Summary: Today we will continue to be challenged and reminded of who the Holy Spirit is! Do we as the people of God know that we are not to do life without Him? We can do so many nice and moral activities in this life, but perhaps the deeper call is to move from
Opener: I would like to begin today’s sermon by talking about the person and the working space of the Holy Spirit…He is a person…He is seeking to do a work in our lives and our congregation…but just like anyone else…He is ignorable! So let’s do our best to try and listen to him as we walk through today’s text!
One of my favourite books on the Holy Spirit if from Gordon Fee who presently teaches at Regent College in Vancouver. The book is called “God’s Empowering Presence” and it highlights the presence of the Holy Spirit in the writings of the Apostle Paul. This book is big…but it is worth every buck that you will spend on it!
Here are some of the things that Fee says about the Holy Spirit….
“For Paul Christian life not only begins by means of the Spirit; the whole of Christian life is a matter of Spirit. In the kingdom of God not only righteousness but also peace and joy are effected by the Spirit (Rom. 14:17). In Galatians 3:3, Paul asked rhetorically (about their conversion), “having made a beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now hoping to be made complete in the flesh?” The expected reply is “Of course not!” One must finish in the same way as one began, through the empowering and appropriating work of the Spirit. Thus the Spirit is as central to Paul’s understanding of all of the ongoing Christian life, including ethical life, as it is to conversion itself.” (p. 876)
Now let’s listen to what Dr. Luke has to say about the Spirit…it’s interesting to note that Luke’s gospel is the one that quotes the Holy Spirit the most times…so it comes as no surprise that in the book of Acts, Luke talks about the Holy Spirit 57 times!
Let’s reflect on the 3 following characteristics of the Holy Spirit as we walk through today’s text…
1) He is a presence that works wonders (vv. 1-10)
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
The Holy Spirit does miracles. Look at the ministry of Jesus. Look at the ministry of the early church in the book of Acts…the HS was empowering the people of God to do signs and wonders…have you seen any lately? I’d love to hear you testify!
· Let’s share some stories of the HS working wonders in our midst…
· I’d like to share an e-mail from Stephen Hunt…(with permission)….
And when we talk about the HS working wonders, it doesn’t always have be the “lame man walking” miracles like this one in chapter 3…let’s talk about the mundane miracles as well! Because nothing is small or insignificant in the Kingdom of God…so let’s talk about signs and wonders…like everytime a baby is born in our midst it’s a sign and wonder of God’s grace and wonder. Every time you and I wake up in the morning and breathe the breath of life…but there are also the active miracles that we are called to do. Think about Peter and John…they had probably seen this beggar at the gate at other times on their way to worship…but for some reason, on this particular occasion, the HS inspired them to have the faith to reach out to this man…they didn’t heal everyone…but at this particular moment in time they were called to do this miracle. Just like Peter and John we are called to be life givers…not necessarily resource givers…but life-givers…how can we speak words of life to those who are sick, depressed, wounded, grieving and in need of relief? God is not calling us to go out and fix everyone…but God, by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and by faith in the name of Jesus is calling us to work wonders…and when we step out in faith and work these wonders by HIS power we will find that the Holy Spirit will not only be a presence that does the miracle, but He will be a presence that prompts us to speak about the miracle…