Sermon Transcript – The Helper Helps

1 Year Lectionary – Fifth Sunday of Easter – Sunday, May 15, 2022 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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0:28the holy gospel according to saint john the 16th chapter [Music]
0:40Jesus said now I am going to him who sent me and none of you asks where are you going but because i have said these
0:47things to you sorrow has filled your heart nevertheless i tell you the truth it is to your advantage that i go away
0:53for 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
1:01convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment concerning sin because they do
1:08not believe in me concerning righteousness because i go to the father and you will see me no longer concerning
1:14judgment because the ruler of this world is judged i still have many things to say to you but you cannot bear them now
1:20when the spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all truth for he will not speak on his own authority but whatever
1:26he hears he will speak and he will declare to you the things that are to come he will glorify me for he will take what
1:33is mine and declare it to you all that the father has is mine therefore i said that he will take what is mine and
1:40declare it to you this is the gospel of the lord in the name of Jesus
1:46ah the holy spirit that’s what we’re going to be talking about today we Lutherans get accused of not believing in the holy spirit it’s kind of weird
1:52but what we don’t believe is that the holy spirit was sent for the purpose of making you bark like a dog or
1:57cluck like a chicken or roll around on the ground uncontrollably or for you to summon angels from africa in order to
2:04save trump’s failed presidency yeah you see what i’m saying here that’s not what the holy spirit is sent for in fact
2:10you’re going to note that what christ sends says the helper is going to do well there are many pentecostal churches
2:17who say that this is not the proper work of the holy spirit they say if you’re going to get a message from god god’s
2:23going to speak directly to you whisper in things into your heart he’s going to build you up not tear you down he’s not
2:30going to make you feel bad he’s going to make you feel good right the holy spirit is like a good sugar
2:36rush right but i i apologize today rather than giving you sugar we’re gonna uh apply a
2:42little bit of salt i have to be sparingly with the salt nowadays hypertension you know so all of that
2:48being said Jesus says in our gospel text i’m going to him who sent me none of you
2:53asked me where are you going but because i’ve said these things to you sorrow has filled your heart and indeed can you
2:59imagine hanging out with Jesus for three years how amazing that had to have been and then they’re at the end of this because
3:07christ is going to go to the cross he’s going to die he’s going to rise again he’s going to then ascend to heaven and
3:15he still has work to do on our behalf in heaven it says but because i’ve said these things sorrow has filled your
3:21heart nevertheless i tell you the truth it is to your advantage that i go for if i do not go away the helper the para
3:28clatos in greek he will not come to you but if i go i will send him to you and
3:35when he comes pay attention he will convict the world
3:40concerning sin and righteousness and judgment concerning sin
3:47because they do not believe in me and here’s where jesus puts his finger on the problem all right
3:55if you were to think of it we talk about root we talk about fruit right we talk about sin sin is the fruit what’s the
4:03root unbelief now a lot of people say well our problem is is that we don’t obey the reason why
4:09you don’t obey is because you don’t believe and so that’s the problem that Christ is
4:14addressing and so the holy spirit is going to convict he’s going to make you feel bad he’s going to convict you and
4:21say you’re guilty you’re guilty of not believing you are guilty of disobeying
4:28you are a sinner in need of a savior and then what’s the holy spirit going to do well he’s going to placard and glorify
4:35Christ by pointing you to his saving office Jesus in putting his finger on the actual problem
4:42is saying the same thing as other passages of scripture Hebrews 11 6 says without faith it is impossible to please
4:50god for whoever would draw near to him must believe that he exists and he rewards those who seek him without faith
4:57it’s impossible to please god so you can try all you want you can be as good as you want to be try it as hard
5:04as you want it’s going to amount to nothing because without faith without belief it’s impossible to please god
5:10it’s not difficult it’s not challenging it’s not hard it’s impossible john says
5:16it this way in john 3 36 whoever believes in the son has eternal life
5:22whoever does not obey the son shall not see life but the wrath of god remains on
5:27him you see this is what the holy spirit is going to convict us of is all the different ways in which we do not
5:34believe god we do not trust Christ we trust ourselves we trust the world we trust
5:40money we trust politicians which i don’t understand that’s a very foolish thing to do all right
5:46christ says this god so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him should not
5:53perish but have eternal life god did not send his son into the world to condemn
