Aug 12, 2010, 3:06:28 AM8/12/10
to Sermons from Wollongong Baptist Church
On the Gold Coast there's a church called the 'Church of Holy Spirit'
What would you expect that kind of church to be like? Baptist?
Pentecostal? Speaking in tongues? Miraculous healings? Words of
Someone wrote "we manage to be more divided over our understanding of
the Spirit and his work than almost any other Christian doctrine".
If this is true, it's a pity, because it's through the Holy Spirit
that we become Christians and are united to God, Christ and each
But whatever the debate, the Holy Spirit is vital to Christianity and
Without the Holy Spirit none of us would be alive. Without God's
Spirit there would be no Christians, no Bible, no gospel, no church.
So who is the Spirit + what is does he do?
1. The Spirit is God and reveals God
The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3, 4d)
3Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your
heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself
some of the money you received for the land? 4...... You have not lied
to men but to God."
In Acts 5 when a man Ananias sells something to give to the church but
then holds back part of it, we learn that lying to the Holy Spirit (3)
is the same as lying to God (4).
Note that the Spirit is personal because he can be lied to.
Read Rom 8:9 - 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature
but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone
does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
Firstly, if you haven't got the spirit you are not Christian, you
don't belong to Christ.
Secondly, the Spirit is called both the Spirit of God and the Spirit
Here we see the inter-changeability + equality of both the Spirit &
Christ with God.
In Matt 28:19 Jesus explains the concept of Trinity, when he takes OT
expression "the name of the LORD God" and expands it.
He tells his disciples to baptise people not "in the name of LORD God"
but "in the [one] name (singular not names plural) of 3 people: the
Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit".
The word Trinity is never used in the Bible, but the concept of 1 God
in 3 persons is woven right throughout it.
The Jehovah Witnesses claim that: "The holy spirit is not a person and
it is not part of a Trinity ... It is not equal to God"
But looking at these examples is it clear that the Holy Spirit is God
and is personal.
So if God is 3 persons in 1 God how do they relate to each other?
In the Trinity each person appears to have a primary role, God the
Creator, Jesus the Saviour, & the HS as the new life giver, but all 3
work together to achieve their united purpose.
Like in a soccer team people have different primary roles, a goal-
keeper is to defend, a striker is to attack, but all players work
together as one team defending or attacking.
We see this is in many areas, but we'll look at just 2:
In the original Bible languages the word for Spirit in OT Hebrew jwr +
NT Greek πνευμα can mean either 'spirit, breath or wind' ... with this
in mind come with me to Gen 1.
Read Gen 1:1-3 - 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the
earth. 2 Now the earth was [a] formless and empty, darkness was over
the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the
waters. 3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
When God creates the world (1), God's Spirit/breath is hovering over
the waters (2) and as God breaths/spirits out words 'Let there be
light' (3), light immediately appears.
Without the Spirit the world wouldn't exist + none of us would be
So we see all members of the Trinity active in creation.
'All Scripture is God-breathed' or God-'spirited' (2 Tim 3:16a).
Without the Spirit there'd be no Bible.
In John 1:18 no-one has seen the Father but Jesus, God the one + only
Son, reveals him to us ... the same is true of the Spirit.
If the Spirit is God, who better to reveal God than God the Spirit.
So God creates the world by His breathed-out word, but he also relates
to the world by His breathed-out word + reveals Himself to us by His
When we try to share Jesus with others, we are not speaking empty
words, but spirit-powered words that, just as they brought the
creation to life, have power to bring new-creation life
2. The Spirit witnesses to Jesus & brings us his benefits
We see the Spirit's role most clearly in John 14-16 where Jesus and
God who send the Spirit tell us exactly what the Spirit will do.
Read John 14:11a - 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and
the Father is in me;....
One of the answers as to how God can be 3 persons in 1 God is because
each person of the Trinity lives in or mutually in-dwells the other ...
but look what's going to happen.
Read John 14:16-17, 20 -
16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to
be with you forever-- 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept
him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for
he lives with you and will be[c] in you.
20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in
me, and I am in you.
God and Jesus are going to live in and help Jesus followers.
In John 14:6 Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life ... so the Holy
Spirit, who is the Spirit of Jesus, is also called the Spirit of
Read John 14:26 - 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the
Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind
you of everything I have said to you.
Some people say we can't trust what's written in the Bible because the
Apostles forgot things or mixed them up when telling others like in
But the HS in the disciples assures us that they would remember
everything Jesus wanted them to remember + teach them its meaning.
Notice the Holy Spirit is called Counsellor or literally Paraclete.
