Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
John 15:26, 27; 16:7, 8; 13
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
The words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your eyes, O Lord, our rock and redeemer. Amen.
This Sunday we will be celebrating the Pentecost, the fiftieth day after our Lord’s resurrection, and the traditional birthday of the church. The day when all those years ago, this promise our Lord Jesus spoke was fulfilled. The morning where the Holy Spirit of God came down as flames on the disciples, gave Peter the words to speak to the crowd and baptised around three thousand (Acts 2:1-41).
These people were convicted of their sin, their rejection of Jesus Christ as God’s Son and their rejection of His Words. They were shown the truth of their lives and actions, that they had sinned and were sinning. They also heard the truth of Jesus’ forgiveness of their sins and the gift of the Spirit received through baptism. This is the Spirit of truth guiding the disciples into all truth and convicting the world.
Jesus has promised us that the Holy Spirit will guide us too, I pray not only for them, but for those who will come after (John 17:20 ). But how do we know that we are listening to This Spirit, how do we know we are living in truth? Last week we heard from John 17, just a little later in John’s Gospel, Jesus praying to the Father, ‘sanctify us in the truth, your word is truth’ (John 17:17). The Word of God is true and is where we find truth, and not just in the written Bible, but also the word became flesh and made His dwelling among us (John 1:14). Jesus is the Word of God fully, but graciously God has also provided us with His Word written down by His people over 2000yrs.
It is through the Bible that we learn the truth, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But how do we know if we are guided by a spirit of God and not a different spirit? We are to test the spirits against the truth (1 John 4:1), John tells us that we know the Spirit of God because He confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (1 John 4:2). Also earlier in the letter He writes that, ‘if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us’ (1 John 1:8).
The people who deceive themselves and believe the lies of this world or society also condemn themselves to death, because they reject the truth. Those who reject the conviction of the Holy Spirit also reject the salvation of Jesus. But Jesus has promised that the Holy Spirit will guide us with truth and to truth. The Holy Spirit is our advocate, our helper, our comforter and our guide.
The grace of God which passes all human understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, now and always. Amen.