Summary: A review of why Jesus needed the Holy Spirit in His life and how the Holy Spirit operated in the life of Jesus.
A week ago Thursday night when I got home from our summer Bible study, I had a small red itchy spot on my right arm. I figured that I must have gotten some kind of bug bite, so I put a little anti-itch cream on it and went to bed. By the next morning, it really didn’t look much different, but it was still itchy, so I put some more cream on it and really didn’t think about it much more.
Later that afternoon, I went to the gym for my normal workout, which that day involved lifting weights for my arms. I always enjoy arm day at the gym because when I’m done my arms feel about this big around – for about 15 minutes - and then they feel pretty normal again when the blood flow subsides. But this time my right arm stayed red and swollen. So, figuring this was just an allergic reaction to a bug bite, and that I could handle it on my own, I took some Benadryl and iced my arm and since it felt better, I figured I was on the mend.
But by Saturday morning, my arm was even redder and more swollen, so I figured I better go to the urgent care and get it checked out. What I discovered is that somehow I had developed a very serious infection in that arm that was beginning to spread pretty rapidly. And because my body was incapable of fighting off that infection on its own, the doctors immediately gave me a shot of antibiotics and put me on a regimen of oral antibiotics.
I’m glad to report that after another doctor visit on Monday, two more shots of antibiotics, a tetanus shot and the oral antibiotics, the infection now seems to be cleared up.
I am more thankful than ever for the availability of antibiotics. Without the ability to get them into my bloodstream to fight that infection, who knows what might have happened? As I was thinking about that this week, the thought that came to mind was that the Holy Spirit is a lot like those antibiotics. Although He is in me, I can’t see Him or even feel Him at work there. But without His work in my life, I would never be able live the kind of life God wants me to live on my own. I need His help.
This morning is the third of a series of messages on the Holy Spirit. Together we are learning how the Holy Spirit works in our lives and how we can tap into the power that He provides which enables us to live a godly life that glorifies Jesus.
Let’s take just a moment to review what we’ve learned so far.
We began two weeks ago, by letting Jesus introduce us to the work of the Holy Spirit in His own words. And in John 14, we discovered two important characteristics of the Holy Spirit. Can anyone remind us of those two aspects of the Holy Spirit? [Wait for answers]
1. The Holy Spirit is God
2. The Holy Spirit is a person
Then last week, we took a brief look at how the Holy Spirit operated in the Old Testament and arrived at this conclusion:
The Holy Spirit is God’s divine power
for God’s divine work
And we discovered that Holy Spirit provided that divine power by carrying out four purposes. Can anyone help remind us up what those were? [Wait for answers.]
1. He gave life
2. He revealed
3. He rebuked
4. He equipped – to serve and to represent God
You’re going to want to keep those four purposes in mind this morning as we look at how the Holy Spirit worked in the life of Jesus during His earthly ministry. When we think about that topic we might tend to wonder why Jesus needed the Holy Spirit in His life. He is, after all, God Himself. But the apostle Paul helps us to understand Jesus’ need for the Holy Spirit in His life with these familiar words:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
(Philippians 2:5-7 ESV)
Jesus did not, as some claim “give up” His deity when He put on a body of flesh and came to the earth. He still remained 100% God at the same time that He was also 100% man. But what He did do was to willingly give up His right to exercise much of the power He possessed as God in order to experience all that we are subjected to as humans. That’s why the writer of Hebrews could make this statement: