Not my problem – "Sermon Series: Believing, Proclaiming, Confessing II" / John 16:4-11 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday, May 23rd 2021 / Pentecost Day
Text: John 15:26,27; 16:4-11
Theme: “Not my Problem “– (Sermon Series: Believing, Proclaiming, Confessing II)
Intr – There’s a meme online with a picture of a cat with some words like these “The path to peace of mind begins with these three words: Not my problem”.
That’s pretty ironic and sarcastic, for sure, but sometimes we see that happens, actually more than we would to see, when it comes to not caring at all about your neighbour’s problems because you’ve got your own. “Each one with their own.”
That “not my problem” path might creep into the Church too”. We might not want to get involved and say “It is my problem”. However, thinking of the sentences themselves, I think we can use both as a way to think about our Christian faith and life, if we would use them in the right place.
The problem is that it is often applied to the wrong situations,
1 – Sin - "not my problem?"
Wrong place number 1: Here is where we try to acquire peace of mind through denial. Sin? “Not my problem”.
_“I don’t want to erase my mistakes and sins because they’ve helped me to be who I am”. While that can be true for our experiences, they can’t be erased, it is not true in the meaning this phrase is used to mean: that I don’t need to worry much about sin and guilt, it’s all a process and I should live worry free.
_Most people say they hate “Prejudice, hypocrisy, superficiality, lack of education and compassion”. But that’s usually because “Not my problem”. It’s hard to look inside; it’s easier to look for that in others.
This may happen when we lose the Christ of the Bible of sight, we will do things we think are God pleasing, but in the end they work against His cause. In the Gospel we see Jesus talking about persecution, and the real reason for it is the same that John has been presenting along his Gospel – the Jewish leaders lost sight of who the Father is, and so they don’t see the Son in front of them.
Reality is: Sin is our problem. From conception to the grave. No matter how many social media posts you read, or how many friends’ advices we get to try to divert from it, as we try to build self esteem and a guilt-free heart environment by resorting to human tools.
Sin is our problem. And there is one solution. The Faith that the Holy Spirit brings to our hearts.
Which leads us to wrong place number 2.
2 – Righteousness - "it's my problem?"
It happens when we try to find solutions to our redemption by ourselves.
“I’ve got to be strong. I’ve got to look inside my heart and find my strength. If I help myself, God will help me”. OR: “I don’t need religion, I just need faith and my Bible at home. Religion is for the weak. I can acquire real peace of mind with God by connecting with my inner being/nature/others”.
However, here is where that meme weighs in: To acquire real peace of mind with God, definitive, eternal, we need to use those 3 words: Not my problem.
We created the problem of sin, but it’s not our problem to solve it. The problem Killer is Only and One – Jesus. His work was done to:
To solve the problem
To pay de debt
To be the cause of people’s peace of mind with God.
This is where, as Jesus says, the Holy Spirit convicts the World of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment:
Sin is our problem, and needs to be solved, in order not to be condemned to be eternally apart from Him.
Righteousness is not our problem, because our works can do nothing to solve the problem. Jesus’ Work does. And we are convinced of it, in His absence, by the words of the Word. 
Judgment is the devil’s problem. He is already defeated permanently.
It all points to Christ, who solved the problem and put in our Hands the solution: faith in Him.
Now because it looks so smooth and easy, there might times we might doubt it. It might be hard to take in that if you attend Church for 80 decades of life you are coming to the same place as people who came to faith when they were 75. That the person you don’t like in this world, you will love in heaven. The person who used to stone the Church, perhaps even causing suffering to you and yours, may dwell in an acreage in Heaven right beside yours. It looks so easy that it is frequently overlooked to be replaced by giving people a harder time if they want to connect with God. It might look so unjust that it is frequently distorted to mean you have to do your part in earning your way to the Father, especially if you behaved poorly for most of your life.
But again and again: not my problem. We proclaim the Word that points to Christ, who solved the problem and put in our Hands the solution: faith in Him. Peace of mind with God.
3 – Sanctification - Proclaiming
As we are called to faith by the Holy Spirit of God, we receive a privilege: serving Him, and our neighbours in their needs. Even don’t think about life in faith and Church as a privilege, but as a burden.
Now think about this: there are times we might think that helping as a volunteer in the Winter or Summer Olympics would be a privilege, even though we have hard work to do. There are times we might think it would be a privilege to be beside the Football field to remove the snow during a 3 hour game, even though it’s hard and cold work. There are times we might think it would be a privilege to help mounting the entire stage for an artist we love because we would be so close to them there – even though that’s real hard work to be done.
Then when it comes to serving in the Kingdom of God we might think differently. One of these situations might apply: how difficult it is to wake up Sunday morning; or how difficult it is to let our name stand for a needed position; how difficult it is helping in a group; how extenuating to separate the first fruit for our offering, not the last; to serve our community; to help a friend; to help somebody even when there’s on payment or demonstration of gratitude.
Here the three words are: it’s our privilege. Serving the Lord means we are close to Him, we see Him acting in the stage of life to ring love and salvation to many; we can be helpers of the Helper in sharing the Word so that many may come to know this privilege of being with Him, walking with Him, serving Him.
We have the privilege of:
_proclaiming the deeds of the One Who Has called us;
_leading a life of service in love;
_even suffering for Christ’s name.
Our problems are drown in the waters of Baptism, our faith is strengthened in the bread and the wine with the blood and body; our life is sustained in the pages, or screens, of the Sacred Word of God. We are trouble-makers, He is the trouble-shooter. He makes us hope-carriers to proclaim to the lives of many who are not finding a way out from the “not my problem” “it’s my problem” misplaced situations. The Word brings the 3 in One God that sets us free and binds us to the freedom of Serving in love. It’s our privilege to proclaim the Good News of true joy and peace of mind with God in Christ.
Cc - “It’s my problem”, sin. “Not my problem”, salvation. “It’s our privilege”, proclaiming Christ. But here’s the problem: how will it be that so many people will be reached, converted, receive the faith, live that faith in love, and be saved? Not my problem. It’s the Holy Spirit’s work; through us.
 “The conviction concerning sin, because the world does not believe in Jesus, means that the primary cause of sin is the rejection of faith—the rejection of God as our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. For who among us, truly believing every moment that God demands perfection and threatens us with eternal damnation and punishment for straying from His ways, would dare to sin?” WOLFMUELLER, Brian. “Concerning Sin, Righteousness and Judgement” Available at: https://www.stpaulaustin.org/sermons/concerning-sin-righteousness-and-judgment/ Access: May 2021
 The conviction concerning righteousness, because Jesus has gone to the Father and we see Him directly no longer, means that it is apart from visible proof of God’s presence among us in the person of Christ that we have faith in Him and what He has done for us. It is apart from having personally seen His incarnation, birth, preaching, miracles, torture, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension that we are still convinced of these truths by the witness of the Holy Spirit, through the words of the apostles.” WOLFMUELLER, Brian. “Concerning Sin, Righteousness and Judgement” Available at: https://www.stpaulaustin.org/sermons/concerning-sin-righteousness-and-judgment/ Access: May 2021
 It is not your judgment that He makes known but the judgment of the devil. The Holy Spirit convinces us that Satan, the ruler of this world, has been judged, defeated, conquered. As our Lord Jesus approached His impending death on the cross for the sins of the world, He announced the devil’s imminent defeat: Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out (John 12:31). RITTER, Larry. “Jesus sends the Helper” In: https://trinitynotl.com/2021/05/02/jesus-sends-the-helper/ Access: may, 2021
 Like the Apostle Paul’s life, for example.
Photo by Keenan Constance from Pexels