Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

The Festival Of Pentecost

Option #1: "Jesus Went Away For Good!"
(John 16:5-11)
Rev. Wayne Dobratz

Introduction: The scene is the Upper Room. The date is Maundy Thursday, the night Jesus was betrayed and on which He gave us the Holy Supper. He has just told the disciples that He is going away and that they cannot follow Him, at least not yet. Though they will have trouble understanding His words until they are fulfilled, He tells them that His departure is for their good and for ours as well.


1) To send the Spirit who convicts the world of guilt--Acts 2:37, 16:29ff

2) To send the Spirit who convinces the world regarding righteousness--John 3:8, 19-20, 8:42-47; Acts 2:36-39; Rom 3:19-20; 1 Tim 1:13-14; Heb 3:12-15

3) To send the Spirit who convinces the world about judgment--Acts 2:32-35; Rom 3:21-26; Rom 5:17-19; Rom 8:33-34; Rom 10:3-4; 1 Cor 15:14-20; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 10:5-14

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament 16:8. One of the Spirit’s new ministries was to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. Conviction is not the same as conversion but is necessary to it. The words "convict…of guilt" translate the one word elenxei, "to present or expose facts, to convince of the truth." 16:9. Sin is rebellion against God and this rebellion reached its climax in the crucifixion of Jesus. Today the greatest sin is the failure to believe in Jesus (cf 3:18; 15:22, 24). Most people do not readily admit to being guilty of sin. They will admit to failures or vices or even crimes. However, sin is against God, and people have suppressed the truth of God (cf Rom 1:18, 21, 25, 28). The mighty working of the Holy Spirit is necessary to convince and convict people of their desperate plight. In crucifying Jesus, the Jewish people showed that they thought He was unrighteous, that only a wicked person would be hanged on a tree and thus be under God’s curse (Deut 21:23; Gal 3:13). But the Resurrection and the Ascension vindicated Jesus as God’s righteous Servant (Acts 3:14-15; Isa 53:11). The Spirit convicts [people] of their faulty views of Jesus when the gospel with its stress on the Resurrection is proclaimed (1 Cor 15:3-4).

Richard Lenski writes: "If Jesus should not depart, as the disciples desire, then the Paraclete will not come to them; then all that his coming means for the crowning of Jesus’ work, for the greater blessing of the disciples, for their own great work for which Jesus has trained them so long, cannot possibly follow. ...With the coming of the Paraclete the great plan of salvation will be gloriously carried to its consummation to the everlasting joy and glory also of His disciples. ...Jesus must complete His redemptive work by his death, resurrection and ascension, so that the Spirit may take all His work and by means of the Gospel spread its saving power to the ends of the earth." (Commentary on the Gospel of John, p. 1080) 

+  +  +

Option #2: "Divine Counsel"
(John 16:5-11)
Rev. Kelly Bedard

A. Counsel for the Prosecution

       1. Indictment against those who close their minds to His message

       2. His very presence, risen and ascended from the dead, is evidence enough of their guilt
B. Counsel for the Defense

       1. Acquittal (forgiveness) for those who minds have been opened to His message

       2. His very presence, through Word and Sacrament, is evidence enough of His love


1. parakletos (v7): comforter, advocate; summoned, called to one's side, especially called to one's aid; one who pleads another's cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate; one who pleads another's cause with one, an intercessor; of Christ in his exaltation at God's right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins; in the widest sense, a helper, succourer, aider, assistant; of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after his ascension to the Father), to lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and
give them divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom.

2. elegcho (v8): reprove, rebuke, convince, tell (one's) fault, convict; refute, confute, generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted; by conviction to bring to the light, to expose; to find fault with, correct; by word; to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove; to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation; by deed; to chasten, to punish.

3. The disciples could only see the sorrow of Christ's leaving; but Jesus' departure was an essential step in their growth as disciples--"The braver and more perfect disciple is [s]he who can walk by faith, and not by sight only." (Bernard as quoted by David Guzik)

4. Sin is the truth about [humanity]; righteousness is the truth about God; judgment is the inevitable product of these two truths. It is unbelief, the rejection of Christ, that proves one to be a sinner--"Christ is good and holy and pure; to reject him is to convict oneself of being opposed to goodness and holiness and purity and love." (Erdman) The Spirit convicts both of God's perfect righteousness and judgment, and the world's false righteousness and judgment. [People] cannot come to a realization of sin, righteousness and judgment apart from the Holy Spirit. In its insanity, the world regarded Jesus as a sinner, itself as righteous, and it ended up pronouncing false judgment on Christ. (Guzik)

5. My Saviour, can it ever be that I should gain by losing thee? (Keble)

6. "He will reprove"--This is too weak a word to express what is meant. Reproof is indeed implied in the term employed, and doubtless the word begins with it. But convict or convince is the thing intended; and as the one expresses the work of the Spirit on the unbelieving portion of mankind, and the other on the believing, it is better not to restrict it to either. (David Brown)

7. Beyond doubt, it is Christ's personal righteousness which the Spirit was to bring home to the sinner's heart. The evidence of this was to lie in the great historical fact, that He had "gone to His Father and was no more visible to [people]"--for if His claim to be the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, had been a lie, how should the Father, who is "a jealous God," have raised such a blasphemer from the dead and exalted him to His right hand? But if He was the "Faithful and True Witness," the Father's "Righteous Servant," "His Elect, in whom His soul delighted," then was His departure to the Father, and consequent disappearance from the view of [people], but the fitting consummation, the august reward, of all that He did here below, the seal of His mission, the glorification of the testimony which He bore on earth, by the reception of its Bearer to the Father's bosom. This triumphant vindication of Christ's rectitude is to us divine evidence, bright as heaven, that He is indeed the Saviour of the world, God's Righteous Servant to justify many, because He bare their iniquities (Isa 53:11). Thus the Spirit, in this clause, is seen convincing [people] that there is in Christ perfect relief under the sense of sin of which He had before convinced them; and so far from mourning over His absence from us, as an irreparable loss, we learn to glory in it, as the evidence of His perfect acceptance on our behalf, exclaiming with one who understood this point, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God," &c. (Romans 8:33-34) (Ibid)

8. "Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged"--By supposing that the final judgment is here meant, the point of this clause is, even by good interpreters, quite missed. The statement, "The prince of this world is judged," means, beyond all reasonable doubt, the same as that in Jn 12:31, "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out"; and both mean that his dominion over [people], or his power to enslave and so to ruin them, is destroyed. The death of Christ "judged" or judicially overthrew him, and he was thereupon "cast out" or expelled from his usurped dominion (Heb 2:14; 1 Jo 3:8; Col 2:15). Thus, then, the Spirit shall bring home to [peoples'] conscience: (1) the sense of sin, consummated in the rejection of Him who came to "take away the sin of the world"; (2) the sense of perfect relief in the righteousness of the Father's Servant, now fetched from the earth that spurned Him to that bosom where from everlasting He had dwelt; and (3) the sense of emancipation from the fetters of Satan, whose judgment brings to [people] liberty to be holy, and transformation out of servants of the devil into sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. (Ibid)

 Ministry Health Sermon Starters
Copyright 2002 Ministry Health, LLC 

Go to Main Page

Main Site:

Copyright 1997-2005 Ministry Health, LLC  All Rights Reserved.

Microsoft FrontPage and Microsoft Internet Explorer are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation
Adobe Acrobat and PDF are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated

Contact Support for any technical issues with this website!

This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM