The Holy Spirit

The Study of God, Who is the Holy Spirit? Do We Depend Upon Him? (John 14:16, 26)

Introduction:

Begin with the power strip example.

Remember the power strip illustration? It does not do good if it is plugged into itself, does it? This power strip plugs into the wall. We must plug ourselves into God. The Holy Spirit gives us power.

You are not alone.

About four years ago when Mercedes was about two years old I was away on a continuing education trip and when I got back Mercedes had learned something new. She said, “One, two…” then Meagan said, “She is going to jump on you.” Mercedes said, “Three.” I had to catch her. Now, that is faith. Mercedes could not do that if she was alone. But she knew that I was there to catch her.

Do we live the Christian life knowing that we are not alone?

You see, one may think, “I can never overcome this addiction.” But you are forgetting, you are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with you.

You may think, “I can never get rid of alcohol.” But remember you are not alone, the Holy Spirit is with you.

You may think, “I can’t read the Bible, I don’t understand the Bible.” But remember the Holy Spirit is your teacher (John 14:26; John 16:13; 1 Cor 2:14).

You may think, “I can’t be a witness, I don’t know enough. What if I don’t know the answer?” But you are not alone (Luke 12:11-12).

You may think, “I can’t pray, I just can’t.” Or, you may think, “I am so sad, I don’t want to pray, I am mad at God.” But the Holy Spirit prays for you and with you. You are not alone (Romans 8:26-27).

My theme today is that the Holy Spirit is still with us. The same Holy Spirit in the early church is in your life now. Live knowing that you are not alone.

The Holy Spirit is still active today. But how do you lean on the Holy Spirit? Understand that the Holy Spirit is not a force. This is not Star Wars. The Holy Spirit is referred to as a person.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); One God manifested in 3 persons. The Holy Spirit is a person, not merely a force. He is intelligent (1 Cor 12:11), has a will (1 Cor 12:11), teaches (John 14:26), can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), and can be insulted (Hebrews 10:29). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). (See also John 14:16-19, 23. Jesus says He is leaving, yet He will come to the Disciples with the Father.) The Son and the Father come into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. The degree of separateness and unity in the Trinity is a mystery. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share Divinity (One God), yet are distinct in personality.

As Christians how is the Holy Spirit active in our lives?

[Some of the following insight and breakdown come from Dr. Charles Lake’s Discipleship Training]

  1. The Bible’s teachings on the Holy Spirit.
    1. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher of spiritual truths. (John 14:26; John 16:13; 1 Cor 2:14) John 14:26: But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
      1. The Holy Spirit is our teacher. Many times we don’t act like we have a supernatural teacher. We avoid the Bible, we avoid Theology, we avoid doctrine and I think this is because we diminish, or trivialize the Holy Spirit as God with us.
      2. Jesus said that He was leaving but He will send the Helper. (John chapters 14-17; 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7)
  • I must always remember that as I preach the Holy Spirit is active in the congregation. Our church leaders must remember that the Holy Spirit is active in our congregation.
  1. Do you realize how many times I have preached things and people talk to me and I am like, “that is an awesome Truth, I did not get that.”
  2. Chuck Swindoll writes about preaching a sermon and after the sermon a man said, “My wife called you, didn’t she?” Swindoll said, “No.” He said, “Come on, I know she did, she called you.” Swindoll said, “I do not even know who you are, your wife did not call me.” The Holy Spirit was at work and sometimes His work comes out as conviction.
  1. The Holy Spirit is our Mouthpiece in witnessing to others. Luke 12:11-12: When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
    1. This is hard for me.
    2. You know I must remember that when I witness I am not alone. But I will never know that the Holy Spirit is with me if I do not lean on Him and depend on Him.
  • Peter walked on water, right? He did (Matthew 14:28ff). But this would not have happened if he did not trust Jesus to get out of the boat.
  1. The Holy Spirit is our Helper in prayer. Romans 8:26-27: 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.27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
    1. My youth pastor lost his daughter to cancer and he said there were many days when he could not pray. But he knew that when he got on His knees and wept the Holy Spirit was interceding for Him.
    2. Understand that it is okay and quite good to be silent before God in prayer.
  2. The Holy Spirit is our Purifier of our hearts. Acts 15:8-9: God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them,for he purified their hearts by faith.
    1. The Holy Spirit is at work transforming us.
    2. You are not alone.
  3. Trust the Holy Spirit
    1. By way of application, step out in faith.
    2. Ray Jeske of ESPN radio in Massillon shared the story at FCA at Mount Union of himself being convicted by the Holy Spirit to give his last five dollars, which he needed for gas, into an offering for a church plant. The plant was meeting in a school (I think that is what he said) and his friend was the pastor. This was their first service.

