Jesus Gives The Spirit’s Job Description (John 15:26-27; 16:8) Festival of Pentecost
The Festival of Pentecost Trinity Lutheran Church
27 May 2012 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
John 15:26-27; 16:8
Did you hear what Jesus categorically said on this Pentecost Sunday? About the Holy Spirit, that is? We’ll take a look at a couple of verses today. Jesus preaches the Holy Spirit’s job description. And there’s no one better than Jesus to do just that. After all, Jesus promises the twelve, His church, that He will “send” the Holy Spirit, “the Counselor … the Spirit of truth … who goes out from the Father.” Jesus sends the Holy Spirit from the Father. This is why the Nicene Creed confesses that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son.”
But why does Jesus promise to send the Holy Spirit from the Father? Do you know why? Before you answer that question you’d better let the Lord Jesus have His say first. Let Jesus speak! Let Jesus preach.
“All right, so why does Jesus promise to send the Holy Spirit from the Father, Reverend?” Glad you asked! Jesus gives the answer. Are you ready? Really? Good! Here’s the answer! “When the Counselor 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.”
“Whaaaaaat? Is Jesus serious? Perhaps the English is a bad translation of the Greek! Right Reverend?” No folks. The translation is faithful. “Well, since it’s not that Reverend, then some Dan Brown Da Vinci Code scribe must have tampered with the original text and changed the words! After all, every American preacher proclaims just the opposite about the Holy Spirit’s work! We’ve never heard anything like this: HE WILL TESTIFY ABOUT ME! Come on! We all know that the Holy Spirit’s job is to testify about Himself! Holy Spirit proclaims Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit calls attention to Holy Spirit! And if the church is going to grow by leaps and bounds we’ve got to be Holy Spirit centered! And double and triple bonus rounds are when we really feel the Holy Spirit moving in our lives through signs and miracles! So, Reverend, we dare to propose a change to the text! Jesus must have said: THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL TESTIFY ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT! Write that down in your Bible Reverend, preach it that way to us, and oh, here’s a complimentary membership to Quarry Oaks!”
Sorry folks! Not going there! Not even a lifetime membership to Quarry Oaks would tempt me to do such a thing! Jesus said what He said! He meant what He said! We’ll stick with His words. We’d better hear them again: “When the Counselor 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.”
The Holy Spirit has a Jesus fixation! He has Jesus on the brain! A Jesus intoxication! The Holy Spirit’s job, as Jesus Himself preaches, is to TESTIFY or GIVE WITNESS TO JESUS!
And not just any Jesus! But the Jesus who is true God and true man in one person! The Jesus who suffered and died for sinners on the cross! In His slain and dead Body on the cross the Blood of Jesus answers for all sin! Atones for all sin! For every sinner! Can you name any sin for which Jesus didn’t die? He died for the whole enchilada of sin! Can you name any sinner for whom Jesus didn’t die? He died for the whole lot! The graveyard dead God-Man Jesus on cross, made satisfaction for your sin! He turned God’s face from anger and damnation to mercy and salvation – FOR YOU! Jesus is the Savior! The only one!
The “Jesus died for you and for your salvation” promise and proclamation is job number one for the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit doesn’t preach Himself! The Holy Spirit preaches the crucified, dead, but risen Jesus! “When the Counselor 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.”
So when the preacher preaches Jesus who died and rose for you and for your salvation, the Holy Spirit is most present! Most poured out upon you! Most pentecosted for you! Why? Because Jesus is preached to you and for you as GIFT!
It’s time to take Jesus’ words seriously here at Trinity and in our own personal lives. It’s time for all of us to repent of not paying attention to what Jesus actually says and to believe Him and trust Him!
Imagine going to church week after week, month after month, year after year, and never hearing from the pulpit that Jesus died for you! That Jesus rose for you! That you are totally and completely forgiven for Jesus’ sake! Imagine if you didn’t hear that promise regularly! The promise of salvation! It happens all the time! Preachers preach everything but Jesus these days!
When I go to a wedding, funeral, or a regular church service I give the sermon the “Jesus” test! And so should you! Did the preacher give you, the sinner, and everyone there Jesus? Did the preacher clearly hand over to you Savior Jesus? Did the preacher proclaim Mount Calvary and Empty Tomb Jesus? For your forgiveness and your salvation? If not, the sermon has failed and the preacher has quite simply wasted your time! You might as well just go fishing or golfing every Sunday if Jesus and His promises are MIA from the pulpit! I would!
Brothers and sisters, when the Good Friday and Easter Sunday Jesus is left out of preaching, when there’s no clear “I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” there’s no Holy Spirit going on regardless of who the preacher is or how dynamic or good with the youth he is!
