The Spirit of Truth / John 14:15-22 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / May 14th, 2023/ The Season of Easter
Theme: “The Spirit of Truth”
Intr – Do any of you, dear listeners, have any doubts about the fact that I have a mother? No, I’m sure you don’t. The fact that I am right here before you proclaiming this message, the fact that I am in this world provides the answer: there is surely a mother through which I came to this earth. And a father too, of course. Just by looking at me anyone can tell that such woman exists.
However...what else do you know about her? Not considering those of you who know me well, all the rest of you wouldn't be able to tell her age, in which city she lives or what her top 5 favourite foods are. Most of you wouldn’t even be able to tell her name. In one hand, then, my existence is unquestionable evidence that my mother exists. But on the other hand, that doesn’t tell anything about who precisely she is. She can be any woman 65+ years old in the crowd. If you want to know who she really is you would need to “read the 'book of life'” that she has written so far.
Look around you. There’s the Universe. We see nature. Here we are: human beings. All as may be indicative of the existence of a Creator of the Universe, as some people sometimes use as a “proof” that God exists. (There are many who would discard this idea, but this is ultimately a question of faith.) In other words, some people say that Nature, The Universe shows that there is a God.
Let’s grant it for now that the universe points out to the existence of God. Or a God. That’s a good start. Now, what God is this?
Nature, The Universe alone can never reveal it to us. This god may be any of thousands that have been, and still are, invented by humans. Just looking at The Universe we can never know and tell Who He Is, His nature, essence or attributes. We can't tell what He is able to do. Especially, we can’t learn the most important story that this God has written for human kind.
To know Him we need to read His Book. The Book of Life, capital ‘L’. There is where we find who God really is. He created Nature, The Universe, human beings and also gave us life through our moms (and dads, too). He has chosen His people, to whom belong all that are connected to Him by Faith in his Son. The Bible tells us about sin and how it has created a vast crater between us and Him. We learn then that He revealed Himself in Jesus Christ to save us from sin and to five us eternal life. We see then how by faith we are inserted in the larger picture of the story of the people of God.
To know God, therefore, we need more that proof that human beings can produce. We need the Spirit of Truth.
Good News: this is exactly what Jesus promises in the Gospel, The Spirit of Truth. He is the one who calls us to Faith and to know God, and His Son, Jesus. I Peter reminds us: “Baptism, which corresponds to this, unow saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but vas an appeal to God for a good conscience, wthrough the resurrection of Jesus Christ” Baptism saves us and gives us faith in the Truth and in the True God.
Here we could take the entire Bible as the Word of God to tell us who He is. We could go thorugh the Creed to know Who he is. But what are the truths that the John 14 teaches about God for us today?
1. He is a God that commits us to Himself – Don’t go about life thinking that faith and your daily life are two different compartments. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” Good fruits flow from a saved heart, from a good tree. Faith without works is dead. We are committed to Him and from that commitment our life in Christ flows. In one hand, we like to blend in the society around us, and that is good; but at some point your behavior needs to contrast with what is around you. Because you are not of this world.
2. You live that commitment not because the power is in you, but because power is given to you. “Another Helper, to be with you forever”. And where is the Helper forever? In your heart for sure. But through means. Closeness to God means is where the presence of the Helper will be forever I your life. Don’t fall for tricks of self making, self help or self made works. Your self is too weak. Christ Himself is your power, given to you through the Holy Spirit.
3. Sin blocks that power – “whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.” Sin is a blindfold that prevents you to see who God is and consequently who you are. Sin is a problem. How big it is?
Illustration: If you find a crack in your basement, and you think it’s not a big deal, you may use even some duct tape to fix it. But if it really serious and may bring your house down, you will surely look for a specialized company who can fix it for good.
The smaller the problem, the smaller the solution. If sin is something that “everybody does” and “making mistakes is good for You”, then Jesus will be a side kick, a self help guru to provide you some tips for better living. Now, if sin is the cosmic break of the relationship with God that sends people into the hell of fire, then we need a major solution.
We have it. Jesus
4. You have a Father – Today is mother’s day. As we celebrate this importance, we also think of those who lost their mothers or never saw them. Orphans. That is a sad reality. Christ is here telling us we will never see that though when it comes to faith. “I will not leave you as orphans;” He is there with you and for you.
5. Diving in the Word tells you who He is and who you are. Especially this, which shows who he is and who we are: “I am in my Father, and nyou in me, and oI in you.”
These promises are for you. But they are yours not through Nature, positive thinking or any other means It is through faith because of Christ. The Saviour that you know, the Father that you know, the Holy Spirit that you know.
Remember: the Spirit of Truth. The World keeps looking for truth everywhere. We already found it – or rather we were found by the Truth Himself, Jesus.
So, in order to know the Christian God looking around is not enough. We must look inside. We need to look inside the pages of His Book, the Bible. Then we look inside our hearts where He ignited our faith through His Holy Spirit. There we will find ourselves inside his Love, where we have full Life. Like a mother never ceases to care for her children, His Care and love for us never ceases. BTW, this is how you are always prepared to give reason of the hope you have in your heart, as Peter asks us to.
Cc – Yes, you probably don’t know my Mother very well. But in Christ you know the Father. The Spirit of Truth gave it to you. Now, as Hosea calls us to, “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;” (Hosea 6:3) Continue to grow in knowledge and understanding. Above all, continue on in faith - the trust in the heart that Jesus is Lord. In Christ we see God, we trust Him and we live in Him. Then, there is no doubt: every time we look around and see Nature, His Creation, we will see there a huge, permanent outdoor sign of the work of His hands.
(The "who my mother is?" idea is adapted from an illustration by The Rev. Luiz Alberto dos Santos [†] , Canoas Brazil)
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silhouette-photo-of-a-mother-carrying-her-baby-at-beach-during-golden-hour-51953/