John 16 :7-15
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->22 <!--[endif]-->But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
John 15 :1-8
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me (If you have the Spirit vitally running through you) and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action (the fruit of the Spirit), is dead. For the Spirit motivates us into action
What do you know about the Holy Spirit?
Can you tell me about Him?
Is He all about speaking in tongues, prophesizing etc.
So often we use the term but I often wonder how much we actually know or understand.
What does the Bible actually say about the Holy Spirit? Not jus at a glance but really searching, seeking. Taking the word and squeezing the full meaning out, juicing the word of God. This is where we will find the spirit: in the juice. Today I hope we can do a little of this as we continue to delve into the Holy Spirit. Puling ourselves closer to him and He closer to us through this. Finding out who He is, what he can do and why we need him more than anything.
Last sermon we began our series on The Holy Spirit and I believe we started down a new road in our Lives in Christ at least I know that I have. I have been feeling completely different since I have taken that cap back off and allowed myself to be filled with the helper, the comforter, the strength and the Glory that is the Holy Spirit.
For many speaking of the holy Spirit is to speak of tongues, prophesy, healing etc, but these are not the first fruits of the Spirit they are simply secondary effects of the presence or manifestation of the Spirit. The first fruits are clearly shown in
<!--[if !supportLists]-->23 <!--[endif]-->But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
All of us if we belong to Jesus we must also belong to the Holy Spirit. We live by the Spirit and without Him we have no life. We must keep in step with Him. There is one problem though, we don’t know this person we are to keep in step with. Today I hope to introduce you to this person of the Holy Spirit. To let you know His character. Too many of us only consider the spirit to be simply a source of power the mystify it and turn it into this mystical magical thing. This is not the Holy Spirit the Bible talks about.
Let me introduce Him to you:
The Personality of the Holy Spirit
Before one can correctly understand the work of the Holy Spirit, he must first of all know the Spirit Himself. A frequent source of error and fanaticism about the work of the Holy Spirit is the attempt to study and understand His work without first Of all coming to know Him as a Person. We are searching for the fruit but letting the tree die. The key to healthy fruit is a healthy tree. We can not simply apply water to the fruit but must apply it to the roots the tree and the vital fluid passes through the tree into the fruit. Jesus is the vine but the Holy Spirit is the vital fluid.
It is of the highest importance from the standpoint of worship that we decide whether the Holy Spirit is a divine person, worthy to receive our adoration, our faith, our love, and our entire Surrender to Himself, or whether it is simply an influence emanating from God or a power or an illumination that God imparts to us. If the Holy Spirit is a divine person and we do not know Him as such, then we are robbing a divine being of the worship and the faith and the love and the surrender to Himself which are His due.
It is also of the highest importance from a practical standpoint that we decide whether the Holy Spirit is merely some mysterious and wonderful power that we, in our weakness and ignorance, are somehow to get hold of and use or whether the Holy Spirit is a real person, infinitely holy, infinitely wise, infinitely mighty, and infinitely tender, who is to get hold of and use us. The former conception is utterly heathenish, not essentially different from the thought of the African fetish worshiper who has his god whom he uses. The latter conception is sublime and Christian. If we think of the Holy Spirit, as so many do, as merely a power or influence, our constant thought will be, "How can I get more of the Holy Spirit? But if we think of Him in the biblical way as a divine person, our thought will instead be, "How can the Holy Spirit have more of me?"
This is what we must do; we must submit ourselves, our church, our homes to the Holy Spirit, giving Him full control. There are too many of us trying to steer our own lives and many of us struggle against the Spirit, But God is trying to take us places we have never been before. To do this we have to give up the wheel. Imagine two people trying to drive a car at the same time. It just doesn’t work, and if we continue to force our will when the Spirit should be driving then we will probably crash.
The conception of the Holy Spirit as being a divine influence or power that we are somehow to get hold of and use leads to self-exaltation and self- sufficiency. One who so thinks of the Holy Spirit and who at the same time imagines that he has received the Holy Spirit will almost inevitably be full of spiritual pride and strut about as if he belonged to some superior order of Christians. One frequently hears such people say, "I am a Spirit-filled man," Or "I ‘m a Spirit-filled woman."
But if we once grasp the thought that the Holy Spirit is a divine person Of infinite majesty, glory, holiness, and power, who in marvelous condescension has come into our hearts to make His abode there and take possession of our lives and make use of then, it will put us in the dust and keep us in the dust. I can think of no thought more humbling or more overwhelming than the thought that a person of divine majesty and glory dwells in my heart and is ready to use even me.
It is of the highest importance from standpoint of experience that we know the the Holy Spirit as a Person. Thousands and tens of thousands of men and women testify to the blessing that has come into their own lives as they have come to know the Holy Spirit. They have come to know the Holy Spirit not merely as a gracious influence (emanating, it is true from God) but as a real person just as real as Jesus Christ Himself, a ever-present, loving Friend and mighty Helper who is not only always by their sides but who dwells in their hearts every day and every hour and who is ready to undertake for them in every emergency of life. Thousands of ministers, Christian workers, and Christians in the humblest spheres of life have spoken or written of the complete transformation of their Christian experience that came to them when they grasped the thought (not merely in a theological but in an experimental way) that the Holy Spirit is a person and consequently come to know Him. There are at least four distinct proofs in the Bible that the Holy Spirit is a person.
