Summary: A Biblical look at the Holy Spirit and His role in the church and the life of the believer.
Great Mysteries of the Faith:
Understanding the Holy Spirit
Max Lucado once told a story in one of his books about a lady who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the century. The lady was actually quite wealthy, but she was also quite frugal. The people of the village were very surprised to hear that she was one of the first to decide to have electricity in her home. Several weeks after installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked her if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. The meter reader replied, “I’m wondering if you could explain something to me then. Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power?” “Certainly,” she answered. “Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles. Then, I turn them off.”
This woman had it all wrong. She had tapped into the power source, but she had refused to change and use it to its fullest advantages. She was hooked up and ready to go, but her life remained unaltered. I think we make a similar mistake in our lives though. We come to God as Christians and get tapped into an unlimited power source, but our lives only become slightly altered. Instead of letting the Holy Spirit transform our lives into what God intends them to be, we settle for a flip of the switch here and there and live the rest of our lives in the shadows. We have the power to turn on the lights, but we are afraid to really change.
Have any of you ever been there? You know that there is more out there for you – more power, more blessings, and more of God – but you just settle for what I like to call the “warm fuzzies” of the Christian life. When I look at the lives of the apostles in the Bible, I see regular, ordinary people like you and me that were transformed into victorious and bold miracle workers for the cause of the gospel. What do they have that we don’t? Nothing – they just turned the lights on and let them burn.
The apostles knew one thing that we have a hard time understanding sometimes. God is God and I am not. God holds the power and ability to do great and miraculous things and I only have the power to do what is humanly possible. Therefore, the disciples put themselves to the side and relied on the power of God to do the work by tapping into all the riches of the Holy Spirit that was available to them. Why don’t we do that today? I think it is for a few reasons and the biggest of them is this. We really don’t understand the Holy Spirit so we are afraid of completely turning our lives over to His power. Do you agree with that this morning? After all, who is mentioned last when we go through the Trinity? And, even though all Three are equally God, which one do you know the least about? And which one brings about the most controversy in our churches today so we tend to shy away from Him? All three are the Holy Spirit. This morning, as we continue our series on the great mysteries of the faith, I want to unravel some of the mystery surrounding the Holy Spirit. How else are we going to trust Him enough to allow Him to lead every aspect of our lives? I want you to turn with me to 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 as we delve into this subject this morning.
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom but on God’s power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truth in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.