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The Holy Spirit: A Mighty Preacher of Jesus!

June 4, 2017

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Pentecost                                                      Calvary Lutheran Church

5 June 2017                                                  Jacksonville, NC


Acts 2:1-21


When the Holy Spirit is given it’s all about … Jesus! Bearing witness to Jesus. The winning your salvation by Jesus. The dishing out the salvation that Jesus crucifixion-ly won FOR YOU. Anyone thirsty for salvation is given Good Friday Jesus to drink – to believe. “Out of your heart will flow rivers of living water.” That’s spelled: F-A-I-T-H! Faith that is given Jesus. All that He is. All that He has done. FOR YOU. The Holy Spirit sees to that. Calling you to faith in Jesus through the gospel!   No doubt you learned this in your catechesis. Now let’s learn some more and rejoice. A disciple of Jesus never stops learning. Check it out Isaac, Stephen, Nathaniel, Grace and Hannah.


When Jesus appeared from Podunk Nazareth to publicly begin His trek to get hung on the cross for the salvation of the world, what happened? That’s right. He was prepared and heralded for that salvific service by a manifest and dramatic bestowal of the Holy Spirit. At His Baptism in the Jordan the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove (Luke 3:22). Then the In-The-Wilderness-Full-Of-The-Holy-Spirit-But-Starving-Jesus repels and rebuffs Satan’s temptations to be a cross-less Christ with God’s almighty Spirit-filled Word (Luke 4:1-13). Next, in the region of Galilee Jesus teaches in the synagogues and in His hometown of Nazareth. He reads from Isaiah 61:1-2. That’s all about the promised Messiah or Savior of Israel: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me … to proclaim good news to the poor … liberty to the captives and oppressed … giving sight to the blind .. and to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor.” But then Jesus audaciously and categorically declares in front of the entire congregation: “Today This Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing!” (Luke 4:14-21).


I could on and on. But you’re ready for lunch and confirmation parties. So, let’s fast-forward a bit. To today’s text. I know. I know. It’s about time! Well, check it out. The Lord’s puny church emerges from the prayerful quiet of an upper room. Waiting. Passively. Then she is given to. Pentecost-ed! As the LORD’s instrument she is prepared by the miraculous giving of the Holy Spirit revealed in powerful wind and fire for witness in word and deed that Jesus is the Savior! Savior of sinners! That there’s only salvation in Him!


So, the Good Friday-ed, Easter Sunday-ed and Ascended King of kings and Lord of lords bends down from the right hand of the Father, blows His promised Spirit across the blowing embers of His little band of disciples and stirs up a flame that has been burning ever since.


On Quasimodogeniti (or the Second Sunday of Easter) Jesus blew the Holy Spirit on the eleven disciples in the upper room – ordaining them – sending them as His pastors to use the Office of the Keys – loosing or binding sin (John 20:10-23). Now, He blows His Spirit on all. Pastors. Men. Women. Children. The whole church. All of His hangers on. What Moses wished for –that all God’s people would be given the Spirit – takes place. It is the LORD’s big Pentecost. His harvest festival that celebrates and proclaims His death and resurrection for all and FOR YOU!


Filled with the breath of the Holy Spirit the people in that little church opened their lips and spoke. Pentecost is about words and witnessing. Tongues heavy with Galilean accents – Galilean dialect were loosed to speak in all the known languages of the known world. Nobody that day could say that Jesus was not for them. Everyone heard the good news of their sins forgiven in his own language. His own dialect. Parthians. Medes. Elamites. Mesopotamians. Judeans. Cappadocians. People from Pontus. Asia. Phrygia. Pamphilia. Egypt. Libya. Rome. All over the Roman Empire! Jews and Gentile converts to Judaism.


By the end of the day, 3,000 sinners were baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins and they too were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. 3,000 believed that Jesus died and rose for them! 3,000 went back to their countries and homes – bearing the good news of Jesus Good Friday-ly crucified, risen, and reigning in their own native languages to their children, families, co-workers and anyone that would listen.


The Spirit of Jesus that brings the fire of the Father’s love continues to fan the flames over His church. The Spirit-breath of God came to you in your baptism – filling you with heavenly fire – breathing eternal life in your death. Melting the chill of your cold and hardened hearts with God’s burning desire to rescue you in the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus. In your baptism the Holy Spirit let loose with the rivers of living water – a water rich in grace – a water that saves you as the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.


The Spirit continues to enliven, enrich and sustain you –faith you — whenever Christ’s Word is read, preached, chanted – at home, in church, across the kitchen table, the backyard fence, or around the office water cooler. Or as Jesus promised: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”


The Holy Spirit is no idle, empty breeze. He is a mighty preacher. He carries the Word of Christ from mouths to ears, from preachers to hearers, from Christians to the world, from you to your neighbor or family. The Spirit is a preacher. A proclaimer. Comforter. Counselor. He takes what belongs to Jesus (His Good Friday death) and delivers it to sinners for their salvation. That’s what He’s done for you. The Holy Spirit is the UPS or Fedex delivery Person of the Holy Trinity. He delivers the forgiveness and eternal life that Jesus died to win on the cross. He makes it your own in the hearing of the Word of Christ.


Mighty wind and fire are nice. So too are Galileans speaking in foreign languages and dialects. However, the truly miraculous and marvelous work of the Spirit is that He uses mouths and tongues to spread the message of Christ’s salvation to all people! Mouths and tongues of sinful preachers like Kuhlman or Dart – even your tongues and mouths to speak Christ’s forgiveness so that the Good Friday cleansing blood of Jesus gets sprinkled throughout the entire world on each person.


We don’t get rushing wind or tongues of fire today. That was the first Pentecost. Those things marked that day as something special and unique. However, we still have the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit among us. Jesus has given us holy baptism, holy absolution, the preaching of the gospel and the Lord’s Supper. That’s how Pentecost and pentecosting continues.


Every Sunday is a little Pentecost where Jesus sees to it that His forgiveness is preached – where He puts His Good Friday all atoning and sacrificial body and blood into your mouth with the bread and wine. Purifying and cleansing your mouths – your tongues to speak as His instruments in the world.


Pentecost continues where Jesus puts His Word on your lips and in your hearts – the Word that says: “Jesus died FOR YOU and for His sake you are forgiven and have eternal life in His name.” And as I now tell you the same: Jesus died FOR YOU Isaac, Stephen, Nathaniel, Grace and Hannah and all the rest of you gathered here today. All your sin is His. His righteousness is yours. Your sin does not belong to you anymore. Jesus has it and He buried it all in the black hole of Good Friday death on the cross. You are forgiven. It is true. He sent me to tell you that.”


Happy Confirmation Day!


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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