"Christ in the Christian"
Introduction: I'm going to start this message with a quote from Dr. Adrian Rogers, "The best friend that you have on this earth is the Holy Spirit. You say, Well, I thought Jesus was my best friend. That's exactly right. The best friend that you have on this earth is the Holy Spirit who is Christ in the Christian." My purpose in preaching this message is that you might know the Holy Spirit, love the Holy Spirit, trust the Holy Spirit, and believe the Holy Spirit who lives in your heart. I want you to have assurance that He is in your heart, affirm that He is in your heart, appreciate Him and adore Him! Let's read a passage from the Bible and learn what it says about the Holy Spirit.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
If I understand what John is saying here, the One who was dwelling with them was the One who would be in them. Who is that? Jesus! You see, the Holy Spirit is Christ in the Christian. The Holy Spirit was sent to us to be what Christ was to His disciples. He walked with them, talked with them, fellowshipped with them, guided them, instructed them, and protected them. The key to understanding the coming of the Holy Spirit is found in the phrase "...another Comforter..." In the Greek language, there are two words for another, allos and allelon. Another may be another of a different kind or it may be another of the same kind. For instance, a car is one kind of transportation and a motorcycle is a different kind of transportation. However, if you get a motorcycle just like the first, then you have another of the same kind. John uses the word here that means another of the same kind! He uses the word allos which means another of the same kind. In other words He is saying that He is sending someone like himself to take His place in the life of the believer so the Holy Spirit is Christ in the Christian! If there is any doubt in your mind as to the truth of what I am saying we need look no further than this same chapter to confirm this truth:
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
What else do we need to know about the Holy Spirit, who is Christ in the Christian?
First, there is:
I. The Holy Spirit and Grace
a. Convicting us
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit you and I would never see the need for a Savior. Conviction leads to repentance which the Lord said was absolutely necessary to salvation.
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
b. Calling us
Do you know that there are a great many things that Christians believe today that are just not in the Bible. One of those things has to do with the idea that men "seek after God" that there are millions of unsaved people who are "seeker sensitive." There is just one problem with that. It's not in the Bible. It's well intentioned and I believe it was born out of a sincere desire to see folks saved but it is not born out by Scripture. Let me give just a few verses in support of what I'm saying:
Romans 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
What's my point? It's that if you came to God it presupposes that God drew you to Himself and it is the Holy Spirit that does the drawing.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
c. Convincing us
Let me tell something else the Holy Spirit did when you got saved. He opened your understanding so that you could know and believe the Gospel. In Acts 16:14 there is a woman by the name of Lydia who came to Christ after Paul shared the Gospel with her and this is what the Bible says:
Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened...
No man can understand spiritual things without the help of the Holy Spirit! Dr. Adrian rogers said, "You might as well ask your dog to understand the opera!" The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The second thing is:
II. The Holy Spirit and Growth
The Holy Spirit is not just given to us to save us from sin, He is given to us to sanctify us, to make us more like Jesus. This process begins the moment we are saved and continues throughout our Christian life.
SLOW AND STEADY
ILL - The power of the Holy Spirit is not just for salvation, but transformation, a process that might be slow and gradual. The difference might look like this:
You can take ten gallons of gasoline and release a tremendous amount of power and energy by just dropping a lighted match into it. It makes a dramatic onetime impact. But there is another way to release the energy in that gasoline. Place it in the fuel tank of a new Honda, designed to get 30 miles to the gallon. The high tech engine will use that ten gallons of gasoline to take a person 300 miles or more.
Explosions may be spectacular, but the sustained, controlled burn has staying power. You don't want to be a flash in the pan, you want to make a difference in this world over time. You want to last for the long haul. You don't want the Holy Spirit to just save you for heaven, you want Him to use His power to transform your life. You want Him to use you in this world for kingdom purposes.
How does the Holy Spirit transform us? First He does this by:
a. Indwelling us
At the moment we are saved the Holy Spirit comes to abide with us and in us. Did you notice what verse 17 of our test says?
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Paul was amazed that believers didn't realize this, that they didn't know this.
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Many Christians think that the sanctuary is the "temple" but that's not true. Dr. Adrian rogers called the sanctuary a "sheep shed!" God doesn't dwell in a temple made with hands, He dwells in His people. Your body is the "temple" that God dwells in (Holy Spirit) and this truth should revolutionize your life. Think of the implications. That means we don't "go to church" we are the church! When no believers are in this building it is just that, a building but when Christians come together here it becomes a holy temple. Wherever you go you take the Holy Spirit with you. That means that every place is a holy place and every day is a holy day.
ILL - Can you fathom this? The God of the universe, who holds all things together by the word of His power, who fills all things and is bigger than the universe; bigger than time, literally lives in you and calls you His dwelling place. What a magnificent creation you are! What high and wonderful privilege we have been given, to house the Holy Spirit of God!
- Clark E. Tanner "The Dwelling of God"
b. Inspiring us
The Greek word for Comforter is Paraclete and it means somebody who is standing alongside of you to help you, and comfort you. There are many names for the Holy Spirit in the Bible but I think my favorite is "Comforter!" What comes to mind when you hear that name? I'll tell you what it means to me. It means that every tear, every heartache, every heartbreak, every trouble, every trial, every tribulation, ever care, everything that touches me touches the One that dwells within me. I'll tell you that I have felt His comfort many times, in every funeral home, hospital room, in situations where people's lives have been crushed and broken. I've seen the Comforter do what no doctor, no counselor, no psychologist, no bosom friend, and yes, no pastor can do. He gives supernatural, enduring, enabling comfort.
ILL - "When life caves in, you do not need reasons -- you need comfort. You do not need some answers -- you need someone. And the Holy Spirit does not come to us with an explanation -- He comes to us with His presence."
SOURCE: -- Bob Benson
c. Instructing us
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Steven Simala Grant tells this story:
I remember Christmas, 1980, when I was 9. My mom, who was a secretary in a small 3-person company, got a Christmas bonus -- a trip for her and my brother and me to Disneyland. Plane and hotel, all covered -- and even some cash. Her boss was not a Christian, but wow did they have a spirit of generosity.
We got off the plane in Los Angeles, and immediately felt scared, overwhelmed, and more than a little lost. A single mom on her first trip outside Canada, second time on a plane, a 9yr old and a 12yr old... And there, right where we came through customs was a man holding a sign that said, "Grants." My mom joked as she walked past him, "That's my name but I'm sure you aren't looking for a mom and two kids." "Wendy?" He asked. "Yup, it's you I'm looking for. I'm here to guide you through the airport, help you find your motel, and make sure you have everything you need."
Three Canadians feeling lost and overwhelmed in the middle of the LA airport, until the guide steps forward and says, "Follow me. I'll lead you." He took us to find our luggage, then to the bus that would take us to Anaheim, and told us exactly where to get off.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit is our guide into all truth. Are you seeking for truth in a world filled with falsehood, lies and deception? You can find the real truth if you will let the Holy Spirit by your guide. He is infallible and unerring. You can trust His leadership.
Finally, there is:
III. The Holy Spirit and Glory
The last thing I want to say about the Holy Spirit is that He empowers us! What does He empower us to do? There is the glory of:
Several times in the NT Paul refers to the "...glorious Gospel..."
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
There is the glory of:
The Holy Spirit helps us to pray. He communicates our needs and our deepest desire to God. Even when we don't know how to pray He intercedes for us.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself (Himself) maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
There is the glory of His eternal purpose in Christ.
The ultimate goal of the Holy Spirit within us is to transform us into the image of Jesus in both character and conduct.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.