then you’re spiritually ill and you don’t even know it. If that’s the case, then you need to consult the Great Physician for a critical heart surgery.
But you know it’s not only good experiences in our past that can rob us of reaching our full potential in the future, here is where things may get painful to hear, but hear it we must. Or else, moving forward will be impossible. it can, Often, sin and past failures that hold us back. Maybe you find yourself stuck in a spiritual sense today, You… feel unable to move forward spiritually because you are still living in sin.
No one has ever reached Christian maturity until they were able to deal effectively with their sin. We all have things in our past that Satan would like to continually remind us of in order to hold us back from progressing spiritually.
This forgetfulness can only occur through confession of your sin, correction of your life, and restitution. You’ve got to come to God and tell Him that you’ve sinned, you’ve got to correct the problem in your life and repent of it. Then you have to make things right. Restitution is making right whatever you can that you’ve done wrong in your past.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And again, another great reminder from the Psalms…
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
That’s how God deals with the sins we confess to Him. He discards them where they can never be retrieved, and He remembers them no more. So…why should we! We have to take God at His Word and believe He does what He says He will do. Otherwise we are calling Him a liar and showing our lack of faith in Him.
Usually it is harder for us to forgive ourselves than it is for God to forgive us. If you confess your sins to God, they are under the blood of Christ and they have to be forgotten. God dealt with them on the cross of Christ, they are history… so we have to let them go.
If we don’t forget it, it will remain a bitter memory that will destroy what God wants to do in and through us in the future. So, let’s not be historical about our forgiven sins. Let us not… keep a record of our faults and failures, let them go and forget about the past, it’s a lesson learned, so… that we can progress toward the prize that awaits us at the finish line of life’s race.
As we press on, we will have goals to complete and hurdles to overcome. We can’t stop after clearing our first hurdle or become satisfied after accomplishing a goal and we can’t quit running just because we may have tripped along the way. We have to keep, “Pressing Towards The Future”, lest we get left behind.
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We need to remember that the race is not over. God is not through with us yet. We aren’t perfect, we’re just forgiven. We will have many more goals set before us and we must keep pressing on toward the goal of the heavenly calling of God. What is the goal? To be like Jesus. And the only way that can happen, is if we continue to run the race.
How could we ever even hope to reach that goal? Think, of the 110M hurdles. Therein lies the secret to moving from where you are to the character of Jesus. The runners know that they can’t get over all those hurdles in one leap. No! They must take one hurdle at a time, as they get to them, moving ever closer to the finish line. God puts all of these goals (or hurdles) in front of us to lead us in the same direction – toward becoming more Christ-like.
Let me end with this illustration that I learned from watching, “Francis Chan”.
Pastor Richard Santos
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