The Spirit our Helper

Spirit Helper

Sunday 11/13/22

Message – The Spirit our Helper

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The Spirit our Helper

John 14:1-31,

(1) Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  (2)  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.  (3)  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  (4)  And where I go you know, and the way you know.”  

(5)  Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”  

(6)  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  (7)  “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”  

(8)  Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”  

“(9) Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  (10)  Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.  (11)  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.  (12)  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  (13)  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (14)  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.  (15)  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.  (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.  (18)  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.  (19)  “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.  (20)  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  (21)  He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”  

(22)  Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”  

(23)  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  (24)  He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.  (25)  “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  (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.  (27)  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  (28)  You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.  (29)  “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.  (30)  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.  (31)  But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.”

John 15:23-27,

“(23) He who hates Me hates My Father also.  (24)  If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.  (25)  But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’  (26)  “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.  (27)  And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”

John 16:7-15,

“(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.  (15)  All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”

John 17:1-11,

“(1) Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,  (2)  as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.  (3)  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (4)  I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.  (5)  And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.  (6)  “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.  (7)  Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.  (8)  For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.  (9)  “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.  (10)  And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.  (11)  Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.”

Blessings!

 

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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