Summary: Without the Holy Spirit, the Christian life is impossible. Unless the Holy Spirit is present and doing His work, nobody can be born again, grow in Christlikeness, or accomplish the mission of Jesus. In this sermon, we learn how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
A. In the Spring of last year, I preached a series on hope in the promises of God.
1. One of God’s promises that I covered in that series is: we have a helper who empowers us – the Holy Spirit.
2. I want to open this sermon with the same story I opened that sermon with because I like it and it makes me laugh.
B. The Apostles’ Creed is an early statement of Christian belief that has been embraced by many Christians over the years.
1. There is a story told about a children’s catechism class that was learning the Apostles Creed.
2. Each child in the class had been assigned a sentence from the creed to recite and one day the class was going through the recitation of the creed with each child saying their part.
3. The first one said, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”
4. The second child said, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.”
5. Then, after a number of other children followed with their additional statements about Jesus (His virgin birth, death and resurrection), there was an awkward silence.
6. Everyone waited for the next line of the creed to be recited: “I believe in the Holy Spirit.”
7. Finally, one of the children said, “Teacher, the boy who believes in the Holy Spirit isn’t here.”
C. I hope that everyone who is here today and everyone who is watching at home are people who believe in the Holy Spirit. Amen!
1. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we believe that there is one God in three persons– the Father Almighty, Jesus Christ, His only Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. And today, as we return to our series on discipleship, I want us to focus on this important essential of discipleship: disciples of Jesus are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
D. Before we focus in on the essential role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a disciple, let’s review.
1. In our series on discipleship, we have covered lots of the basics of discipleship, including:
a. The Call: A disciple of Jesus is someone who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and is committed to the mission of Jesus.
b. The Cost: The cost of discipleship is everything we are and everything we have.
c. The Command: The command of discipleship is to make disciples who make disciples.
2. Next in our series, we explored the stages of discipleship that starts with a person being spiritually dead, then moves them through being an infant, child, young adult, and finally a spiritual parent.
3. Then we discussed the completeness of discipleship showing that our relationship with God must impact all the spheres of our lives: our relationships with God, the church, our family, and the world.
4. Since then, we have been talking about the essentials of discipleship and have focused on the place of love, Jesus, the Bible, and prayer in the life of a disciple of Jesus.
E. Today, we add the essential of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a disciple.
1. The Holy Spirit is sometimes called the neglected person of the Trinity – Francis Chan titled his book on the Holy Spirit - “The Forgotten God.”
2. But the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit isn’t just an add-on to the Christian life, rather the Holy Spirit is essential.
3. Without the Holy Spirit, the Christian life is impossible.
4. Unless the Holy Spirit is present and doing His work, nobody can be born again or grow in Christlikeness.
5. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, we cannot accomplish the mission of Jesus.
6. Attempting to live the Christian life without the supernatural assistance of the Holy Spirit, is like trying to begin a cross-country road trip without any gasoline in the tank.
F. One of the important things we need to understand about the way the Holy Spirit works, is that He works in the background, and doesn’t seek to bring attention to Himself.
1. Jesus explained this to His disciples when He said: 12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” (Jn. 16:12-14).
2. In a book called Your Father Loves You, James Packer compares the work of the Holy Spirit to a floodlight illuminating the exterior of a building.
a. If it’s done right, the floodlight calls no attention to itself and you might not even be aware of the source of the light.