5:58the world but in order that the world might be saved through him whoever believes in
6:04him is not condemned are you saying that if somebody believes
6:11that Jesus is is their messiah and the savior and they’re in prison for murdering somebody that they can be
6:16forgiven yeah exactly what i’m saying i’m also saying
6:22this whoever would include hitler whoever would also include Calvinists but don’t let them know that okay
6:28if you know if you understand what i’m saying whoever believes in him is not condemned whoever
6:35does not believe is condemned already because he is not believed in the name
6:41of the only son of god so the holy spirit is going to convict us of sin righteousness judgment because
6:49we do not believe because he who has who he has not believed in the name of the only son of god is
6:55condemned already this is the judgment light has come into the world Jesus says people they love darkness rather than light and that includes you we do and me
7:02we all love darkness isn’t that just terrible about us it’s true right so rather than the light because our works
7:08are evil their works are evil but everyone who does wicked things hates the light does not come to the light
7:14lest his work should be exposed but now listen to this verse 21 whoever does what is true
7:20comes to the light so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in
7:27god and here’s where we see the connection with our old testament text and our old
7:33testament text is glorious note here Isaiah says you will say in that day i
7:39will give thanks to you o Yahweh for though you were angry with me your anger turned away so that you might
7:46comfort me behold god is my salvation
7:53god is and that’s the point Christ has saved us he has borne your
7:59sin in his body on the cross languished in the wrath of god in your
8:05place as your substitute so that you be can be clothed in the righteousness of
8:10Christ so that you can be forgiven and pardoned and god’s wrath would be turned
8:16away not because of your deeds not because of your piety but because of
8:22Christ Christ has become our salvation and because of this Isaiah says i will trust and i will not
8:30be afraid and we Christians because of what Christ has done we have that
8:35confidence that we can approach the throne of grace and do not need to fear the wrath of god because Christ has
8:41taken that for us so that we can be forgiven for the lord god is my strength
8:46and he is my song god has become my salvation and yours
8:53so that what may be seen what so Christ says so that whatever
8:59that may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in god
9:04and you’ll note here Christ saying that he’s going to send us a helper is an important thing
9:11because we need the helper you do not have the strength necessary
9:17to fight your own sinful flesh the temptations of the devil the world as
9:23well you don’t have it in you and if you remember last week you had to suffer through that sermon last week because
9:29the sermon last week was all about Christ promises us what suffering
9:35Christ promises us difficulty sorrow now joy when he returns and then you’ll note
9:42every one of god’s children Hebrews says he scourges them
9:48and this is not a fun experience being convicted of sins makes you feel bad
9:53about yourself rightly so enduring the suffering and the cross that god lays on us is difficult it’s
10:01hard you don’t have the strength to do it and if you were to somehow look at the world around you
10:08and compare yourself in your suffering in your obscurity in the difficulties
10:13and the trials that you’re going through and your lack of poverty any millionaires here no no not a one right
10:20in your lack of poverty and you can then look at the pagan world have you noticed
10:25that pagans could do really well financially if you don’t believe me just look at
10:31those Russian oligarchs they’re not exactly known to be the most pious fellows but man have you seen their
10:37yachts that the governments are trying to seize those things are bigger than Noah’s ark
10:43how is it that these evil people have such wealth
10:49it’s easy for us to look at them and go they’re blessed I’m cursed
10:55what’s the point of believing in god that doesn’t seem to have any earthly advantage for me
11:03that’s what it feels like and the the helper the paraclete helps
11:08us to bear the fruit of the spirit and to bear up and to not think falsely
11:14like this people who are billionaires running around in yachts are not blessed by god
11:21any more than people who live somewhere comfortably in the middle class or even
11:26in the high end of the lower class are somehow cursed by god that’s not the case and so in this regard
11:34i found the psalm of Asaph which is psalm 73 to be quite helpful in this
11:39regard because here in this psalm Asaph kind of speaks experientially in a very
11:45Hebrew mindset if you would about how god has helped him
11:51in the midst of the difficulties that he went through as a believer in Yahweh
11:57Asaph writes in psalm 73 truly god is good to Israel and to those who are pure
12:02in heart and by the way that’s you that’s me god has replaced our heart of stone with
12:08the heart of flesh he Christ has circumcised our hearts in the waters of baptism we are reckoned righteous for
12:15the sake of Christ so Asaph continues but as for me my feet had almost stumbled my steps had
