Summary: also, many other scriptures referenced in the sermon. Surrender to the Holy Spirit.
Paradigm Of Receiving The Holy Spirit.
Gal. 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
This speaks directly to all of us in this room, not only the Galatians Paul is writing to. In essence Paul is telling us this: If your spiritual rebirth was accomplished by the Holy Spirit. Then your spiritual walk is accomplished by the Holy Spirit.
If we look at this same from the translation THE MESSAGE we see:
Gal. 3:3 Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it?
Clearly only God can spiritually renew us – only God can complete us spiritually. Have you been living this way? Trying hard by your own will and power to make your Christian life work? Let’s take a short self examination: When was the last time I was lead by the Holy Spirit to act or speak? What was the last situation I couldn’t handle, but clearly God handled it? When was the last time I felt the powerful presence of the Spirit?
Those are easy questions for some of us and not so easy for others of us. We have looked at the Holy Spirit and have seen that he is sent to us to empower and equip our lives. Today as we wrap up looking at the Holy Spirit. We will look specifically at – how do I receive the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
In Galatians 3:3 Paul reminds us that it is not by human effort we strive, but by the Spirit.
In 3:2 he reminds us how we receive the Holy Spirit. Gal. 3:2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
We receive the Holy Spirit by faith. It is pretty simple – but at the same time pretty complex. Calvin tells us in his commentary on Galatians, he tells us that the meaning of receiving the Spirit here is two fold: One – In faith when we first believed. Two - In faith as the Spirit enables us to live our Christian walk. This confirms what we learned earlier, the Spirit comes within us when we turn to Christ and the Spirit comes upon us in enabling power again and again. Why is it, that w as Christians have full access to the Holy Spirit but had a hard time answering those questions I asked earlier?
Dr. Loder – Ego and the Holy Spirit. Coping with difficulty in our life. We all have difficultie and so we gradually build walls for protection around our ego. In some it is more obvious than others. This is reality.
Little kids say anything, don’t they – they are so open to the world. When I would go shopping with Spence at age three, everyone we pased by he would say, "Hi I’m Spencer, what is you name?" Many people were so taken back - who is this kid?
It is no coincidence that about majority of people come to Christ before age 18.(Poll – how many here became a Christian before age 18) I did. A lot of the reason, is because the walls of self preservation are not built up as much yet.
For us this morning we are looking at receiving the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. How we do that is by faith. Let’s see how that faith works out in our lives.
Spiritual Hunger For The Lord.
Jesus teaches that he is living water, and the people do not understand.John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
John 7:40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”
John 7:41 Others said, “He is the Christ.”
Still others asked, “How can the Christ come from Galilee?
John 7:43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.
Why did they not understand?
Verse 39 tells us: 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.
What they are to thirst for? Not water – but the Spirit. What you long for in life is not: Success, Security, Adventure, Being the best you can be, but the Spirit. Many here can testify that they have worked hard and accomplished more than they ever thought possible. But with every accomplishment, there is the realization that, that wasn’t it. We thirst for the Spirit.
In the same way In John Chapter 6, Jesus teaches that he is the bread of life, and the people do not understand. John 6:47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life.