Summary: Part 5 of series God in Five Weeks, on the Trinity. Dave discusses where the Holy Spirit comes from, what the Spirit does, and encourages listeners to commit fully to God and receive the Holy Spirit.
Be Filled With the Spirit
Part 5 of series “God in Five Weeks”
Wildwind Community Church
Ernest T. Campbell tells the story of an Anglican bishop who was asked to preach at a Christian conference in England. For many weeks he did not respond to the invitation. Finally, the corresponding secretary for the conference wrote this insistent note: He said, "We must know if you are coming. We need to make our plans." The bishop wrote back that he was waiting for the guidance of the Holy Spirit on the matter, and he would let them know his decision in four weeks. An exasperated secretary fired back this letter: "Bishop, please don’t bother. Cancel the invitation. We are not interested in having anyone speak at our conference who lives four weeks away from the Holy Spirit." I hope this morning we can all move closer than four weeks away from the Holy Spirit.
Today we reach the end of our series on The Trinity. I do hope you have come to a deeper appreciation already for the mystery of God. Although we cannot understand the Trinity, we can understand that God IS Trinity and thereby believe more specifically and worship more reverently. Let’s look more closely at the Holy Spirit today.
Where does the Holy Spirit come from? I made it clear a few weeks ago that everything begins with God. God is the prime-mover as I said. He is the initiator, the one who put the gears of the universe into motion, who put the plan together to draw us close to him and allow a relationship between us and God to be possible. God the Father came up with this plan, and God the Son took human form and came to this world to work the plan. So where does the Spirit fall into all of this?
In John 14 Jesus says…
John 14:15-17 (NIV)
15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--
17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
So the answer to our question of where the Holy Spirit comes from is that the Spirit, like the Son, comes from the Father. Both the Son and the Spirit owe their existence to the Father. Again, remember, it is not that the Father created them in any sense – they are equally God and they are co-eternal with the Father. But in some mystical sense, they derive their existence from him. He is the eternal first-cause. But the Son and Spirit are eternal as well, so although they derive their existence from the Father, the Father did not create them. Yes, it’s mysterious. That’s Trinity for you.
Now let’s spend some time dealing with how the Holy Spirit interacts with human beings. Remember a few weeks ago I said that we can’t learn about the persons of the Trinity by studying them separately? In order to answer the question how does the Holy Spirit interact with human beings, we have to start with the Father and the Son. Jesus said:
Matthew 11:27 (BBE)
27 All things have been given to me by my Father; and no one has knowledge of the Son, but the Father; and no one has knowledge of the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will make it clear.
So everything the Son has – all his knowledge, everything he teaches, all his authority – everything has been given to Him by the Father. Now we come to the Spirit. In John, Jesus says:
John 16:12-15 (NIV)
12 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.
15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
Isn’t that fascinating? In Matthew we learn that the Father has given everything to the Son. Here in John, we learn that the Spirit will take what the Son has (that the Son got from the Father!) and make it known to us. So the major role of the Holy Spirit is making the Son known to us. And what was the Son’s major role?