The Fifth Sunday of Easter 2016

Bible Text: John 16:5-15 | Preacher: Rev. Mark Buetow | Series: 2016

The Holy Spirit has one job: Deliver Jesus. Take what is Christ’s and deliver it to you. The Holy Spirit is all about Jesus. He convicts the world of sin, because at its root, all sin is unbelief, it is the denial and rejection of Jesus. He convicts the world of rightousness because Jesus goes to the Father. “Going to the Father” means all that Jesus does in dying for the sins of the world, rising again the third day, and ascending to the right hand of the Father. That’s your righteousness: that Jesus does all that for you. The Spirit convicts the world of judgment because the ruler of the world is judged. He is judged by Jesus who strips him of his authority and power by taking away the accusation that is against you. Get it? Everything the Holy Spirit is doing and preaching is Christ and His gifts. The Holy Spirit’s job is to bring you to faith, that is, to trust in Jesus. To put upon you the righteousness of Jesus and to comfort you with the good news that the enemy is judged and has no power over you ever. Jesus is the One who has accomplished all this. It is the Spirit who makes sure you know about it.

And the Spirit does this in no other way than through the Holy ministry of the Gospel and Sacraments. If you want to know whether or not the spirit is working and where He is doing His thing, just ask this simple question: Do you have a pastor? Because it is through your pastor that the Spirit brings you what is of Jesus. Jesus’ death and resurrection and the forgiveness and eternal life these accomplish are delivered to you by the Spirit through the ministry of the Gospel and Sacraments the Spirit carries out by your pastor. That’s what a pastor is for. To baptize. Sins washed away. There the Holy Spirit brings you to faith in Jesus and puts you in the church. To absolve. It’s a proclamation of Good News, that the devil is defeated, Jesus is your righteousness and that through Him your sins are forgiven forever. To preach the Word. There the Spirit calls you away from unebelief which tries to make you god and to faith in Jesus who takes away your sins and makes you God’s child. To commune. There the Spirit assures you that by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Lamb of God, you have forgiveness of sins and will be raised up on the Last Day.

Jesus calls the Spirit the Comforter. Pay attention to that. It means that everything the Spirit does through the ministry of the Gospel and Sacraments is about comforting you. Not hassling you. Not troubling you. Not scaring you. Comforting. Putting your mind at ease that God is not going to punish you. Teaching you to rest securely in the wounds of Christ. Teaching you, against whatever the devil, the world, and your own sinful nature throw at you, to find peace in the water, Word, and body and blood of Jesus. Those enemies trouble us. Bad news troubles us. Life troubles us. Our sins trouble us. They make us uncomfortable and uneasy. They make us sad and frustrated. They make us miserable. But the Holy Spirit is the Comforter. He preaches to you that despite all those things, nothing can overcome or cancel out your baptism or the good news of Jesus or the promises of His body and blood. Jesus goes to suffering and death and to rise again and ascend to the Father so that He can send the Spirit through His Word to bring you comfort. To put you at ease. To protect and deliver you from everything that would rob you of the comfort of Christ. Be comforted! The Spirit is at work. He’s here to deliver the Jesus stuff to you. And those gifts of the Lamb of God deliver you from sin, the world, the devil. And by those gifts He promises to keep you safe until He comes again and wipes away every tear for good. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.