The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

The Sermon Notes of Harold Buls

On the Gospel Lessons of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia

Text from John 14:23-29


1. Jn. 14 could be called the question or learning chapter. In vss. 5, 8 and 22 the disciples ask questions or seek further information. Thomas wished to know the Way. Philip wanted to see the Father. Judas, not Iscariot, wondered why Jesus was showing Himself to the disciples but not to the world. They realized that they were in further need of learning. They still harbored earthly ideas of the Kingdom of God. Jesus gives them enough information to tide them over until Pentecost would come. The Holy Spirit would do two things: a) Remind them of all that Jesus had said; and b) Teach them all. Note that "all" is used both times in vs. 26. Is. 42:3 had prophesied about Jesus: "A bruised reed He will not break and the smoking flax He will not quench." That is quoted of Jesus at Mt. 12:20. Jesus is very gentle toward weak and floundering believers. That includes you and me.

2. The New Testament uses two words for "love". The love of the world is an emotion of pleasure. That is indicated by the English word "like". People "like" their friends because they please them. They "like" their work because it gives them measure. That idea is almost nonexistent in the NT. There we find the word "love" which is a deliberate action going far beyond emotion and pleasure. And it must always be understood in its own relationship. For example, Matt. 22:37, quoted from Deut. 6:5, tells us "Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind." That means to cling to Him as the true God, no matter what the circumstances. That kind of love is simply faith and confidence. In our text in vs. 23 "If you love Me" means "If you believe and trust in Me". Then it says "My Father will love him". This does not mean only to like or derive pleasure. It means "My Father will claim him as His own". In vs. 24 understand it this way: "The one who does not believe Me". In vs. 28: "If you would believe Me". They did not yet believe as they should have and therefore they were sad. Jesus is doing everything He can to strengthen the disciples' faith. At Mt. 22:39 Jesus, quoting Lev. 19:18 says: "You will love your neighbor as yourself." That means far more than liking him or getting pleasure out of the relationship. Jesus explains "as (you love) yourself". In other words, do for your neighbor what you do for yourself. At Eph. 5:25 Paul says: "Husbands, love your wives just as also Christ loved the Church and gave Himself in her behalf". How do husbands love their wives? By living for them and, if need be, dying for them. At Lk. 6:27 Jesus says: "Love your enemies". How does one do that? He explains: "Do good to those who hate you." Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who treat you shamefully." In the Bible the word "love" must always be understood only in its own context. The greatest is found at Jn. 3:16. You can figure it out.

3. Jesus and His Word are co-relative ideas. Where the Word is, there Jesus is. Note the emphasis on this in vss. 23, 24 and in 26 He speaks of the Holy Spirit teaching and reminding. He does this with Words. In vs. 27 peace comes only through Jesus Words. In 28 He says: "You've heard". What? Words. At Jn. 8:31.32 He said: "If you continue in My Word then you are My disciples indeed and you will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free." It is wrong to seek Jesus in dreams or revelations by tongues. Tongues were for proclaiming, not revealing.

4. Jesus always spoke about the Triune God, the only God. Where the word of God is preached and believed, there the Triune God makes His home.

5. The true, spiritual Kingdom of God brings the peace of God, the forgiveness of sins for Jesus' sake. In this final sermon of Jesus (Jn. 14-16) Jesus began with peace, vs. 27 of our text, and againat 16:33. Only the peace of God can quiet the heart and make the frightened courageous. See Php. 4:7.

The Sermon Outline of Harold Buls

On the Gospel Lessons of the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia

Text from John 14:23-29


THEME: The Meaning Of Pentecost For Us


Every Sunday is Easter. We recall that Christ rose from the dead and so we too shall rise from the dead. Every Sunday is also Pentecost because the Holy Spirit has come to remind us of all that Jesus said and He teaches us all. Pentecost is a reminder that our relationship to God is by faith in Jesus. Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. Eph. 3:17.


To love God means to believe in Him. See Deut. 6:5 and Mt. 22:37. The disciples were weak in faith. See vs. 28. That's why they were sorrowful. His going away made them sorrowful. It was His Father's will. The Father is greater than Jesus' human nature. Furthermore, their lack of faith in Jesus made them unable to keep His Word. Faith is fruitful. Unbelief is fruitless. Jesus stresses the need for faith in Him and His Word. Are you weak in faith? So were the disciples. But Jesus did not cast them out.

B. This results in God living in the believer. Read Eph. 3:17. Jn. 17:23 Jesus said: "I in them and You in Me". Where there is Christian faith, there God makes His home. David prayed in Ps. 51:11 "Take not Your Holy Spirit from me." And Jesus promises in vs. 23 of our text: "We will come to him and make our home in him." The Triune God lives in my heart by faith. That's Pentecost.

Vss. 25-26

A. The Holy Spirit would remind them of all that Jesus said. Sinful human beings forget very quickly. That's why we have Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came and reminded the Apostles of what Jesus said. Read the sermons of the Apostles in the book of Acts. They are full of what Jesus said. Then the Spirit caused Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to write all that Jesus said and did. We have all of that.

B. The Holy Spirit would teach them everything. That's what our text says in vs. 26. The biggest problem in the early church was circumcision. The Jewish Christians said that Gentiles had to be circumcised before they could become Christians. Nyet, nyet, nyet. The whole NT says: "You need do nothing. Christ has done everything. He offers Jews and Gentiles full salvation without requirements." The Holy Spirit caused Paul, Peter, John, James and Jude to record the Epistles. Jesus said: "The Spirit will teach you ALL." We find this in the NT. II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:19-21.


A. Pentecost assures us of the peace of God. The pence of the world only means cessation of war. The world's peace does not rank our hearts courageous and brave. The world's peace does not forgive us our sins and grant us everlasting life. Before Pentecost the disciples were fearful. After Pentecost (read the book of Acts) they said: "We ought to obey God rather than man." The peace of God gave them fearless and courageous hearts. So it is with us.

B. Pentecost strengthens our faith. Jesus says in the last vs. of our text: "And now I've told you before it happens so that, when it happens, you will believe." The fulfillment of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, and 10 days after Ascension, strengthen their faith. So it is with us. God is faithful. He fulfilled His promises. It causes us to believe in Him more.


Every Sunday is Easter. Every Sunday is Pentecost. We are more fortunate than were the disciples. We see all fulfilled. The only unfulfilled promise is Jesus' second coming. We prepare for that by keeping and observing the Word of Jesus.

This text was converted to ascii format for Project Wittenberg by Cindy A. Beesley and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther Library at Concordia Theological Seminary.

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