Faithlife Sermons

Our Great Helper

The Trial of the Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Baptism is such a beautiful and exciting thing. I can truly say that baptism is my very favorite thing that I get to do as a follower of Jesus Christ. And I say that this is a privilege of a follower of Christ to be clear with you, that baptizing someone isn’t reserved to just pastors. There is no chapter and verse that says that I’m the one that has to do it. In fact, Jesus commands us all to go make disciples, Baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. That’s Matthew 28:19.
Now, Baptism is an ordinance of the church. Baptism is something that should be done before witnesses, in a public setting as much as is possible to do so, for it is a public declaration of faith. It really should be done in and amongst a community of faith that will hold that individual accountable to the declarations they have made before God the Father in the Name of Jesus Christ.
But what makes Baptism special is not the person doing it, but what it represents in the life of the person being baptized. It’s the Gospel declared for all the world to see. That I was dead in my sins and my trespasses. I deserved the judgment and death I had earned through my disobedience and hatred towards God. But because Christ has died for me, and I have surrendered to His Lordship, because I have confessed that Jesus is the Son of God and I believe with all my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I am saved from my sins. The old Matthew was buried on the day of my salvation, pictured in my submersion on the day of my baptism. The new Matthew rose into life with Christ Jesus that same day, pictured in that moment when I arose from the waters of baptism and was exhorted to walk in newness of life. Friends, This is our hope. This is our faith, and Baptism is a celebration of it.
Open your Bibles with me, if you will, to John 16. We’re in John 16, and, if you’ll remember, the last month or so we have been talking about love and hatred. We talked about what it looks like to love Jesus with everything that you are through obedience to His commands. We talked about the love that we have for one another being what separates Christians from the rest of the world around us. And Jesus told us that He is the great dividing line between men, that His children love Him and the rest of the world that does not know Him hate Him and will hate those of us that love Him. And last week, we were discussing the first four verses of chapter 16. And we were talking about persecution that Christ promises in the life of the believer, and how you and I must form a strong and fixed resolve in our lives to follow Christ in loving the world around us, come what may, because you and I are to be little Christs, that we are the witnesses of the mighty work of God and the hope of salvation that can only be found in Jesus Christ. We talked about our assurance of Christ that comes through our suffering, and that as we bear witness to His Name by loving those that persecute us, we will draw some of them to Christ.
And so as we pick back up in John 16, this morning, we’re going to pick up right where we left off, in verse 5. And as we read together, I would ask you, regardless of whether you are here or at home, if you are able, to stand with me in honor of the reading of God’s Word.
John 16:5–15 NASB95
“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. “But 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. “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
Would you pray with me? Father, we thank you for this beautiful morning and another chance to live out our lives in worship before You. And as we enter into this time of studying Your Word together, we ask, Holy Spirit, that You would come and be our guide. Help us to understand You in new and wonderful ways today, that through them we may know You more fully and so that You will be more greatly glorified in the way that we live out our lives before You in light of who You are. We love You and praise You in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thank you, you may be seated. Beneath the weight of the difficult things we’ve been talking about the last couple of weeks, it would be easy to get a really downcast view on life in Christ. First, Jesus told the disciples that He is going and where He is going they can’t follow Him. Next, we realize through His teaching that to truly love God means to give Him everything, down to our last breath. Then, we hear that to truly love God, we have to love one another as Jesus loves us, as though the others around you were yourself. Oh, and by the way, the world is going to hate you, despise you and revile you, despite the love that you are continually showing them in the name of Jesus. In fact, their hatred will come to you because they can see Christ living and moving in you.
That’s some pep talk, isn’t it. Doesn’t that just make you want to run and sign-up for that one! Sure, I’ll sign up for an impossible task that will bring me nothing but hatred and persecution from others, and may even cost me my life. Is it any wonder that the disciples are kind of hanging their heads at the start of this passage:
John 16:5–6 NASB95
“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
Jesus is saying, “you should be asking me where I’m going, but you are so distracted and troubled by what lies ahead of you, you’ve taken your eyes off of the ball.” It’s easy for us to do that, isn’t it? It’s easy for us to look at the problems that we encounter because of our belief in Christ, and to be only focused on those problems. When we encounter a problem, it is really easy for us to get discouraged and down trodden, and we forget Who we are and Who we serve. We forget what we are here for, what our purposes are because all we can think about is what is hurting in us.
When we look at the world around us, and we see all of the pain and hurting and persecution and discouragement, it makes us wish that we were with Jesus. I mean, wouldn’t it be better if Jesus came back right now. Wouldn’t things be better if Jesus had never gone in the first place? It is easy to get focused on that and to think that way. The disciples were certainly thinking it would be better for them if Jesus stayed with them. But look at verse 7:
John 16:7 NASB95
“But 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.
Jesus says that it is to our advantage that He goes away. It is to our advantage that Jesus goes to be with the Father. How could that possibly be an advantage? Well, Jesus tells us right here: He sent us the Helper. Now, Who is the Helper? If you’ve got your listening guide this morning, I would invite you to go ahead and get that out right now. Because Jesus just told us we have reason to hope. Jesus just said that even though our suffering will come because He has gone to the Father, that things still work to our advantage, and His reasoning for this is because He says He is sending us help: That is

