John 16 5-15
“the promise of the Holy spirit”
Introduction: A lovely woman died not long ago. She knew for almost a year that, unless the Lord intervened, the cancer in her brain would kill her. That year gave her time of wonderful interaction with her husband and family. Her family had the opportunity to express their love for her, and the dying woman had the privilege of passing on her godly wisdom.
In John 16 Jesus knows that he will die in less than twenty-four hours. When his disciples are faced with that reality, they become troubled (14:1), afraid (14:27) and filled with grief (16:6). Jesus responds to each of their concerns by talking about the coming Holy Spirit.
I. Who is the Holy Spirit?
A. He is God, as the Father is God, as the Son is God.
B. He is the third person of the Trinity. Looking at the Apostles Creed We see the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son, worshiped and glorified. The One who spoke through the prophets.
C. He is a Person. Some people believe that He is impersonal and only the force of God the Father and God the Son. This is false.
1. According to the scriptures: He has intellect -- Romans 8:27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
2. He has emotion --Eph. 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
3. He has a will -- 1 Corinthians 12:10 ...to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
II. What does the Holy Spirit do?
A. The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. This is the title our Lord Jesus first used when talking to His disciples about the Spirit. How fitting this title is. We often need to be comforted. We need to be comforted in our physical separation from God, in this life. We need comfort when we feel alone. We need comfort for our tears, and the pain that we endure. And we need comfort when death comes close. With God’s Spirit and power we know that we will make it one day at a time. We are reminded that we are not alone. Through the Spirit we know that death has been conquered by Jesus Christ.
B. The Holy Spirit Counsels and guide. Jesus tells us that He shall teach us all things. He guides and counsels us to understand the scriptures. Just as Jesus counseled the disciples. The Spirit guides us through life. Most importantly He constantly reminds us of what our dear Savior has said. -- John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
C. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of its sin. It draws attention to the Laws of God and how we have all failed to keep those laws. The Holy Spirit brings us to our knees in repentance. We see our destitute state before the eye’s of God.
D. There on our knees the Holy Spirit creates new life in us. He does this when He points us and the world to Jesus our crucified and risen Savior. Using God’s Word He breaths the breath of life, faith, into us. Jesus said, “14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. The Holy Spirit always points to Jesus. In 1John we are told, “Every Spirit that confesses that JEsus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. We know that we dwell in Him and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit. Then the Holy Spirit nurtures this new life through Christ’s Church and through Word and Sacrament.
III. How do We know He is Working in Our Lives?
A. We don’t see the Spirit, yet like the wind we can see it’s action in our lives and the lives of the people around us. We see Him working in the many gifts that He gives. We see the fruits of the spirit -- love, joy, peace, and most importantly we know that the Holy Spirit is working when we make the good confession of faith. It is true that no one can say that Jesus is Lord but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Conclusion: John 16 records for us our Saviors promise of sending the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. We will be celebrating that day in a few weeks. On that day we will celebrate our own day of Pentecost. In Baptism the Holy Spirit worked in us the miracle of faith, of faith in Jesus. There He began His work calling us through the gospel, enlightening us with His gifts, sanctifying and preserving us in the true faith, forgiveness of sins and eternal life. We know this is most certainly true.