6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Third in a series of teachings on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Helper that Jesus said was to our "advantage" that He leave so that the Holy Spirit might come. This message explores the work of the Holy Spirit throughout God’s Word.

(Intro: The last two weeks we have been examining the who of the Holy Spirit. . .this week the what, while continuing to break false stigmas about Him.)

One such stigma, or a common thought – whether conscious or subconscious – is that the arrival of the Holy Spirit occurs at Pentecost. So if you want to understand and follow the working of the Holy Spirit, you open your Bible to the book of Acts, read it. . .and maybe a few subsequent letters in the writings of Paul, and that is where you find out about the working of the Holy Spirit.

Unfortunately, that stigma is about 1500 pages off, depending on your Bible, and who knows how many verses. Because if you will turn with me to Genesis 1:1, you will see that we don’t have to wait near that long to discover the Holy Spirit at work. Genesis 1:1 (through verse 2).

In fact, in the beginning is just the beginning of the written record of the working of the Holy Spirit. As we look through God’s word, it becomes clear that the Holy Spirit is not only at work in Acts, or even the New Testament works that follow Pentecost, but throughout the entire body of this book.

Anyone ever attended a “Walk Through the Bible” seminar? Today we are going to take a walk through the Bible to uncover the working of the Holy Spirit. You have another devotional guide that you can complete on the back of this week’s worship folder, and use through the week as you dive deeper into this doctrine, this truth about the Holy Spirit.

(At this point in the message, transition to Sword Drill syle of engaging the congregation in looking up the Scriptures, and reading them out. Non-competitive, but providing opportunity for congregational activity. Utilized one and done rule to allow a number of people the opportunity to participate.)

Let’s start with just some samples of the working of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament:

Here is our first sword drill Scripture. When you find it, stand up and proclaim it. Don’t compete, just engage. Genesis 41:38 (read). Who is Pharaoh talking about? (Joseph) What has Joseph done? (interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams) And by what power does Pharaoh acknowledge that he has done this? (God’s Spirit – the Holy Spirit) Alive and at work in Joseph’s life.

Next scripture. Exodus 31:1-5. Don’t worry, we aren’t going to do every book of the Bible. Exodus 31:1-5 (read). Here we see that Bezalal has been filled with gifts from the Holy Spirit. Not only gifts of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, but also the spiritual gift of workmanship, or craftsmanship.

A little further back we will find the book of Judges. Judges 3:9-10 (read). The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit came upon Othniel, and this time for the purpose of issuing judgment, and delivering military victory for the people of God.

I Samuel 19:20 (read). The Spirit of God comes upon the messengers, and they do what? (Prophecy) Are you starting to see that not only does the Holy Spirit exist, move, and work well prior to Pentecost, but He is also administering spiritual gifts to the people of God, long before you get to the book of Acts or even I Corinthians.

One more Old Testament passage, Micah 3:8 (read). The power of the Holy Spirit was upon the prophet Micah to mediate the message of God.

So have we broken the stigma that the Holy Spirit is not alive and at work prior to the day of Pentecost? Are we at least making some headway? Let me see your swords. Don’t drop off on me. Let’s venture into the New Testament. What work do we find the Holy Spirit engaged in throughout the New Testament? Bible’s ready?

Romans 5:5 (read). How does the love of God get into us? How does it enter in to our hearts? By the Holy Spirit.

How about Romans 8:26 (read). We saw this last week when we examined activities of the Holy Spirit that are similar to human activities. He intercedes on our behalf. He goes to the Father, with your best interests in mind, and prays for you!

I Corinthians 12:4-11 (read). He is a gift giver. It is through the Holy Spirit, dwelling in our lives, that we experience the ability to do things of supernatural gifting. The Holy Spirit enters your life, and fills you with those gifts that God has appointed to work in your life.

Last one. Galatians 5:22-23 (read). When the Spirit resides in an individual, He produces the fruit of the spirit in their life.

Okay, that ends our sword drill. That gives you just a few verses to reflect on and study the context of this week. But trust me, if you are reading through your Bible this year, you will begin to notice that the Holy Spirit is everywhere in it. Watch for the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit rested upon them. You will find it all over this book.

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