When there’s no Holy Spirit going on in the church, there’s no what? … … … … I’ll ask again! When there’s no Pentecost Breathed By Jesus Holy Spirit going on in the church by means of the preaching of Savior Jesus for sinners and for you, there is no what? The answer is devastatingly clear:
THERE’S NO PENTECOST POURING OUT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CREATE SAVING FAITH IN JESUS IN THE EARS AND HEARTS OF SINNERS!
THERE’S NO HOLY SPIRIT TO RAISE DEAD SINNERS FROM THE DEAD AND TO CALL THEM FROM THEIR GRAVE OF SIN AND DEATH TO A NEW RESURRECTION LIFE SPELLED:
WHEN THERE IS NO PREACHING OF JESUS THERE’S NO HOLY SPIRIT TO CREATE CHRISTIANS!
THERE IS NO CHURCH! NO FORGIVENESS OF SINS! NO RESURRECTION OF THE BODY AND NO LIFE EVERLASTING!
Seriously! This is what is at stake! The salvation of sinners is at stake!
You are so used to hearing Jesus preached here at Trinity! It’s gone on for 120 years! The temptation is to blow off such preaching and promise! To take the Jesus died and rose for you sermons and blessings for granted. To lust for different sermons and charismatic preachers who will give you what your itching ears want to hear, not the forgiveness of sins. So you forsake the divine service for weeks, months, or even years in some cases.
Some, however, actually sit in the divine service but don’t listen to or pay any attention to the Pentecostal blowing of the Holy Spirit in our midst through the sermon, the readings, the liturgy and even the Sacrament. They just sit there coldly and callously, deaf and dumb to the Holy Spirit’s life-giving and life-saving work!
Imagine that! The Spirit comes with all that Jesus won on the Cross – protection, defense, and power against death, the devil and every trouble in the Word and Sacrament – and tragically, some actively resist the Spirit’s work! To be in the very presence of the Holy Spirit and to actively and purposely oppose His work for you in Word and Sacrament is a no win scenario! Keep it up and God will give you what you want as your punishment! If you insist on stopping up your ears and your heart, you will hear whether you want to or not the Lord Jesus say on the Last Day: “You wouldn’t listen? You pushed away the Spirit in My Word and Sacrament? Then that is what you will have. Too late to give me your puny excuses! Your puny cares! Depart from me. I don’t know who you are. Go to hell – AS YOU INSIST – OVER MY DEAD BODY!”
Brothers and sisters coming to church can be as spiritually malignant as not coming to church at all! To purposely refuse every Sunday as a little Pentecost in whatever way is THE WAY OF DEATH! ETERNAL DEATH!
But that’s when the Holy Spirit gets busy again! Thank God! Just as Jesus says: “When he [the Holy Spirit] comes he will convict the world of …. GUILT IN REGARD TO SIN.”
Did you hear that? Incredible isn’t it? The Holy Spirit, through the Word also convicts sinners of their guilt before God! He shows you your sin! Through God’s Word He leads you to believe that you are a sinner who deserves God’s temporal and eternal punishment! That’s the truth! Believe and confess before God that you’re a sinner and you’ve been Holy Spirited! Pentecosted! Repented! Just as Jesus says: “When he [the Holy Spirit] comes he will convict the world of …. GUILT IN REGARD TO SIN.”
When you believe and say: “Most merciful God, I am a sinner;” when you believe and say: “I am by nature sinful and unclean; sinned against You in thought word, and deed; not loved You with my whole heart; not loved the people gathered here, in my family, or my community as myself,” then you are a Holy Spirited and Pentecosted sinner who is ready for more Holy Spiriting and Pentecosting!
And that’s the preaching or “making known” of Jesus for your forgiveness! The spoken or preached Word of forgiveness for Jesus’ sake in your midst is a little Pentecost! There the Spirit is blowing! There is the rushing of His mighty wind and tongues of fire! There the Holy Spirit fills and thrills you with Jesus! There the Holy Spirit infects you with the joy for all that Jesus has done for you! The Holy Spirit brings you to the climax of repentance: F-A-I-T-H! In Jesus the Savior!
That’s why the Holy Spirit is bullish about preaching Jesus as Savior to you, the sinner! He does it by the preaching of the gospel through pulpit preachers in the church! He does it in the words of holy absolution and in the promise of Jesus Himself in the Lord’s Supper when you eat and drink: “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” It is the great and mighty work of the Holy Spirit that Jesus and His promises are trusted! That witness is always given to Jesus for the sake of sinners! Of whom you and I qualify!
Brothers and sisters, Jesus died for you! He rose for you! He reigns at the Father’s right hand for you! You are forgiven! Life and salvation are yours!
Happy repenting and believing in Jesus! Happy Pentecost today and every Sunday!
In the holy and blessed Name of Jesus!