All the distinctive characteristics of personality are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Bible.
What are the distinctive characteristics, or mark of personality? Knowledge, feeling or emotion, and will. Any entity that thinks and feels is a person. When we say that the Holy Spirit is a Person, there are those who understand us to mean that the Holy Spirit has hands and feet and eyes and ears and mouth and so on, but these are not the characteristics of personality but of bodily substance. All of these characteristics or marks of personality are repeatedly ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments.
We read in 1 Corinthians,
10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
Here knowledge is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. We are clearly taught that the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence that illuminates our minds to comprehend the truth but a being who Himself knows the truth. Also, will is ascribed to the Spirit, and we are taught that them Holy Spirit is not a power that we get hold of and use according to our desires but a person of sovereign majesty who uses us according to His will. This distinction is of fundamental importance in our getting into right relations with the Holy Spirit. It is at this very point that many honest seekers after power and efficiency in service go astray. They are reaching out after and struggling to get possession of some mysterious and mighty power that they can make use of in their work according to their own desires. They will never get possession of the power they seek until they come to recognize that there is not some divine power for them to get hold of and use in their blindness and ignorance but that there is a person, infinitely wise as well as infinitely mighty, who is willing to take possession of them and use them according to His own perfect will. When we stop to think of it, we must rejoice that there is no divine power we beings, so ignorant and so liable to err as we are, can get hold of and use. How appalling might be the results if there were. But what a holy joy must come into our hearts when we grasp the thought that there is a divine person, One who never errs, who is willing to take possession of us and impart to us such gifts as He sees best and to use us according to His wise and loving will.
We read in Romans 8:27, And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with
God's will. In this passage mind is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated "mind" is a comprehensive word, including the ideas of thought,
feeling, and purpose. It is the same word that is used in Romans 8:7 where we read that "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to
the law of God, neither indeed can be." So in this verse all the distinctive marks of personality are included in the word mind and are ascribed to the
Holy Spirit. We find the personality of the Holy Spirit brought out in a most touching and suggestive way in Romans 15:30: "Now I beseech you,
brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me." Here we
have "love" ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The reader would do well to stop and ponder those five words: "the love of the Spirit." We dwell often
upon the love of M the Father. It is the subject of our daily and constant thought. We dwell often upon the love of Jesus Christ the Son. Who
would think of calling himself a Christian who passed a day without meditating on the love of his Savior, but how often have we meditated upon
"the love of the Spirit"?
Each day of our lives, if we are living as Christians ought, we kneel down in the presence of God the Father, look up into His face, and say,
"I thank you, Father, for Your great love that led You to give Your only begotten Son to die upon the cross of Calvary for me." Each day of
our lives we also look up into the face of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and say, "Oh, glorious Lord and Savior, Jesus the Son of God,
I thank You for Your great love that led You not to count it a thing to be on equality with God but to empty Yourself, and forsaking all the
glory of heaven, come down to earth with all its shame and to take my sins upon Yourself and die in my place upon the cross of Calvary." But
how often do we kneel and say to the Holy Spirit, "Oh, eternal and infinite Spirit of God, I thank You for Your great love that led You to come
into this world of sin and darkness and to seek me out and to follow me so patiently until You did bring me to see my utter ruin aha need of a
savior and to reveal to me my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as just the Savior whom I need." Yet we owe our salvation just as truly to the love
of the spirit as we do to the love of the Father and the love of the Son. If it had not been for the love of God the Father looking down upon me in
my utter ruin and providing a perfect atonement for me in the death of His own Son on the cross of
Calvary, I would have been in hell today. If
it had not been for the love of Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, looking upon me in my utter ruin and in obedience to the Father, putting wide
all the glory of heaven for all the shame of earth and taking my place, the place of the curse, upon the cross of Calvary and Touring out His life utterly
for me, I would have been in hen today. But if it had not been for the love of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in answer to the prayer of the Son
(see John 15:16), leading Him to seek me out in my utter blindness wd ruin, I would have been in hell today. He followed me day after day, week
after week, and year after year when I persistently turned a deaf ear to His pleadings, following me through paths of sin where it must have been
agony for that holy One to go until at last I listened, and He opened my eyes to see my utter ruin and then revealed Jesus to me as just the Savior
that would meet my every need and then enabled me to receive this Jesus as my own savior. If it had not been for this patient, long-suffering,
never-tiring, infinitely-tender love of the Holy Spirit, I would have been in hell today.
Oh the Holy Spirit is not just an influence or a power or an illumination but is a person just as real as God the Father or Jesus Christ His Son.
The Holy Spirit is the vitality that runs through the vine without him we will bear no fruit, our prayers will not be answered and we will be cut off.