Summary: Week 29 of 32. This week we look at the Holy Spirit. Inspired by randy Frazee and Max Lucado.
The Story - 29
May 8, 2011
Holy . . . ?
For Easter I wrote 2 sermons, but only gave one, yet, today’s message was much more difficult to write. This was the longest chapter in The Story, but basically what I’m going to talk about occurs in the first few pages of the chapter. When I go over this section from the middle of Acts, I’m struck over and over and over again by what’s happening.
When I read Paul’s letters, I marvel at what he’s doing and how he’s doing it. It’s remarkable, it’s crazy, it’s not normal; in fact it’s really so much more than that, but more often than not, we hear it, then dismiss it, because you see — what’s happening is supernatural . . . it’s the advent of the Holy Spirit.
Let me share with you some scriptures from The Story — they’re scattered on the first few pages, so it might be hard to move along with me.
2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, THE HOLY SPIRIT SAID, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. 4 The two of them, SENT ON THEIR WAY BY THE HOLY SPIRIT,
9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, looked straight at Elymas and said,
46 Then Paul and Barnabas ANSWERED THEM BOLDLY:
52 And the disciples were FILLED WITH JOY AND WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.’’ Acts 13
3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time in Iconium, SPEAKING BOLDLY FOR THE LORD, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. Acts 14
23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were PRAYING AND SINGING HYMNS TO GOD, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16
The common ingredient, maybe we can call it the secret ingredient, or maybe more accurately the hidden ingredient is the Holy Spirit. And that’s what I want to talk about today. Last Sunday we took a look at the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and the inception of the church and what that means and our call to be part of that movement called the church.
You see, the church could not be the church without the Spirit of God. If it was just the Father and Son, that would be great, but when Jesus ascended to heaven, we’d be on our own. No helper, no advocate, no counselor, no healer, no convicter of sin, no sanctifier. We’d be more lost than we already are. So, the story of the church must begin with the HS. The story of the church began with full force at Pentecost; and it continues today.
Nothing of God happens without the HS. Because the HS is the presence of God. The HS is one aspect of God, which of course leads us to talk about the Trinity, but we’re not going to dive into that today, but suffice it to know, to trust and to believe, even if you don’t fully grasp it, that the trinity simply means we have one God, but 3 essences or persons within that one God ... Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Pastor and theologian John Stott wrote, “As a body without breath is a corpse, so the church without the HS is dead.” That’s a great statement, because we need to grasp that we can’t be the church without the HS. The HS gives life, not just eternal life for some distant day, but we gain life today, because and don’t just think about it, but take it in, take a big drink of what I’m about to tell you, and most of you will already know it, but feel it, experience it, and certainly don’t take this for granted . . .
When you profess faith, admit you believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit supernaturally comes into you. Most of the time, you don’t really feel it, some may have a bodily experience, most don’t, but that doesn’t limit the HS . . . and that is why Christ ascended to heaven . . . so that the HS could come upon each and every person who believes in Him. So, and this is the great news folks,
We now have God living within us. Do you hear that, God living in you, God living in me!! It should lead us to do incredible acts of kindness and service. It should overwhelm us to the point of daily tears of joy and gratitude because the Creator of the universe is living within us. And as I said, the HS doesn’t just come to give us eternal life, but to give us life today.