The Holy Spirit came to us when Christ went to the Father

Jesus says that The Holy Spirit is to come and be our great helper. But why do we need Him? Jesus came and is the full revelation of God. Jesus came and fulfilled the Scriptures. Jesus showed us the way that we are to walk in newness of Life Jesus came and made it possible for us to have a relationship with God the Father through the forgiveness of sins. Jesus healed the sick and the blind and the lame and He raised the dead. Jesus is the One who gives us abundant life. Why do we need the Holy Spirit?
And the answer to this question is what you and I are going to spend the rest of our time together today looking at in this passage. Because, while we need Jesus, while we long for Jesus to come back, and our lives are to be centered around following Him, we need the Holy Spirit as well. And, if I could sum this up into one sentence for you this morning, it would be this: That

The Holy Spirit helps us with what we cannot do ourselves.

You and I have been given a job to do. Do you remember, as we started off this morning, we were talking about baptism? And I was telling you that baptism is the Gospel in a picture for everyone to see? Do you remember that I was saying that all of us are commanded to go and make disciples, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that Christ commanded us? You and I have a job to do.
Our church vision is to Know Jesus and to make Him known. Know Jesus. Make Him known. Know Jesus. Make Him known. They are two simple tasks that ultimately comprise the entirety of our life in Jesus Christ. That is, we are to be disciples of Jesus. We are to know Him to the fullest and uttermost level that we can, copying what He did and the way that He lived so that when people look at our lives, what they see is Jesus in us.
And, we are to make disciples. We are to tell others about Him. We are to teach them to love Jesus and to follow Him the way that we follow Him. And we are expected to do this in the midst of a lost and dying world, a world that hates us, a world that reviles us, a world that doesn’t want anything to do with us. And, in truth, it is a daunting task. It is a task that you and I are truly incapable of doing on our own. We go as messengers and ambassadors of Christ, but there are things that you and I simply cannot do. Simply put, what is in front of us is a God-sized task. And so, you and I need the help of God to do them. And in this passage this morning there are five things that we see the Holy Spirit helps us with. Let’s look at verses 8-9:
John 16:8–9 NASB95
“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
The very first thing that the Holy Spirit helps us with is that

