Title: The Gift of the Holy Spirit
Text: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:15-17)
Bible Reading: (John 14:15-19)
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
We all like to receive gifts.
Parents enjoy receiving gifts from their children and children enjoy receiving gifts from their parents.
Husbands enjoy receiving gifts from their wives and wives enjoy receiving gifts from their husbands.
All of us enjoy receiving gifts from our friends.
Employers enjoy receiving gifts from their employees and employees enjoy the gift of a turkey on Thanksgiving or a bonus for Christmas.
There are times when we give gifts to strangers and there are times when we get gifts from strangers.
But God is the greatest giver of gifts.
James declares, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
The only gifts that God bestows are good gifts.
My friends, if you have a good gift, it came from Him.
Count your many blessings today: the sunshine, the rain, the cloudy day, the bright day, the green grass, the water you drink and the air you breathe.
God gave us clean air and pure water.
It is man who has polluted it.
God gives good gifts, my friends.
God is good!
You and I don’t really understand how good He is.
Our Lord contrasted the good gifts of God with the ability of fallen men to give good gifts to their children.
He said in Matthew, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11).
The point is that even sinful men are kind to their children; therefore, how much more will your heavenly Father delight to answer your prayers.
The message today has three points.
We will see that God’s gifts are always given with the right motive, and they are always appropriate.
And the final point is that we need to recognize and appreciate God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.
I want to say first that GOD ALWAYS GIVES HIS GOOD GIFTS WITH THE RIGHT MOTIVE.
All of us have received a gift at some time, which did not come with the highest motives.
But when God gives a gift, it is always with the proper motive.
I can say that, because God’s gifts come to us as an expression of His love.
Consider His greatest gift; His Son.
Our sin was not enough to put Jesus on the cross.
It took more than that.
It took God’s great love for us to nail Him to that rough wooden cross.
There isn’t a greater verse in the Bible than this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Here we have the gospel in a nutshell.
It’s the love of God shown in action.
(1) The source of love—God.
(2) The extent of love—the world.
(3) The sacrifice of love—He gave his only begotten Son.
(4) The results of love—whosoever believeth in him should not perish.
Jesus was God’s love gift to us.
God’s gifts are not substitutes for His love.
Instead they are the expression of His love.
They never come as a payment or as a bribe, because God doesn’t owe us anything, and there is nothing that we have that God needs.
God’s gifts are also an indication of His hope for us.
We should recognize His gifts as a declaration of our worth.
And that His gifts come to us as an expression of His divine confidence in us.
Let me ask you a question.
How much are you worth to God?
You are worth the blood of His only Son, because that is what He paid for you.
So never think that you are not worth much.
You are so valuable that God’s word declares that no one can snatch you out of His hand.
God has made you a place in heaven where you will spend eternity with Him.
He has even placed His Spirit inside of you to help you and guide you through life.
Here’s something wonderful.
God’s gifts to us are always chosen by His wisdom.
Since that’s the case, there are three things that we can say about His gifts.
First, God’s gifts are practical.
They are for us specifically, and for no one else.
God knows what we need even better than we do, and He supplies our needs with His gifts.
The prophet Joel knew that God gives practical gifts.
He said, “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23).
Israel needed rain or they would suffer, so God sent the rain and they had an abundant harvest.
In this way, He showed His people that He is Jehovah their God, and that there is no other God than He, and that He will protect His people.
Second, God’s gifts are good.
We know how to give good gifts to our children, so just imagine how much God enjoys giving us what we ask for in prayer.
He is our heavenly Father and we are His dear children.
He loves us so much that He won’t give us anything that would be harmful, so we can trust that everything He gives us is for our good.
We receive these good gifts from God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
It says in Romans, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13).
Third, God’s gifts are helpful.
They help us to live the Christian life, and to love others, and to understand His teachings, and to serve Him.
And Paul wrote this in his letter to the Ephesians, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17).
What Paul is saying is that God will give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation.
That’s the Holy Spirit He is talking about.
Revelation has to do with new truths.
The Holy Spirit knows the deep things of God, and He is our teacher.
