Summary: This is the fifthmessage in a series on basic Christian doctrine. It provides the foundation for a proper understanding of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. (05-16-04)
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Truth Detectors [Episode 1]
“The Truth About the Holy Spirit”
Show Video Clip, “Larry – Doubt and Disbelief” from Illustrate (vol. 3), Bluefish TV.
Isn’t that sad? That man sits is the pews of an ordinary church every Sunday. Yet, did you hear his theology? He talks about God, then rejects an afterlife … he believes all religions are the same … he believes in good works. He calls Christianity mythology, yet he goes to church and takes his family every week. He calls Jesus, “A phenomenal human being … a phenomenal leader … who was able to claim he was the son of god.” Friends, this guy is classic! He believes in so much that he doesn’t believe in anything at all.
The truly frightening implication of this video is that there are a lot more Larry’s out there in our churches … people who occupy space in pews, drop a few dollars in the plate, and leave unchanged. People whose hearts are empty, and whose heads are full of lies.
People of Crossroads … we cannot be like that … we must hear, know, and be convinced of the truth. We have to be able to tell people what we believe and why. We have to be grounded in the doctrines of our faith.
As I listened to Larry, I couldn’t help but think, “Oh, if the Holy Spirit would only move in his life! If the Holy Spirit would only get all over that church … and all of our churches!”
Well … we’re going to talk about the Holy Spirit today. The Holy Spirit of God, the third Person of the Trinity. He is perhaps one of the least understood and misunderstood Persons of all time. He was called the Holy Ghost in the King James translation, and that idea kind of stuck. So many people think of the Holy Spirit of God as some kind of ghost … floating into and out of people’s lives. They think of the Holy Spirit as an invisible force … like something you would see in Star Wars.
But, friends, there is so much more to the person and work of the Holy Spirit of God … and that’s what we’re going to study today. But, as we have throughout this entire series, we need to remember our starting point …
In essential beliefs we have unity.
There are some things which cannot be compromised. We must have unity in these areas. Our essential beliefs are defined in our Statement of Faith.
Our Statement Regarding the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
That is our statement of faith with regard to the Holy Spirit. But, as we continue, let’s look first at Jesus’ own teaching about the Holy Spirit in John 16:5-15.
Primary Passage - John 16:5-15
The Person of the Holy Spirit
Now, we’re not going to spend a lot of time here, because we have talked about this before. But I want us to remember two important truths …
1. He is the Third Person of the Trinity. (Matthew 28:19)
We have already discussed this fact in our study of the Doctrine of God, so this is no surprise to us. But I wanted to remind you of this truth. We are not talking about some invisible, ghostly force … this is the Holy Spirit … the Third Person of the Trinity. Now, please remember also that …
2. He is God, co-equal with the Father and the Son. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
Please remember the relationship within the Trinity of God. There is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is Three in One, the Triune Godhead, and the Holy Spirit is a co-equal Person of the Trinity.
Now, with that foundation laid … let’s get a little bit more personal. Let’s talk about …
Your Relationship with the Holy Spirit
Sometimes Biblical truths can be a bit difficult to get hold of. I heard a story about a 7-yr.-old girl who told her three-year-old sister that she had found Jesus and that she had hidden him in her heart. Not to be outdone, the younger girl later told her mother that she also had found Jesus and that she hid him under the bed.