May 15, 2016

Pastor Bernt P. Tweit

Old Testament Lesson; Genesis 11:1-9

Historical Lesson; Acts 2:37-47

Sermon Text; John 15:26 – 27

                        John 16:5-11

How are you at saying, “Good bye”? Many of us might say we don't do very well, right? This last week I spent some time with my sister's family. I had to say, “Good bye”. That was hard. But, on the other hand, I was able to see my family, here in Madison, and that was happy.

Well, today in our text, we see the disciples in this very situation. They are getting to do something that is very hard. They are getting ready to say, “Good bye” to Jesus. But, Jesus is also preparing them to be ready for something that is happy. That is the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Today is Pentecost Sunday. Today is the Sunday in which we celebrate this great festival of the Church, the coming of the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father, and the Son.

What is Pentecost?

I am going to back up a step, into The Old Testament, for a moment, to look at the three great festivals the people were to participate in. They were to participate in:

       -The Feast of Passover,

       -The Feast of Weeks, and

       -The Feast of Tabernacles.

They tie in with the three festivals in The New Testament Church.

       -Passover ties in with Easter. So, as the people celebrated Passover in The Old Testament, according to The Old Testament Ceremonial Law, they were to get that lamb without blemish, or defect. They were to roast it. They were to eat it in haste, because that night the LORD was going to free them from slavery. That ties in with Easter - Jesus, being the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. It ties in with Good Friday, and Easter, Jesus' victory, and freeing us from the slavery of our sin.

       -The Feast of Weeks took place seven weeks after Passover. Seven weeks after Passover, this Feast of Weeks was the celebration of the coming in of the first fruits of the crops. The people were to bring before the LORD these first fruits.

That ties in with the celebration we have for today, on Pentecost. Pentecost is about seven weeks after Easter. 'Pente' means 'fifty'. So, it is fifty days after Easter. What are we doing? We are celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit. So, today, Pentecost is the carryover of The Old Testament Feast of Weeks.

       -The Last one is The Feast of Tabernacles. The people were to live in tents. It was to remind them of their wandering through the wilderness for forty years.

That ties in with Christmas, because it was Jesus who came and 'tabernacled' among us. It was Jesus who came, and dwelt among us. That ties in with Christmas, as Jesus came to be one of us.

We do a lot with talking about God, the Father, probably, right? We talk a lot about God, the Son, probably, right? But, sometimes people say, “You know, it just doesn't seem like we spend enough time talking about the Holy Spirit.”
Just recently, in a Wednesday Morning Bible Study, we were looking at the book of 2nd John. The very opening paragraph said,

“Grace, mercy, and peace,

from God, the Father,

and from Jesus Christ,

the Father's Son.”

Somebody raised their hand and said, “Look at that. It talks about God, the Father. It talks about God, the Son. But, it doesn't talk about God, the Holy Spirit. We just don't talk much about God the Holy Spirit, do we?”

Let's remedy that, today. Today is a wonderful day to do that, because today we look at this great festival of Pentecost, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Let's use our text to do that today, as we look at the work of the Holy Spirit. We are going to see in our text the goals of the Holy Spirit. Keep a pen handy, or keep a pencil handy, because there are some things I will have you circle today, as we look at these three goals, in the work of the Holy Spirit. Let's look at the end of John, chapter 15, and portions from John, chapter 16. God's Word says:

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. But now I am going to Him who sent me, and none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

These are your words, Heavenly Father. Lead us in the way of truth. Your Word is truth.


The three goals here of the Holy Spirit:

       -Holy Spirit would convict the world concerning sin (there is the first one.

       -Righteousness, is the second one

       -Judgment, is the third one.

I want to spend a considerable amount of time talking about these three things, this morning.

First of all, we need to define what the word 'convict' means. It means 'to prove wrong'. It means 'to proclaim to be guilty'.

And so, here the Holy Spirit comes, and what does He do? He 'convicts' the world, concerning sin. So, He 'proves the world wrong', or He 'proclaims them to be guilty of sin'.

Now, what sin is Jesus talking about here? Is Jesus talking about the sin of children mouthing off to their parents? Is that the sin Jesus is referring to here? Is Jesus talking about the sin of saying little, white lies? Is that really a sin? Is Jesus talking about sex outside of marriage? What type of sin is it that Jesus is referring to here? Well, it is none of those sins. Those are sins that we commit against God in thought, word, and deed. But, the sin Jesus is referring to is the sin of unbelief. Because of unbelief, the Holy Spirit 'convicts the world'. He 'proves them wrong'. He 'proclaims them to be guilty of their sin', because of their sin of unbelief.

As the Holy Spirit does that, and as the Holy Spirit comes, and convicts the world concerning sin, there are only two outcomes that can result, or come about, as a result of it.

One is what happened at Pentecost. Here is our Historical Lesson. The Holy Spirit came. Peter gave his wonderful sermon on Pentecost, and here comes the Holy Spirit. The people were so convicted, because of their sin that they asked the question,

“What shall we do?”

That is when Peter got to proclaim to them, what I shared with the children, during The Children's Sermon.


and be baptized,

every one of you.

In the name of Jesus Christ

for the forgiveness of you sins

and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

That is one of the results of being convicted of our sin, asking, “What shall I do?” Here comes the Holy Spirit, and what does He do?