12:23nearly slipped why because i was envious of the arrogant when i saw the prosperity of
12:28the wicked for they had no pangs until death their bodies are fat and sleek
12:35they are not in trouble as others are they are not stricken like the rest of mankind therefore pride is their
12:42necklace violence covers them as a garment their eyes swell out through
12:48fatness their hearts overflow with follies they scoff and they speak with
12:53malice loftily they threaten oppression they set their mouths against the
12:58heavens and their tongue struts through the earth therefore his people turn back to them and find no fault in them it’s
13:06scary when you think about it let me give you a modern day example have you guys seen any of the
13:11documentaries regarding Jeffrey Epstein okay terrifying on so many levels but
13:18the one thing i found to be the most terrifying is that this guy when he was first charged
13:25with trafficking young underage women he was actually able to work a deal out
13:32with the government and he would spend the night in a prison he did that for a long period of time but spend his day
13:39doing what he normally does and in the midst of all of that when you see when he’s on trial the the video evidence of
13:45what he said when he was asked there was a smugness to him
13:50that was satanic this is a guy who had wealth and power
13:56hobnobbed with the wealthy the powerful well the bright and shiny among the
14:01human race right they all went to visit him on his island
14:06we won’t talk about what happened there right but all of that being said how quickly
14:11did all of that come undone how many days was he in prison before he
14:17committed suicide if he committed suicide right suicide right
14:24how do you think he died did he die well
14:30you see it’s easy for us to look at the wealthy and the powerful and think that somehow they’re blessed but they’re not
14:35was Epstein blessed not even close the whole time he was cursed
14:41and in his smugness and his arrogance he had no fear of god and so
14:47Asaph continues so they say how can god know
14:53is there knowledge in the most high behold these are the wicked always at
14:58ease they increase in riches all in vain i have kept my heart clean
15:04Asaph says and i washed my hands in innocence what’s the point what’s the
15:10point of being a Christian obeying god’s commands there doesn’t seem to be any earthly benefit to it there’s not
15:15supposed to be in this life and without the work of the holy spirit
15:21we can easily get tripped up with this mentality for all the day long Asaph says I have
15:28been stricken and rebuked every morning ah
15:33god scourges all of his sons
15:39if i had said i will speak thus i would have betrayed the generation of your children
15:44but when i thought how to understand this it seemed to me a wearisome task until i
15:49went into the sanctuary of god and then i discerned their end you see he goes to the sanctuary of god and who is it that
15:56straightens Asaph out god does how through his word
16:02through the holy spirit the living active word of god opens up his eyes to see the truth to
16:08discern their end says truly you set them in slippery places and you make
16:13them to fall to ruin how they are destroyed in just a moment swept away utterly by terrors like a
16:21dream when one awakes oh lord when you rouse yourself you despise them as phantoms when my soul was embittered
16:28when i was pricked in heart when i was brutish and ignorant i was like a beast towards you god
16:35nevertheless i am continually with you and you hold my right hand
16:40you guide me with your counsel and afterwards you will receive me to glory
16:46this is the work of the holy spirit the holy spirit who holds our hands guides
16:51us into truth who strengthens us and helps us to have the strength to mortify
16:57our sinful flesh and its passions and even these false thoughts that the striking of god the scourgings that we
17:04receive are somehow a curse rather than his love god’s word teaches us
17:10the holy spirit guides us counsels us and after all of this work of the holy
17:16spirit we like asaph will be received into god’s glory
17:21whom have i in you but heaven lord and here’s where asaph touches the point
17:28and this is the bit the most important thing missing in your life
17:35i’m going to say this it is not power it is not wealth
17:40the most important thing missing in your life isn’t even the love of somebody of the opposite sex
17:46the most important thing in your life is christ
17:51he is your greatest need absolutely your greatest need
17:58and this is why the holy spirit must convict us of our unbelief because we don’t believe that
18:06we think that the greatest need that we have has something to do with what this earth offers isn’t any wonder then that
18:13when god scourges us he takes those things from us so that the only thing we have left is him
18:22so asap puts his finger on it whom have i in heaven but you there’s nothing on earth i desire lord
18:30beside you my flesh and my heart they may fail and
18:36that’s an understatement you know i always complain about every week i look worse right my flesh and my heart
18:43they’re failing but god is the strength of my heart he is my portion forever for
18:49behold those who are far from you they will perish and you put an end to everyone who was
