Exaudi—Easter 7 (Jn 15:26–16:4; 1 Pt 4:8)

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

“When the Comforter comes, whom I will send from the Father, the Spirit of the Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.”

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

The Spirit’s got one job. He’s the Paraclete, the Comforter, the Helper. He’s your Comforter, your Helper. That’s what He does for you, and He does it just like Jesus says, “He will testify about Me.”

The Spirit testifies about Jesus, that He’s died and risen for you. He delivers Jesus, speaks about Jesus, works faith in Jesus. He works new life in you, makes you holy, forgiven, and, “on the Last Day, He will raise you and all the dead, and given eternal life to you and all believers in Christ.”

We often shrug this off. We really do. We don’t champion this work of the Spirit. We don’t rejoice to say, “The Spirit testifies about Jesus.” If we’re honest, it’s sort of let down, isn’t it? We want something more. Something more meaningful, empowering, more spectacular.

We live a spiritual life of let down. A lot of the time we sell the farm to more “spiritual” churches. That’s what we think sometimes. We go, “We need some of what they’ve got.”

So often what passes for Spirit in Christianity isn’t what Jesus talks about here: “He will testify of Me.” So often preachers and churches will use the things they do to testify of the Spirit’s so-called presence. There’s tongues, unlike anything the Bible ever describes. There’s emotions and energy that serve as the true sign-post of being a true church.

Are emotions bad? No, but they’re not gonna carry you through. When the good turns to bad, and the bad to worse, and the worse turns into darkness, when temptation gives way to sin, and sin produces death, when pain turns to sickness, sickness to diagnosis, and diagnosis to hospice, well, the only thing that will really carry you through is the Spirit. The Spirit doing the one thing He does: “Testify of Jesus.”

He’s the Paraclete, the Comforter, the Helper. He’s your Comforter, your Helper. He testifies about Jesus. He delivers Jesus, speaks about Jesus, works faith in Jesus. He works new life in you, makes you holy, forgiven, and, “on the Last Day, He will raise you and all the dead, and given eternal life to you and all believers in Christ.”

It doesn’t matter what’s happening in your life. The Sprit’s true testimony, His delivery of Jesus, will carry you through. He did it for the Apostles. They were kicked out of synagogues and were killed. Only the Spirit-filled testimony of Jesus carried them through. The Spirit carried them through to be witnesses of Jesus, too, just like Jesus promised.

The Spirit actively works to bring Jesus and His testimony to you. The Spirit testifies that Jesus shed His blood for you, so you are forgiven. He testifies that Jesus has died and risen for you, so you have died and will rise with Him. He testifies that you are in Jesus, and so you are a child of God. The Spirit does all this no matter what.

The Spirit works in the Word. It is “god-breathed,” after all. “Men spoke as the Spirit carried them.” He works in the Water and the Word of Baptism, where He was given to you, as a testimony that you’re a child of the Father, a sibling of Jesus, and an heir of eternal life. He works in the Absolution. And through Jesus’ body and blood that Jesus delivers to you in His Supper for the forgiveness of your sins, the Spirit works greater faith in God and new life and “fervent love for one another.”

The Spirit will work on you more and more, in the testimonies of Jesus. The Spirit delivers Him to you. The Spirit forgives you with Jesus’ forgiveness, enlivens you with Jesus’ life, and works self-sacrificing love in you, too. More Spirit, more testimony, more Jesus means more faith toward God and more fervent love for those around you.

What kind of love? A love that covers other’s sins. The “multitude of their sins”—all their sins. We forgive others completely and fully because we actually, truly, fervently love them. We’re hospitable and kind, we speak and serve. We’re self-controlled and don’t complain. That’s the Spirit’s work in you.

So, rejoice in the Spirit! He’s at work for you. He really is. He’s the Paraclete, the Comforter, the Helper. He’s your Comforter, your Helper. He testifies about Jesus, delivers Jesus, speaks about Jesus, works faith in Jesus. He works new life in you, makes you holy, forgiven, and, “on the Last Day, He will raise you and all the dead, and given eternal life to you and all believers in Christ.”

He’s at work in the Word. He’s at work in the Gifts. He testifies of Jesus by delivering Jesus and what He’s done for you right to you. No matter what happens, no matter what you feel or not, the Spirit is for you. Jesus is for you. You’re Baptized. You’re Absolved. You’re Suppered with Jesus’ body and blood. Your multitude of sins is covered, and you also cover an even greater number for those around you. That’s love. That’s Jesus love. That’s what the Spirit does in and through you.

“When the Comforter comes, whom I will send from the Father, the Spirit of the Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.”

He does: Font, Word, Pulpit, Altar—Jesus is yours now and forever. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches:”

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

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