Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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PENTECOST – May 20, 2018 – John 15:26,27; John 16:4-15 “BLESSINGS OF THE SPIRIT”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from John chapters 15 and 16.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • It is fairly evident in Holy Scripture that the disciples were unaware of the great “BLESSINGS OF THE SPIRIT” that were soon to come to them by the power and gift of Jesus. This, in spite of the fact that He promised rather clearly and explicitly in the words of our text. 
  • They received these blessings on the first day of Pentecost, as described in the Second Reading today. And these blessings enabled them to preach and teach the Gospel, to bear witness to Jesus and to build the church.
  • It is also fairly evident that many people today also remain “unaware” of the “BLESSINGS OF THE SPIRIT” that Jesus wills and intends for us to have. There are a number of reasons for this, I suppose.  Some people may simply be unaware, not having read the Scriptures regarding the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.  For others, I fear we really don’t want to know about or receive the “BLESSINGS OF THE SPIRIT.” 
  • This is because we know that such blessings create and require changes in us, and we’re fairly comfortable in the amount of faith and commitment to Jesus that we already have. We also know what Jesus said:  “To whom much has been given, shall much be required.”  [Lk. 12:48]  Perhaps we are uncomfortable with assuming this obligation, of having to give “more.”
  • But I must warn that you this is a capitulation to our fallen sinful nature, and contrary to the will of Jesus, as we see in our text. It is also a great loss to us, for the “BLESSINGS OF THE SPIRIT” are a great benefit to us.  This is what we will consider on the basis of these words of Jesus in our text.  For:

 

I.  The Holy Spirit Helps Us; He Is The Helper

 

Text:  “When the Helper comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth.”

 

A.  The Helper, The Holy Spirit Of Truth, Bears Witness To Jesus, To God’s Gracious Mercy And Love

 

Text:  “He will bear witness about Me.”

 

B.  The Helper, The Holy Spirit Of Truth, Also Helps Us To Bear Witness To Jesus

 

Text:  “And you also will bear witness [about Me], because you have been with Me from the beginning.”

 

Statement:  There is obviously a direct application of these words and promises to the disciples – for they were with Jesus “from the beginning” of His ministry.  This gives the disciples an important place; they also bear witness to Jesus, through their written words, the Holy Scriptures, even to us.  And we should heed their witness!

 

Application:  But there is also application to us, we who have received the Helper, the Holy Spirit of Truth, in our baptism.  He is bearing witness to us about Jesus, and about God’s love.  You remember what the apostle Paul wrote:  “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. “  [Rom. 8:14-17] 

 

And it is certain that He also helps us to bear witness to Jesus, for as Jesus promised:  “You will be dragged before governors and kings for My sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.  For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”  [Matt. 10:18-20]

 

Transition:  This is of tremendous comfort and strength to us, but there is more, for:

 

II.  The Helper, The Spirit Of Truth, Also Convicts All Human Beings Of The Truth

 

A.  The Truth Regarding Our Sin, Calling Us To Repent

 

Text:  “He will convict the world concerning sin.”

 

Rom. 3:23  “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

 

B.  The Truth Regarding God’s Righteousness, So That We Might Believe In Jesus And Receive God’s Gift Of Forgiveness And Righteousness

 

Text:  “He will convict the world in regard to righteousness.”

 

Eph. 1:7  “In Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

 

2 Cor. 5:21  “For our sake God made Him to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”     

 

C.  The Truth Regarding Judgment Upon All Evil, Once And For All

 

Text:  “He will convict the world in regard to judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

 

Statement:  Obviously this helps us a great deal, not only in coming to faith but also in remaining in faith!  This is the life of a Christian – repentance, faith in God’s gracious mercy and salvation in Christ Jesus, and a rejection of all evil and a commitment toward all that good and righteous! 

 

Application:  This is something we must remain in – for our own spiritual health and blessedness, and also for our witness to others!  We cannot bear witness to Jesus, and the grace of God, unless we clearly understand it and live in it!  And it is a blessing, a great help, that as we speak to others the Helper, the Holy Spirit of Truth, is working to “convict” others of the truthfulness of what we are saying about Jesus! 

 

Transition:  And all of this is deeply strengthening for us, for:

 

III.  The Helper, The Spirit Of Truth, Provides Us With Truth

 

A.  Through The Apostles, Who Were Commissioned To Author The Holy Scriptures Of The New Testament

 

Text:  “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak.”

 

B.  And Through These Scriptures, The Holy Spirit Has Provided Us With Truth

 

1.  In regard to the true glory of Jesus

 

Text:  “He will glorify Me, for He will take what Is Mine and declare it to you.  All that the Father has is Mine; therefore I said that He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.”

 

2.  Also in regard to things that are to come, what we really need to know, no more and no less

 

Text:  “He will declare to you the things that are to come.”

 

Statement:  Truth is important, and here we have Jesus’ own promise that the Helper, the Spirit of Truth, would guarantee the truthfulness of the disciple’s witness to Jesus, and to the things to come.  This is incredibly good for us, for it means that we need have no fear or doubt about the reality of what is presented to us in Holy Scripture! 

 

Application:  In this way Jesus, through our text, directs our hearts and minds to the witness of the disciples, in Holy Scripture, and  prepares us to receive their teachings as Divine Truth, that given by the Holy Spirit of God.  This is “Help” indeed!  Let us see this, and gratefully receive this help from the Helper, the Spirit of God!

 

Conclusion:  These blessings are nothing to be afraid of!  Through them, God Himself will provide us will all that we need to remain in the truth, in faith in Jesus, and faithful to the Lord! 

 

Yes, they will require and compel changes, but as the Spirit leads us into the truth, we will also see and acknowledge that such changes, while perhaps discomforting, are great and wonderful changes to be making.  In fact, for believers, they are inevitable – thanks and praise be to God.

 

So let us rejoice in and embrace the “BLESSINGS OF THE SPIRIT.”  This is God’s goodness, and it is His will to provide this goodness to each of us.  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.