Holy Spirit series #1 The Presence of the Holy Spirit
January 1, 2023 ABC
The Holy Spirit #1
THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Genesis 1:2, John 14:16-17
Today, we’re launching into a brand-new message series for the New Year called, “The Holy Spirit”. As we enter this New Year, I thought, what do we hope to accomplish in this year? And I’ll be sharing those thoughts with you on January 29, Vision Sunday. Then I thought, how will we be able to do it? Which led me to this series of messages. We will need a full reliance on the Holy Spirit of God which can only happen if we understand the Holy Spirit.
Over and over again, the Bible mentions the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost. In fact, the Spirit of God is mentioned over 800 times in scripture. In fact, the Spirit of God is mentioned in the very second verse of the entire Bible.
This word that is translated as ‘Spirit’ in the Old Testament is the word ‘ruwach’ (roo’-akh); very literally, it means a wind or a breath, but not a normal breath, it means a violent exhalation, a blast of breath. The Holy Spirit comes with power.
In the New Testament, the Greek word that is translated as ‘Spirit’ is the word ‘pneuma’ (pnyoo’-mah); it means a wind, a current of air, a blast of breath. In the New Testament though, once Jesus left, He sent us His Holy Spirit. For those who are believers in Christ, the Holy Spirit will never, ever leave us, nor forsake us.
What I see of people’s understanding of the Holy Spirit is like a pendulum swing…on one side of the swing is an over-emphasis and on the other side is a gross under-emphasis. What we would like to do in the next few weeks is to get a BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING on who exactly is the Holy Spirit, and what role He plays in the life of believers.
It’s always good to define terms and in John 14:16-17, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the “Comforter”, the Parakletos (par-ak’-lay-tos); an intercessor, consoler, advocate, counselor, helper. Very literally, the “paraclete”, the Holy Spirit, is the one who is called alongside of, or to be inside of the believer in Jesus. Who is the Holy Spirit? He is the one who intercedes or prays for you. He is your Comforter; He is your helper; the parakletos. God in Spirit form, who is called alongside of you, or inside of you to be your Comforter, to be your Counselor, to be your Intercessor, to be your Helper; very literally, to be your friend.
Question…If you could choose between Jesus in the flesh, or the Holy Spirit, which would you choose? First reaction…Jesus all day every day! But what did Jesus say? John 16:7, the Holy Spirit is better for us!
I. WHY IS HIS PRESENCE MISSING? vs. 16, Acts 19:1-3, Acts 7:51
Note: We see so many people today who are struggling with the same old sins, same patterns of behavior. You see Christians whose prayer lives are basically flat. You see people who are afraid and struggling and gripped by fear and worried and anxiety. We believe in Jesus, yet our lives have no real power. Why is that? Because so many people today are living what I call a Spirit-less life; when God wants his children to live a Spirit-filled, Spirit-empowered, Spirit-led and Spirit-equipped life of victory to please God the Father. As believers, why are so many living “spirit-less” lives? I see 3 basic reasons…
A. He Has Been Misappropriated vs. 16
1. his identity (it instead of HE)
2. his activity (these wild charismatic movements attributed to Him are NOT His Way! Still small voices and simple proddings)
B. He Has Been Forgotten Acts 19:1-3—3rd person (not as important as Jesus or the Father) They don’t know what they are missing…like a racecar being pushed instead of driven because no knowledge of the engine!
C. He Has Been Resisted Acts 7:51—Whenever feel this leading to do something and you just say no, you don’t want to. That’s resisting, and it grieves the Spirit of God.
RULE: How can you tell if it’s the Spirit leading you? If it’s selfish/sinful, probably not of the Spirit. If it benefits someone else, or stretches/strengthens your faith, at worst, I’ve blessed someone else, at best, I’ve followed the leadership of the Spirit.
II. WHAT DOES HIS PRESENCE MEAN? v. 16-17,
John 16:13, Isaiah 30:21, 16:8
Note: In this New Year, we need to be keenly aware about the ministry of the Spirit’s presence. What does He do? He does A LOT, but I want you to notice 3 simple things…
A. He Will COMFORT You vs. 16
1. comforting presence
2. comforting peace—peace that passes…
B. He Will COUNSEL You vs. 17, John 16:13, Isaiah 30:21
1. directions (out of bad and into good)
2. discernment (wisdom) guide you into truth
C. He Will CONVICT You John 16:8
1. the conviction of the saved—something isn’t right, and you need to confess it and let it go
2. the conviction of the lost—you are being convicted of your need to be saved—John 6:44
Maybe, you are being drawn to God and you don’t know why. It’s because the Holy Spirit is here, and you do have a choice. You can surrender to him, or you can fight him off.
But, let me warn you, don’t fight him for long, because your heart will begin to grow hard to the gentle voice and love and wooing of the Spirit of God that would draw you to Himself. Every time you reject, it grows a little harder and harder.
God, the Father, loves you so much he sent God the Son, Jesus, who lived a sinless life, died and rose again so you could know him and be empowered by him through God the Holy Spirit, to live a life that would honor and please and glorify God.