If you weren’t with us, you were greatly missed. Thankfully, we had lots of EG family returning from vacation and several first time visitors. By God’s grace, I hoarse-croaked through the songs and sermon (still no idea why I lost my voice).
Why did the sermon nearly eat all of us? Well, I first began the sermon two weeks ago, and I worked under the idea of a particular Big Picture Question. Then I changed that question and wrote some more. Finally, I realized the emphasis of the passage was different than what I was emphasizing, so I rewrote the sermon with the following…
Big Picture Question: How do we bear the weight that burdens us?
We attempted to answer that question looking at John 16.
John 16:4b “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
To understand how we bear the weight that burdens us, we answered the question in this way. We bear the weights that burden us because…
The Holy Spirit comforts your sorrowful heart.
The Holy Spirit changes this messed up world.
The Holy Spirit helps you bear the hard words of Jesus and the scriptures.
Jesus is leaving. The disciples are full of sorrow, and Jesus tells them a huge truth. He says, “Guys, I’ve purposefully kept you in the dark, and I know your hearts are broken. But, don’t worry, when the Holy Spirit comes, He will teach you all things. And just like the disciples, our hearts are broken. We are full of sorrow. Relationally, financially, and on and on, there are so many things make us sorrowful, and we bear the weight of that sorrow, but the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to meet us in that sorrow. We must come to this realization before we can enjoy the connection with have of the Holy Spirit. We have sorrow, we need help, we trust so many other things. Realize that, recognize your need of the Holy Spirit, and then connect with the help that Jesus has given you to bear the burdens you carry.
Additionally, we bear the weight of the messed up world. There is so much death. There is so much bad news. There is sickness and sorrow. It is such a weight to bear, but in our passage, Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit is going to change this messed world. As you grow in knowing and being like Jesus, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you help change this world. Your mere presence will help that happen. And yes ultimately, the Holy Spirit will help judge this world. There is hope.
And finally, we looked at Jesus helping us bear the weight of the scriptures. Jesus told His disciples that He had so much more to tell them (the rest of the NT if you will), but they couldn’t bear it. But the Holy Spirit would help them bear it. And this is true for you as well. We don’t avoid the scriptures because we don’t have time. We think we can’t bear them. We are afraid we will be reminded that we are wrong. We fear feeling guilty. But friends, return to the scriptures. The Spirit will help you bear them.
So, there it is. The sermon that nearly ate us all. I hope you find with this summary, and on our audio online, a great hope. If you would like to listen to the sermon, you can find it on our website. I look forward to hearing from you and hearing how the scriptures have affected you this week.