Pastor’s Pen Pulpit Series: Truth for the Heart
January 2, 2005
INTRODUCTION TO JOHN CHAPTERS 14-16
This portion of God’s Word contains the most practical and intimate conversation the Lord Jesus had with His disciples. It has been called the Upper Room Discourse. We are beginning our new year’s pen pulpit series with a study of John chapters 14-16 entitled TRUTH FOR THE HEART.
Let me explain what a discourse is: A discourse is an extended oral or written treatment of a subject. There are at least three major discourses in the Gospel records. They differ in three ways:
The Upper Room Discourse is the most intimate of all of the discourses in the Gospel record. Jesus tells His disciples that He is going away but He is sending a replacement – the Holy Spirit. His intent is to encourage His disciples in light of His leaving them. Although He is physically leaving them He would, none-the-less, be in them through the Person of the Holy Spirit. This is a tremendous truth. In the Old Testament, God is FOR His people. In the Gospel record God is WITH His people. In this present age God is IN His people. As the indwelling resident, the Holy Spirit would release the power of Jesus through the disciples in order for them to do the work He commissioned them to do. This discourse has been called by many “The Holy of Holies.”
The Lord Jesus Christ was preparing His disciples for when He would leave them to go to the cross, rise from the dead and return to heaven. They had been with Him for over three years. Now He was about to leave them. WHAT THEN? Basically He informs them of the following:
• They would not be left alone.
• The Holy Spirit would replace Him.
• The Holy Spirit would indwell them.
• He also explained the ministry of the Holy Spirit in and through them.
The future work of the Holy Spirit as recorded in the epistles is fully represented in the upper room discourse.
A BRIEF SURVEY OF CHAPTERS 14-16
Some of the topics Jesus discussed
In CHAPTER FOURTEEN
>The Lord talks about His going away.
>His return and what He is doing in the interim.
>He talks a lot about prayer and the promises of God to answer prayer.
>He also talks about the advent of the Holy Spirit and some of His ministry as the Helper.
In CHAPTER FIFTEEN
>The Lord discusses the subject of the Vine and the Branches – a beautiful picture of the future church. (A RICH STUDY)
>He talks about love and abiding in Him.
>He talks about the believer and the world.
>He talks about the world and its ungodly attitude toward Him and His followers.
In CHAPTER SIXTEEN
>He talks about the world’s persecution of His followers.
>About the necessity for Him to return to heaven.
>The coming of the Holy Spirit to believers and how the Spirit would deal with the world in making known its present and future condition.
> Jesus talks about the Spirit’s pre-authenticating the writing of the New Testament letters (John 16:13).
>The sorrow of His disciples about His going away.
Jesus closes out this discourse by showing that, although they can expect persecution, His peace is always with them.
Next week we will begin a systematic study of TRUTH FOR THE HEART. Please read ahead in chapter fourteen, and plan on making this series truly TRUTH FOR YOUR HEART! For over forty years of study and ministry of the Word of God, these three chapters have been a great comfort to my heart. I hope they will be to yours! - - - and have a blessed and Happy New Year.