The Holy Spirit
Good Morning Church!
I thought about getting a fake goatee and pretend to be Andy but of course you would’ve figured out that I’m in fact, not Andy.
For those that missed the past couple weeks, I mis-spoke and said Andy was preaching last week but it was Josh.
Josh last week said Andy was speaking this week, which was correct, but I am filling in for Andy this week, so you’re back to me.
Anyway, regardless of who is speaking today, I pray that in this current series, “Foundations of Faith” you have been encouraged and edified through our first two topics:
1) Who is God? and last week 2) The Authority of God’s Word and how it affects our lives.
Today our topic is “The Holy Spirit”.
If you recall back in October Andy preached on “The Spirit Within You” during our “Your Life in Christ” series.
In that sermon he discussed the coming of the Holy Spirit (Act 2), what Jesus’ work was today- that He is in heaven at the right hand of the Father interceding by praying for us...
Andy talked about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (which we’ll touch on again today briefly), how the Holy Spirit leads in our lives and what the filling of the Holy Spirit is.
Today we will be answering a few add on questions to Andy’s last sermon:
Who is the Holy Spirit and how is He part of the Trinity of God?
Who has the Holy Spirit and what specifically does He do?
What’s the deal with spiritual gifts verses the fruits of the Spirit?
What is our responsibility, as believers, regarding the Holy Spirit?
Most people here could probably answer the question- who Jesus is in relation to God the Father?
But, if we were truly honest- most people here, because of prior church experiences in the past, have a misconception of the Holy Spirit and do not understand His role or purpose, according to Scripture- at least.
Too often in many churches the Holy Spirit is abused by the pastor or church leaders, claiming that the HS leads them to do certain things that end up hurting those inside, and outside the church walls.
In addition, some churches subscribe to the thought that the gifts of the Spirit can be sold at a price, or taught to perfection.
In a lot of these same churches, the doctrine is taught that the Holy Spirit is like a genie in a bottle, waiting at your command.
Regardless of what you’ve heard or think, let’s grab our Bibles and dive into what God’s Word says about the Holy Spirit, but first...
Who is the Holy Spirit and how is He part of the Trinity of God?
We know that the Holy Spirit was with God in the beginning because in Genesis 1:1-2 we read that before creation,“In the beginning… the Spirit of God (capital S) was hovering over the waters.
Later in Matthew 28:19 Jesus’ words were...
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Jesus, in this statement recognizes the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity of God.
And His words in John 14:15-17 eluded to the Holy Spirit playing a role equal to His in importance in the life of follower of Jesus:
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
One passage that we often overlook with great importance is at Jesus’ baptism.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
God, authenticated Jesus’ ministry with the Holy Spirit to all those around.
This is important because it fulfilled what John was talking about in Matthew 3:11...
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
We could go on with verses that authentic the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity but possibly the most convincing is in 2 Corinthians 3:17...
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
This verse specifically refers to the Lord- God as the Spirit- capital S.
In past sermons we’ve looked at how the Father and the Son are part of the Trinity, but hopefully already through a few verses, you’re beginning to see how the Holy Spirit is also included in the perfect union of God, existing in three persons.
This quote from Mark Buchanan, in his book, “Your God Is Too Safe” leads us in to our next question...
“We are all in the habit of asking the Spirit to open our minds before we read Scripture or hear a sermon. But rarely if ever do we ask the Spirt to reveal to us more of God when we study a leaf, rock, bird, child, painting, carving, or poem.”
2. Who has the Holy Spirit and what specifically does He do?
At Jesus’ baptism we see that God authenticates Jesus’ authority, and ministry on earth through the Holy Spirit.
This is a direct clue as to not only who has the Holy Spirit, but what is the first thing the HS does in the life of the believer.
We are unaware of our sin before we put our trust in Christ but the Spirit of God did a work in us...
READ JOHN 15:26-16:15
From these passages we can get quite a few insights as to the work of the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit could only come permanently in the believer, only when Christ would leave the earth to be with God in heaven. (15:7)
15:26- the HS testifies about Jesus
The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin- their view of what righteousness and judgement is and replace it with the truth. (16:8-11)
Jesus says when the HS comes He will guide the believer in all the truth- not His own words but Jesus’ words. (16:13)
The Holy Spirit will glorify Christ by the telling of the truth about Jesus. (16:14)
If we believe and put our trust in Christ and follow Him, we are saved- our new life starts at that moment, but something also amazing happens at that moment.
The Holy Spirit is a “seal of redemption” upon our lives that we are a new creation in Christ:
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
The Holy Spirit comminicates truth and heavenly wisdom:
READ 1 CORINTHIANS 2:6-16
The Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God, and is the only source for us to know about spiritual things.
So how do we come to put our trust in Christ in the first place?
By the Holy Spirit revealing who we are in our sin, BUT who we could be in Christ.
It is our decision where we go from there but the Holy Spirit has made it clear to us through God’s Word.
