Introducing the Holy Spirit
Speaker: Pastor Darin Browne
The highway department hired a new painter to paint the lines on the road. The first day on the job he painted lines on a five-mile stretch of road, and he was the talk of the department. The next day he did well again. This time it was only two and a half miles but still, it was very good.
On the third day he painted one and a quarter mile of road. His results were not nearly as impressive. On the fourth day it was three quarters of a mile of road painted. By now there was concern at his drop in performance. His boss called him in to find out why the decline in output.
When he was asked about why he only painted half as much each day as before he openly told them the reason. He said, as I keep painting, I go further and further away from the bucket of paint. He somehow did not know he could move the paint bucket along the way as he painted.
That would be ludicrous. We want to be sure we don’t do something like that with our spiritual resources. Thinking that if we go to church to get filled or we attend some dynamic meeting. We must understand that the ministry of the Holy Spirit should be an ongoing experience. The Holy Spirit is our spiritual resource for our Christian life and ministry.
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6)
We’ve looked at God the Father, Jesus the Son. To complete the Trinity, I want to spend a couple of weeks looking at the Holy Spirit. As the illustration of the painter highlights, we must not think the Holy Spirit is our Spiritual resource we go back to at an event. He is our daily, moment by moment connection to God, our daily resource for supernatural living.
LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Some feel that the Holy Spirit is the forgotten part of the Godhead. Some are scared, thinking that yielding control to the Spirit is tantamount to removing your brain.
Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal (REMOVAL) of your mind,
Charles Spurgeon said, “Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without the wind, branches without sap, and like coals without fire, we are useless.”
Sadly, many Christians never yield power and control to the Holy Spirit. Part of the reason is that they fear Him, and don’t really know Him. So, let’s learn about Him…
1. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD
He’s not a thing, or a force, the Holy Spirit is God, and He is a real person.
Genesis 1:2 (ESV)
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
John 15:26 (ESV)
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
The Holy Spirit is God. He is also our connection to God, and to Jesus…
2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD WITHIN US
In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God came upon people at specific times. But the prophet Ezekiel prophesied a time when God’s Spirit would abide in us. Live in us.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (ESV)
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
He prophesied a day when the actual Spirit of the living God would dwell inside of us. We live in that day. As Paul said…
1 Corinthians 6:19 (ESV)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
When you accept Jesus as Saviour, you automatically receive the Holy Spirit into your life. Paul says you cannot be saved without it.
Romans 8:9 (ESV)
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A DEPOSIT OF ETERNAL LIFE
Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV)
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The Greek for guarantee is ARR-HABON, “money which in purchases is given as a pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be paid.”
We are promised eternal life, and the Holy Spirit, God within us, is our downpayment. You don’t have pie in the sky when you die by and by. The Holy Spirit allows us to have a slice of Heaven right now. To live in this big, bad, ugly, evil world in Spirit filled victory and Holiness. Heaven in my heart.
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALS KNOWLEDGE
In our modern 2023 world where truth is transient and relative, we need the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s truth to us.
1 Corinthians 2:13 (ESV)
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
So being completely frank, some Christians condoning outrageous immorality as God’s truth. They either cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, or ignore Him, or they don’t have Him at all. 1 Corinthians 2 talks about human versus God’s wisdom, the contrast of which is clearly seen in our modern world. Human wisdom fails and brings confusion and death. Someone told me there are now 41 different letters in the LGBT alphabet soup. They want everyone to accept them as they are, but they themselves don’t even know who they are!
We need to learn more and more of the inexhaustible knowledge of God. Man’s so called wisdom simply doesn’t cut it. It changes every two minutes.
1 Corinthians 2:10-11 (ESV)
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Many people read the Bible and understand very little. It’s the Holy Spirit who illuminates Scripture for us.
5. THE HOLY SPIRIT CARES AND COMFORTS AND LEADS
God cares about you. He has placed His Spirit within you.
1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
And God gently leads you. He doesn’t force you, or make you do stuff. The Spirit is a divine connection between you and God.
John 16:13 (ESV)
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Greek for guide is HODE-GEO, which means to lead or show the way. The Holy Spirit doesn’t send information to you, He doesn’t point you in the right direction, He takes you by the hand and leads you…He gently leads His young.
If you are in pain today, God cares for you. He comforts and gently leads you. If you can trust Him for salvation, you can trust His Spirit to lead you gently. He also leads and guides our prayers. Supernaturally empowering our prayer.
Romans 8:26-27 (ESV)
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
6. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE GIFT WHO GIVES GIFTS
Honestly, the big issue for some of you is that you cannot or will not accept certain gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that the Spirit gives many gifts, not just tongues. He can give us gifts of prophecy, interpretation of tongues, teaching, service, pastoral, mercy, miracles, healing, faith, etc.
1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
The gifts of the Spirit are given freely. However, not every person gets every gift…
1 Corinthians 7:7 (ESV)
But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
1 Corinthians 12:29-31 (ESV)
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
In the discussion about spiritual gifts, we often lose sight of the reason we have these gifts. Not for ourselves. Not so that we can feel or act superiorly to others, but so we can serve the body.
