Holy Spirit: Let your light shine through us!
Holy Spirit: Let Your Light Shine Through Us!
We are going to take some time this morning and have a discussion concerning the Holy Spirit. If you are here just beginning your relationship with God. If you have been a follower of Christ for a very long time there are some critical things that we are going to discuss here. Listen up and take note.
The person, work and personality of the Spirit is misunderstood. Believers fall into several “camps” concerning the Spirit. As Baptists, we tend to be afraid of the Spirit and His workings in our lives. Yes, there have been and continue to be excesses and “out of bounds” demonstrations of The Spirit. That balance also tips in the other fashion, where The Spirit is diminished and ignored. Neither extreme is good for us and for the body of believers called the Church. Here is what the North American Baptist Statement of Faith says about the Spirit.
“The Spirit indwells, seals, and gives spiritual gifts to all believers for ministry in the church and society. He empowers, guides, teaches, fills, sanctifies, and produces the fruit of Christlikeness in all who yield to Him.”
The Spirit is not an “it” or “power”. He has a “voice,” He belongs as a part of the Trinity, the Triune Godhead containing the Father, Son and Spirit.
If you are a follower of God and have committed your life to His Son Jesus you were given the Holy Spirit at your conversion, when you said “Yes” to God and “No” to this world. When you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior you also received 100% of the Spirit. The work of the Spirit is just beginning when one becomes a believer, a follower.
We are going to focus our time together today on just a portion of the Work of the Spirit in the lives of the believer, that work is the title of the sermon today, “Holy Spirit let your light shine through us!”
How did we get The Spirit, well The Spirit has existed eternally with the Father and Son. We first see reference to The Spirit in Genesis 1:2
“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2, ESV)
In the Old Testament Hebrew, The Spirit was referred to as “ru’ah” which has the basic idea of “air from the nostrils of God.” This word is used 226 times. In the New Testament, the Greek word used is “Pneuma.” It is used some 378 times from Matthew to Revelation. So, by my math over 600 times in God’s Word, He, God, intends for us to focus on the Spirit. The Spirit was active in every part of the history of people on the earth from the beginning in Genesis to the end of Revelation.
We receive “The Spirit” when we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. When Christ is our Lord and Savior, The Spirit comes to dwell in us and begins that process of sanctification, becoming more and more like Christ each day that we walk with him.
The First Disciples, the Apostles in some cases knew of the “Spirit of God” because at some of them knew the Old Testament very well, others did not know of this “Spirit.”
Our first scripture for today would have been very, very confusing and troubling for the Disciples
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper [Advocate, Counselor] will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7, ESV)
They had dropped everything to follow this carpenter. What they got was persecution, beatings, imprisonment and a front seat to the person and work of the Messiah, the promised one, the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets. The salvation that had been promised from the line of David. Now he says that he is going away and it is to their advantage that he goes away. How is this possible, they thought! Jesus goes on to say that He will send a “Helper [advocate, counselor]”
The next statement that Christ makes would have totally rocked their world. It too is from the Book of John.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12, ESV)
The 12 disciples had witnessed healings, miracles, teaching beyond all imagination. Now Jesus was telling them that by him going away, he was going to send someone, the Spirit, that would empower them to do even greater things than he could do. NO WAY!!! They had come to accept Jesus as “The one” to the right the world that had gone terribly wrong.
Now he was saying that we would be able to do greater works than even he did.
It probably seemed incredible to the disciples, who by now were very much aware of their own weaknesses and shortcomings, that they would do greater works than the Master himself had done. Yet Peter preached on Pentecost Sunday and three thousand believed. Jesus himself never had that type of response, as far as we know. Perhaps he did not gather that many genuine converts in his entire ministry!
It is the Spirit who brought the church into being at Pentecost, where he baptized the disciples and converted three thousand, giving birth to the church. And he has continued to populate the church: “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the Spirit to drink.
The key to the disciples’ success was not in their abilities and strengths, however. Jesus had told them to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit, however, is able to affect one more intensely because, dwelling within, he can get to the very center of one’s thinking and emotions, and lead one into all truth, as Jesus promised. Even the name used for the Spirit in this context suggests this role:
“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.” (John 16:13, ESV)
The Holy Spirit “guides” the believer through the sanctification process. This process of becoming more and more like Jesus continues to the transformation of your very character so that the believer’s life actually comes to mirror that of Christ.
While you found “right with God” at the point of conversion, sanctification is a process making the person “Holy.” Believers no longer walk and live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, having their minds set on the Spirit. Christians are in the Spirit, and the Spirit dwells in us.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5, ESV)
The indwelling of the Spirit guides, leads as we continually put the deeds of the flesh to death. Each time you resist the works of the flesh, of the devil you provide a personal testimony to the Spirit that dwells in you. You kicked satan and his minions to the curb one more time, you have VICTORY!
All those who are “led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” The Spirit is now at work giving them life, witnessing that they are sons rather than slaves, and thus supplying clear evidence that they are truly in Christ. The most evident testimony that we have to the indwelling of the Spirit is the Fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22–25, ESV)
The Holy Spirit works in us to produce virtue that embodies our Christian values. He works to produce fruit in us. Dwelling within the church, the Holy Spirit imparts his life to it. Those qualities that are evident in the body allow the Holy Spirit to “Let His light shine through us!” Both as individuals and through the church.
It is our job as the “church” to help ourselves, our families and those around us in our homes, those we work with, those who participate in our ministries to be exposed to, to develop, to nurture, to see lived out in our lives, to see the internal testimony of the Spirit, TO SEE OUR LIGHT SHINE THROUGH US! These individuals, that means me and you too need to see from others too. We need love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control shown to us as we in turn show, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control to others.
The relationship of the Holy Spirit and the Christian is a relationship between persons. Let me say that again, “The relationship of the Holy Spirit and the Christian is a relationship between individuals. In the same way that we could have had a personal relationship with Jesus, if we would have live 2000 years ago, that is the same relationship we can have with the Spirit today.
We need to practice these values in our own lives, we must live these values out in our homes, and teach these values in our church, we need to show Tacoma, Pierce County and to the ends of the earth these “values” come from the very mind of God himself, given to us by the hand of man, through the work of The Spirit.
“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” (Revelation 22:17, ESV)
One final thought, our time on this rock, called the earth is limited. Christ will someday return and reign on earth with us, the Saints forever and ever. He will right all of the wrongs, he will judge the living and the dead. And he will say…“The Spirit and the Bride [Which is The Church] say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” (Revelation 22:17, ESV)
Let us continue to obey “The Spirit” bringing his Fruit of the Spirit to all in Jesus Name.