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Re-Thinking Church
Part 5

The Holy Spirit

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

Read Part 4

I. A Promise Kept (Gen. 3:15)

Do you realize that from today, there are exactly 10 weeks until Christmas; 70 days? Now, I like most of the stuff that makes Christmas, do you? The thing about Christmas for me is not the gifts or cookies, or the decorations; it is the reminder that God keeps His promises. In the same chapter where we learn of Manís fall into sin, we have the first promise of Savior who would crush Satanís head. Through out the recording of the Old Testament we find echoís of that promise.

  • We know that He would be a descendent of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Judah and David.
  • He would be a prophet like Moses
  • A Priest like Melchizadek
  • A King like David
  • He would be God in the Flesh (Isa 9:6; Micah 5:2)
  • He would die for our sins
  • He would rise again
  • He would save, or rescue all who call on His name

The first Christmas over 2000 years ago, God kept His promise. Now God made some other promises like John 14:1-3, I am coming back. That Jesus will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords is a promise in Godís word that he will fulfill and He will reign over all the earth. And He will make an end to sin and there will be peace and prosperity. He promised He would come the first time and He did. He promised he would return and He will.

II. A Promise Given (Acts 2:37-39)

But God gave us another promise that we donít make a big deal of but we should. Our Charismatic brothers and sisters do and we should because all that God wants us to experience and do is wrapped up in this promise. The Promise is that God will come and live fully inside everyone who will repent of sin and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord of their life. The God who came in the person of Jesus has come again in The Holy Spirit to live in His people. Jesus was God incarnate, or God in the Flesh, and now God is incarnate in us. Look at Acts 2:37-39.

Now here is what I want to tell you. If we ever really grasped this truth and ran with it, we could turn the world upside down again, or right side up. Most of us live almost in denial of this truth.

William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army made this statement about the then up-coming 20th century, "I am of the opinion that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Spirit, Christianity without Christ, Forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell." How on was he?

Letís trace this promise

Isa. 44:3 3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;

Ezekiel 36:26-27 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Joel 2:28-29 28 "And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.

29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
John the Baptist in Matt. 3:11

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire

Jesus in John 7:37-39

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing[a] in Him would receive; for the Holy[b] Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 14:16-17, 36; 15:26; 16:7; 13-15

16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you foreveró 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Jesus repeats the promise in Acts 1:5, and 8. Up till now the promise was still future, but on the day of Pentecost it happened first to 120 and then to 3000. And it has happened to every believer since then. God comes to take up permanent residence, that is to make His home in each of us (John 14:16). Cp. Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10:42-28.

My friends, God is in the House. Thatís why Paul would tell the Corinthian Church, that most carnal of all the Churches that received a letter from Paul, that they were the temple of God and that God dwelt in them (3:16; 6:19). And in Romans 8:9, he tells us that if the Holy Spirit is not in you, you are not one of His. That is you are not saved or born again.

But if He is in you then, wow, you have the power to change the world!

Letís spend the next few minutes considering what God wants to do in your life. Why does He want to live in you? I want to give you seven things that He does or desires to do in and through you.

III. The Purpose of the Promises (I am using the word TRIBES)

A. The T is for Teaches. Go wants you to know and understand His word. Its how He wants to communicate to you and guide your life. Its how you get to know Him. But sometimes it is hard to understand, so to teach you He has come to live in you as your tutor. (Look at John 14:26; 16:13-15; 1 Cor. 2:9-16).

B. The R is for Regeneration Ė He has come to generate new life in a dead person. Just like Adam was a clay model until God breathed life into him, you and I were dead apart from Christ (Eph. 2:1-3). To be born again, Jesus told Nick, one had to be born of the Spirit. Listen to Titus 3:5. 1 Cor. 6:17 says, "that He who is joined to the Lord is one Spirit with Him." And Romans 8:10! My eternal life is because I have the Spirit of Life in me.

C. The I is for Permanent Indwelling. Ė This is not a temporary thing. Neither is like some of our friends believe that He will come and go. That was true in the Old Testament when he came upon (not in), people to enable them to do a job like being King like Saul or David, or a Judge like Samson. This is why David prayed, Ďdonít take your Holy Sprit from me.í He didnít want to govern without Godís enablement (Psalm 51:11) But Jesus said this in John 14:16-17, "He will give you another helper that He may abide with you forever." Paul will say, "Donít grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you have been sealed for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30)." He permanently indwells you expressly for the return of Jesus. He marks you as belonging to God. Thatís why Jesus would say, He would never leave us nor forsake us, He would be with is until the end of the age.

D. The B is for Baptism. In Acts 1 our Lord repeats the promise given by John and it began on that Pentecost and continues to every believer (1 Cor. 12:13). We are placed into a permanent relationship with Jesus Christ, He is in us and we are in Him. And because the Holy Spirit is in each of us we are permanently united to each other. We are bonded together by the Holy Spirit and as such we are to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:1-3)

E. The E is for Enables. Ė The Christian life is not hard, it is impossible with out the enabling of the Holy Spirit. Forgiving and praying for enemies, leaving all to follow Him and more would not be possible without the enabling of the Holy Spirit. And while this will be the substance of next weekís sermon, let me show you a few things.

1. John 14:11-17 Greater works than Jesus did because He goes to the Father, and gives us the right to use His name to pray for great things to be done, and because He lives in us to do those great things. Jesus was one man filled with the Holy Spirit and He accomplished much. We are an Army equipped with the Holy Spirit what might we do if we ever grasped this truth?

2. Acts 1:8 Ė You shall receive Power Ė dunamis power, dynamic power, the power to speak great things and the power to do awesome things, in His name like the disciples in the book of Acts. Power and boldness to speak courageously about Jesus comes from His presence in us (cp. Acts 4:31)

3. Ephesians 3:20 Ė We have the ability to do greater stuff than we can imagine. That includes serving each other as we minister to the world, because He gives us all a special way to share grace with each other and others and we all have a special way. We refer to it as a Spiritual Gift. And we all use our giftedness the end result is our church will look like Jesus. That will be the theme of our sermon for next week. How do I know what my gift is and how to be involved? Listen we canít do any of this on our own. Jesus said that with out Him we can do nothing. But Paul says that with Him we can do all things through the one who gives us strength.

F. The S is for Seals (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 2Tim. 2:19) Similar to the I for Indwelling, the idea that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, implies 3 things.

  • The Transaction is Complete. There is the raise seal of the state we are born on our birth certificate. This is the official document. We are citizens of the U.S.A. You are a citizen of Heaven, your name is recorded there and the Holy Spirit is your Birth Certificate.
  • The Ownership is Identified. You have the Brand of God on you and in you by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 2:19)
  • You are Secure Ė Because you have Him in you nothing can snatch you away from God. It is forever.

Several responses should flow out of this lesson.

  • Is worship and awe as we realize that God is in me forever. I am secure. Loved with ever lasting love, I am His and He is mine.
  • Is a Thirst. Arenít you thirsty for more than just religion? You have the ability to accomplish something extraordinary for the glory of God and the good of people. Stuff you canít even imagine.
  • Is a Commitment to discover and use my gift for the encouragement and building up of the body of Christ. God is in you to do something extraordinary. But to do that you have to give yourself to Him to use and then do what He puts in your heart.
  • Have you ever repented of sin and received Jesus and the Gift of His Holy Spirit? You can today. This Promise is for you and your children and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman