Holy SpiritSeries: The Comeback. James Dewhurst April 25, 2021
Today, I want to talk about one of the greatest gifts we have as believers that need to make a “Comeback” in all of our lives and in God’s church.
Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is mentioned 261 times in the New Testament alone, and is referenced in Genesis even before Creation:
Genesis 1:2 NIV 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
At the very core of Christianity is the belief that God is 3 in 1, which is the doctrine of the Trinity. According to the Bible, the Trinity is made up of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. On the 6th day of creation when God was creating man he said in:Genesis 1:26 NIV 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Genesis 1:26 NIV 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Us and Our are both plural pronouns. Who else would God have been talking to?
Now, either God was completely Schizophrenic, or God is 3 persons in 1!
The day John the Baptist baptized Jesus, all 3 were there:
**Matthew 3:16-17″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. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased. **
Jesus again references the Trinity, in the Great Commission in
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit…”
Example: The best example I can think of to help explain the Trinity, is to consider water. Water is one substance, but depending on the purpose, can take on the form of steam, liquid, or ice. (All three of these different forms come from one substance!)
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all fulfill a different purpose, but are still God!
– Romans 8:31 Tells us that “The Father” is: God For Us! (He’s our Biggest Fan!)
– Isaiah 7:14 Tells us that “The Son” is: God With Us! (God came to dwell with us!)
– 1 Corinthians 6:19 Tells us that “The Holy Spirit” is: God In Us! (He dwells inside!)
When Christ enters into a person’s life, the Holy Spirit enters simultaneously! And the moment He enters, He instantly begins leading God’s newborn child in the way of truth, freedom, restoration, holiness, fruitfulness, forgiveness, submission & joy!
We must realize that we don’t walk alongside the Holy Spirit as an equal. We answer His leading as our sovereign, divine Guide.
John 14:16-17 NIV 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 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.
The Holy Spirit works in us, to empower us, lead us and mature us into God’s image!
John 14:25-26 NIV 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 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.
In the King James Bible, the words Holy Spirit are translated Holy Ghost, which comes from the derivative meaning “Guest”. The Holy Spirit means Divine Guest!
Holy Spirit will never barge in & take over our lives.
(He’s a guest, not an aggressor!)
The Holy Spirit comes where He is expected, invited, received, and cherished!
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Romans 8:14 NIV 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
Sonship, according to the Word of God is submission to the Spirit of God. Christians don’t need to pray for the Spirit’s leading, because He’s already leading. We need to pray for obedience to follow His leading! Mature believers develop an ear to hear and an obedience to follow the Holy Spirit.
– Someone said – “The Holy Spirit is your GPS. He will tell you where you are and where you are going.”
– Someone else said – “The Holy Spirit’s voice is only as loud as we are willing to listen.”
Perhaps the greatest reality is – It’s hard to hear the voice of God in your life when you’ve already decided what you want His voice to say!
The gift of the Holy Spirit is universal, but the promptings of the Holy Spirit are personal!
– The Holy Spirit leads Christians every day to say specific things! – The Holy Spirit leads Christians every day to do specific things! – The Holy Spirit leads Christians every day to give specific things! – The Holy Spirit leads Christians every day to pray for specific things!
The only limitation to how much we are used by God is how often we obey God! The supernatural enters the scene when Christians start following God’s Spirit!
The only challenge is, walking by the Spirit is not simply a matter of passive surrender. The Spirit-led life is a life of conflict because it is in constant combat with the old ways of our flesh. The flesh sets its desires against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh!
Galatians 5:16-17 NIV 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
The truth is – What the spirit leads us to do, will almost always be the opposite of our flesh!
So how do we become victorious over our flesh?
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
The Greek word for Lord used in this passage means: “Supreme in Authority!”
So perhaps the better way to read this passage is – Wherever the Spirit is allowed to be Lord, that’s where there is freedom!
This also means, wherever the Spirit is not allowed to be Lord there isn’t freedom!
Change happens when we move from being around God’s Spirit to be under it.
Jesus told his disciples in the early church how to have victory over their flesh in
Acts 1:4-5;8 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit….8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The very last thing Jesus told his followers before leaving earth, was to make sure they got filled with the Holy Spirit!
Why? V.8 says, “you will receive power…”(Power: from the Gr. dynamis – Dynamite!) The Holy Spirit gives us power over our Weakness, and power in our Witness!!!
When we read the book of Acts, it is overwhelmingly obvious that the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost transformed the disciples, especially Peter! Before the Holy Spirit, Peter was impulsive, emotional, unstable, and fearful. But after Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, he was courageous, committed, and fearless. He went from denying Jesus 3 times, to leading 3,000 people to the saving grace of Christ.
The Holy Spirit not only gives us power, but He also gives us gifts!
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NIV 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
The bible gives us a list here of 9 different Spiritual Gifts, that are all given to us by the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual Gifts are manifestations of the Holy Spirit in our lives (The Gr. word for manifestations is phanerosis, which means a shining forth or showing forth.)
Spiritual Gifts – are simply God showing a part of himself through you to the world!
God wants to move IN US in order to move THROUGH US!
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Ironically there happen to be exactly 9 spiritual gifts and 9 spiritual fruits! (It’s almost as if God wanted to make sure every spiritual gift manifests in spiritual fruit!)
John 13:35 NIV 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
How can we be filled with the Spirit? We cannot earn it, we must receive it in faith!
Acts 2:1-4 NIV 1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.