Read: John 15:1-15


There are many different brands of Christianity and forms of worship and “doctrinal positions.” To find the real thing in the midst of all the confusion and falsehood-


- don't ask what church they belong to,


- or whether they believe in the rapture,


- or whether the Bible is verbally inspired,


- or whether their worship is liturgical or free.


In the midst of all these brands, and forms, and denominations, and movements, there are really only two kinds of people who consider themselves Christian:


1. There are those whose belief in Jesus Christ is a tradition handed down to them by men.


2. And there are those who follow Jesus Christ because He has been revealed to them by God.


Those who believe in Jesus as a tradition passed on to them by their parents or by the church they were raised in, are believing (if you want to call it believing) in an idea.


If anyone asks them whether they believe in Jesus they say, "Of course I do! I always have. Ever since I was a child I have believed in        Jesus ... ever since I got baptized last year....."


But when you believe in Jesus as a tradition handed down to you, your faith - if you can call it faith - remains in tact only so long as it never comes under any strain. About the best this Jesus of tradition can do for you is give you a feeling of comfort before you go to bed at night - the same kind of feeling you get when you look at the picture of your departed grandmother.


There are millions of people in this land who con­sider themselves Christians who have no idea that there could possibly be anything more to it than this traditional Jesus, this mental image that was given to them in childhood that comforts them before they go to bed at night and soothes them when they go to church.


Ah, but when real trouble comes, they lie awake nights.  Many of them quit going to church because they discover that this Jesus of tradition was no more able to help them than their grandmother's picture.


Yet, these same people shake their heads in disgust over those nutty fanatics who keep talking about Jesus as if He were really alive - "Crazy fanatic". Let me tell you something friend, it's better to be a crazy fanatic for the living Jesus than to spend your whole lifetime clinging to a tradition that can give you no life.


If the Jesus you say you believe in never speaks to you, never guides you, never teaches you, never really comforts you, never fills your soul with awe, never gives you a vision of things to come, never rebukes you for your unbelief, never convicts you for your lack of love, you haven't got the real Jesus.


No man can make you see the real Jesus. The only one who can enable you to see the real Jesus is God Himself. If God doesn't reveal Jesus to you, you'll never see Him.


- That Jesus’ death took away sin,

- That He rose from the dead,

- That He is alive right now,

- That He is now in your presence,


this has to be revealed. How else can you know?


When Jesus was here in flesh and blood everybody had an opinion about him but only a few knew who He was - and those who knew, knew only because it was revealed to them by God.


"Who do men say that the Son of Man is?"


"Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."


"But who do you say that I am?"


"You are the Christ the Son of the Living God."


"Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven."


How did God make these men see? How did God cause these men to understand that Jesus of Nazareth didn't actually come from Nazareth at all - He came from Heaven!? That this man they ate and drank with, loved like a father even though He was younger than many of them, that this man who gave hope and healing to all who came to Him, was the very One who eons before hovered in the center of Nothing­ness and said, "Let there be light and there was light".


God revealed these things by means of One who is even more a mystery to this death-blinded planet than Jesus is. He is called by several names. He is called the Counselor, the Paraclete, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.


We don't know a great deal about the Holy Spirit. God intentionally keeps the Holy Spirit wrapped in mystery.


Jesus was not sent to bear witness to the Holy Spirit.


The Holy Spirit was sent to bear witness to Jesus.


But there are certain things we need to know and these things we need to know about the Holy Spirit are told to us by Jesus Himself. The night before He went to the Cross, Jesus explained to His disciples,


"I am going away, but I will not leave you desolate. I'm going to send you another Counselor to be with you forever. And He will take from me, and teach to you all the things that you still have to learn. He is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him or knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."


"The Spirit of God has been with you these three-and-a-half years, teaching you through me", says Jesus. "My words are Spirit and they are life. But now we're going to go one step further. After I have cleared away your guilt and broken the curse of death, I am going to go back to the Father so that the Spirit who is now in me can come to dwell in you. It is to your advantage that I go away, for the Spirit cannot come to dwell in you until I'm gone.


