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Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
Person: The Holy Spirit is a person, the 3rd Person of the Trinity… Genesis…
For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1:21
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Jesus said that, “when “He” comes he will convict the world of sin” (John 16:8). In John, Jesus tells us that the Spirit of Truth, teaches, reminds, guides, and convicts the world of Sin, that He will guide us into all Truth (John 14:16, 26, John 16:8-15, John 17:17). He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30) and insulted (Hebrews 10:29).
Presence: John 14:16-17
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. – 1 Corinthians 3:16 (God’s Temple)
He helps us in our weakness (See Romans 8:26 and Romans 5:5).
Power: If you missed the first sermon in this series, my notes are posted here, but you won’t be able to listen to it because the building lost its electrical power. We muddled through without it, but we did not accomplish all that we should have, something was missing.
Jesus said to His disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. – Romans 8:11
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4
The Holy Spirit is given to empower and equip us for life in a way that the world cannot grasp or will not comprehend. We are given the gift of the Spirit in order to fulfill God’s purpose as His church.
The Holy Spirit tells us, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men” (Ephesians 4:7-8).
In Romans 12 He says, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Then, 1 Corinthians 12:7 tells us that the gifts are to be used for the common good of the local congregation and for God’s Church…
Spiritual power is promised to God’s Church, for the primary purpose of drawing others to Christ and telling them about Him. The power comes in the person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “You know Him, because He abides with you, and will be in you” (John 14:17, emphasis added). The Spirit’s power enables us to do God’s will faithfully.
This power enables us to be a certain kind of people more than to do a certain kind of work. Some of us of the Church hope to receive extraordinary power to heal the sick, cast out demons, to teach or preach or speak in different languages. But God promises His church more than that, He promises the power and the enabling to be like Jesus (Romans 8:9)! The Holy Spirit tells us that we are to be Holy as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). Jesus believed the impossible, loved the unlovable—He even ate with and washed the feet of the one who He knew would betray Him –and we are to be like Him! But that can only happen when we commit to being the people of God and surrender our will, deny ourselves, to God the Spirit!
Why would the Holy Spirit show up if He was not needed or wanted – to empower a congregation that is disobedient to their calling?
We should be humbled by the glorious promise of God that we would be enabled and empowered by His Spirit so that we can accomplish His Mission, the mission given us here—where we are placed — amongst ourselves, in our surrounding communities, and even to the ends of the earth!!!!!
We are told in that first chapter of Acts that Jesus is coming back. As we read God’s Word, we find that Jesus is coming back for His people, the Body and Bride of Christ: His Church, the Church of the redeemed, The Church of the blood bought, The Church of God! This isn’t the Church of God Anderson, not any one tradition, but those that belong to Him from every denomination, movement, assembly, or congregation. How do we know if we are His people? He told us, He said you will know a tree by its fruit, by what it produces, “Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16-20).
What is it that the church in the USA is known for producing? Most of you know what is going on in the local church, what is it that they, or us for that matter, are known for. Is it descension, gossip, disunity? Is it legalism, or is it even given a thought? They know about the building but not about anything the people there have done. They are not active in fulfilling the ministries they were called to do, not for answering the calling to make disciples, not for helping in the community, or as a church to the community…so they are disconnected from that community and deemed irrelevant.
Just another life sucking leech in the community. A zombie, not knowing it is dead, but struggling to maintain the appearance of something alive.
Any congregation, any church, that tries to function apart from the Spirit is powerless, a Zombie-a dead body-that looks alive but is dead on the inside. All it cares about is itself and all of its efforts are for itself. It does not produce at all but only takes. Every fundraiser is for themselves: a new roof, refrigerator, or just to keep the lights on. If all it is concerned with is within, then how is it fulfilling its purpose to be salt and light to those around it? It isn’t! It is dead, a drag on the community and on God’s true church.
But, there is hope! It is not the end of things if a congregation is dying or even dead as long as they recognize it and turn to God. The Holy Spirit specializes in resurrecting things that were dead! A dead church can be resurrected and made alive through repentance, a turning back to God and to His will and purpose. Only those that are obedient to the calling, to God’s will and purpose, are His Church!
These are the ones who are maturing or growing; as the Spirit tells us in Ephesians, “Speaking the Truth in love, we are to grow up (mature) in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ.” Why? Because maturity feeds perception, our perception of life changes our behavior. Behavior in and as the Church is stimulated by your knowledge and relationship with the risen Lord through the Spirit! Today’s church is Biblically illiterate.
We, the church in America, must repent! God’s calling is for His people to reclaim today’s Church from the World. I truly believe that He is looking to restore His Church to what He intends it to be, but there has to be confession, repentance, and intersession…
Repentance is a change of attitude, mind and actions. Repentance is toward God, sincerely asking Him to forgive our sins and then determining, with the Spirit’s help, to change the direction of our life.
God urges us to repent when the path we are taking leads to destruction.
Repentance involves a dramatic and decisive change of course.
Repentance is a pivotal life change, not merely a wishful resolution. We have not repented if we continue in our sin! Repentance involves a radical change of heart and mind in which we agree with God’s evaluation of our sin and then take specific action to align ourselves with His will.
- Are you led by the Spirit?
- Are you more Christ-like then you were a year ago or about the same?
- Do you believe that we as a congregation are Spirit led, enabled, and empowered?
Further reading: John 12:14-21, John 16:5-15, Romans 8:1-11, 26-27, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 12-16, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Galatians 4:6, Galatians 5:13-26, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Dead works: Hebrews 6:1, Hebrews 9:14