“Why do I have to know this?!?”

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After me asking this day after day in Geometry class in high school, my exasperated teacher finally said, “Because there’s a test!” 

Fair point. 

There would come a time that all the math stuff taught to us was going to be evaluated.  That evaluation was evidence of our understanding.  It wasn’t that we were in class.  It wasn’t that we did the homework.  No.  The proof of our understanding was the test.

As disciples of Jesus, there is also going to be a test.  No, it’s not in Heaven.  We don’t get into Heaven because of a scantron test; we get in because of a blood test (the blood of Jesus).

Jesus and His disciples are still at the table of the Last Supper.  It’s just a few hours until Jesus is betrayed and crucified for the payment of our sins.  On the precipice of that journey, Jesus continues in John 15:26-27.

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.  And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.  

John 15:26-27 New International Version

Jesus reminds the disciples that the Spirit of Truth, who is sent by the Father and Son, will testify about Jesus. Because of the indwelling that will occur in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost, they will also testify. 

As eyewitnesses to Jesus, they can swear accurately to what happened, Who He was, and what He said.  The Spirit of Truth, another name for the Holy Spirit, would empower them to testify well.  They would need the Holy Spirit for the persecution they would face.

The Lord declared through prophet Joel in 2:28-29: “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”

In Acts 2, this is exactly what was fulfilled.  Jesus is prophesying what will happen.  Part of the Holy Spirit’s role is to testify about Jesus.  He validates the identity and mission of Jesus.  And followers of Jesus will definitely need this certainty.

When persecution comes, the Holy Spirit will continue His work in us.

We want to skip over these parts or pretend persecution won’t happen.  But it does.  Every day around the world, Christians are persecuted for their faith.  Historically, the Church of Jesus has been persecuted from the beginning.

Why should we think we are different?

When we face persecution for our faith, when people mock us, ridiculing and treating us like we’re unintelligent, we must be ready.

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When we are threatened with loss of income, reputation, or friends, we must be ready.

If we are even expected to give our lives for the cause of the faith, we must be ready because, as missionary Jim Elliot journaled on October 28, 1949, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” 

And in those days, we will testify about Jesus and the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of Truth—will empower us and fill our mouths with His truth to the world.

Do you know the Spirit of Truth?  Do you study the Bible?  Are you ready for your test?

It’s that time of year again: Thanksgiving and Christmas (Advent). As such, my blog will change starting next week and will return to its normal pattern (and the Gospel of John) in 2023.

Thank you for being on this journey with me!

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