Some gifts are available to us all, others equip us for specific callings.
WE SHOULD ASK FOR ALL GIFTS
I reckon we should ask for all the gifts. Then let the Holy Spirit empower us and give what He sees fit. We can all pray for healing. Some people already have a healing gift (like John Mellor). We should serve one another. Some already have a gift of serving. We should all care for each other. Some already have a pastoral gift. We can all ask for tongues. Some pray, and heavenly power is released! All of us have opinions, but some of us can prophetically speak God’s words.
1 Corinthians 12:11 (ESV)
All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
Often the Holy Spirit grows our gifts slowly over time. Over the last few years, I recognise that the Spirit has built over time a gift of faith in me for finances. I used to have financial worry, and now I can believe the Lord for the provision of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
People tell me that certain gifts of the Spirit are a measure of fullness in the Spirit. I don’t think a gift is a measure of your godliness, it’s a measure of God’s grace to you. What is a measure of holiness is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
7. THE HOLY SPIRIT CAUSES FRUIT
Psalms 1:3 (ESV)
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The fruit of the Spirit is not just given to you. It is grown over time and directly proportional to how close and devoted you are to God. I’ve met many Christians with not a lot of gifts, but loads of fruit, because the fruit of the Spirit is about developing character. And God values character in His people.
Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The gifts and the fruit are not mutually exclusive. Some people I know clearly have a spiritual gift of sorts. Just as clearly, they have pride and lack of character. We should ask for both, and loads of them. Spiritual gifts improve our life, and especially the lives of those around us.
8. THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERS A VICTORIOUS LIFE
There are two cities with two different types of water sources. One depends on a river and the other has a spring as their water source. When a drought comes a river dries up. A spring flows continues to flow abundantly. This is an illustration of how we live the abundant Spirit filled life.
Not just at church on Sunday, not just at a prayer meeting, not just at an event or revival meeting or Bible study. Not just when we operate in our gifting. We need to be full of the Holy Spirit every hour of every day.
We must walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit is not complete when you become a believer. That is just the beginning. The Holy Spirit continues the vital role of sanctification in your life. The Holy Spirit empowers you, and He changes your life to make you more like Jesus.
Acts 1:8 (ESV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
If we fail to yield our lives to the Holy Spirit, we are short-changing our Christian life. We will struggle where we should triumph, we will be fearful where we should be faithful. You and I need the Holy Spirit to live in victory.
Ephesians 3:16 (ESV)
that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Galatians 5:16 (ESV)
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
WHO’S AFRAID OF THE HOLY GHOST?
Funny how words can affect you. I prefer the name Holy Spirit to the Holy Ghost. Ghosts to me are a bit scary and creepy.
We do not need to be afraid of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the lover of our souls, our saviour has commanded us to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, the promise of the infilling of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled, with 120 people in the upper room filled with the Holy Spirit. Everyone was filled because they were all willing.
Romans 8:15 (ESV)
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
We must not fear the Holy Spirit because we are sons and daughters of the King. Princes and Princesses. We should not dread our Father but trust Him.
James 1:17 (ESV)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
IT’S TIME TO CONNECT AGAIN
How many of you surf the internet? When you get on the computer you need to connect to the internet. The speed and stability of your connection will determine how fast your computer connects to the internet.
The Holy Spirit is our connection with Jesus. By the Spirit, we gain instant access to God. However, some of us are in a poor wifi zone. Some of us love God and are saved, we have the gear, the login, everything, except were on Vodaphone and we have no signal! The only thing that blocks our connection to God via the Holy Spirit is us.
If we do not fully yield to the Holy Spirit, our connection will be slow and unstable. Our fear blocks the connection, our religious thinking, and traditions, our hangups, our lack of hunger all block the connection. Certainly, persistent sin blocks it…
Psalms 66:18 (ESV)
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
People who are filled with the Holy Spirit radiate joy and love and peace, the fruit of the Spirit. By the infilling of the Holy Spirit, we have power to overcome sin. With the infilling of the Holy Spirit our walk, our communion our relationship with Jesus is real and vital and living and moment by moment. By the infilling of the Holy Spirit, you and I can do the work of the ministry with power, authority, gifts, character, and success.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Imagine filling this whole room with the masterpieces that you would find in the Louvre in Paris. Blacken the doors and windows. Turn off the lights and saying, “Aren’t they beautiful.” This is what it is like trying to understand the beauty of God’s word and promises without having the Holy Spirit active in our lives. That’s what it’s like living as a Christian and not yielding to the Spirit?
John 14:15-18 (ESV)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
This morning, I want to invite you to open your heart and be filled with the Holy Spirit. I want to invite you to not dabble, not to hold back. Totally yield to the Holy Spirit. Trust Him to lead and guide you into all truth. Maybe you’ve been filled before. Do it again. Open your heart and go again.
If you are a believer, you already have the Holy Spirit. What the Lord is offering you is more and more. Why not take a chance? Why not yield your life to Him? You can be filled even more with the Holy Spirit. This is your moment to choose life, choose God, choose to be filled to overflow with His Spirit. Revival starts in the heart of one who is hungry for and who yields to the Holy Spirit.