Share This Episode
Insight for Living Chuck Swindoll Logo

The Spirit Who Surprises, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
August 25, 2022 7:05 am

The Spirit Who Surprises, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 759 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

August 25, 2022 7:05 am

Flying Closer to the Flame

Cross the Bridge
David McGee
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly

Have you ever sat down to read a passage of Scripture and felt confused?

Maybe the sentences sounded like a riddle. Well, as humans with finite minds, how are we supposed to unravel the mysteries of the Bible? Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues his teaching series on the Holy Spirit.

It's called Flying Closer to the Flame. In this next portion of our study, we'll be looking at what it means to have the Spirit, called a Helper, come alongside us to reveal the meaning of Scripture. Chuck titled today's message, The Spirit Who Surprises. Experiencing the fulfillment of biblical prophecy is thrilling beyond words. I mean, have you ever put yourself in the place of the disciples who had never really put together the story of the resurrection, even though they had been told of it on more than one or even a few occasions? And then finally, after the empty tomb experience, finally after it all began to fall into place, they realized, they personally realized firsthand that Jesus had indeed miraculously and bodily been raised from the dead, and they lived to witness the fulfillment of what he had predicted. They literally lived in a time when biblical prophecy was fulfilled. Do you know that you experienced the fulfillment of biblical prophecy on a regular occasion as a Christian, if you are a student or a teacher of the Bible? Let me show you that prophecy in John chapter 14, verses 25 and 26. You will observe that the prediction that Jesus made had to do with the ministry of the Holy Spirit. John 14, verse 25. The prediction is made, and we are still living out the fulfillment of this prophecy. Jesus says, 14, 25 of John, these things I have spoken to you while abiding with you, 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 that I said to you.

Before I address the prediction itself, please observe the name that is given, the Holy Spirit, this intimate spirit of whom we are studying these days. He is called here the Helper, the Helper. The Greek word, parakletos, is from para, which means alongside something, as you would place something alongside a desk or beside a pulpit, alongside, and the other word is from the verb kaleo, which means to call out. Called alongside is the idea. In fact, if you were to amplify it, it would mean one called alongside to help, to be of assistance. If you were in severe physical need around the clock, you would hire a nurse to serve alongside you to be of assistance to you in your physical ailment and in your hurt, in your pain.

She or he would work alongside you to be of help. That's the word that is used here by John in describing the terms of Jesus, the Helper, the one who has been called alongside to help. Now observe the prophecy. Two things are stated. Verse 26. First, he will teach you all things, and implied, he will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. The spirit of God is in the continual process of teaching us the truth of the scriptures, and he is continually bringing to our remembrance the things that Jesus said. Now this had an immediate fulfillment in the lives of the disciples. Once they were involved in the very dynamic years of the early church, the spirit of God came alongside to help them and to bring to their attention the truths of what Jesus had taught and to bring to their remembrance the things that he had told them when he was on earth with them.

And yet today, 20 centuries later, we are still experiencing the fulfillment of that prophecy. The one who has been called alongside to help continues to teach us all things and continues to bring things of the truth to our remembrance. Jesus later uses the same title two chapters later, John chapter 16, verses 7 through 15, when he explains further some of the special help of the spirit. 16 verse 7.

Jesus still talking to the same group of frightened disciples only hours before the arrest, trials, and death of our Lord says to them, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away for if I do not go away, here's the word again, the helper, the one called alongside to help shall not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

Notice the future. He is not yet with you. He is not yet in you. I will send him.

However, I will send him to you. And then he goes on to describe the work of the helper. He when he comes will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. He amplifies those three statements concerning sin because they do not believe in me. So let me break in here and say it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict individuals of sin. You cannot do it.

I cannot do it. It is the work of the Spirit of God. You have a lost friend who seems to be merrily moving along his way without Christ, seems to have a nonchalant attitude to spiritual things, living wrong, and you know it's wrong. He doesn't care that it's wrong.

He has no standard. He doesn't live according to biblical standard. He has not yet been convicted of his sin. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin into the life of the lost. He will continue to do that on behalf of those who do not believe in our Lord Jesus. And then he continues, verse 10, concerning righteousness because I go to the Father and you no longer behold me. As long as Jesus was on the earth, they had an example of righteousness.

They had a model, a standard. They could look to him. They could talk to him.

They could listen to him. And in the process of relationship with Christ, they literally saw righteousness. Now when he left the earth, no longer seen on the earth, it was the Holy Spirit's responsibility to reveal righteousness, to convict people of the lack of righteousness, and he continues to do that. And also his work, verse 11, concerning judgment because the ruler of this world has been judged.

He says, I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. Now the verse that's of critical importance, verse 13. And when he, the spirit of truth, comes, notice again the future, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own initiative, but whatever he hears, he will speak. And he will disclose to you what is to come.

Once again, I see two particular ministries of the spirit in verse 13. First, he will guide you into all the truth. Who hasn't sat down at a desk, at a table, opened up a Bible, and begun to work their way through, began to work their way through the passage of scripture, and with a prayer on the lips saying, I want to know what this means, Lord, I want to know what this means to me. And in the passing of a period of time, maybe 10 minutes, maybe 20, 30 minutes, perhaps an hour, when you have finished with your study, the truth has begun to dawn on you as to what God has written in his word. That is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Christ said, when the spirit comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He won't speak on his own initiative. In other words, it will be coming from the Father, he will be the go-between in the revelation of truth, in the illumination of truth, and once you begin to pour over the scriptures and the truth begins to dawn, the fulfillment of this prophecy will have taken place.

It happens on a regular basis. Furthermore, he says, he will disclose to you what is to come. There is something fascinating about the subject of prophecy. We are all sitting on the edge of our seats in every era of time wondering what this means in light of the prophetic scripture. We're all concerned about the fall or the renewal of or the beginning of nations around us. We're all concerned, of course, as Americans about the role our country will play in the picture of biblical prophecy.

And all the way through, there are all kinds of fascinating subjects. It is the responsibility of the Spirit of God to disclose to us those things that are yet to come, and he continues to do that. Now, just a little further on Jesus' words about the Spirit, verse 14, he shall glorify me, for he shall take of mine and shall disclose it to you.

Once again, a prophecy. And he continues to do that. He takes the things of God, the things of our Lord Jesus, and he discloses them to us. All things the Father has are mine. Therefore, I said, he takes of mine and will disclose it to you.

He has said that three times. He will disclose to you what is yet to come. Verse 14, he will disclose to you the things that are mine, says Jesus. And verse 15, he will disclose to you those things that the Father has revealed to me. The Spirit of God is this reservoir, this member of the Godhead who is a reservoir of knowledge, of information, of truths, along with comfort and compassion. And he is able to take the things of God and reveal them to us. And when he does, you and I experience the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

It's happening right now. You have learned more things regarding the Spirit of God, perhaps, than you knew before in these last 10 minutes. You have added to your reservoir of information. And if you have learned it, if it has become a reality to your mind, you can thank the Spirit of God for taking the truth and revealing it and making it clear to you. The insights that you have gotten on occasion in your study of the Bible, you have the Helper to thank. The occasions when you have discovered his will and you saw it in a principle of scripture or perhaps in a sense of peace that the Spirit of God gave you, you have the Helper to thank for leading you into the Lord's will. You have had flashes of truth that you received just in the nick of time so that you made a tough decision. You said no when you should have, or you said yes when you should have.

You have the Helper to thank for an understanding of that moment and the importance of that decision. He revealed that to you. Now, from this 16th chapter of John, I want us to turn our attention to the first letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians, the second chapter, because interestingly these two chapters tie in together rather well. What Jesus taught before he went to the cross and then left the earth, the Apostle Paul addresses a little more in detail in his letter to the Corinthians. So we have some examples in 1 Corinthians 2 of the Spirit's inner workings.

