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!