Summary: A sermon explaining how the infilling and baptism of the Holy Spirit is the restoration of what was lost in the Garden of Eden
The Infilling of the Holy Spirit
CCCAG October 13th, 2019
When I was growing up Lutheran and in confirmation classes, we had several of my classmates suddenly disappeared from our Wednesday night classes. Many of them were from prominent families within the church so their absence was noticed. A few weeks went by and one of the other teens the associate pastor where the kids were. The pastor kind of rolled his eyes and said that they had gotten caught up in that cult church on the corner of 60th and Pershing Blvd. I knew that church as it was near my mom’s house, and I also knew they had just had a huge concert and carnival style event there that drew in a lot of kids. My pastor looked at us and said, “Never go near that church. They jump around, yell and dance during worship, and talk gibberish thinking that the Holy Spirit is somehow speaking through them. It’s brain-washing, it’s a cult, it’s dangerous, and you should avoid it at all cost.”
The church was 1st Assembly of God, now Journey Church in Kenosha. It was the first thing I really heard about what happens when the Holy Spirit gets ahold of people.
Today we are going to be talking about the person, ministry, and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Starting off in John 14:15
During His last meeting with the disciples, Jesus introduces them to the 3rd person of the Godhead or trinity. The fact that God is Spirit was not new to them, but the fact that the Holy Spirit was a separate person within that Godhead was a new idea to them.
Jesus doesn’t explain it deeply but does a quick introduction into the purpose and ministry that the Holy Spirit will perform after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
So, John 14 starting in verse 15- Jesus said
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate (helper) to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
IF you have been following the series, you know that we have discussed the fall of humanity and everything that entailed on both the physical earthly level and the spiritual level.
So, very quick review. In Genesis Chapter 3, Adam and Eve are created in the Image of God- as spiritual beings inhabiting physical bodies. Part of that Image of God is that their spirits were intimately connected with the spirit of their creator, or in our New Testament understanding, the Holy Spirit was both living within them, and was upon them giving them the ability to serve as God’s regents here on earth and over creation.
When Adam and Eve sinned, the first thing they noticed as that they were naked. Many throughout history have focused on the physical interpretation of that verse- that they lost their innocence and saw their physical nakedness as sinful or embarrassing. That’s not what Genesis 3 is meaning to convey. What it meant is that for the first time since they were created, they saw things only through physical eyes- that something had been take away. The nakedness they felt was the Holy Spirit lifting off of them and coming out from inside them, and they were embarrassed and ashamed.
In bible history since the fall, and until Jesus rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit had been largely invisible in the lives of people. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would occasionally come upon a person, usually a leader, king, priest, or prophet, and they would prophesy, or speak in tongues as evidence that the Holy Spirit was with them.
Fast Forward now to John 20 if you want to turn there in your bibles.
The scene here is after the resurrection. Jesus has risen from the grave, and the disciples are in hiding because the Roman’s and the Pharisee’s are hunting down the disciples because they think they stole the body of Jesus. John specifically says that the doors were barred shut, and suddenly Jesus appears before them.
Let’s read the account in John 20:19
John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.