Summary: Answers the questions: What does the Holy Spirit do? Is there an unpardonable sin?
*ILL>In 1954, Theodore Seuss Giesel (known to most of us as simply "Dr. Seuss") wrote his first children’s poem, Horton Hears A Who, in which Horton, an elephant, on the 15th of May in the Jungle of Nool, hears a small speck of dust talking to him. It turns out the speck of dust is actually a tiny planet, home to a city called Who-ville, inhabited by microscopic-sized inhabitants known as WHOs. Horton can’t see them, but he can hear the WHOs speak because of his gigantic elephant ears. The WHOs ask Horton to protect them from harm, to which Horton happily obliges, proclaiming that "a person’s a person, no matter how small." (As an aside, that phrase became popular in recent years with pro-life groups, proclaiming that unborn children are still persons, no matter how small, no matter that they’re unseen.)
*ILL>In contrast, in the 60’s sitcom, The Adams Family, one of the characters is Cousin Itt, a furry little being, covered with wooly hair and who waddles around, wearing some sort of crazy hat that fits the theme of that particular episode, and speaks jibberish, his favorite phrase being, "Jibbity-Hibbity-eepie-eppy-beep-beep-beep!"
Today, our focus is on the Holy Spirit, and we begin with our understanding that we should never refer to Him as "it," because He is, in fact, a WHO.
I invite you to open your Bible and turn to John 15.
In this first message in the series, Pursuing Answers, we’re looking to answer the two most-asked questions from our recent survey participants:
What does the Holy Spirit do?
Is there an unpardonable sin?
The two questions are closely related because the unpardonable sin (yes, there is one) is directly linked to how we respond to the Holy Spirit.
So our focus is in three areas:
Who is the Holy Spirit?
What does He do?
How can we respond to Him?
A. Who is the Holy Spirit?
John 4:24 -- God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
He is God invisible, the power of God and presence of God.
He is the third Person-ality of the Trinity.
He is the Writer of Scripture, the revealer of truth, the giver of spiritual gifts.
He was present and was an agent in creation, brooding over the waters.
And He is ever-present within every believer.
B. What Does He Do?
1) HE REVEALS AND CONVICTS.
<>He reveals the majesty and Divinity of Jesus.
John 15:26 -- When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
*ILL>The attractiveness of most buildings are enhanced by floodlights. When floodlights are placed rightly you don’t ever see them, because you’re not supposed to see them or where the light is coming from. Instead, they are there to focus your eye on the building or landscaping they are there to bring attention to.
It’s the same way with the Holy Spirit.
His focus and mission is always the same: to bring attention and glory to Jesus, to bring our focus to Jesus, and never to the Holy Spirit Himself.
<>He reveals to us the depravity and severity of our sin.
After making us aware of the purity and Divine nature of Jesus, He makes us immediately and simultaneously aware of and convicts us of our own sinfulness.
You see, no one can ever be "saved" from the penalty of their sin until he/she first realizes that he/she has indeed sinned, and he/she is lost, separated from any fellowship with God.
2) HE DRAWS US TO THE GOSPEL AND URGES US TO RESPOND.
1 Thessalonians 1:5 -- For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction;
He "woos" us / draws us to the truth of the gospel and urges us to respond to it.
He opens our eyes to the truth that Jesus really is Who He says He is...the only way to the Father.
3) HE RECREATES AND RESTORES US TO A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER.
<>It is by the Spirit and through the Spirit that we are born again, re-created, made alive in the Spirit.
John 3:5 -- Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water (physical birth, as when a woman’s water breaks as she’s about to give birth to a child) and the Spirit (spiritually being born again) he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 -- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
<>It is by the Spirit and through the Spirit that we are restored to a right relationship with the Father.