Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Holy Spirit - How Do I Relate?

The Holy Spirit – How Do I Relate?

Intro.: Relationships are strange.
  1. Take sisters for example.
    1. Sisters
    2. Friends
    3. Confidants
    4. Advisors
  2. Similarly, we relate to God in different ways
    1. God loves us
    2. God saves us
    3. God guides us
  3. Today, I want to focus on one specific person of the Godhead – the Holy Spirit
Read: John 16:5-15
Trans: The Trinity is never mentioned in Scripture, but five key ideas help us to understand the Trinity.
  1. There is one God
  2. The Father is called God
  3. The Son is called God
  4. The Holy Spirit it called God
  5. No other person or thing is called God
Hey, I'm a pastor, I don't understand it all. But, if I hang onto these five truths, I can believe it, even if I do not understand.
T.S. In the next few minutes, I want to look at three relationships that define our connection to the Holy Spirit.
  1. The world relates to the Holy Spirit as God
    1. God is God – regardless whether I believe in Him or not.
    2. And regardless of who we are – the Holy Spirit is God
    3. And whether you or your neighbor is a believer or not – that fact does not change.
(Ill.) Let me give you a real life example of this – I have never seen the Grand Canyon. People talk about it, I have seen pictures of it, but I have never seen the Grand Canyon .
        And because I have never seen the Grand Canyon, I don't believe it is there. And because I don't believe it is there, I am going to live my life as if it were not there.
        Now normally, that would not make any difference – but if Sandra and I decided to visit Arizona later this fall and I started out on a walk one afternoon, it could make a big difference whether my belief in the Grand Canyon was valid or not. Because, whether I believed in it or not, it is there. Whether I believed in it or not, there is a big drop off. And whether I believed in it or not, I would fall in.
        Whether I believe or not makes no difference – the Grand Canyon does exist.
    1. The Holy Spirit is God – I have to relate to Him as God.
    2. What does that mean? Let me suggest four basic truths that can be derived from the fact that the Holy Spirit is God
      1. The Holy Spirit loves me – God Loves me, the Holy Spirit love me
      2. The Holy Spirit convicts me of sin – You have heard me say it often enough, “I am broken. We are broken. You are broken.” But it is not just a theory – and when the time comes, it is the Holy Spirit's job to convict us of sin. Jesus was discussing the Holy Spirit when he told his disciples, “I will send Him to you, and when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
      3. It will be the Holy Spirit that will shape me into what the person that He wants me to be. Peter understood this – listen to the words of Peter as he writes his letter, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” (NIV84) - that word “sanctifying” is exactly what I am talking about – it is God shaping us into what He wants us to be.
    3. Each of us has to face the Holy Spirit as God – And when we honestly allow Him to speak to us, He will transform us.
  1. The Christian relates to the Holy Spirit as He indwells us
    1. At the point that we begin to trust Christ – a number of amazing things happen.
    2. We are forgiven – all of our sins, past, present, future – all of our sins are forgotten.
    3. We become members of the family of God – we become brothers and sisters, not because of where we grew up, but because we are now children of God.
    4. But the most amazing thing that happens is that the Holy Spirit enters into our lives. Theologians call this “the indwelling” of the spirit.
    5. God is always here (in the world), but for the Christian God is always here (in the heart).
(Ill.) I am told that a forester have three ways to apply pesticides to a tree. They can whitewash the tree or they can spray the tree. The problem with these two methods is that they merely coverup problems – they leave the core of the tree still susceptible to the pests. So the forester bores holes into the heart of the tree into which to insert chemicals needed to fight the pests. The chemicals mix with the sap and are spread throughout the entire tree to fight the infection which has also spread throughout the tree.

         Is this not exactly the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers—to so indwell them as to render them safe from their foes? His ministry is very much like that of the antiseptic. To be effective the antiseptic must come in direct contact with the putrefaction in the flesh. Just so the Holy Spirit must be permitted direct access to the innermost secret sins of the believer if there is to be real spiritual blessing.i
    1. As a believer, God is right here – from the minute you put your faith into His Son.
  1. The committed Christian relates to the Holy Spirit as He fills us
    1. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesian church, tells us about another relationship that the believer has with the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 2:18, Paul writes, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”
    2. The Holy Spirit must not only indwell us – he must also control and empower us – he must fill us.
    3. When you came to believe in Christ, you said “Yes” to the invitation to believe. Similarly, we must learn to say “Yes” to the Holy Spirit.
(Ill.) F. B. Meyer illustrates being filled with the Holy Spirit with the following anecdote: “Let there be no thought of what you can do for God, but all thought of what God can do through you.”ii
    1. Like, believing in Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us is an act of faith
    2. You have said “Yes” to Jesus, now it is time to say “Yes” to the Holy Spirit.
iAMG Bible Illustrations. Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2000.
iiAMG Bible Illustrations. Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2000.

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