He convicts the world of sin

I’ll tell you a secret, beloved. I don’t enjoy talking about sin. I don’t like talking about sin and the judgment that comes to us because of it. I don’t like it. I would prefer that we simply talk of the love of God. I wish that we could just focus on sunshine and rainbows and how knowing Jesus improves your life. But the thing is that Jesus isn’t a self-help guru. He isn’t a therapist God, here only for those that need an emotional crutch in life. Jesus is the Savior of the world. And for you to understand your need for a Savior, you first have to understand that you need saving.
Now, I can tell you of Romans 3:23, that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I can point you to the truth that God warned us of all the way back in the Garden of Eden, when we chose death over life. I can show you that death is the just payment for our sins before a Holy God. I could tell you all of these things about sin and its affect on your life; but only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction. Only the Spirit can reach through the blackness of my heart to reveal to me my desperate and precarious position before an almighty and sovereign King. Only the Holy Spirit can bring to me realize just how much I need Jesus.
I was once one of the dead. As 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, in my case
2 Corinthians 4:4 NASB95
in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
I was blind to the Gospel. You were blind to the Gospel, but for the Holy Spirit, which cut through your inner darkness with His light of truth so that You could find in Him your need for salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that works in and among believers, constantly drawing us back to this place of confession of sin, and contrite hearts in humility before our loving Savior. The Holy Spirit convicts hearts of sin. He is the one that draws that instant feeling of insecurity and guilt at the wrong and shameful things that we have done. It is the Holy Spirit that even now is tugging at hearts in this very room, as we fight not to squirm in our seats. The Holy Spirit convicts hearts of sin. Secondly, look at verse 10:
John 16:10 NASB95
and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;
The second thing the Holy Spirit Helps us with is that

He awakens hearts to the righteousness they need

It is only in Jesus Christ that you and I have any claim to righteousness at all. Righteousness is not our natural state and disposition. Left on my own, I always choose the wrong thing. My heart is a vile, dark place. The only things in me that can be called right, and clean, and holy, and good are those things that come to me by the righteousness of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
Left on my own, I have no righteousness at all. But The Holy Spirit comes and dwells in the heart of the believer. He declares the righteousness of God in their lives, even as it is given through the blood of the Lamb. But even before belief, it is the Holy Spirit that is beckoning us to the goodness and righteousness of God. When we see His righteousness, we have no recourse but to cry out with Isaiah:
Isaiah 6:5 NASB95
Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
It is only by the Spirit that we can feel the true weight of Isaiah 64:6
Isaiah 64:6 NASB95
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
The human heart is awakened by the Spirit of God to know what is righteous and what is not. The response of the man belongs to the man, and yet the Spirit beckons him to come. Come sit at the table of righteousness. Let your life be a reflection of a goodness infinitely greater than anything you could ever be on your own. The Holy Spirit awakens hearts to the righteousness the need. It wells up in the heart of a man as a desperate ache, not for life and living as it is, but for how it is supposed to be, where the glory of God is our greatest aim and desire and purpose, before the corruption of sin entered in and the man-made death ate away any hope of escaping its decay.
I could speak all day of the goodness of God and of His righteousness. And could I preach all week, every hour for a thousand years, I would not be able to tell you the half of it. And yet, were you able to endure such a lengthy message shared, still it would only be by the power of the Holy Spirit awakening your soul to receive it that you gain anything from it at all. Those who walked with Christ saw Him in the flesh. They witnessed Him transfigured, shining in the brilliance of His true glory. They saw His mighty miracles, heard the wonders of His words with their ears, and walked with Him in step through life and ministry. Yet, you and I need witnesses to the righteousness of God and the greatest of these is the Holy Spirit.
Let’s continue. Look with me, if you will, at verse 11
John 16:11 NASB95
and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
The third thing that the Holy Spirit helps us with is that

He declares judgment over sin and death

The enemy of your soul is the ruler of this world. He wants nothing but to steal, kill, and destroy. He would have you fail to heed the call of the Holy Spirit. He would drag you to Hell this instance if he thought he could get away with it. He is a spineless, kiniving, selfish, tyrant bent on your destruction. But He has also already been judged. He has be convicted of his crimes, and, ultimately, he will be put under subjection forever in the lake of fire.
Jesus defeated sin and death. Jesus freed us from our self-inflicted captivity in the camp of our enemy. Scripture says in Ephesians 1:22-23
1 Corinthians 15:25–26 NASB95
For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
Judgment came at the cross of the enemies of God. The cross stands as the gate of freedom for those who accept Christ and as the great indictment for those that refuse Him, and the Holy Spirit is at the heart of both of these things. He carries the banner of victory in the lives of the redeemed, even into eternity. He shields the hearts of the disciple, even carrying them towards the end result that Christ has for them in the glorious reign of His Kingdom.
And, the Holy Spirit declares the guilt of those that remain in judgment. God would have it that only sin and death are judged, yet those who refuse to find the forgiveness of God in Christ Jesus will find themselves partaking in the judgment of the death they chose. In Christ is both freedom from sin and judgment for it, and the Spirit declares both options freely to all the world, telling the redeemed of their freedom and the guilty of their sentencing.
These works of convicting sin, awakening hearts to righteousness, and declaring judgment are absolutely necessary in the work of discipleship, and yet none of them are things that we can do, but are the works of God alone. The Holy Spirit, our Great Helper, accomplishes these things so that God’s glorifying work can be completed both in and through us. But that is not all. The work of the Spirit doesn’t end their, because the walk of discipleship takes all of a lifetime. These things are not simply moments of time, accomplished in the life of the believer, evermore to be forgotten. Rather, they are constant themes in the lives of the saved and the lost alike, as they move in opposite directions in grace and judgment.
And in the life of the believer, things only get better as the Spirit moves and works in your life. Look at verses 12-13
John 16:12–13 NASB95
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
The next thing that we see this morning is that the Holy Spirit