He comes to bring us to faith,

to believe in Jesus, as our Savior.

That is one result.

The other result is a continuing in being stubborn. In continuing in being obstinate. And, continuing in being hardened in sin. That is a sad reality. In Hell, right now, are the souls of people who were convicted of sin. In Hell, right now, it is a reality, are the souls of people through whom Jesus paid for their sins, by His death on the cross. And yet, being obstinate and stubborn, they perished in their sin.

So, one of the goals of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world, concerning sin.

Second goal is the Holy Spirit comes to convict the world concerning righteousness. If somebody doesn't believe in Jesus, as their Savior, what they are saying is, “The only way I am going to be saved is through my righteousness.” I am going to put it another way. The person is then saying, “I am going to be saved by my good deeds.” I will put it another way. Somebody is saying, “I am going to saved by my good works.”

“If I am not going to be saved by the righteousness of Christ, I am going to be saved by my own righteousness.”

Well, what does the Bible say about that? Romans 3:20 says,

“No one will be declared righteous in His sight,

by observing the Law.

Rather, through the Law,

we become conscious of sin.”

Matthew 5:48 says,

“Be perfect therefore,

as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

James 2:10 says,

“Even if you keep the whole Law,

and yet,

stumble at just one point,

we are guilty of breaking all of it.”

As the Holy Spirit comes, one of His goals is to convict the world concerning righteousness, to prove us to be wrong, and to show we are guilty, even of our righteousness. As Isaiah says,

“All of our righteous acts

are like filthy rags.”

So, the Holy Spirit comes, and He convicts us of righteousness, which leads to the Holy Spirit, thirdly coming, and convicting us of judgment.

The ruler of this world already stands judged. If a person isn't standing with Jesus, that person is declaring Satan is their leader, that Satan is their ruler.

Satan already stands condemned.

He already stands judged.

So, by association, that means that person also stands condemned, or that person stands judged.

So, how can we overcome the power of the devil? The only way we can overcome the power of the devil is through The Word of the Holy Spirit, in God's Word.

During the course of The Reformation, as Martin Luther was leading the church through The Reformation, he wrote many wonderful hymns. One of which, is the hymn we sing belovedly, A Mighty Fortress is Our God. It is the third verse of this hymn that really ties in with our text. It is talking about how Jesus has overcome the power of the devil, through His Word. Here is what verse three says.

Though devils all the world should fill

all eager to devour us,

we tremble not.

We fear no ill.

They shall not overpower us.

This world's prince may still

scowls fierce as he will.

He can harm us none.

He is judged.

The deed is done.

One little word can fell him.

Now today, through His Word, what has the Holy Spirit done to us? He has convicted us, hasn't he?

       -He has convicted us concerning our sin.

       -He has convicted us concerning righteousness.

       -He has convicted us concerning judgment.

We all know that we stand before God, convicted.

       -We stand before God proven wrong.

       -We stand before God declared to be guilty.

But, where is it that all of these things meet? Where is it that these three things meet – sin, righteousness, and judgment? Do you guys know where they meet?

They meet at the cross.

All three of these things meet at the cross. At the cross, what happened to your sin?

It was placed on Jesus.

At the cross, what happened to righteousness?

Jesus' righteousness was given to you.

At the cross, what happened to judgment?

The judgment we deserve,

we do not receive,

because that judgment was placed on Jesus,

and He paid for our sin.

He paid, and delivered us from death. He delivered us from the devil.

Sin, righteousness, and judgment.

They all meet at the cross.

It is the Holy Spirit who again today brings us to the foot of the cross to have us see Jesus, who won everlasting life with Him in Heaven.

I close with these two thoughts.

There was once a preacher who talked about this portion of scripture being like going into a cavern, or a cave, with stalactite coming down from the ceiling, and stalagmites coming up from the floor. How many of you have ever been in a cave before, with stalagmites and stalactites? You are cruzin' through the cave, with a leader. If it is a large enough cave, many leaders turn off the lights, don't they? You are in pitch black, and cannot see anything. There is no way you would be able to get out of that cave.

But, what does the leader do? The leader turns on a light, and the leader shows you the way.

We are in 'a cavern'. We are in 'a cavern with its lights turned out'. We are in the darkness of this world. But, thanks be to God, we have a Helper. We have a 'leader', who is the Spirit of Truth. It is the Holy Spirit who is that 'beacon of light' who shows us the way. The Beacon of Light shows us to everlasting life, through Christ. The Holy Spirit is that ''beacon of light who shows us

Jesus is the Way, and the Truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father,

except through Him.

Here comes the Holy Spirit. He was to bear witness to the disciples, or the apostles. After Pentecost, it would be the job of the disciples to then bear witness. And, that is exactly what they did. They went forth into the world, and they bore witness about who Jesus was, and what He had done for us.

Throughout generations, that bearing of witness has gone down, hasn't it? It has come to you. Somebody bore witness to you. They shared with you that Jesus was your Savior, and the Holy Spirit worked through that.

During the course of this week, think about who you can bear witness to, so that the work of the Holy Spirit, in bringing people to the cross, and pointing them to Christ, may go forth, and many others come into God's Kingdom, just like it did on that very first Pentecost!