You and I need much more than reason and research; we need a revelation from God.
The second point to the message is that GOD’S GOOD GIFTS ARE ALWAYS APPROPRIATE.
Someone made this remark about a gift of money, which came in the form of greenbacks, “The color of the gift is always appropriate.”
God’s gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit is for each believer.
It is undeserved, and it doesn’t come with an expression of gratitude or as payment for services rendered to our heavenly Father.
The Holy Spirit is given at the moment that a person is saved.
It is appropriate that we receive God’s Spirit at that time, because that’s when we are baptized into the body of believers, which is His church.
And from that point on, the Holy Spirit serves the Christian in many, wonderful ways.
There are four points concerning the great value of the Holy Spirit that I want to make this morning.
The first point is that the Holy Spirit is a gift of unknown value, for the recipient, at first.
The value of this gift, to the new believer, is far beyond anything he or she could possibly hope for.
To begin with, we are sealed by Him until we go to be with the Lord.
It says in 2 Corinthians, “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
The sealing of the Holy Spirit has a threefold significance for us: (1) to show that we are owned by God, (2) to indicate the realness of our new relationship with Jesus Christ; and (3) to keep us safe.
Satan can no longer harm us and sin can no longer dominate us, due to the presence of God’s Spirit within.
And He becomes our Helper.
He helps us when we pray.
And when we read the Bible, He helps understand what we have read.
He makes our conscience aware of sin and temptation that is all around us, and He helps us resist sin and Satan.
So much of this happens without our knowledge.
The Holy Spirit has a ministry to all believers, but it is hard for us to recognize what He is doing.
That is especially true for new believers.
The Holy Spirit may be a gift of unknown value at first, but it is also a gift of unsuspected value to everyone.
Not a single person who receives this gift from God has any idea before receiving it of its significance to them.
We may not even be aware that we have received this gift.
There isn’t much preaching about the Holy Spirit in our churches today.
Christians may know that He is the third person of the Trinity, but that’s all.
And unless they read their Bible, they may never know.
But for the child of God, who cooperates with the Holy Spirit, we will receive from Him abundantly more than we could believe is possible.
Paul wrote this to the church at Ephesus, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever” (Ephesians 3:20-22).
Why should we hesitate to ask God anything?
The verse says, He is able.
We can be confident that through the Holy Spirit, that He is very able to help us, even above and beyond all that we might ask.
David said, “My cup runneth over” (Ps 23:5), and we can say, “He brought me to a place of joy, and He put a banner above my head on which He has written love.
Our greatest desires are not beyond God’s power to grant.
The same power that raised Christ from the dead has saved us and is now present in us.
The next point is that the Holy Spirit is a gift of undiscovered value to most believers.
Have you ever received a gift, and you didn’t understand its value or know its significance?
This is true in every instance concerning the gift of the Holy Spirit.
God said, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11).
What this means is that we can’t know the truth of God through human understanding.
The Holy Spirit must illuminate our minds for us to truly understand it.
Next, I want to say that the Holy Spirit is a gift of unappreciated value to most believers.
How long has it been since you have expressed sincere gratitude and thanksgiving to God for His gift of the living presence of the Holy Spirit?
There are 6 ways in which this precious gift is valuable to the believer.
This gift is of great practical value.
For example, the Spirit helps us when we are sick.
The great comfort that we have during this period of waiting for the Lord’s return is the presence of the Holy Spirit.
He is the One who helps us when we have physical, spiritual or emotional problems.
He also makes intercession for us.
God the Son, who sits at the right hand of God the Father intercedes for us and so does God the Spirit who dwells within the believer.
This gift can have great sentimental value.
Those who are led by God’s Spirit are indeed God’s children.
Believers are God’s children and they are His heirs because they have been adopted into the family of God.
God’s children also enjoy security through their relationship with Him.
And they enjoy intimacy with Him through their position of son’s and daughters.
This gift can have great emotional value.
James 4:5 says, “The Spirit that dwells in us lusts jealously.”
James is speaking of divine jealousy.