18:55unfaithful to you but for me it is good to be near god i have made yahweh elohim my refuge so
19:03that i may tell of all of your works we need the holy spirit to help us
19:09to see this to convict us of our unbelief so that we may recognize that christ is our salvation that we need
19:16nothing except for him and then christ continues an important part
19:22and i would note anybody who’s a pentecostal needs to take note here jesus says that when the holy spirit
19:28comes he refers to him as the spirit of truth the holy spirit is not a trafficker in lies the holy spirit is
19:36not well how should i say it he’s not aloof when it comes to people
19:42who are speaking lies if you remember the second commandment second commandment you shall not take the name
19:49of the lord your god in vain i could ask brenda see if she has it memorized what does it mean right but i
19:55won’t put her on the spot right she’s one of my catechumens so
20:01second commandment you shall not take the name of the lord your god in vain what does this mean that we should fear and love god so that we do not curse
20:08swear use satanic arts lie or deceive by his name but call upon it in every
20:14trouble pray praise and give thanks so when people in the name of the holy
20:20spirit in the name of having the gifts of the spirit in the name of the continuing gifts of the spirit get up
20:26and they twist god’s word mangle it preach themselves and utterly
20:32take out christ from the biblical texts in order to glorify them their pursuit
20:38of signs and wonders and stuff like this they are traffickers of lies lies are
20:43not from the holy spirit they are from the devil so when the spirit of truth
20:48comes christ says he is going to guide you into all truth he doesn’t guide us into lies for he will not speak on his
20:55own authority but whatever he hears he will speak and then he will declare to you the things that are to come and
21:02here’s the next bit he will glorify me
21:07the holy spirit convicts us of our sin and our unbelief he comes to guide us into truth and he
21:13glorifies christ i remember all the way back in my
21:19days at concordia university i had a professor who’s talked about the holy spirit he’s the pr guy for jesus this is
21:25the way he described him and so he would say if you were to see the holy spirit and say hey holy spirit how’s it do
21:31how’s it going first thing the holy spirit would say have i told you about jesus let me tell you about jesus have
21:36you heard what jesus has done for you man jesus is the bee’s knees he’s the alpha the omega the beginning and the end you need some jesus all right he’d
21:43be worse than that shamwow guy remember that guy
21:49jesus oh okay that’s what the holy spirit is into the
21:54holy spirit is not about glorifying himself he’s pointing us to
21:59christ he’ll take what is mine he will declare it to you this is what the holy
22:05spirit is about but we live in a day when people in the name of the holy spirit speak lies and
22:12they are constantly trying to glorify holy spirit who’s interested in glorifying christ
22:18they’ve got things backwards upside down and inside out and so we’ll note here
22:23this truth aspect is not something that we can just wink at and think well it’s
22:28not that big a deal it is everything john puts it this way in first john he
22:35says children it is the last hour and as you have heard the antichrist is coming
22:40so now many antichrists have come and here’s where we’ve got to point this out when people sit there and go well what
22:46john was referring to is you know political leaders in the roman system that’s not the totality of
22:54it he is responding talking about here people who are antichrists in the church
23:03all right the big ones coming and there’s a lot of little ones along the way and they were already present in the
23:09church at the time of john many antichrists have come therefore we know that this is the last hour by the way
23:16john wrote this epistle against the gnostics and by the way the gnostics are alive and well they never went away
23:23they’ve been with us the whole time hiding in plain sight
23:29so no this is the last hour they went out from us they were not of us if they had been of us they would have continued
23:35with us but they went out so that it might become plain that they are not of us but you have been anointed by the
23:41holy one what’s john referring to here ah he’s talking to christians anointed by the
23:47holy one it might be the holy spirit is that not what happened to you in the waters of baptism peter says repent and
23:54be baptized every one of you in the name of jesus christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the holy
24:01spirit when you were baptized you like christ were anointed god the holy spirit
24:07descended on you made his temple inside of you you have been anointed by the holy one and then
24:13he says this you all have gnosis y’all have knowledge he’s saying that to
24:19punk the gnostics who talk about the secret knowledge john says you already got it you don’t need to be initiated into this
24:27secret gnostic society stuff so i write to you not because you do not
24:32know the truth but because you know it and because no lie is of the truth
24:39i don’t want to hear somebody say well that that profit is over there she’s really doing a lot of good work no she’s
