Summary: The Holy Spirit is building a temple constructed of God's people, “living stone” by “living stone” to be God’s dwelling place.
IN GOD'S IMAGE 56 - THE HOLY SPIRIT - BUILDER
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 started to look at the work of the Holy Spirit as He sets about preparing a holy people for God.
• 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.
• We looked at the example of the prodigal son to show how God uses the pain and suffering we bring on ourselves through our rebellion to bring us to our senses.
• The second thing that needs to happen has already been accomplished. That is the reconciling work of Jesus Christ that has restored “peace” between the two parties.
• The gateway through the veil has been opened for humanity to approach God, and for God to approach humanity through the Holy Spirit.
• The third thing that needs to happen is a personal decision made by the Father Himself.
• John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
• One of the great mysteries of the salvation process is this question of “election” or “calling” as it is called, this opportunity to experience and respond to God’s overtures of love.
• We cautioned against being too quick to impose our timetable on a loving God who is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9).
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.
• Today we are going to look at another title that describes the work of the Holy Spirit and that is, the Holy Spirit as “builder.”
• There is an ancient parallel to the day of Pentecost when the disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit and that is the story of the Tower of Babel.
• After the flood, God gave specific instructions to Noah and his sons on what He expected them to do.
• Genesis 9:1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.
• The first part of this instruction is jokingly referred to as being the only command God has given to mankind he has not had any problem obeying.
• But it is this second part of the instructions that is our concern here where God tells them to “fill the earth.”
• We pick up the story in Genesis 11.
• Genesis 11:4-9 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.
• What we see here is the first recorded event where the entire community organises themselves in defiance of God’s clear instructions to “fill the earth.”
• It was man’s attempt to re-establish contact with God on their terms rather than on God’s terms.
• By claiming to make a name for themselves they were in direct opposition to God’s plan of taking on His name and becoming His holy people.
• There is also a similarity here to the lie the serpent told Adam and Eve, “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5) in that this tower was man’s attempt to establish a sacred place with counterfeit priests claiming to be representatives of the true God.
• The tower would give the impression to the population of the city that the gods could descend and ascend between heaven and earth.