Summary: The Holy Spirit calls us, gathers us, enlightens us, and sanctifies us as we continue in our journey of faith. Based on Ron Lavin’s book “I Believe, Help My Unbelief; Another Look at the Apostle’s Creed”
“I Believe in the Holy Spirit”
I Believe, Help My Unbelief Series ~ John 14:15-26
April 6, 2003
Purpose: The Holy Spirit calls us, gathers us, enlightens us, and sanctifies us as we continue in our journey of faith. Based on Ron Lavin’s book “I Believe, Help My Unbelief; Another Look at the Apostle’s Creed”
INTRODUCTION – The Pentecostal Holler
Illustration – attending a Pentecostal service – raise hand – yell “Praise the Lord” “Hallelujah” “Amen” “mmmm-hmmm” This last one is used when the pastor says something really insightful.
What’s with the strange looks?
When you just mention the very word Holy Ghost in a conservative, white middle class churches
- people begin to get uptight, worried, even concerned ;-)
- I mean I feel like I should give a viewer’s warning on today’s sermon - “Today’s sermon may not be appropriate for some viewers…”
- “But pastor - we don’t want that Holy Ghost stuff here in our church” - we don’t believe in that
kind of thing…” - It is amazing how much we in the mainstream churches today deny the existence of the HS
- REALLY???? – Does anyone have any idea of what the Victory Classes were??? the same
ones that were started in this area in the 1870’s by founders of this same church? - Let me tell you…they were radical, revival-style, camp meetings that often lasted for hours if not days on end, worshipping and praising God, especially in the Spirit. Preaching would last for hours taken up by anyone who had a Word from God. Communion would be served at every meeting. And it was not rare, but common, to have Victory Class meetings with people shouting, dancing, failing, and the like…it could have happened even in this sanctuary.
- But we as a cultured community have gone away from that…away from this Spirit stuff.
Illustration - I’ve been accepted as a contributor to a web sermon study program called sermon central.org
- out of the 50,000 sermons listed on this sight only a few hundred deal with the HS
- you’d think close to a third since holy spirit third person of the trinity
- What is it about the Holy Spirit that makes us squirm in our seats
- Do we really believe what we recite the apostle’s creed that I believe in the Holy Spirit
- Do we believe the Holy Spirit is intended for us or is it some optional activity of Pentecost that was given to those other kinds of churches
- Do we believe the HS is the third person of the trinity or some lesser being and one we aren’t too
sure we believe in - one we aren’t to sure we want in our life - one we are afraid of it, afraid
that to really believe it would mean we would lose control and that’s something we don’t
want to give up – We believe, but our disbelief is also present.
Yet the HS is nothing new to the Bible even beyond Acts 2 …
In Genesis 1:2, it hovered over the waters.
In Psalm 51:11, David pleaded that the Spirit not be taken away from him.
In Micah 3:8, the prophet proclaimed that he was filled with power with the Spirit
In Matthew 1:18, the Holy Spirit went into the baby-making business with the Mother Mary
In Luke 3:16, John the Baptist tells the world that while he only baptizes with water, another is coming who will baptize in the Spirit.
In Luke 3:22, the Spirit descended like a dove as Jesus was baptized.
And the list could go on…
Martin Luther said, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith, even as He calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith….” (p.142)
The Holy Spirit can be so much more than we often allow it to be….
In this passage of John we read this morning…
Jesus promises that an Advocate, a Helper, a Comforter would come so that we wouldn’t be left alone. It’s interesting to note, that this society is just as fearful of being alone as any other. We have more gizmos and gadgets than any generation before us, all of them intended to keep us in touch with one another. Say “not alone! Praise the Lord”
Jesus said in this passage that, although he would be leaving us, those who love him and follow his commandments will never die… “Because I live, you shall live also.” but continually live in God’s presence. “If anyone loves Me, they will keep My word; and my Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them.” –Say “permanent house guests. Hallelujah.”