Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: It is not enough to know God and Jesus--you must also engage the Holy Spirit in your life.

Life “de-powers” us. It saps our energies, depletes our courage, drains our patience. People–pressures get us down; problems stir us up; physical ills distress us; worry over people we love disturbs us.

We all need strength—strength to think clearly, love creatively, endure consistently; strength to fill up our diminished reserves; supernatural strength that flows from a limitless source, quietly filling us with power.

I want you to meet Someone who can provide that kind of strength. He is willing to listen to us and understand, He will encourage us to talk until we know what we really want to say. He will probe to the nub of the issue of our fears and frustrations with X-ray discernment and wisdom, and will help us to see any confusion in our thinking or distortions in our emotions. He not only can lead us to the truth about ourselves, but possesses the power to help us act on what He guides us to be, say or do. He has the power to heal our painful memories, sharpen our vision of what is best for our future, and enlist us in a purpose that’s big enough to fire our imaginations and give ultimate meaning and lasting joy to our daily living.

That’s a tall order. No loved one, friend, psychiatrist, psychologist, pastor, or social worker can meet all of these qualifications. But there is One Who has all of these qualifications—and much more.

He alone has the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence to give us the kind of help we need. He can help us with our problems, relationships, and decisions, for He knows everything. He is with us always, for He never sleeps. He has all power to give us the gift of primary faith as well as pertinacious faith, guidance for our daily lives, conviction and courage to face the future unafraid.

Who is this? A Person spelled with a capital “P.” He is a Person in the Trinity. He is the Holy Spirit.

We celebrate Pentecost and remember the time fifty days after Passover when Jesus’ disciples and followers received the power of the Holy Spirit. (read Acts, chapter 2). There is no greater need in your life and mine and in the church throughout the world than for a contemporary Pentecost. We confess with John Oxenham,

Not for one single day,

Can I discern the way,

But this I surely know—

Who gives the day

Will show the way

So I securely go.

The Holy Spirit is the Greatest Counselor in the World. The word, “counselor” may not be the first word that comes to your mind when you think of the Holy Spirit. For many, the Holy Spirit is the least known and understood Person of the Trinity.

Jesus used this propitious word, “Counselor,” to declare what the Spirit is meant to be in our lives. The Greek word is Parakletos, a cornucopian word overflowing with inspiring implications. It is translated as Comforter in the King James Bible, Helper in the New King James, and Counselor in the Revised Standard Version and the New International Version. The translation of the word Parakletos as Counselor is both accurate and impelling.

We can appreciate more fully the ministry of the Holy Spirit as our Counselor when we understand the use of this many-faceted name. The Greek word is rich in meaning. It was associated with courts of law and signifies one who is the counselor for the defense, one who pleads on behalf of another. In a broader sense, it identifies one who stands by a person’s side, or one who is ready to aid a soldier in battle.

The word is used for Christ Himself. The apostle John wrote in I John 2:1-2, “We have an Advocate (Parakletos) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation (hilasmos—the means whereby sin is remitted) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” John knew this to be true from Jesus’ own self-identification to the disciples, and then in the apostle’s own personal experience of the risen Lord. Christ pleads our case before the Father on the basis of His sacrifice on the cross. When we believe in Christ and His atoning death for us, He is our Advocate before the Father, claiming the same love for us as the Father has for Him. Incredible!

Now listen to Christ’s words spoken the Upper Room on the night before He was crucified. He promised ANOTHER Advocate. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-----the Spirit of truth----He lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17) The word, “Another” needs underlining. The Greek word used is, “allos”, meaning another of the same kind, not “heteros” meaning another of a different kind.

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