Sermons

Summary: How the Holy Spirit Helps 1) He comforts 2) He convinces

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It’s usually just a tiny white pill. It tastes slightly bitter but then again you’re supposed to swallow it not chew it. In under an hour after taking the pill that headache of yours should disappear. Aspirin is pretty amazing isn’t it? It’s a cheap and seemingly reliable painkiller that’s been around since the beginning of the 20th Century though its qualities were already known in the 5th Century B.C. You know aspirin works, but do you know how it works? Aspirin is an acid (acetylsalicylic acid) that stops cells from making prostaglandin - a chemical that helps the brain register pain. Knowing how aspirin works will keep us from abusing it. For example if you break your arm, you might think: “I’ll just pop some aspirin and get better. In fact, the more aspirin I take the faster I should heal.” It doesn’t wok that way. Aspirin doesn’t make you better it only makes you feel better. Aspirin simply interferes with the pain signals that your nerves send to your brain (everyday-chemistry.suite101.cos). In fact taking lots of aspirin is not good for you. It eats away at the lining in your stomach!

Although he doesn’t come in the form of a tiny white pill, the Holy Spirit is a helper to fallen mankind and we don’t have to worry about overdosing on him. How exactly does the Holy Spirit help us? Finding this out will help us appreciate and rely on the Holy Spirit more.

Jesus spoke the words of our text on Maundy Thursday - the night Judas would betray him. Our text begins with Jesus saying: “I am going to him who sent me” (John 16:5). Upon hearing Jesus’ announcement that he was going away, the disciples were too stunned to say anything. It’s the kind of shock you might experience if a well-liked pastor suddenly hands in his resignation. A pastor resigning from his office is rarely prompted by good events. Likewise the disciples wondered what Jesus’ words meant for them. It certainly couldn’t be good. But Jesus went on to say to them: “6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away” (John 16:6, 7a).

How could Jesus’ departure be good for the disciples? A solider fighting on the front lines may think the same thing of his comrade who quietly slips away during the heat of battle. He will resent that soldier until he sees him leading a squadron of tanks to the rescue. That soldier hadn’t abandoned them after all. Instead he had risked his life to bring help by squirming through enemy lines. Jesus wasn’t leaving his disciples to bring help, however, for he was the “help” the heavenly Father had sent. So where was he going? Jesus was going back to his heavenly Father but the way back was through the cross of Calvary. So like a soldier who slips away from the front lines, not to run and get help, but to lure the machine gun fire his way so his comrades can escape, Jesus climbed the cross of Calvary to draw God’s wrath against sin away from us and onto himself. Yes, Jesus’ departure from the disciples was a good thing. Had Jesus remained with them, he never would have won forgiveness. He never would have defeated death. Jesus would be no good to us then, just another guru who spoke some neat parables.


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