He teaches believers the truth of Christ

Who is it that can study and rightly understand the Word of God? Is it not the person empowered by the Holy Spirit? It is the Spirit was with me throughout the week as I prepared for this morning’s message. It is the Spirit that enables you to hear it and understand it. It is the Spirit moving through the Word of God that enables you and I to come truly know the person of Jesus Christ. How else can we, who have not seen with our eyes, come to know Christ but through His word? How can we understand His word unless someone will teach it to us.
The Holy Spirit, our Great Helper, is also our Great Teacher. He teaches us the things of Christ. He shows us Christ on every page. He uses the Word of God to mold us and fashion us and shape us into a reflection of the Son. Remember that the Son of God is the Word made flesh, so that it for you and I the power of the Spirit moving through our study of the Word is critical for our growth in Christ.
2 Timothy 3:16 NASB95
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
How, then, are these things brought about in our lives? By the power of the Holy Spirit revealing them to us in the study of His word.
Finally, look at verses 14-15
John 16:14–15 NASB95
“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
The last thing that we see in our passage this morning is that

He glorifies Christ in the things that He teaches us

The God the Spirit glorifies God the Son in the things that He reveals to us about Him. It is amazing to consider that in Christ dwelt the fullness of God, that Jesus is the full revelation of God. And yet, this is why for all the time that the disciples had with Him, there is so much more of Christ that we have to learn.
And so, again, we find our help in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to reveal things to us about God that we did not know. He shows us truths about our Savior that are new each time we read them. Have you ever considered how extraordinary it is that you can read the same passage and study if for a week at a time, and yet you come back to it a year later and it teaches you something new? The Scriptures of God are alive and it is His Spirit that makes it so. And the more that He reveals about Christ, the more greatly Christ is glorified in Him.
Who needs the help of the Holy Spirit? Everyone! All of the earth needs His conviction, His call to righteousness, His declared judgment, His sound interpretation, and His glorious revelations. We need the Holy Spirit, mighty God, our Helper and Keeper. Holy One of Israel, How we need the Spirit. Fully God with the Father and Son, with the Father and Son He is to be worshipped and glorified. He who speaks through the mouths of profits, of donkeys, and of whispering winds. He who prays for you and I in utterances not discernible to any but God. Oh, how we need the Holy Spirit.
And this morning, the altar is open. With every eye closed and every head bowed, the altar is open to anyone the Spirit is calling. The Spirit is alive and moving in this room this morning. The stirring in your heart, the discomfort in your seat, even your anxiety to leave are evidence of His movement this very moment. God has give us a Great Helper, and this morning, He is calling you to salvation in the Son. He is calling you to know His righteousness and goodness. He is convicting, awakening, judging, teaching, and revealing. And this morning, He is after your heart. Would you give it to Him. Let today be the day that you join with these young people you saw here this morning. Let today be your day of surrender.
Let’s pray together: Holy Spirit, you are welcome in this place this morning. You are welcomed by us, and where Your children gather, Your Word tells us that You are among us. Holy Spirit, would you work in us this morning. Would you draw hearts to yourself in conviction, in awakening, in judgment, in response to Your teaching and in light of the revelation of who You are. Would you draw the hearts of many to youself this morning, that they may find their help in You. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
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