I'm fascinated by the subject. The more I dig into it, the more I'm beginning to see about the intimate Spirit of God. Because we cannot see the Spirit of God, we tend to ignore, or we tend to overlook is a better, kinder word, we tend to overlook the power of his presence in our lives and in our midst. The Apostle Paul looks back on his early days in the Corinthian church when he was just founding the church and he calls to mind his ministry when he was among them. And the very first thing he puts his finger on is the demonstration of God's unique power as he recalled his early months and even early year, year and a half he was with the Corinthians.

He remembers the demonstration of the Spirit's power. Listen to Paul's own testimony about his ministry. He's writing to the Corinthians, when I came to you brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. That is what he did not do. He didn't come displaying his superiority of speech or of wisdom. Was he a brilliant man?

Just read the record. He was brilliant. Saul of Tarsus was a household name among the Jews. He was the up and coming Sanhedrinist. He was the Pharisee of the Pharisees.

He was the persecutor of the church. And then the Spirit of God poured into his life at his conversion and the Apostle Paul went through a transformation so much so that in the letter to the Philippians he looks back and he says, I consider all of those things but refuse that I might gain Christ. I don't walk in my own righteousness but now in a righteousness that is of God. So that when he came to this entertainment center of Greece, Corinth of Greece, among people who looked for great eloquence and entertainment and all of the things of the flesh, Paul says, I deliberately did not come to display that. I didn't come with superiority of speech and of wisdom.

Well, what did he do? Verses 2 and 3, I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I had a single purpose, a single minded focus and that was Jesus Christ, the cross and the message of the Savior. I was with you, you're not going to believe this, that is if you read the popular idea of Paul, I was with you in weakness, I was with you in fear, I was with you in much trembling.

Now you might wonder why. Well, do a little study in the book of Acts, just before chapter 18 of Acts where the Corinthian church is founded, he is in Athens where no church was founded and he meets with the assembled brain trust of Athens, the political center of the Grecian world and meeting with them proved to be virtually void of significance. They laughed him off the stage as it were. As he got to the subject of the resurrection, they turned him off and Paul left Athens with his tail between his legs as it were. Broken, disappointed, discouraged, lonely, broke, perhaps even depressed, defeated and he stumbled into Corinth and went back to the tent making trade where he lived with Aquila and Priscilla according to the early part of Acts chapter 18 and that's another story. But together they founded the church at Corinth and when he began there, he was a broken man. He came to them in weakness, in fear and in trembling. By the way, that's a good word for all of us. You will find yourself in places where you will be intimidated, where you will be in fear and weakness and believe me, that is when the Spirit of God does his best work.

For when I am weak, what? Then God is strong. He learned that. He tells us of it in 2 Corinthians chapter 12. The Lord has shown me in his grace that when I am weak and unable and incapable and inadequate, that's the work of the new covenant. The ministry of the Spirit of God comes in like a flood and he makes those occasions the most powerful and profound of all that you can remember because it doesn't come from the flesh.

How could he have been strong in his weakness, powerful in his fears and effective in trembling? We'll look at verses 4 and 5. My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of dunamis.

There's that word again. We saw it first in Acts 1.8 in our study and we've seen it again and again. It's the dynamic of the Spirit of God. My preaching not being words of persuasive wisdom but really they were inflamed by the Spirit of God who empowered my tongue and gave significance to my words, verse 5, that you, Corinthian believers, you young converts, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men but on the power of God. When the Corinthian believers left those meetings where they had come to listen to and be ministered to by this man who founded their church, they left talking about the Lord, not the person. And that pleased Paul immensely. The helper, we're back to the subject, the helper empowered the man's message, his leadership, his style of ministry and as a result the awesome presence of God was felt. Don't be afraid of that.

Don't resist that. There are occasions where the presence of God is so obvious it is like an electricity upon the gathering. You have been in such occasions and I have as well. Certain gatherings where you sense the power of the parakletos, the Spirit of God who has come alongside to help and he has moved through the presentation of music and he has moved through the ministry of the word and your soul is fed.

Your heart is lifted up and interestingly you're not that impressed with the person. What you leave with is the revealed word of God as the Spirit of God has taken it and I am so convinced that it is of the Spirit that I would say it cannot be defined, it cannot be denied and it cannot be duplicated. You walk away trying to describe to someone else the significance of that time and you can't do it. You can't describe it and yet you can't deny it and you can't duplicate it.

It isn't something that is like a performance that can be done over and over again. Paul's experience among the Corinthians by his own testimony was that it was the work of the Spirit and God was doing it. Now he doesn't stop here. He digs even deeper and he talks about the searching work of the Spirit. Now put your thinking cap on. Verses 6 through 10 address the searching of God's hidden wisdom. Now think with me.

Paul continues to write to these friends of his in Corinth. Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature. He is speaking of a wisdom. It is not a worldly wisdom. It is a God-like wisdom among those who are mature. Then he describes it. A wisdom however not of this age nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away but in contrast to wisdom learned in this world, wisdom learned from the books, wisdom learned from the nobles and the scholars of any era but we on the other hand speak God's wisdom in a in a moustarion, in a mystery.

Mystery is really a transliterated Greek word. We speak wisdom that is from the secret places of God made clear to us by the Spirit. The hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory.

Don't let that slip by. In the eternity past, before there ever was a world, before there ever was matter, before there ever was time and of course before there were ever people on this earth, in the eternity past when the Godhead existed and existed alone, in the divine decrees of the Father and the Son and the Spirit, in the working out of the plan that God would have run its course on this earth when earth began for that period called time. It was the Father's plan to work out and to reveal within the Godhead all of these things that would transpire and would be sovereignly superintended by the Godhead through the passing of time. He is looking back to that era in the hidden wisdom, in the mystery of God's wisdom which was all predestined before the ages for our glory. The wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Of course not. You see, when you operate in this pinpoint called time, when your perspective is riveted to today, you do not enter into the realm of God's wisdom. His wisdom is pervasive. It goes beyond eternity. It goes beyond our past, even the beginning of this world. It goes back into eternity past and it goes far beyond our future, beyond time. His wisdom covers all of the existence through all of the eras.

It was all arranged ahead of time and it is running its course exactly as God predicted it and as God predestined it. And none of the rulers of this age riveted to today understood that or will ever understand it. If they had understood it, they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of glory.

They would have understood that it was a part of a plan. You're listening to a message presented by pastor, author, and Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll. He's talking about The Spirit Who Surprises. This is Insight for Living. To learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at Well, you'll be glad to learn that Chuck wrote a book that parallels today's topic. It's called Embraced by the Spirit, The Untold Blessings of Intimacy with God.

To purchase a copy right now, go to slash store. Bear in mind that while you're listening to Chuck's teaching today, you're joined with fellow listeners around the world. Many of them are just learning how to walk with God and some are recovering from poor decisions they made long ago. But there's a common thread of gratitude in the messages we receive. God is using insight for living to transform the hearts of willing listeners through the power of our companion, the Holy Spirit. These transformational stories are made possible in part because people like you give voluntary donations.

And if you're among those who give, let me encourage you with a comment we received. This person said, Chuck, I was having a really bad time in my marriage. I was staring down the barrel of divorce. Your broadcast every morning helped me to weather the storm, be patient and wait on the Lord. Chuck, it took two years and we're headed to a much stronger relationship. I'm grateful I listened. I'm grateful you were there.

Thank you so much. Well, this listener gave gratitude to Chuck, but it really belongs to those who partner with us. As you can readily see, this person is still on a journey toward transformation. God is the one who changes lives, but He invites us to play a critical role in broadcasting the truth so you can have confidence that your gift to insight for living is making a difference. To give a gift today, call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or go online to I'm Bill Meyer.

Join us when Chuck Swindoll's series called Flying Closer to the Flame continues, Friday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, The Spirit Who Surprises, was copyrighted in 1992, 1993, 2003, and 2022. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-06 05:55:59 / 2023-03-06 06:05:09 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime