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The two tasks of the Holy Spirit

John 16:5-15

Pastor David Ernst

Fourth Sunday after Easter
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

Play MP3 of this sermon

Sun, May 2, 2021 

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

In all generations, the world's hatred for Christ is directed at Christians. These thoughts are repeated in John 16: 1-4.

"These things I have spoken to you so that you will not be scandalized. They will throw you out of the synagogues; and the time is still coming when whoever kills you will think that he is rendering service to God. And this they will do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor the But I have told you this, so that when the time comes, you will remember that I had told you; but this I did not tell you at the beginning, because I was with you. "

During Jesus' ministry, the hatred of the enemies was directed directly at him. There was no need to tell the disciples about it, they saw it. But now that he was leaving, hatred of Christ would be directed at the disciples.

"But I tell you the truth: it is necessary that I go; because if he did not go, the Comforter would not come to you; but if he left, I will send him."

Jesus was talking to his disciples before his death and resurrection, but these words from our text clearly refer to the day of Pentecost, after the Ascension. Pentecost occurred to comfort God's children and make them joyful and courageous in a world that completely hates Christ and the truth.

"But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak of himself, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will show you the things to come. He will glorify me; mine, and he will let you know. All that the Father has is mine; that is why I said that he will take from what is mine, and he will let you know. "

Here reference is made to the work of the whole Trinity. Jesus prayed to the Father and the Father sent the Spirit. The Trinity is the saving God. Incomprehensible to us is the procession of the Spirit of the Father and the Son. Yet that's what the verse says. That the Spirit, from eternity, also proceeds from the Son, is taught in passages like Romans 8: 9; Philippians 1:19; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 4: 6; Revelation 22: 1, etc. The verse tells us what kind of Spirit it is. He gives us the absolute and saving truth. He alone. All his work and effort is to bear witness to Christ. Any teaching on the Spirit that does not focus on the person, Word and work of Jesus is not true but a deception.

But this Comforter will have a double task when he comes, one in relation to the world (8-11) and the other in his attitude towards believers (12-15).

The first work of the Holy Spirit will be to expose the sin of the world through the proclamation of the church. The devil, the god of this world, has blinded his children from seeing his own sin. For the world, justice consists of doing good works that earn us the necessary merit to be accepted into the kingdom of God. However, the only hope of salvation is righteousness based on Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was sacrificed in our place and for our sin. So the second work of the Holy Spirit is to lead us to trust, not in our own righteousness, but in the Word of God. Thus, this text cannot be used to justify the proclamation of new teachings that do not agree with the books of the Bible. Any teaching, institution, practice, tradition or ceremony that does not give glory to Christ cannot be of the Holy Spirit. The Lutheran confessions emphasize over and over again that the Holy Spirit works through the Word and the sacraments and not apart from them. The Spirit will not come to reveal new doctrines to us, such as the date of the end of the world.

Everything we need to know for our salvation is written in the Holy Scriptures. And what we need to know for our salvation is Jesus Christ. We know Christ through His Word and sacraments. The sin of sins is rejecting the person, the Word, and the work of Jesus Christ. Where that sin prevails, that lack of faith, there is no hope. Where there is repentance for that sin, there is nothing but hope.

In this, we have the peace that passes all understanding. Amen.

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