Whose Am I? (John 16:12-15)

Whose Are You_

John 16:12-15

“Discover your passions and desires and then pursue them despite any opposition,” is a common message in our current culture. Christianity does indeed validate the importance of our desires – a cursory read of the lamentation psalms makes that clear. However, Christianity is not as interested in answering the question, “Who am I?” as it is in answering the question, “Whose am I?”

In Jesus’ final discourse to his disciples, he explains the role of the Holy Spirit. He says, “The Holy Spirit will bring glory to me, by taking from me and making it known to you (John 16:14 [my translation]).” To glorify something or someone means to both give it weight and value as well as make known its brilliance and beauty.

There is an interesting phenomenon that takes place within the persons of the Trinity. The Father glorifies the Son (8:54), the Son glorifies the Father (14:13), and the Spirit glorifies the Son (16:14). The persons of the Trinity seem to always be glorifying one another. Jesus said, “Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him (7:18).” Think of all the grandstanding and one-upping in the world and the turmoil it causes. The very things we desire in our relationships, the very things we long for in the geo-political climate, the very things people mean when they say, “pray for peace,” exist and always have existed in the persons and the unity of the Trinity.

But, there is more. Christ offers, through the Holy Spirit, something inexplicably marvelous. He prays for his followers, saying, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one… (17:22)” Wow, Christ gives us his glory! John Calvin said, “Christ kept nothing for himself alone but rather was rich in order to enrich his believers. Our happiness lies in having the image of God restored and reformed in us…”

The Holy Spirit bonds us to the relationship that exists in the one, eternal Trinity. The Holy Spirit brings glory to the Son by reflecting his glory in Christ’s followers. The New City Catechism states that our only hope in life and death is that we are not our own but belong to God. Can there be anything more glorious or worthy of our praise?

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Mocking the Holy (Psalm 22:7-18)

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Psalm 22:7-18

Stripped naked, robed with scarlet, crowned with thorns, mocked, spat on, hit, clothes divided; Jesus fulfills in fullness the mockery of Psalm 22: Continue reading

The Holy Spirit Convicts the World (John 16:1-11, part 2 of 2)

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John 16:1-11

We have an incredible ability to rationalize our behavior. Even though we do things that others might know are clearly wrong, we come up with many reasons for why what we did is right. Continue reading

How to Stand Up to Persecution (John 16:1-11, part 1 of 2)

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John 16:1-11

“They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering service to God (John 16:2).” These were the words of Jesus to his disciples before his departure. They were not the words his followers wanted to hear, but Jesus’ forewarning came true. Continue reading

Finding God (Philippians 3:14)

Finding God

Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Philippians 3:14

I am always looking for God. I get up every morning looking for him. If I ignore him, then inevitably I try to find him through something worldly or destructive. Continue reading

Honoring Our Wives and Mothers (1 Peter 3:7)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

1 Peter 3:7

Speaking to the National Congress of Mothers in 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt said: “No piled-up wealth, no splendor of material growth, no brilliance of artistic development, will permanently avail any people unless its home life is healthy … No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night … The woman who is a good wife, a good mother, is entitled to our respect as is no one else …” Continue reading

Are You Looking for Answers? (John 15:26-27)

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John 15:26-27

The Holy Spirit is given many titles by Jesus in his farewell discourse (John 13:31-17:26). One of those titles is “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13).

Many of us long for truth but are increasingly confounded by our search for it. We hit the internet, TED talks, podcasts, and maybe even – dare I say – Facebook, to find something we can hang our hat on and know it will hold. Continue reading

Divine Abandonment (Psalm 22)

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Psalm 22

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” were some of the words Jesus cried from the cross (Matthew 27:46).

It is easy to look up to God, when our lives are filled with gladness. But, what about those times when we are at the absolute end of our robe, like life is ebbing away (cp. Job 30:16)? When prayers seem to go unanswered (cp. Job 30:20)? When we seem to suffer at no fault of our own (cp. Job 29:11-17; 30:1)? Continue reading

Unseen and Unsung (1 Peter 1:8-9)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

1 Peter 1:8-9

We live in a MeWorld. We are only one click away from “my documents,” “my calendar,” “my favorites,” “my music,” “my pictures,” and “my shopping cart.” Continue reading

The Foolishness of God (1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

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1 Corinthians 1:18-25

A traveler arrives at the foot of a high mountain that he must get to the other side of. He looks one way and sees a path that appears well-worn, free of thicket, and wide. He looks the other way and sees a path that is narrow, full of thicket, and less worn. He knows he must choose wisely, or he may not make it to the other side. Continue reading