Summary: The granting of the Holy Spirit is a “game changer” for humanity.
IN GOD'S IMAGE 55 - HOLY SPIRIT - GAMECHANGER
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
Last time we talked about the granting of the Holy Spirit to the disciples on the day of Pentecost.
• For the first time, individual humans through the Spirit would be gathered up, embraced and included in the life and love of the Godhead.
• We also saw how the emphasis of God’s saving work has shifted to incorporating humanity into the new reality created by the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
• God is creating a holy people for Himself and the primary function of the Holy Spirit is to go and find the lost sheep and to persuade them to accept the precious gift Jesus is offering them.
One has only to look at the astounding change of behaviour that came over the disciples after the granting of the Holy Spirit to know that this event was a “game changer” for humanity.
• These were the same men who had slunk off into the darkness at Jesus’ arrest, denied they knew Him, and watched from a distance while He died.
• Now they fearlessly stood up in front of those who had condemned and crucified Jesus just a few weeks earlier and denounced their actions (Acts 2).
• This dramatic transformation was the result of them having within them a resource previously unavailable to mankind.
• It was the result of the power of God the Holy Spirit coming to take up residence in individual humans (John 14:23).
What we want to begin to do today is to explore how the coming of God, the Holy Spirit, to humans is going to dramatically transform their lives.
• Up to the point of Jesus’ crucifixion, mankind has been under evil influences beyond his control, and from which he has been powerless to extricate himself.
• However, as we have seen, Jesus, through His life, death and resurrection has overcome and defeated the powers that held him hostage: sin, man’s fallen human nature, the devil and death.
• The house has been swept clean of the evil strong man, and was now about to be occupied by God Himself.
• In contrast to his previous existence, mankind is about to experience a totally different life under the guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit.
• In place of sin, he will experience righteousness; in place of sinful human nature, he will develop God’s nature (the fruits of the Holy Spirit); instead of the devil’s evil presence, a holy loving God; and instead of death, eternal life.
So let’s take a closer look at the work of the Holy Spirit as He sets about preparing a holy people for God.
• We have already spoken about the Holy Spirit being the “embracer,” the one who goes forth to embrace the lost sheep and draw them into fellowship with the Godhead.
• In order for this process to have any chance of success, a miracle has to take place in the heart of the individual.
• But before this miracle can occur at the heart level, there are three other important steps leading up to this process.
• First, and this is something that everyone experiences, one has to go through a softening up process.
• In one of our first sessions, we spoke about the carefully created moral environment God has designed for this time of the flesh.
• While man is in agreement with the natural and spiritual laws God has established, there is a better chance of avoiding some of the major difficulties of this present life.
• However, due to man’s decision to reject God’s involvement in the process, and the subsequent weakness of the flesh, we know the sad outcome of what life is like without God.
• However, this is all part of the process. It is the softening up process in preparation for the personal encounter all humanity will eventually have with Jesus Christ.