24:46not she’s a false prophetess no lie is of the truth no lie is of the truth she couldn’t
24:53handle a biblical text correctly if i wrote her sermon for it and all she had to do was read it out
24:59no lie is of the truth who is the liar he says it’s the one who denies that
25:04jesus is the christ this is the antichrist he who denies the father and
25:09the son no one who denies the son has the father whoever confesses the son has
25:14the father also so let what you have heard from the beginning abide in you and listen to those words again this is
25:20a full sentence let what you heard from the beginning abide in you let me put it
25:26on the timeline christ 30 33 a.d dies rises again from the dead ascends into
25:33heaven and then that pentecost the holy spirit is sent by the father and the son
25:38yeah both of them sent them let the orthodox know that that you know just saying
25:43okay he sends the holy spirit and then decades later
25:49when john writes his epistle in the face of the gnostic heresy which
25:54was wreaking havoc in ephesus in other places wreaking havoc what does he point people
26:01to the things that were spoken and preached at the beginning
26:07we do not need any innovations when it comes to christian doctrine none whatsoever john says he says let what
26:15you heard from the beginning abide in you there is not christianity 2.0
26:21there is no innovation when it comes to doctrine if a doctrine is new it is not
26:28true straight up and john here in the living active holy
26:36spirit inspired epistle tells us that we are to listen to what was preached from the beginning and you
26:42know the only place you can find that in the bible
26:49when this holy spirit comes the spirit of truth he will guide you into all
26:54truth and all truth was preached at the very beginning of christianity
27:01no innovations necessary so if what you heard from the beginning
27:06abides in you john says then you too will abide in the son and in the father
27:12and this is the promise that he has made to us the promise he has made to us is eternal
27:17life i got a little worked up but that’s what happens sometimes right
27:23but all of that being said again christ tells us that the holy
27:29spirit the it is to our advantage that he has sent him and we’ll note that the real
27:35work of the holy spirit is not some appendage to christianity it’s at the
27:41very heart of christianity it is part of his promise the holy spirit given by god
27:47the father and the son who convicts us of our sin leads us into truth he’s the
27:52one who speaks the truth and glorifies christ he is a gift from
27:58from the father and the son and a gift that we dare not
28:03overlook this is why augustine taught us all those centuries ago that we as
28:09christians should pray to the holy spirit holy spirit your commandments
28:15command that i do this thing and not do that thing but in and of myself i do not have the strength to mortify my sinful
28:21flesh and to obey your commands so i ask you humbly that you would give me that strength
28:27and he does holy spirit it is really easy for me to despise the cross that god has given me
28:35it is hard for me to deny myself it is easy for me to look enviously at the
28:41well the wealth and the power and the follies of the rich and the wealthy and the powerful and those who do not
28:47believe and to despise the scourgings that i receive from my father in heaven
28:52please help me to bear up under them and to see the truth and see that what is happening to me is
28:57out of god’s great love not because of a curse this is what the holy spirit does in us
29:04and this calls us to repent of ignoring the holy spirit not believing christ not
29:10believing the word regarding the role of the holy spirit or worse even believing the new innovative doctrines that are
29:15churning out like new kias from the that factory in korea you know every uh just
29:21new new heresy new heresy new heresy they’re coming off the factory line like you wouldn’t believe
29:28and trust that christ has done this all but you’ll note then the work of the holy spirit in helping us to recognize
29:36that god is our salvation that christ has bled and died even for these infractions of his law for believing
29:44falsely for breaking the first and the second commandment that god has become our salvation christ has bled and died
29:51for this and then at the end of the work of the holy spirit in this life
29:56we will as isaiah says with joy draw water from the wells of salvation and we
30:04will say in that day give thanks to yahweh call upon his name make known his deeds among the peoples proclaim that
30:10his name is exalted sing praises to yahweh for he has done gloriously
30:16let this be made known in all the earth shout and sing for joy o inhabitant of zion for great in your
30:22midst is the holy one of israel and great in our midst indeed is the holy one of
30:28israel because god the holy spirit through the word of scripture has assured us that where two or more are gathered christ is truly present he is
30:35present here today to feed us his body and blood to forgive us of our sins to strengthen us through his word and all
30:42of this because the holy spirit is glorifying christ now even in the preaching of his word indeed great in
30:48the midst of us right now is the holy one of Israel in the name of Jesus amen
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