I have many things to say to you that you couldn't possibly grasp now - I'll say them to you through the Spirit when He comes to dwell in you."


“When the Spirit of Truth comes, 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 declare to you things that are to come. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you."


Forty days after Jesus rose from the dead He left the earth and His resurrected body hasn't been seen here since.


Fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, on the Jewish feast of Pentecost, the Spirit who entered Jesus of Nazareth at his baptism entered the disciples and began guiding them from within -


- into all truth,


- revealing Jesus to them as never before,

- showing them things to come.


Now their days of floundering and hesitating and guessing and bungling are over. Now they are anointed with the authority of the living God.


Now Jesus is living inside them. Now their words are Spirit and life and the demons know it and the world knows it and they know it - things happen.


The Holy Spirit who took control of the Body of Christ on Pentecost is still in charge. And He will be in charge until Jesus comes for His saints. And every­thing the Spirit did for those men and women, He wants to do for us and for all believers on earth.


He wants to tell us everything Jesus has yet to say to us.


He wants to guide us into all truth.


He wants to glorify Jesus before our eyes.


He wants to give us power so that we can go out there and manifest the love of God to that troubled world.


He wants to give us vision so that we can clearly see what needs to be done in the places where we've been put.


He wants to give us wisdom, compassion, utterance, boldness, joy.


But something's holding up the works - and it's not the Spirit. The Spirit is a thousand times more eager to give than we are to receive.


The thing that's holding up the works is our unbelief, our unwillingness to trust the things we already have heard from Him.


When Jesus told these men to expect the Spirit, they expected Him.


When Jesus told them to obey, they obeyed. When the Spirit came and gave them light, they walked in it.


But at every turn, the controlling factor, in too many of our lives, is not faith in God and in what His Spirit has already revealed to us - but unbelief.


There's the unbelief of despair.

God shows us light at the end of the tunnel but we won't look up. We choose to look down at our feet and feel sorry for ourselves and say there is no hope.


The unbelief of disobedience.

God told us which road to walk but we won't trust him. Told you he'd take care of that problem, but you won't trust Him - you take matters into your own hands and make the problem 100 times worse.


The unbelief of lust.

You won't believe that God can satisfy you. You're going to go on trying to satisfy yourself - but instead of getting satisfied you just keep getting more empty.


The unbelief of laziness.

Blaming God for doing nothing when it's you who are doing nothing. You want God to bring you your breakfast in bed.


The unbelief of covetousness.

We pray and talk like believers but how often the thing that really moves us is money. If only we trusted God like we trust money!



Unbelief. The one thing that stands between us and an out-pouring of the Spirit of God that would literally shake these walls - is unbelief.


There are seekers among those reading this today who say they're looking for Jesus. The voice of Jesus is speaking in your heart right now - calling you to repent and humble yourself - promising you forgiveness and newness of life this day, and you're still holding out with un­belief.


And there are professing believers who have gone through the motions of committing their lives to Jesus. Nobody has to tell you that your  ministry has about as much strength as a wet rag.


No power.

No fruit.

No love.

No boldness.

And you think God has let you down.


Listen to what the Spirit of the Lord says to you today. He says, "You are unbelieving believers - you are clinging, not to My Word, but to your own flesh, and that's why nothing is happening."


"When I tell you believe, I give you the power to believe. So there is no excuse for unbelief. Repent and believe in Me", says the Lord.


"Trust Me."


"Put yourself into my hands and start doing the things you know I've commanded you to do."


"When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth......"



Well, the Spirit of Truth has come.

 We're not wait­ing for Him.


He's waiting for us to repent of our unbelief and put ourselves into the hands of the Jesus He reveals to us right now.... and then get up and start doing the will of the living God.