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Summary: “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” Jn. 14:21.

Theme: The Holy Spirit is Christ’s gift to the Church

Text: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; 1 Pet. 3:15-18; John 14:15-21

The word Church does not refer to a physical building composed of wood and stone. It refers to the building of God composed of believers as living stones. It is the Holy Spirit who makes believers living stones and without the Holy Spirit there can be no living Church as it is the Holy Spirit that gives it life. A Church without life - that is without the Holy Spirit - is like a radio without batteries or without a connection to electricity. It could not serve any meaningful purpose, as you would not be able to listen to it. It would only serve as a mere decoration. There is a story of a young man who left home to live on his own. The first thing he did was to buy a refrigerator and stock it up with all his favourite drinks and food. The next morning he opened it and reached for a drink. It was warm and looking in saw that all his favourite food was spoilt. He was really annoyed and called the store to complain. “Just open the door and see whether the light comes on?” the store assistant asked politely. “No it does not” he angrily replied. “Put your ear up close to the fridge and tell me if you can hear the hum of the motor,” the assistant again asked politely? “No” he again replied angrily. “Go to the back and look for the cord and see if it’s plugged into the energy source?” The man realised he had not plugged in the cord and after a long pause he came back to the phone and said “considering the amount I paid for the fridge it should have worked anyway.” The Church without the Holy Spirit is like a fridge without electricity or radio without batteries or electricity. It does not really matter how nice or how expensive the appliance may be it will not work unless it is connected to an energy source. The same is true about our Spiritual Life. Unless we are connected to the Holy Spirit and His power, our Christian life just won’t achieve anything. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers the Church and without Him our lives would seem senseless and empty and fulfil no purpose, least of all please God. God knows how much we need a helper and the Holy Spirit is God’s gift to the Church.

Christ did not save us and then leave us alone as orphans. He gave us all that was necessary for a successful and victorious spiritual life. He gave us the Holy Spirit. It is only as we are empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit that we will produce what our lives were supposed to produce. The Holy Spirit is God’s precious gift to the Church and indwells every believer the moment he or she receives Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. The Holy Spirit is an integral part of the Church and His presence identifies believers as genuine children of God. The body of a child of God becomes a temple for the Holy Spirit who is the evidence of God’s seal of ownership on our lives. He testifies that we no longer belong to ourselves, but that our lives have been given over to God. This means that anyone contending with us is actually contending with God.

The Holy Spirit is God’s supernatural gift to give life to the believer. He is the heart and soul of the Christian faith and the victorious Christian life, and with no connection to Him we will continue to experience defeat after defeat. The Christian life is a supernatural life. It is the life of Christ lived out in every believer by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit who should guide everything we say and do. Many believers are not enjoying the supernatural life because they continue living in the flesh and not in the spirit. It is very easy to distinguish a true disciple of Christ from the people of the world. This is because the true disciple keeps Christ’s word. The keeping of God’s Word is the supreme distinguishing feature, which marks out the disciple of Christ from the rest of the world. Second, the keeping of God’s Word is the supreme test of the disciples love for God and the supreme cause of God’s love for the disciple. Third, it is through God’s Word, as it is kept and obeyed, that Christ manifests Himself to the disciple. Fourth, it is through God’s Word that the Father and the Son together come into the life of the disciple and establish their enduring home with him. Only the Holy Spirit can make us keep God’s Word. He is always present and ready to offer His help. He was the One who guided us to Christ in the first place by revealing the truth about sin, and reminding us that we had broken God’s commandments. He was the One who convicted us and led us to salvation. He is the One we continue to need if we are to grow to spiritual maturity. It is only the Holy Spirit that can make us feel what Christ feels and see what He sees and know what He wants. Unfortunately we often seek from the world those things that can only be given by God. Although God has given us the very best we at times settle for far lesser substitutes.

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