Holy Spirit

May 22, 2016   John 14:12 – 31Holy Spirit 

 

    We are a needy people.  People are needy and God has blessed us.  God has not closed his eyes to man’s needs and last week we considered angels and how God has sent them to those that would inherit salvation.  It was mentioned that the angles communicated to people what God wanted to say.  Angels also protect and provide for people and in Revelation they are mentioned a lot.   It has been prophesied within the last year that God is sending warring angels to the earth and that is what the angels are doing in Revelation.  They are following what God commands them do and they are warring. 

    Angels are great and can do great things but God has also sent the Holy Spirit to us. Certainly that is a better or higher blessing.  However we still see angels being involved with the apostles after Jesus ascends into heaven.  When a person becomes born again or receives God into their life and become his child the Holy Spirit comes into them.  God dwells in us.  We receive all of the Holy Spirit not just part of the Holy Spirit.  We certainly grow in that relationship and as time goes on we grow in our knowledge our love and our closeness to God.   I wanted to continue this thought of how God has blessed us.  The Holy Spirit is a great blessing for the Christian.  We cannot please God without the Holy Spirit.   We cannot live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit.  Zechariah 4:6 ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.   That should bring peace and joy to us in that God can live his life through me.  Sometimes we think that everything depends on us but in our walk with God there is much that God does. 

   It is neat that when we become part of God’s family we get angel or angels, we get the Holy Spirit and we are blessed with all of heaven’s resources.  We are forgiven through the blood of Jesus, and we are given peace, joy, purpose, meaning in our life, we are given eternal life.  We are blessed with faith, love, grace, power and God’s spirit is within us.  I am not saying that everything is easy but Christians are blessed.  We can live above the trash in the world.  We do not have to be slaves to sin.  Christians have power and grace.  Where sin abounds grace abounds more. 

   Joseph J. Pfister shared some the darkness in his life and his addictions and how God worked in his life in a church service.   He writes I sat in my car in front of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. I had just driven back from a three-day gambling binge in Atlantic City, where I had lost more than $5,000. I had maxed out my credit cards trying to recoup my losses that now surpassed $300,000.  My past flashed before me as I tried to get up enough nerve to jump five hundred feet into the Delaware River. I was a decent sort until my marriage broke up and I began womanizing, drinking, and betting on anything anywhere, I thought.  I am a retired chief master sergeant of the Air Force. I had previously won numerous awards, including Citizen of the Year in Delaware and Sergeant of the Year in the Air Force, and I had shared the National Freedom Foundation’s highest award. My works of patriotism were entered into the Congressional Record of the U.S. Senate. Back then I had a purpose in life. Now I was an addicted sleaze.  I took a swig of the drink I had carried out of the Resorts Hotel and Casino, opened the door, and walked toward the bridge. A state trooper came by and yelled, “Car trouble?”  “No, sir, just getting some air,” I said.

     I climbed back in my blue Sprint and drove home, where I spent a lot of lonely hours contemplating my failures. It was 4:00 a.m. on a Sunday. I drank more booze to help me sleep.  About 3:00 p.m., the phone woke me up.   It was Jim, an old friend who always wanted me to go to church with him. He said, “I prayed for you this morning, Joe,” and invited me to go with him that night to hear a guest speaker.   I said OK, figuring he would buy me a hamburger after church.   At the Pentecostal church, the visiting speaker gave an eloquent sermon and then invited individuals who were hurting to come forward.  A long line of people came to the platform.   The pastor stood in front of each Several fell backward. “Those people are being slain in the power of the Holy Spirit,” my friend explained. “Let’s go up.” I waited until there were only a few people left.  When I got close to the pastor, he asked, “What can God do for you, my son?”   I blurted out something about my asthma.  He raised his hand, closed his eyes, and began to pray.  I felt peace come over me.  The next instant I was lying in Jim’s arms.  Did he push me down?   I wondered as I glanced around and saw I was the only one left on the platform.  “How long have I been lying here?” I asked.   “About eight minutes,” Jim said as he helped me to my feet.  From that day on, I began to walk in Christ.  Today I think of how wonderfully God works.  If my friend hadn’t called, if I hadn’t been hungry for a hamburger, if the visiting pastor had not grabbed my interest, I might have ended my life jumping off a bridge.   — Joseph J. Pfister, “The Comeback,”  Pentecostal Evangel (October 15, 2000)

     I started a book called go small.  I am good at starting books but in the beginning of it he comments that the Golden Gate Bridge in San Franciso is the second most popular place in the world for people to kill themselves.   About every 2 weeks someone jumps.  It is 250 feet down and when they hit they are traveling about 76 MPH.  There was suicide note that was collected a few years ago which said I am going to the bridge to end my life however if while I walk to the bridge I meet one person who will smile at me I will not jump.   They jumped.  The Holy Spirit can use your life.  We really do not know all that God may do with our prayers or even a smile.    The Christian has received all of the Holy Spirit I believe but there is a lot we have not experienced of God and his Spirit.  God’s spirit gives us power.  That is neat.   We are blessed.  The Christian is blessed.  The Christian can rejoice and give thanks.   

