Summary: The role of the Spirit in our relationship With God
How to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Pentecost 2007
Relationship through the Spirit
Intro – Acts 1:1-5, 2:1-13
Jesus says, “Don’t do a thing until the Spirit comes.”
Why is the Spirit so important?
What does the Spirit have to do with our relationship with God?
Three ways of relating to God
Law – following the rules
Older Brother (Luke 15:11)
Woman quoted from Wm. S. Barry – “In my time we wanted to be on the right side of Him, but we didn’t want to get too close.”
Sin – rebelling against the rules
“Sinners” – true rebellion – Andy at Laurel Steel – sinning as a way to get back at God for letting his mother die the way she did.
Some people live this lifestyle out of anger, like Andy, some because they have been convinced that sin is a way to true life:
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind controlled by the sinful nature is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. The sinful mind is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” Romans 8:5-8
Both these ways of relating to God live with a feeling of condemnation (or possibly arrogance) you either feel condemned because you are doing your best, but never quite measuring up, never truly felling the love of God, or you feel condemned because you are living a condemnable lifestyle!
But there is a better way – the way of the Spirit – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
The Holy Spirit – loved children of the Father
Jesus’ death does for us that which our obedience cannot do:
For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful humanity to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in human flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4
Relating to God by the Spirit beats out both of these other ways of relating to God:
The Spirit Is Better Than Sin:
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. Romans 8”9-14
Sin eventually brings death – in ourselves and in the one we sin against, but the Spirit brings life!
The Spirit Is Better Than Law
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:15-17
When we only relate to God through the law, we feel like a slave – like the older brother, and we are always in fear of offending the slave-master.
The Holy Spirit with in us reminds us that we are not Slaves, but we are well loved, adopted children.
We no longer come into God’s presence with our head hung low because we do not match up with the law, or with a hateful sneer because we are rebelling against the law, But we can come into his presence with our heads held high looking into the loving eyes of our Father.