Summary: The third person of the Trinity is not out there, some where. He is with us, in us.
God in YOU Series
EXPERIENCE! We remember experiences, don’t we?
∙ I can still recall, in vivid detail, the sounds, smells, and sensations that were a part of my extended visit to India in 1985! After a quarter of a century, the experience of stepping off the plane in Madras and into a throng of people so very different from me is still with me.
∙ My son, Jay, is now 32 years of age, but I can still remember the powerful emotions that swept through me when they laid him in my arms when he was a newborn!
Christianity is an EXPERIENCE! Yes, of course, there are truth and doctrine that are part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. But, I love this quote from Dr. Gordon Fee. “The only worthwhile theology, after all, is one that is translated into life.” (Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God, Hendrickson, 1996) The first Christians did not just sit around discussing philosophy and ideas about how to live a better life! They came to KNOW Christ, to EXPERIENCE the presence of the Spirit, and their entire lives were turned inside out.
Fee goes on to point out that the normal Christian life involves an experience of the Holy Spirit of God that is foundational to our lives in Christ. He writes,
“God made us to share life, in His own image, for He Himself is a personal, relational being. ... The Holy Spirit cannot a merely impersonal force or influence or power. The Spirit is none other than the fulfillment of God’s promise that He would be present with His people. The Spirit is God’s own personal presence in our lives; he leads us into paths of righteousness.”
Dr. Fee says that many Christians, because of ignorance, conceive of the third Person of the Trinity as ‘the oblong blur,’ a shapeless form, an idea from the Scripture about some vague influence in their daily lives.
It is true that the Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood, overlooked Person of the Godhead. In Acts 19, when Paul arrived in the city of Ephesus, he found some early disciples. Noting a lack in their experience, he inquired- “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Many today can strongly identify with their answer. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2, NLT)
In this series of messages, I want to introduce you to a Person, and my prayer is that you will EXPERIENCE the powerful transformation that knowing Him will produce.
There are more than a few Believers who have been Christians long enough to begin to understand they aren’t really all that good at serving God. As they grow in their knowledge of the Scriptures, as they get closer to some mature and godly Believers, the glaring gaps in their own Christian life seem to grow. They feel miserable – not experiencing the joy of the Lord, but knowing too much to just walk away and call it quits.
∙ You don’t have to just ‘settle’ as some do, for a mediocre and joyless dutiful Christianity built around discipline and maintained by sheer will and gritted teeth!
∙ You don’t have to excuse away your apathy towards God by deciding that joyful, fulfilling Christianity is for a select few to which you apparently don’t belong.
You need to hear the promise of the Lord concerning the Holy Spirit.
I prepared this message with the prayer that this information, coupled with His revelation, will give you an “A-ha” moment. As you see it, it will be clearly as Truth by which you can live!
Len Sweet describes those kind of moments that change us. He says an ‘A-ha’ moment is when .....
∙ you suddenly figured out how to shift a standard transmission . . . and gained your freedom on wheels.
∙ you suddenly read and understood your Spanish assignment in Spanish . . . and heard the heartbeat and felt the rhythm of another culture.
∙ you suddenly got timing right for a round-off back-handspring . . . and made the team.
∙ you held your newborn child and discovered parent-hood . . . and never slept soundly again.
∙ you suddenly could transpose from the key of C to the key of F-sharp without writing a note . . . and felt the music in your soul. - Len Sweet
Text: John 14:15-17, 25-26; 16:7-15 PB 1676
The 14th chapter of John’s Gospel is a tender passage that tells us about Jesus’ conversation with his friends as they are sharing Passover on the night He was taken away to be tried and crucified! These men who have spent 3 years together, who have started to grasp the message of the New Kingdom, but there are still big holes in their understanding. Jesus focuses their attention on the Person that would come to them when He returned to the Father’s side.