    Jesus in John 14 is seeking to comfort his disciples because Jesus knows he is going to be crucified.  Jesus is going to leave them and Jesus tells them I am not going to leave you without comfort.  The King James and Living bible in verse 16 and verse 26 call the Holy Spirit the comforter and the NIV and RSV translations call the Holy Spirit counselor.  The Holy Spirit is known as the paraclete.  God’s Spirit is known as a counselor and as a helper.  God stoops himself to help each Christian.  The Strong’s Concordance uses these words to define the Greek meaning by saying intercessor, consoler, advocate and comforter.  God’s Holy Spirit intercedes for us.  God’s Spirit consoles us.  God’s Holy Spirit advocates for the Christian.  God’s Holy Spirit comforts us.   We all can stand some encouragement these days.

   In our battles and in our struggles we need to go to the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is in the Christian but we are warned not to quench or stifle God’s spirit.   We are warned not to grieve God’s spirit.   But God’s spirit is there to help us.    In Romans 8:26 and 27 we read 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.    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.  The Holy Spirit is pulling for the Christian. He is pulling for you.   He brings our needs to the Father and I believe he also prays through us for others. 

    The Holy Spirit is our helper and comforter.   The Karre language of equatorial Africa was difficult for the translators of the New Testament, especially when it came to the word Paraclete.  How could they describe the Holy Spirit?   One day the translators saw a group of porters going off into the bush carrying bundles on their heads. They noticed one didn’t carry anything. They assumed he was the boss, who was present to make sure the others did their work.   However, they discovered he was not the boss.   Rather, he was present so that, should anyone fall over with exhaustion, this man would pick up the man’s load and carry it for him.  This porter was known in the Karre language as “the one who falls down beside us.”  The translators had their word for Paraclete.   — Ian Coffey, “Deep Impact,”  Keswick ’99 (OM Publishing).   I think that is a good way to translate Holy Spirit into their language.  The Spirit comes along side of us and lifts the load that becomes more than we can bear and then with the lighter load the person has strength to keep going.  You may have heard the comment the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  That is the straw or straws that the spirit of God takes for us.  This reminds us of Jesus saying my yoke is easy and my burden is light. 

    In verse 26 the counselor or Holy Spirit will teach you of all things and the spirit will help us remember the truth of the scripture.  It is good to pray before opening the bible to read it and ask God to open our eyes and our spirit to receive whatever the Spirit wants to teach us.  The angels gave direction to people even in the book of Acts but God has also given us the Holy Spirit.  He is truth.  The Holy Spirit speaks of Jesus and points us to Jesus.  The Holy
Spirit is an equal part of the God head.  He is not a ghost or an it.    Sometimes it is hard to make a decision and it can be difficult to see what or who is right and who is wrong.  The Holy Spirit points to truth.  He guides us in righteous paths.  The spirit guides us into light.  The Holy Spirit points us to God and to Jesus.

   He is our friend for those that want to walk in truth and righteousness.  To walk in unrighteousness is to error.  Sin is very destructive and leads to death.  Jesus said the spirit gives life the flesh profits nothing.  We worship God in spirit and in truth.  We need HS to worship in spirit and truth.    Those in the flesh cannot please God.   The natural man receives not the things of God.  We cannot understand the bible apart from the Spirit.    The spirit will guide you in all truth.  We really cannot connect with God without his spirit. 

    Acts 1:8 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.”  When a hurricane hit South Florida, Norena’s home was severely damaged. The elderly woman received an insurance settlement, and the repair work began. However, when the money ran out, so did the contractor, leaving an unfinished home with no electricity.  Norena had been living without power ever since Hurricane Andrew. For more than fifteen years, Norena had been living in a dark house with no heat, no air-conditioning, and not a single hot bath or shower. She got by with extension cords running into her house, plugged into a tiny refrigerator and a cook top, and a small lamp or two in the front of the house.  Acting on a tip, the mayor of Miami-Dade finally got involved. A few hours of work by electrical contractor Kent Crook restored power to the house. Norena planned to let the water get really hot and then take her first bubble bath in a decade and a half. “It’s hard to describe having [the electricity] come on, to switch on,” she said. “It’s overwhelming.”   — CBS Broadcasting, “Woman Has Power  for the First Time in 15 Years,” cbs4.com  (February 19, 2007)

    We need power in our life today.  The power to live the Christian life is in the Holy Spirit.  There is power to witness and power to walk in victory.  God’s power is unlimited.  His power can flow through us.  A former Southern Baptist president said that if the Holy Spirit went away that over 90% of what happens in a Baptist Church would continue and that the Holy Spirit would not even be missed.   God has sent his spirit to indwell us.  God has sent his spirit to bless us.  God has sent his spirit to convict of sin and convict the world of sin.  God sent his Holy Spirit to empower us to do great things for God and for others.  We can walk in step with the Holy Spirit.