      He wanted to resist because he needed the money for gas. The gas light was on and he would run out of gas driving home from Wadsworth to Akron or the other side of Akron. His gas light came on when he was driving to the church, but he kept driving thinking he could go further. The Holy Spirit told him three times to put the five dollars in the offering. The first and second time he told the Holy Spirit, “I need that money for gas, I need to provide for my family.” The second time he even referenced 2 Timothy 5:8 that if a man does not provide for his house he should be treated as an infidel. The third time the Holy Spirit convicted him he gave. He left the worship service early, thinking he has seen his friend and his friend knew he was there. The five dollars went into the offering, as a love offering for that plant. He leaves early after giving the money, expecting to have to hitch hike home. As he drives he sees a woman hitch hiking and the car steered over to her, or it was as if the car steered to her. It was like he felt like he had to pick her up. He does. She is a biker woman who says they call her “wild thing.” They start driving and she says she was bar hopping and her friends left her. She says she prayed if someone picks her up she will give ten dollars for gas. Wow! They get gas. Ray shares who he was and where he came from. She shares she needs prayer for her 17 year old son hanging around the wrong people. He witnesses to her. Her real name was Carol.

    3. In Forgotten God, Francis Chan shares: CHRISTLIKENESS: A PAINFUL PROCESS

      The truth is that the Spirit of the living God is guaranteed to ask you to go somewhere or do something you wouldn’t normally want or choose to do. The Spirit will lead you to the way of the cross, as He led Jesus to the cross, and that is definitely not a safe or pretty or comfortable place to be. The Holy Spirit of God will mold you into the person you were made to be. This often incredibly painful process strips you of selfishness, pride, and fear.

      For a powerful example of this, read in C. S. Lewis’s book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader about the boy, Eustace, who becomes a dragon. In order to become a little boy again, he must undergo a tremendous amount of pain as the dragon skin is peeled away and torn from him. Only after he endures this painful process is he truly transformed from a dragon back into a boy.

      Sometimes the sin we take on becomes such a part of us that it requires this same kind of ripping and tearing to free us. The Holy Spirit does not seek to hurt us, but He does seek to make us Christlike, and this can be painful.[1]

    4. In James MacDonald’s book Vertical Church he shares about the Holy Spirit’s movement during the Great Awakening revivals. He writes: John Wesley (1703-1791) was one of the founding members of the Methodist movement, and his journals are filled with descriptions of unusual physical manifestations that accompanied revival. For example, when describing the effects of a sermon on Saturday, July 14, 1759, he wrote, “Several fell to the ground, some of whom seemed dead, others in the agonies of death, the violence of their bodily convulsions exceeding all description. There was also great crying and agonizing in prayer, mixed with deep and deadly groans on every side.” (“Journals of John Wesley,” The Wesley Center Online, accessed January 3, 2011, http://wesley.nnu.edujohn-wesley/the-journal-of-john-wesley-vol-4/the-eleventh-part-section-two/.)
    5. George Whitefield (1714-1770) was a contemporary of Wesley in England. When he heard reports of people responding boldly in Wesley’s meetings, Whitefield confronted his fellow preacher in a letter dated June 25, 1739: “I cannot think it right in you to give so much encouragement to these convulsions which people have been thrown in your ministry.” But a very short time later, Whitefield had to reverse his judgment when people began, without any prompting, to respond outwardly during his meetings. Henry Venn, a contemporary of Whitefield, wrote of the crowds listening to the great preacher: “Under Mr. Whitefield’s sermon, many among the immense crowd that filled every part of the burial ground were overcome with fainting. Some sobbed deeply; others wept silently; and a solemn concern appeared on the countenance of almost the whole assembly.” (Cited in J.C. Ryle Christian Leaders of the 18th Century [London: Banner of Truth, 1997], 253-53). Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) also described the sometimes-unusual events that would accompany a revival. Writing of those who find God’s grace for the first time, Edwards said, “It was very wonderful to see how persons’ affections were sometimes moved— when God as it were suddenly opened their eyes…. Their joyful surprise has caused their hearts as it were to leap, so that they have been ready to break forth into laughter, tears often at the same time issuing like a flood, and intermingling a loud weeping.” (“A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards [Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1998], 1:354.) In his description of the Great Awakening, Edwards wrote, “Many of the young people and children that were professors appeared to be overcome with a sense of the greatness and glory of Divine things, and with admiration, love, joy and praise, and compassion to others that looked upon themselves as in a state of nature; and many others at the same time were overcome with distress about their sinful and miserable state and condition; so that the whole room was full of nothing but outcries, faintings, and such like…. It was a very frequent thing to see a house full of outcries, faintings, convulsions and such like, both with distress, and also with admiration and joy.” (Jonathan Edwards, The Great Awakening: A Faithful Narrative [New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1972], 4:546-47.) When considering the physical and emotional manifestations of revival, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) wrote that “these phenomena are not essential to revival yet it is true to say that, on the whole, they do tend to be present when there is a revival.” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival [Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1987].)  [2]

Close:

A.W. Tozer shares the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2 and He came “to do” and He has never left.

Tozer shares :

If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”

I hate being alone. Solitary confinement would mess me up. Thankfully, I am not and I never will be alone.

Are you alone?

Are we alone?

The Holy Spirit is at work within each of you. Then when we come together, the Holy Spirit is active in the whole church and that is powerful.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

[1] (Francis Chan. Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit (pp. 50-51). Kindle Edition.)

[2] Vertical Church, James MacDonald. Pages 315-316 in end notes number 25 for chapter 5: Unashamed Adoration:

 

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