For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit communicated the thoughts and plans of God to the human race, through men to pierce the heart of men, women and children.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
We can only understand the truth in God’s Word by asking the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our thoughts when we read it, then in turn the Holy Spirit also allows us to live it out through His power.
The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ:
He does this in 3 ways:
First, sets us free through offering new life in Christ Jesus.
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
2. Second, reveals our new identity in Christ as an adopted son or daughter of God, not a child of this world.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
3. Third, knowing our flesh is weak, the Spirit can help us to pray and stay connected to Jesus.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
We can often wonder, as we go through life, whether it’s the Holy Spirit speaking or that burrito we ate for lunch.
But a good indicator on sifting through it is from these 3 things we just mentioned.
Is what you hear a reminder of your identity in Christ or is it a lie?
Is it something that would glorify Christ or will it glorify yourself or others?
And is what you hear true with God’s Word?
3. What’s the deal with Spiritual Gifts verses the fruits of the Spirit?
READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:7-11
About a month ago we held a Ministry Fair where you could discover all the different ministries at FCC and ask questions to find out more.
Leading up to the fair we encouraged you to fill out a Spiritual Gifts Assessment Packet and a handful of you did.
The Spiritual Gifts Assessment Packets had many questions that ultimately helped to point you in the right direction of where God might have gifted you.
But we also let you know that as time goes on you may have the same gift or a different one.
Wayne Grudem in Systematic Theology says this about them:
Why… does the HS give us spiritual gifts? They are given for the work of the ministry and are simply tools to be used for that end. They should never be used as a source of personal pride on the part of those who possess them, nor should they be thought of as a mark of maturity… If God chooses to give us spiritual gifts that equip us for tasks, then we should thank Him for that, and pray that He would keep us from pride over gifts that have been freely and graciously given, and which we did not earn.”
God knows our needs and He knows the needs of others better than we do.
The purpose of Spiritual Gifts is to glorify God and build up the body of Christ.
READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-31
We do not possess all of them at once, otherwise God wouldn’t have emphasized the importance of the diversity of gifts, in the body of Christ that everyone has to help others.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
The chapter that wedges in between 1 Corinthians 12 (Spiritual Gifts) and 1 Corinthians 14 (Orderly Worship) 1 Corinthians 13 and in this chapter we can se that Paul sees that love is the most important gift of all to pursue before we exercise any Spiritual Gift.
He says without love, we’re just a clanging symbol.
Without love we are nothing.
This lead into the next part of the question of what’s the deal with the fruits of the Spirit?
To be straight to the point we should worry more on living out the Fruits of the Spirit than figuring out what our Spiritual Gift is.
To find out what they are let’s read the context of where they are found:
In the first part of Galatians 5 Paul talks about our freedom in Christ verses being under the law of sin and death...
READ GALATIANS 5:13-25
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Right after giving the Fruits of the Spirit Paul reminds us that since we live by the Holy Spirit, to be instep with the Spirit is to be in step with one another, not provoking each other.
Spiritual Gifts can cause dissension and disunity in the body if abused but used in the right way they can encourage the body.
But the Fruits of the Spirit are attributes that we as believers should strive for, in the same way we strive for the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.
I truly believe that as we keep our focus on living out the Fruits of the Spirit and living as Jesus tells us to in Matthew 5, God will provide the gifts we need at exactly the right time in our lives to edify and encourage others as we in turn get blessed.
So, now let’s look at our last question that we set out to answer today:
4. What is our responsibility, as believers, regarding the Holy Spirit?
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—
It is our responsibility as believers to serve God by His Spirt, boasting in Christ and not putting confidence in ourselves.
In other words, it is our responsibility to worship God with our whole lives, by His Holy Spirit.
As a church this is crucial.
We can not accomplish anything apart from the Holy Spirit but sadly there is a saying that...
if the HS left a church, 90% of its workings would continue.
This is sad because it means that most of what a church does is business as usual.
I pray this is never the case for us!
In RT Kendall’s book “Worshipping God” explains three ways that we can treat the Holy Spirit in our lives:
Hiring Him- Try to make the HS work for us to accomplish our own purposes and neglect the will of God.
Hinder Him- We put our prejudices and preferences ahead of what the HS wants in our lives.
Dishonor Him- We do not treat the HS as part of the Trinity and not worthy of adoration.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
If we have believed in Christ then our response should be to worship Him and this is by allowing the HS to work in our lives.
Instead of having living water flow from us we choose to sit in a stagnant puddle.
We neglect or as Scripture says, grieve the HS and push Him to the sidelines in order to go our own way.
Our responsibility to the HS should be to be obedient and allow Him to fill every part of our lives so that He can do His work which is:
Set us free from sin.
Remind us of our identity in Christ.
Glorify Christ through a life of worship.
This involves listening and waiting on the HS to speak into our lives and reveal what God wants us to do.
(Tell story about church in Kenya)