Summary: Our purpose in this series is to reacquaint ourselves with the fundamentals of our faith.
Why We Believe What We Believe – About the Holy Spirit
Why We Believe What We Believe Teaching Series
Gages Lake Bible Church
November 8th, 2009
Pastor Daniel Darling
Today we continue our series, “Why We Believe, What We Believe.” Again our purpose in this series is to reacquaint us with the fundamentals of our faith. For some of us this is an important review.
I do recommend that if you were not here for the other messages in this series, I would encourage you to go to our Resource Center in the lobby and get the CD’s of the past messages in this series or go online and download them.
Today we share, “Why We Believe, What We Believe – About The Holy Spirit.”
Perhaps there is no greater mystery among Christians than the mystery of the Holy Spirit. I say mystery, not because God hasn’t revealed about the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are very clear as to the Spirit’s Personality, His Purpose, and His Presence in our lives.
But most Christians know very little about the Holy Spirit. I would venture to say that most of us, in conservative, evangelical churches, if asked, could give very little information about the Holy Spirit.
We might offer a response like that offered in Acts 19 when Paul visited some believing disciples of John the Baptist. They replied “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” Acts 19:2 (KJV)
Perhaps you’re sitting there as a new believer and you hear the word “Holy Spirit” and you kind of get weirded out. Maybe it sounds a little too much like Star Wars or something.
Well, my goal today is to try to bring the truth to light about Who the Holy Spirit is and what His purpose is in our lives. After all, the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. He is God and He is active at work among those who are believers, followers of Christ. So His ministry is vital.
Two Mistaken Extremes
I think, as you survey the evangelical scene, we have embraced two extreme tendencies on the Holy Spirit. First, we see the overheated emotionalism and showiness of much of the charismatic movement.
But I think there is another extreme that is just as damaging and just as sinful. It’s the tendency among conservative churches such as ours to completely ignore the work of the Holy Spirit.
It’s like we’ve locked Him in a closet and are so afraid of bad theology and abuse of the work of the Holy Spirit that we don’t want to be associated with Him.
And this is shameful, because the Holy Spirit is God. He is the third member of the Trinity. And most importantly, He is the Change Agent in the lives of God’s people.
Not an Exhaustive Study
After studying for this message, it became apparent to me rather quickly that you can’t thoroughly cover the Holy Spirit in one message. So I told myself that sometime next year we need to do an entire series of messages on the Holy Spirit, perhaps a Sunday Night Series.
So this won’t be an exhaustive message on the Holy Spirit, but I will try to hit the high points of Holy Spirit theology and also challenge us to read, to study, to know more about Him and to yield our lives to His control.
God With Us or God In Us?
I want you to turn in your Bible to John Chapter 14. This chapter is in the middle of a powerful personal message Jesus delivered to the disciples. It is part of a farewell message, containing some pretty hard realities.
One of them would betray Him. One of them would deny Him three times. But most difficult was Jesus statement that He was going to leave them.
Now I want you to step back and consider the agony this news was for the disciples. They had left everything to follow Him. And they knew that He was the Messiah and believed Him. But they still thought Jesus was going to set up His earthly Kingdom on earth. They thought Jesus’ ministry on earth would be forever.
What they didn’t realize was that in Jesus first coming, He had to come as a suffering servant. He had to die on the cross. He had to make an atonement for sins. Now we believe that in His Second Coming, His Second Advent, Jesus will come and reclaim the world, He will establish His Kingdom.
So the news that Jesus was going to leave them was difficult. That’s why several times in His farewell address, Jesus says to them, “let not your heart be troubled.”
Let’s read from John 14:
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;