“The Spirit of Jesus, the Truth”
May 24, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bossier City, LA
INI + AMEN.
You’ve been caught, you’ve been dragged, you’ve been enlivened, saved, and brought into the Trinitarian conspiracy of salvation. The Triune God is out to get you, to save you. That’s His plan not only for you but for all people. Certainly the Father and the Son are in on it. “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Jesus also says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me drags him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” But today’s Pentecost, and we hear from Jesus how the Holy Spirit gets in on the act. The Holy Spirit is also involved in this plot to win and save your heart for Himself. Jesus says in our text today how the Holy Spirit does it. We don’t want to miss what Jesus says about the Spirit and His Work. This isn’t just for Pentecost Sunday either, nor is it just for when we read the Bible. Whenever we hear anything about the Spirit, Jesus’ Word must echo in our ears. Jesus says, “He will glorify Me.” That is the Holy Spirit’s work and duty.
THE HOLY SPIRIT GLORIFIES JESUS.
(I.) He glorifies Jesus’ Words.
(II.) He glorifies Jesus’ actions.
(III.) He delivers Jesus’ Words and actions to you.
I. He glorifies Jesus’ Words.
Now, the Spirit glorifies Jesus’ Words because the Spirit is in those very Words! Jesus can give the Spirit by breathing, like it was in Eden, as John records, “The Lord Jesus breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” If He can do that, how much more do His very Words give the Spirit! It must be that way for Jesus is the way. There’s no other path or way to be guided in than Jesus and His Word. For He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” And “No one comes to the Father except through Me,” says Jesus. Now we can see what Jesus is driving at when He says, “When He comes, the Spirit of the Truth, He will guide you in all the Truth.” Jesus, who is the Truth, sends the Spirit of the Truth—His own Spirit—and that Spirit will guide us in all the Truth, in Jesus. The Spirit guides us to Jesus with the Words of Jesus: “Whatever He hears He will speak.”
When the Spirit guides you in the Words of Jesus, He glorifies Jesus’ Words. This is one reason “He will convict concerning sin.” Why would He, the Spirit, do that? “Because they did not believe in Me,” says Jesus. The World doesn’t trust His Word. His Word isn’t some sort of supreme moral teaching. Jesus isn’t some spiritual guru above all others. His Words aren’t nice sounding platitudes, a nice pick me up. His words are much more than that. His Word corrects us. In one fell swoop His Word can kneecap us, set the bone, mend it, and sooth the pain. His Word enlivens us to love our neighbor: to always keep the door of our heart open to them in love. But most of all, it’s exactly what we sing so often, “Alleluia! Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of eternal life. Alleluia!” He does. His Word gives you eternal life, even now as you hear it this morning. His Word does this because His Word carries the Spirit into our ears and hearts.
The Spirit glorifies and dwells in Jesus’ Word. But it’s more than Jesus’ Words that the Spirit glorifies.
II. He glorifies Jesus’ actions.
He glorifies what Jesus has done. That’s the true power behind Jesus’ Words anyway: what He’s done for us. Listen to what He says about the Spirit’s glorifying work: “He will convict…concerning righteousness because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me.” The righteousness of the World is undone. The righteousness of works is over. Jesus dies and rises. The world cooks up all sorts of ideas about Jesus and His Word and His Work. Especially when it comes to what it thinks is good and right, and how that fits with what it perceives the church doing. The World sees Christianity as being about “Good people who do good things, and Christians will only let people in their club who are good people who do the good things that Christians say are good.” But Jesus’ Work, which the Spirit glorifies, cuts through that. Jesus, who is God Himself, dies for us, rises for us. The Christian Church is full of sinners saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus, gathering to hear about that. The Spirit says righteousness is only found in the death and resurrection of Jesus. All other righteousness is false righteousness. It’s the true righteousness because after He died and rose, Jesus also ascended to the right hand of the Father.
It’s not only worldly righteousness that’s condemned by the Spirit glorifying Jesus’ actions. The devil Himself is condemned. He has been cast down, judged. Jesus’ death for us and our salvation defeats the devil and his demonic rule. Jesus’ coronation on Calvary, His exaltation on Easter, and enthronement forever at the ascension is what does this. The Spirit continually glorifies this work of Jesus in the Church and in our daily lives. The devil’s rule is undone whenever we tell of what Jesus has done: that He’s died and risen for all. There’s no other way for the devil to be run out of town defeated, unless the proclamation and glorification of Jesus’ Work goes out. That’s all the Spirit’s work through us.
The Words and Works of Jesus go hand in hand. The Spirit glorifies them. But we really only see it and hear it when the Spirit delivers them to us.
III. He delivers Jesus’ Words and actions to you.
As much as Jesus’ Words carry the Spirit, the Sprit’s Words also carry Jesus. That’s what Jesus Himself says about the Spirit, “He will take from Me and declare it to you. All that the Father has is Mine, for this reason I said, ‘He will take from Me and declare it to you.’” This is what Paul means when He says in Romans: “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” The Spirit works faith when He delivers Jesus’ Word to you. He does this whenever you read the Bible, whenever you hear sermons where He speaks: in sermons that glorify Jesus’ Words and Actions that save you.
It’s more than that though. “He will take from Me and declare it to you. All that the Father has is Mine, for this reason I said, ‘He will take from Me and declare it to you.’” What does the Father and Jesus have? Holiness, righteousness, eternal life, forgiveness. All the good gifts of God, our heavenly Father, that are for your salvation, that give you salvation are yours. The Spirit delivers them to You. He is given to you in them. Jesus is given to you in them. He delivers them. It’s that way with the Father too. The Spirit hovers over the water and is given you in Baptism where you are brought to Jesus and declared to be a son or daughter of the Father. The Spirit is there in the Words of Forgiveness. He is there in Jesus’ body and blood too! Jesus says that His body and blood give life, and the Spirit is the “Lord and Giver of Life.” So the Spirit strengthens you when you eat and drink Jesus’ body and blood in the Supper. There you receive Jesus as well, and receive the ransoming-back to the Father. The Spirit is always delivering from the Son what He has from the Father.
When the Spirit does His work of glorifying Jesus, when He glorifies Jesus’ Words and Actions and delivers them to you, it’s always a trinitarian conspiracy to save you. It’s right that we confess “the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.” The Trinity’s going to save you. That’s what it’s all about, even at Pentecost. We know it’s this way because of what Jesus said, “When the Comforter comes, whom I will send from the Father, the Spirit of the Truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” The Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, proclaims, declares, and delivers to you Christ Jesus, who has ransomed you by His death to His Heavenly Father, who has given Jesus, His Son, all things that He might present You spotless to the Father, by the working of the Spirit, in the Means of Grace, which the Son instituted so that the Spirit might live and work in you. Thus God is all in all. That sounds more like something for Trinity Sunday next week. But it’s also true on Pentecost when we remember that the Spirit glorifies Jesus.
INI + AMEN.