Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: THe Holy spirit advocates for us in relation to the world.

The Olympic Games are going to be in China this summer. and as you may have heard there are some people who have difficulty with the Olympic Games being held in China because they see the Chinese government behaving in a manner that violates human rights of Justice Equality and Freedom. Amnesty International among many organizations are calling on the Chinese authorities to use restraint in responding to protests in China, and to:

• Stop repressing freedom of expression and religion.

• Respect peaceful protests.

• Allow for a full United Nations investigation into the recent events.

• Allow for media access to the area.

And they do this with the authority of an advocacy group. They are speaking on behalf of Tibetan Buddhists who are detained and at risk of being tortured. Now the Chinese Ambassador to Canada says that this is a complete distortion of what in fact his government is doing as he says that his government is responding to violent rebellious activities appropriately. And this is no isolated incident, there are situations like this around the world; for example George Bush and Guantanamo Bay or Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and you find people advocating that the things that are going on there are wrong. And the role of the advocate is to keep speaking out against wrongs it sees, an advocate is a voice of conviction saying that this isn’t right – you can’t continue doing that or thinking about that. The Holy Spirit in our Gospel lesson today is also an advocate, one who speaks up on behalf of another. But whenever we think of the Holy Spirit advocating we typically think of him defending the disciples before God. But that is not the case, we as disciple of Christ are in no need of defence before God, Jesus has served the time for our crime. Our sins have been paid for –there is no outstanding debt regarding our sinful nature.

Yet, what we do as disciple’s matters because of what John tells us in verses 8-11 that the Holy Spirit is our advocate or counsel in relation to the world. But before we go there, remember Moses at the base of Mount Horeb -- you know where God spoke to Moses from a burning bush and said,(Exodus 3:7 -4)

"I’ve taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain. And now I have come down to help them, pry them loose from the grip of Egypt, get them out of that country and bring them to a good land with wide-open spaces, . . "The Israelite cry for help has come to me, and I’ve seen for myself how cruelly they’re being treated by the Egyptians. It’s time for you to go back: I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt."

Moses answered God, "Me, why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?" And God Said "I’ll be with you, and this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you: When you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain." Then Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the People of Israel and I tell them, ’The God of your fathers sent me to you’; and they ask me, ’What is his name?’ What do I tell them?"

God said to Moses, "I-AM-WHO-I-AM. Tell the People of Israel, ’I-AM sent me to you.’". . . "Now be on your way. Believe me, they will listen to you. Then you and the leaders of Israel will go to the king of Egypt and say to him: ’GOD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness where we will worship GOD—our God.’

"I know that the king of Egypt won’t let you go unless forced to, so I’ll intervene and hit Egypt where it hurts—oh, my miracles will send them reeling!—after which they’ll be glad to send you off. I’ll see to it that this people get a hearty send-off by the Egyptians—when you leave, you won’t leave empty-handed! . . you’ll clean the Egyptians out!"

Moses objected, "They won’t trust me. They won’t listen to a word I say. They’re going to say, ’GOD? Appear to him? Yaa right, Hardly!’"

So GOD said, "What’s that in your hand?" "A staff."

"Throw it on the ground." He threw it. It became a snake; Moses jumped back—fast!

GOD said to Moses, "Reach out and grab it by the tail." He reached out and grabbed it—and he was holding his staff again. "That’s so they will trust that GOD appeared to you, . .

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