Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | May 25, 2014
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
26 :But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
Jesus promises to provide the assistance that will deliver believers from difficult situations after his departure.
We are continuing our series on the life and ministry of Jesus.
- Jesus said many things to his disciples on the night before his death to prepare them for his departure.
- With Jesus gone, how can a Christian deal with difficult situations?
- How can a Christian carry on Jesus’ mission when he’s not around?
- Who will help us, guide us, teach us, enable us to preach the gospel to our generation, to stand up to the Pharisees of our day, to heal the sick, to cast out demons and raise the dead in our day?
- At times we may think, “If only Jesus was here to help us like he helped his first disciples!”
- In their day, they depended on him as their teacher, their leader, their coach, their friend.
- But before his departure, he promises to ask the Father, who will give them “another” helper- counselor-comforter-representative- advocate- friend.
- The word paraclete here means “one called along beside,” that is, “for the purpose of helping” them.
Why does Jesus say the Father will give them “another paraclete?”
- The implication is that Jesus has been their paraclete, helper, advocate, or counselor, up to now.
- But since he is departing, and he knows the need of the disciples, he promises to ask the Father to send another.
- In 1 Jn. 2:1-2, Jesus is called the paraclete or advocate, as we saw in our confession today.
- “If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he himself is the propitiation – the atoning sacrifice – for our sins.”
- He is pleading his people’s cause before the Father based on his own atoning sacrifice for us.
- Jesus is saying that, as he was to his disciples in the days of his incarnation, so believers can expect the Spirit to be to us, one who comes alongside to help, especially in difficult times.
- There’s a legal sense to the word paraclete.
- He is a legal friend, more like a paralegal friend than a defense attorney.
- He will do whatever is necessary to enable you to carry out Jesus’ mission.
- He will not merely make the best of a difficult situation, but will deliver you from a difficult situation.
- Jesus is not promising this helper to the world since they have rejected him and therefore do not know him.
- Rather, he is promising the permanent indwelling of the Spirit to believers who love him and who therefore keep his commandments.
- He promises the Spirit’s indwelling to those who know him who already abides with them because they have believed in Jesus.
- What kind of helper or counselor or advocate do we need?
- What kind of helper can we count on in our time of need?
- According to these passages, we need one who will teach us and remind us of what Jesus said.
- We need one who will bear witness to Christ.
- And we need one who will convict the world.
Imagine yourself standing before a court.
- You’ve been arrested for being a Christian and are called to the stand to testify in your defense.
- Who would you want standing beside you?
- One who knew how to answer their questions!!!
This is similar to the situation Paul found himself in in Athens when testifying to the philosophers in Acts 17.
- And this is similar to the situation Peter referred to in 1 Peter 3.
- On the one hand, we are always to be ready to make a defense of our faith to anyone who asks the reason for the hope that is in you. (1Pe 3:13ff)
- On the other hand, we are not to fret about what we should say if we are dragged into court on account of Christ (Ref).
The Spirit’s help here first is to teach us and remind us of what Jesus said.
- Look with me at chapter 14:26, “he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
- This was true first of all to Jesus immediate disciples.
- They were the ones who would write down what Jesus said in the Gospels and Epistles that we have today.
- The Spirit was given to them in order to help them remember all that Jesus had said and to understand its meaning in order to explain it to their readers.
- The Spirit was given to them also like he is given to us today, to teach us, to explain to us – as Jesus did to his disciples – the meaning of Jesus’ words, and to help us to remember them in times of trial and testing.
- What we want in our time of trial is a paralegal whispering the right answers in our ear, reminding us what Jesus said.
- The Spirit’s help second is to bear witness to Christ.
- Look with me at chapter 15:26. “the Spirit of truth will bear witness of Me.”
- He always speaks of Christ.
- In our time of trial we don’t want a paralegal who is easily side-tracked or distracted from the main message.
- We want one who stays on task.
- We want one who brings to light the truth of the revelation of Jesus in word and deed and death and resurrection.
The Spirit’s help third is to convict the world – unbelievers.
- Look at 16: 8. “When he comes he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.
- We want a helper who will change hearts, because we can’t do so in our strength.
- He will convict of sin – v.9 – convicting the world of sin because they do not believe.
- Their unbelief is a classic illustration of their sin.
- He shows the world to be guilty, and brings the world’s guilt home to convict the sinner’s conscience.
- He will convict of righteousness – v.10 – “because I go to the Father.”
- The righteousness that is established by Christ.
- He will show people that righteousness is not acquired by their own merit, their own good works, but by X’s atoning work on the cross.
- He will convict of judgment – v.11 – “because the ruler of this world has been judged.”
- The defeat of Satan on the cross.
- Justice is done in the overthrow of the evil one.
Who would you want to go with you into the courtroom to defend your faith?
- Someone who could remind you of everything Jesus said.
- Someone who would bear witness only to Christ.
- Someone who could convince the court that everything you’ve said about Christ is true.
- The work of the Spirit in believers is a consequence of the saving work of X, and not something separate from it.
- Only because J has died for us, and put away our sin, that the Spirit can be found at work in our hearts.
- Look at chapter 16:7, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I go away, the Helper shall not come to you.”
- Jesus’ death and resurrection made it possible for the Holy Spirit to dwell permanently in his un-holy people.
- Are you fearful concerning speaking of Christ to others?
- So am I.
- We want to say and do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.
- But what we can remember is that the Spirit is working in us and through us as we speak and act.
- He chooses to use us as his vessels.
- But it is He who is faithful to remind us of the words of Jesus.
- It is He who is faithful to bear witness to Christ.
- It is He who convicts of sin and righteousness and judgment.
- It is He who is the Spirit of truth who will faithfully communicate the truth about Jesus at the right place and the right time and in the right way in us and through his body – you, and you and you.