A few years ago I was thinking to myself that maybe it’s time I thought about having a will prepared.
For a long time I kept hearing that it’s never too early to start thinking of things like wills and powers of attorney.
But I thought to myself I might try and do it on the cheap.
So I bought one of those $29.99 will packs from the Post Office – after all, how difficult could it be?
I opened the pack and read the instructions and the leading questions for each section and thought to myself I have no idea what to do – it didn’t make sense.
And when you’re dealing with legal matters you don’t really want to make a mistake.
And that’s when I thought to myself, it’s time to speak with a lawyer.
They are the ones who know the “legalese” language as it’s often referred to.
And when you’re dealing with legal matters, the slightest error can void a very important contract and so having a lawyer as our advocate in legal matters means we can put our affairs in to the hands of an expert who knows what they are doing.
And that’s why today as we celebrate Pentecost we are so thankful to God that he has given to us the greatest Advocate, the Holy Spirit.
Because when we are talking about the law and legal matters, God’s law is not something that we want to discover that we have messed up because the consequences are enormous – this is our eternal salvation we are speaking about.
Fortunately the Holy Spirit, our advocate, is an expert in God’s law and has drawn up our last will and testament and our inheritance with no chance of an error causing it to be voided.
St Paul says – all who are led by the Spirit of God are children on God.
As children of God, Paul says the Spirit is a spirit of adoption which gives us the legal right to call God our Father.
And as we are children of God it also entitles us to be heirs of God with equal rights to the inheritance as Jesus, the Son of God.
And so Paul says – “We are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
Whatever Jesus has a right to as the Son of God we too have the same rights.
As Paul says in Romans 6: just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
And that last will and testament is so secure that no one can void it or challenge it with the Holy Spirit as our advocate.
Not that the devil doesn’t try – or as I’ve referred to him before – the Devil’s Advocate.
He tries very hard to convince us that we are not worthy of eternal life in heaven.
And he uses every avenue he can to void God’s covenant with us.
He knows the law backward and he knows every wrong that we have committed to break God’s law.
His records are impeccable.
He will remind you of every stray word –every evil thought and inclination.
He will remind you of the lustful thoughts of your heart – every straying eye.
He knows every “I” that is not dotted and every “T” that is not crossed and will find the smallest action to void your inheritance.
And the devil will use your guilt to make you question your inheritance.
He will challenge it and convince you that you don’t deserve to receive the inheritance of eternal life.
But what we need to remember are 2 things.
First, even though the devil keeps meticulous records of the wrongs we have committed God doesn’t.
As St Paul says in 1 Corinthians, “love keeps no record of wrongs”.
Unlike humans who cannot forgive AND forget, God remembers our sins no more.
So while the devil pricks our consciences of our sin, that’s all he has.
He can accuse us but he cannot judge or condemn us – he has no legal right to do so as Luther discovered when he was being tormented night and day and cried out “I am Baptised”.
That was his legal defence and yours.
Because in Baptism is where we receive the Holy Spirit and become Children of God.
Again, using legal terms in Ephesians Paul says – The Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised
But the 2nd point regarding the devil is that Jesus says: “there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies”.
The Holy Spirit, our Advocate however, Jesus says – is the Spirit of Truth.
And the advocate, the Spirit of truth says “do not let your hearts be troubled – and do not let them be afraid”.
And on the day of Pentecost when Peter gave his first sermon to the people who had been gathered there he closes with the assuring words of why we should not be troubled or afraid – because everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
And that’s the work of the Holy Spirit, given at Pentecost, as Paul says – no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
There are many gifts of the Holy Spirit – there are many fruits of the Holy Spirit.
But there is no more important work of the Holy Spirit that Luther’s description in his Small Catechism:
“I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel … and kept me in the true faith and … On the last day he will raise me and all the dead and give me and all believers in Christ eternal life; this is most certainly true.
Signed, sealed and delivered!
That my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my fellow heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven, fellow children of God, is the true work of the Holy Spirit that assures us of being heirs of the Father – joint heirs with the Son and there is not a hope in Hell (and I mean that literally) of anyone challenging our inheritance.