Summary: Experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit

December 26, 2020

We talk a lot about Righteousness by Faith in what God has done FOR us.

We don’t, however, spend a lot of time talking about Transformation by Faith in what God has promised to do IN us.

Paul tells us that we can have confidence because He who “began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” {Philippians 1:6 NIV}.

Great News!! However, this life is tough and full of rocks and valleys.

Have you ever been discouraged on your Christian journey?

• You really WANT to be like Jesus…

• You really WANT to be obedient…

• You really WANT to love your neighbor…

You try and fail. You try harder and fail. No matter how hard you try you always fall short.

Does God expect transformation? Yes, He does.

Does He expect obedience and holiness? Yes, He does.

• Ellen White {GC 469.2}: The followers of Christ are to become like Him--by the grace of God to form characters in harmony with the principles of His holy law. This is Bible sanctification (transformation). This work can be accomplished only through faith in Christ, by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God.

Ezekiel 11:19 - I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

It was never God’s plan for you to transform yourself by making yourself holy or obedient.

Think about this – we are surrounded by life giving air, but unless it is inside us – unless we are constantly breathing, it does us no good --- It is possible to die surrounded by air.

The same is true with food and water. You have to actually eat and drink – not just once but regularly, every day --- It is possible to die of starvation surrounded by food.

Let’s look at Jesus Example:

Luke 6:12 – One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray….

John 5:19 - Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

Jesus needed a daily infusion of the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish His mission and we have been promised that same connection --- “Morning by morning Jesus communicated with His Father and received from Him a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit”.

Understanding this, Jesus gave us these instructions:

John 6:57 - … so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.

John 4:14 - but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Just before Jesus returned to heaven, He made a promise:

Acts 1:8 - But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

The following verses assume the Holy Spirit will fill the life of a Christ follower:

Ephesians 5:18 - And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Acts 2:4 - All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 6:3 - Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom…

1 Corinthians 3:16 - Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 - Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (which is exactly what He promised to do in Ezekiel)

But we are broken and leaky vessels, so we need to be repeatedly filled. We must actively seek to be daily filled with the Holy Spirit, because we cannot experience transformational power without the Him. Unfortunately, more often than not, we treat the Holy Spirit as the ugly step child of the Godhead. We don’t take Him seriously, but He has been given an important work to do:

John 16:7-15 - But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

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