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Summary: God’s Promise of Counsel – The Holy Spirit in Christmas

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Sermon Series: God’s Promises to YOU at Christmas

Today’s Message: God’s Promise of Counsel

Text: Isaiah 9:6; John 14:15-18; Luke 1:31-38 (NIV)

Pastor Ken December 3, 2006

Edited by Dale Weaver

(6) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called,

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace (Is. 9-NIV)

(15) If you love me, you will obey what I commanded. (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. (18) I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14-NIV)

(31) You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. (32) He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give him the throne of his father David, (33) and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, his Kingdom will never end. (34) “How will this be”, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (35) The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:31-35-NIV)

Sermons are like people: each unique with an altogether different personality. Isaiah understood this truth. He offered a wonderful and forward-looking “glimpse” of what the babe of Bethlehem would look like. Not a glimpse like we usually think of that word -- focused on physical features -- but rather one categorized within spiritual frameworks: Wonderful Counselor; Mighty God; Everlasting Father; Prince of Peace.

Each message in this series will offer you a glimpse of what Isaiah had in mind that day when he foretold the coming of the Child of Bethlehem, our Sin-Bearer and King. Jesus was the anticipated “Wonderful Counselor” for certain, but He also paved the way for “Another Helper.” Jesus opened the way for a helper to be sent to us, to live within us, to work his will through us, to manifest his glory through us and to reveal his truth to us.

God’s Solution-God’s Comfort

(1) STUDY the Spirit -- Yes!

EXPERIENCE the Spirit -- By all Means!

(6b) And He will be called, Wonderful Counselor…

This Christmas I want to go beyond just trying to get through or doing my best. I want to experience Jesus Christ in all the fullness of depth, passion and peace for this season. Yet, all too often -- and I am sure that I am not the only one who feels this way -- the season of joy is anything but joyful! Do you know that there is more to the Christian life than church meetings, periodic ministry activities and a part-time devotion to God?

Are you trying to live the Christian life based on discipline and determination? If so, that’s a guaranteed failure! Besides, who wants to attempt to “white-knuckle” their way thru their Christian life? Or maybe your motto is, “Well, no one is perfect and besides… God will understand! Wow -- what a winner of a testimony that is! Does an outsider looking at your life see a marked difference in your ethics, relationships, health, kids, and overall satisfaction with life?

As Christians, God offers us a life that is relevant and attractive exactly because it offers hope. We don’t have to buy into the status quo! I wonder if one of the reasons that more people don’t want anything to do with Jesus Christ or His church is because they… maybe know too many Christians? Ouch!

If the Christian life is simply about doing our best, to the best of our abilities, then why would God ever want to send another Helper? Are you trying to live the Christian life on your own steam? Keeping up the image of a Christian life can be an all-encompassing effort and exhausting to say the least. Are you presenting the world a seemingly polished Christian on the outside, while you are actually an empty and insecure slave on the inside?

If the above sounds familiar, perhaps it is because you are, at least functionally, serving a 2/3 God! That’s right – maybe you have acknowledged the Godhead of God the Father, and even experienced salvation through Jesus Christ his son but have not yet fully experienced the other 1/3 of this awesome God!

I am convinced that this awesome God – who Jesus called the Holy Spirit in John 14:15-18 -- desires to do so much more with us than that which is presently going on in our lives!

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