Sermon series: Living Beyond Yourself
Scriptures: Genesis 1:2; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Psalms 139:7-10
Pretend that you have been asked to introduce a very special guest to a group of people. Though you have heard of this guest for a long time, you suddenly realize that you really don't know very much about him. You know about things this guest does, but you can't describe the guest as a person.
This is the way many Christians feel about the Holy Spirit. Jesus introduced the Holy Spirit to His disciples with these words: “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come” (John 16:13 HCSB).
The Scriptures reveal three basic truths about the Holy Spirit. When we learn them, we will be able to "introduce Him" to others.
I. He is all-powerful (Gen. 1:2)
We see the effect and the power of His presence at that mysterious and awesome moment of creation, when "the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths." This shapeless, purposeless blob of matter tumbled through space with no direction and no observable reason to exist.
The part of God's Person that the Bible identifies as the Holy Spirit arrived with no warning and began to do a wondrous thing. "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." The original word translated hovering means "brooded," which describes the action of a mother bird sitting on her nest of eggs. Likewise, God the Holy Spirit drew life out of the chaotic earth and produced light and order.
The creative power of the Holy Spirit in bringing the physical world into existence was not God's ultimate concern. He knew that the man and woman He would create would sin and become morally corrupt and spiritually dead. In His love and mercy, God - through His Spirit - "hovers" over the lost person and brings life out of death.
II. He is all-wise (1 Cor. 2:10-11)
Because the Holy Spirit is a Person, He possesses intellect. He "knows." He knows "the deep things of God," or all there is to know about God.
The Holy Spirit's knowledge of God also includes all the divine truth that comes from God. The first requirement of a good teacher is not a charismatic personality or a good vocabulary or a winsome way with people, but knowledge of the subject to be taught.
The Holy Spirit opens our understanding to the meaning of the Scriptures and shows us how they apply to everyday living. The Holy Spirit is our live-in Teacher who is ready to help us understand and apply God's Word every time we read it.
The Holy Spirit possesses emotion along with intellect. Paul warned us not to "grieve the Holy Spirit of God" (Eph. 4:30). Grief is a manifestation of emotion. A person must have the ability to love before love can be grieved. The Holy Spirit, who is one with God, loves every believer whom He indwells. He grieves when we fail to respond to His teaching and guidance.
III. He is everywhere-present (Ps. 139:7-10)
Surveillance cameras are common today. When we enter a bank, cameras watch us from the time we leave our car in the parking lot until we stand at the teller's window. In this psalm we learn that God's Spirit observes us everywhere we go and is sensitive to our every thought and action.
Because the Holy Spirit is "everywhere-present," God's children are constantly within the caring, loving circle of God's concern. Despite our disobedience and rebellion, He continues to "own" us. If we try to run away from Him, He runs alongside us. If we attempt to hide from Him, He is waiting for us in our hiding place.
The beauty of it all lies in the truth that God never stops pursuing His children, wherever their wayward running may take them. He is like the loving shepherd walking through the lonely, dangerous night in search of one lost sheep. When the shepherd found the sheep, he put him on his shoulders and brought him home rejoicing.
Often we cannot sense God's presence in our lives because of the darkness of sin, the shadows of worry and anxiety, the shades of suffering and death, and the awful problems of disease and suffering. We need to remember that God came into the world in the presence of the Holy Spirit to provide a constant source of courage and strength. The Holy Spirit is all-powerful, all-wise, and everywhere-present. So what is there to fear?
In introducing the Holy Spirit, note that it is important to understand that the Holy Spirit is not an "it," but a Person. Because the word translated "spirit" is a neuter word in Greek, the pronoun referring to the Holy Spirit is sometimes translated "it." But when Jesus introduced the Holy Spirit to His disciples, He said, "When the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father - the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father - He will testify about Me" (John 15:26 HCSB).
Jesus was not referring to an influence or to some mysterious power, but to a Person.Compare the power of the Holy Spirit with the energy produced by atomic and nuclear power. It is beyond our ability to conceive. Another comparison would be the power of an erupting volcano.
The staggering discoveries in the field of astronomy are multiplying because of the rapid pace of scientific technology. Now we can see stars and galaxies we never knew existed, yet this is only one facet of God's creation. Compare this to the psalmist's description of the Holy Spirit who knows all things.
Because God loves us, through His Spirit He "dogs our steps" like Francis Thompson's "Hound of Heaven." Search for this poem and consider using part or all of it.
Romans 8:16: Paul reminded his readers that the Holy Spirit within us "testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."
Additional Scriptures to consider: 1 John 3:24; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 2:20, 27.