Photo. Go Huskers!
VII. The Sermon: The Impossible Made Possible – Reverend Kyle McClellan, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church
Intro. When a child is born we change how we talk about the baby from an IT to a HIM OR HER. For instance, the announcement of a birth is IT’S A GIRL! The Holy Spirit is not an it. He is the third person of the trinity. The primary work of the Holy Spirit is miraculous and foundational, not window dressing or just for emotional whims.
The Big Idea: It is only by the work of the Holy Spirit that the desire of our idolatrous hearts is changed.
I. An impossible “then” (v. 15b).
The IF is implicit and the THEN is implied. IF you love me, THEN you wil keep his commandments.
The purpose of this chapter is to bring the disciples comfort and peace as they are more than stressed out about what might happen next.
If you know the Old Testament or have read it at all, it is filled one long story of Gods people NOT obeying what God has commanded. So how are we to obey? It is an impossible THEN statement.
II. Know how the Paraklete makes the impossible possible (vv. 16-20).
A Paraclete is like a lawyer – he argues successfully on behalf of another. That is the Greek word he in this text that Christ uses to describe the Holy Spirit’s role.
However, what do dead people understand? Nothing. It is like giving a dead person tickets to the Husker game. They are unable to respond and come over and get the tickets. So what needs to be done so we can get it, understand, or take the Husker tickets? We must be made alive. This is what the Hily Spirit does.
1. The Holy Spirit is marked by truth, gives truth and defends truth. He came to give life.
2. The Paraklete goes both ways! (cf.: 1 John 2:1).
The word “advocate” in 1John is the same as Paraclete. When we sin we have a loving lawyer who is our own, pleading our case before the father.
So what is he pleading? He is not pleading that we are descent enough folks. That we try hard. That we normally don’t mess up quite so badly. No. Jesus is our advocate. He is pleading his own blood, his own righteousness, and his life counting for us!
III. We are desiring agents – not merely the sum of what we think or believe (vv. 15a, 21).
IF YOU LOVE ME AND KEEP ON LOVING ME – this is the great IF clause.
Obedience to Jesus is the mark of someone who loves him not the condition for belonging to him. This is the contrast between religion and being a follower of Christ. Religion seeks to pursue God BY DOING a list of things or not doing certain things. Rather, Christianity is about the object of what or who we love.
What the mind thinks about most, the heart loves best. So in the course of our day, what do we think about most? If we have free time, what are we naturally drawn to? What do we daydream about? We have too little ambitions. Christ wants these for himself and to transform how we dream. He wants these deep affections of our heart for himself. That is what it means to be saved, not merely to know a list of right things about who Jesus is. He wants our enjoyment of the things of his world to further flame our desires for him not truncate on these things of the world.
The gospel does not come merely to get us out of hell, but rather to fundamentally reorder what it is we love. The pain in sanctification is in the Holy Spirit reordering these loves of my heart. We are fundamentally passionate agents. That is how we worship, a trait in the godhead. So what do we worship?