He indwells us or has made His residence in us, so His presence is not temporary.
And He increases our love for God as He works the process of sanctification in our lives.
This gift can have great spiritual value.
Some of the last words that Jesus spoke, as He was taken back up into heaven were, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”
The power to which He referred was not political, but spiritual.
When the Holy Ghost came upon the disciples they would be clothed with heavenly power.
Just as Jesus had been anointed at His baptism with the Holy Spirit and power, so now His disciples (you and I) will share in that anointing.
This gift has great teaching value.
The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us wisdom and revelation.
The Ephesians were the recipients of God’s revelation, and they had knowledge of spiritual truths.
The Holy Spirit knows the deep things of God, and He is our teacher.
Man needs much more than reason and research; he needs a revelation from God, and we all need a fuller knowledge of Christ.
This gift has great permanent value.
The Holy Spirit is always indwelling the believer.
He never leaves us until we leave this world to go into the presence of Christ.
However, we are warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit is a very sensitive person.
Paul said, “Stop having the habit of offending the Holy Spirit by rebellious deeds and grievous words.” Paul also added, “Whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
We are sealed with God’s stamp, marking you as God’s purchased possession.
The third and last statement is this, WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE AND APPRECIATE GOD’S GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The Holy Spirit is God’s gift.
God doesn’t give us this gift because of our hard work.
And He is not a prize that can be won.
Rather, God places His Spirit inside us, when we believe the gospel of salvation.
The Holy Spirit is not a property that can be purchased.
If He was, then He would only be available to the wealthy, because the price would be very high.
And we cannot steal the Holy Spirit like we could some great treasure.
The Holy Spirit is given to the believer, and this gift can not be obtained by anything we do.
But the sad thing is that some Christians put this gift away in the closet.
They never mention it and they never take it out and use it.
So they waste God’s gift.
They never accomplish much for the Lord, and there is not the joy in their life that they ought to have.
Friends, the Holy Spirit is a gift from God to every believer.
First, it is a gift for the present.
It is not something that we must look forward to getting after years of living the Christian life.
I am thankful that God gives the Holy Spirit to all His children.
Second, the Holy Spirit is given to us for a purpose.
He is here to instruct, guide and to give us power from on high.
Everything we do for God must be done by the power of His Spirit, because those things that we do in the flesh are not accepted by God.
Third, the Holy Spirit is a powerful gift.
He was God’s agent in creation.
The same Spirit that created all things is in us.
That’s the type of power that is available to every believer.
No wonder Paul could say, “I can do all things through Christ.”
Forth, the Holy Spirit is a precious gift.
He is so precious, because we know that God doesn’t hate us, He is not angry at us.
If He can give us anything, we know that He loves us.
But He has given us the very best.
He gave us Himself.
He has done that twice.
He gave us His only begotten Son, and He has given us His Holy Spirit.
Does He need to give us any more in order to show how much He loves us?
Fifth, the Holy Spirit is a personal gift.
He is given directly to you by God himself.
Everything that takes place when you are saved happens between God and you; no one else is involved.
Oh, there may have been those who prayed for you, and you may have heard the gospel from the lips of a preacher.
But, it comes down to just you and Jesus.
Both salvation and the Holy Spirit are a personal gift.
It is interesting to see all the ways in which the gift of the Holy Spirit is described in the various Bible translations.
Listen to John 14:16 as I read the verse from the King James Bible, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”
The way in which this verse has been translated is a key to understanding the significance of this great gift that God has given us.
In the King James, the Holy Spirit is called the “Comforter.”
He is called “Advocate” in the North American Bible, “Helper” in the New Century Bible and the New King James, and “Counselor” in the Revised Standard Version.
The Holy Spirit is all of these.
God gave the gift of His Son, who came to die for us.
He has also given us the gift of His Spirit to live within us and to work the works of God so that we might be delivered from the power of sin.
If you are not yet a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit invites you to come to Him, so that you might receive the gift of forgiveness, and the gift of eternal life.
If you have already received Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit is a gift you should recognize, appreciate, and respond to fully.