The idea is legal counsellor in court.
He's called another counsellor because the disciples have a barrister
already in Jesus.
In 1 John 2:1 the same word is used of Jesus defending Christians as
forgiven sinners before God as our judge against Satan who accuses us
Read John 15:26-27 - 26"When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to
you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father,
he will testify about me. 27And you also must testify, for you have
been with me from the beginning.
Witnessing to Jesus is the key function of the HS.
Read John 16:13-14 - 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he
will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will
speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it
known to you.
The ultimate purpose of the Spirit of Truth is to guide the disciples
into all truth to bring glory to Jesus who is the Truth.
The Catholic Church claims the Vicar of Christ on earth meaning
Christ's representative or substitute is the Pope, but these chapters
show clearly that it is the HS.
And the context of the Spirit's witness to Jesus is suffering in an
Read John 16:33b - 33......In this world you will have trouble. But
take heart! I have overcome the world.
The HS role is not to take away our suffering in this world, but to
keep testifying to Jesus in the midst of suffering.
The mark of the truly spiritual person is his/her testimony to Jesus.
If you are a Christian and worried your life if not testifying to
Jesus, that's a good thing to be worried about.
If that's the case ask God to work in your life to enable that to
happen and trust that it will.
Jesus promised he would not leave his disciples as 'orphans' in the
world. And through the Spirit living in his disciples they will be
adopted as sons of God.
In Rom 8:15 Paul applies this truth to all Christians.
It's by the HS that we call God 'Abba, Father' + in 1 Cor 12 we
confess that Jesus is Lord.
If we looked at your life or Facebook page or listened to your family
is Jesus what you live for? If so, that's a good sign that the HS is
at work in you!
But how do the benefits of forgiveness, new life, victory over sin,
death and so on that Christ achieved for us upon the cross 2000yrs ago
apply to us today?
It's of no help to us, if what Christ did for us as the prefect God-
man, remain only in Jesus. Jesus can be our representative + saviour,
only if what belongs to him is shared with us.
1 Pet 3 says Jesus was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in
the Spirit. Without the Spirit there is not gospel.
In Jn 14 we saw Jesus dwelling in the Father + the Father in Jesus
And it's through this mutual indwelling that exists within the
Trinity, that God brings the benefits of Jesus to us by the Spirit.
Just like in the hymn And Can it Be the last verse says 'No
condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in him is mine!'
But how does that happen?
3. The Holy Spirit leads us into holiness of life
Read Eph 1:13 - 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard
the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you
were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, ..
It's as we hear the gospel news that Jesus has died for our sin +
risen to life as king of our world and trust that God places his
Spirit in us to guarantee we belong to Jesus.
This fulfils God's promise from Ezek 36-37 that God will put his
Spirit in us.
Once we've placed our trust in Jesus we're saved + fully Christian,
but not fully Christ-like.
Read Titus 3:3a, 4-5 - 3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient,
deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. ......
4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5He saved
us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his
mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the
Note that just like a mother giving birth to a child, salvation or
spiritual rebirth is all God's work, we do nothing.
But God hasn't saved us to keep being disobedient (3) but to be
renewed in holiness.
Read Rom 8:13-14 - 13For if you live according to the sinful nature,
you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of
the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of
God are sons of God.
They call the Spirit the Holy Spirit because he leads us away from sin
'Being led' sounds as if we passively wait for something to happen to
us, but verse 13 shows 'being led by the Spirit' is something we
'Being led by the spirit' means putting to death the misdeeds of the
body. It's also an ongoing activity - literally "keep on putting to
Instead we are to produce the fruit of the Spirit.
Read Gal 5:22-23 - 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-
control. Against such things there is no law.
If you want spiritual fruit then keep in step with the spirit.
How do we do that?
Just as God recreates new life in us by his Spirit-empowered word,
God's Spirit-inspired word continues to teach us how to live saved
lives God's way.
2 Tim 3:16 - 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for
teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
God's word teaches us the right way to go, then
when we go off course or sin, God's word rebukes us, but
it not only says "you got that wrong", it corrects us, teaching us how
to do it right. And finally it continues to train us in the right way
So that the Christian may be thoroughly equipped for every good
It doesn't say so you might be partially equipped for some good works,
but fully equipped for every good work.
If you asked someone who is most spiritual person some might say the
Dalai Lama, the Pope, Mother Theresa, Confucius or even Mohammad
But the truly spiritual person calls God his Father, lives to glorify
Jesus as #1 in everything + seeks to be more holy + Christ like as he
applies God's spirit-inspired word to his/her life