170604 Psalm 51:10-13

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 June 2017 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Psalm 51:10-13
Sermon Theme: Pentecost: A Day to Remember The Often Forgotten Member of the Trinity

For almost two months, you and I gathered for our weekly worship services during the Easter Season of the church year. During this time, we remembered how in great love for you and me God the Father sent his one and only Son to be your Savior and mine. We celebrated the great victory of our Savior, Jesus Christ, as he rose on Easter Sunday defeating sin, death and the devil. As you and I celebrated the Easter Season, how often did you think about the third member of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit? Today, our worship service gives you and me the opportunity to focus specifically on the quite work of the Holy Spirit. Today, you and I celebrate PENTECOST: A DAY TO REMEMBER THE OFTEN FORGOTTEN MEMBER OF THE TRINITY. Listen now as I read for you from the Psalm appointed for this day. As I read this section of God's Word, note what David has to say about God the Holy Spirit. We read from Psalm 51, verses 10 – 13:

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.

The Ascension of Jesus into heaven took place 40 days after he rose from dead. 50 days after he rose from the dead, on this day we call Pentecost, the living Lord kept the promise he made in our Gospel Lesson for today: "I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go I will send him to you."

What would the Holy Spirit do when he came? Again, the words of Jesus that we heard earlier, "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin..." Here in Psalm 51, King David prays to his Lord, "Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me." Left on our own, you and I are not able to stand in the presence of the Lord. Because of the guilt of your sin and mine, the Lord God has every right to cast you and me away from his presence forever, and into the flames and torment of hell.

But here is where God the Holy Spirit steps in for you and me. We read, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." It is clear from Genesis chapter one, that God the Holy Spirit was there for the creation of all things. Just has he used his almighty power to create all things in six days, so he uses that same power to create faith in the hearts of people. It is not by some effort on the part of human beings, but only by the working of God the Holy Spirit, that hearts are made pure as they are washed clean of guilt through blood of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

When you and I realize just how spiritually helpless we are on our own, then God the Holy Spirit fills us with joy, peace and comfort as he comes to us with the Good News of God's Word. The joy that you and I have, the peace that you and I have, is knowing that our forgiveness has been won for us by our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. You and I have comfort knowing that our believing in Jesus as our Savior is all by the work of God the Holy Spirit, working through the powerful Word of our God in our hearts. In his explanation of the Third Article of the Apostle's Creed, Dr. Martin Luther writes about this unique work of God the Holy Spirit: "I believe that I cannot by my own thinking or choosing believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me by the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church he daily and fully forgives all sins to me and all believers." So on this Pentecost Day, you and I remember the often forgotten member of the Trinity and offer our thanks to God the Holy Spirit for bringing you and me to faith in Jesus Christ our Savior.

For the majority of us who are here today, we came to faith in Jesus as our Savior at a time we aren't able to remember. As our parents brought us to the Baptismal font, as the powerful Word of God was connected with the water, God the Holy Spirit entered our hearts and made our hearts his temple. But God's Word is clear that our coming to faith in Jesus as our Savior is not an end of things but only a beginning. It is a beginning of a life lived for the praise and glory of our loving Savior-God.

Listen again to David's prayer in these verses from Psalm 51, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Is being a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ something that brings you joy? Do you always show in your life by what you say or do or even think that you are happy that Jesus Christ is your Savior? Or, are there those times when you and I allow our sinful nature to control us and we see God only as a mean God who won't let us have any fun?

On this side of heaven, there is a battle, a struggle, taking place inside the hearts of each and every one of us. Your sinful nature and mine wants nothing to do with living for the Savior, and wants to find its joy only in the things of this world. At the same, God the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, has created a New Man in your heart and mine. This New Self finds great joy in doing those things that bring praise and glory to our Savior.

So, how do you and I fight this battle? If you and I rely on ourselves the only result will be failure and defeat. But, by God's grace, you and I don't fight this battle alone. God the Holy Spirit is with us. Through Jesus Christ there is forgiveness for those times when the Old Adam wins out. It is God the Holy Spirit who comes to each of us through his Word, strengthens the New Man he has placed inside of our hearts, and empowers and motivates you and me to live for our Savior.

As we talk about living for our Savior, there are many things that we would be able to talk about. Here in Psalm 51, David mentions one way when he writes, "Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you." This verse makes the point that God the Holy Spirit wants to send you and me out as his messengers. But before you and I go and teach others about their sins, you and I first come and kneel before the throne of our God confessing our sins to him. You and I will join with David when he confesses earlier in Psalm 51, "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight."

Having confessed our sin, God the Holy Spirit fills our hearts with the Good News of the Gospel; the Good News of complete forgiveness through the Savior, Jesus Christ. Again, from verses earlier in Psalm 51, "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be writer than snow...Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity." As our hearts overflow with the Good News of our forgiveness, you and I can't wait to tell others about that forgiveness offered freely to us through the blood of our Savior. We search out those who do not yet know Jesus as their only Savior from sin. On this Pentecost Day, you and I remember the often forgotten member of the Trinity and pray that God the Holy Spirit would lead you and me to live for him; to use you and me as messengers of his Word.

Do you ever feel that you are forgotten? Today we have had the opportunity to spend a few moments talking about the fact that you and I are never alone. God the Holy Spirit is with you and me each and every day. As the one who brought you and me to faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, he is also the one who comes to you and me through the Word of God to give us the power to live for him. In the name of Jesus, our risen and ascended Lord and Savior, I would like to close with prayer: "O Holy Spirit, hear our Pentecost prayer! Thank – you for giving us the gift of faith in Jesus as our one and only Savior! Each day, help us live for you! Amen."

 

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