Summary: We can't have power to our appliances unless we are plugged into an outlet. We need to be plugged into the Holy Spirit for power from on high.
Every electrical appliance you purchase comes with a trouble shooting guide. The purpose of this guide is to instruct you what to check for if the appliance is not running. The number one item is usually, “Ensure that the item is plugged into an electric outlet.” Here again, this must be a rather common problem. It’s like the story of the man who purchased a chainsaw.
A lumberjack goes into a shop and buys a chainsaw. Two weeks later he returns the chainsaw and says to the shop assistant: "2 weeks ago I bought this chainsaw and you said that it would chop down 50 trees in an hour. I can only manage 2 trees in an hour."
The shop assistant says, "Let me see", and starts the machine up. BRRRRRR!!!
The lumberjack jumps back in surprise and says "what's that noise?!?"
With many things in life we need to know how to connect with and operate them. This is also true with the Holy Spirit. Today I thought we would explore the person and the purpose of the Holy Spirit. Let’s read where the Holy Spirit is introduced to us.
John 14:17 “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”
Some very critical truths about the Holy Spirit are evident in this passage. First the Holy Spirit is declared by Jesus to be a person as opposed to an “it.” Twice we see the noun “he” and four times the pronoun “him.” The Holy Spirit is not a powerful force like in Star Wars but rather a powerful person.
When people pursue the power of the Holy Spirit rather than the relationship of the Holy Spirit, they are like Simon the Sorcerer found in Acts 8.
He had been amazing the people of Samaria for years. He was often referred to as “the Great One - the Power of God.” due to his magical tricks. When Philip arrived on the scene telling others about Jesus many become believers, including Simon the Sorcerer.
He was amazed by the signs and miracles that followed Philip.
When the word got back to Jerusalem about the Samaritan believers, Peter and John were sent to baptize them in the Holy Spirit. When Simon witnessed the power that the Holy Spirit gave he offered to buy the ability to give this power to others so that they would still marvel at him. Peter was quick to condemn him for his request and to point out that his heart was not right with God. In fact Peter informed him that he was jealous of the power of the Holy Spirit and it was jealousy that held him captive to sin.
Simon had become a believer in his mind but not in his heart. Rather than pursuing the power of the Holy Spirit he should have been pursuing the relationship with the Holy Spirit.
We are also informed that the Spirit is holy. That means He is “set apart.” When we become believers, He takes up residence in our inner being. He comes as one who is “set apart” from our flesh. When we sin He convicts, not condemns, us of those sins. He attacks our conscience in an attempt to confess our sins and repent.
Also Jesus equated the Holy Spirit to himself. Remember Jesus would say that the Father and He were one. Basically Jesus declared himself to be God in flesh. Here He declared to be the Holy Spirit. Notice He said, “He lives with you now and later will be in you.” Jesus is the one with them now. The Holy Spirit would be the one to live inside of them later. Thus we are introduced to the Holy Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Now that we know the person of the Holy Spirit, let’s discover more in detail the purpose of the Holy Spirit.
He is our Advocate.
John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.”
The word “Advocate” in the Greek is paraclete. It was translated in the King James Version as “comforter.” And in the NIV it is translated as “counselor.” But the word means much more than any of these.
The Holy Spirit does come to be our counselor; directing our judgment and conduct by giving us his holy opinion and instruction. He is also our comforter; soothing, consoling, and reassuring us in the midst of sorrow. He is there to deliver the peace beyond understanding that is offered to us. He is our advocate, pleading on our behalf when we sin. And our intercessor, pleading on our behalf when we are facing difficulty or trouble.