Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
February 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Central Passage
John 14:16
Subject
The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Believer's Life
Description

Beloved Members and readers of this sermon posted

on my website. It was not preached at Institutional

on Feb 16  owing to a special program that  included

a guest speaker.

Christianity is one of the major world religions. While being

similar in terms of having a Supreme Power, Christianity differs

from all other religions in that it embodies a triune God; that

Godhead is threefold: God the Father, God the Son, and God the

Holy Spirit. This combined religious interfacing is generally known

at the Trinity. Although the word Trinity does not appear in the

Bible, there are - nonetheless - numerous Scriptures that support

this concept. Yet, many Bible reading individuals have difficulty

in understanding the Holy Spirit as an integral part of the Trinity.

Such persons can envision God as Creator and Jesus as the divine

person who walked on this earth. But their envisioning capacity

tends to be incapable of recognizing the Holy Spirit. Hence, they

tend to downplay or neglect the Holy Spirit and His role in their

frequently

life. One of the / used responses is to labeled the Holy Spirit

as belonging to the Sanctified or Holy people. Well, friends, I have

a somber message - we, all, need the Holy Spirit if we desire to

 

live the abundant, consoling, and heavenly bound life. Our sermon,

in this connection, is a teaching on the Holy Spirit; it has been

entitled," The Holy Spirit in the Believer’s Life." The study is planned

to introduce us to the Holy Spirit; familiarize us with what Jesus

taught about the Spirit in our life; and to identify three areas

in which we have need of the Holy Spirit. Since the first

objective is historical in origin, let us turn attention to an analysis

of the Holy Spirit. In theology, the study of the Holy Spirit is

known as Pneumatology. That area of study seeks to define the

origin, nature, and functioning of the Holy Spirit. A careful biblical

analysis of the Holy Spirit discloses several historical facts, some

of which are: the Holy Spirit was present at creation and ( Gen. 1:2 )

records, "And the Spirt of God moved upon the face of the waters";

the Spirit was present at the creation of human life ( Gen. 1:26 ) and

therein it is recorded, "And God said, Let us make man in our

image..."; the Spirit of God was present at the baptism of Jesus

( Matt. 3:16 ) "... and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a

dove, and lighting upon him..."; Jesus promised that the Holy

Spirit, ( Holy Ghost ) would come upon the disciples ( Acts 1:8 )

where it is recorded, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy

Ghost is come upon you".; there was an outpouring of the Holy

Spirit on the Day of Pentecost ( Acts 2:4 ) where it is recorded, "And

they were all filled with the Holy Ghost..." and the Spirit was with

John on the Isle of Patmos ( Rev. 1:9 ) where it is recorded, "I was

in the Spirit on the Lord’s day...".

Within a slightly different context, the Bible presents the

Holy Spirit in terms of symbols that include: oil, water, wind, fire,

a dove, a seal, and a pledge. Beloved, these are but a few of the

numerous biblical references to the Holy Spirit.

The next consideration of the Holy Spirit is the Biblical

division of the Godhead. Starting with Genesis and continuing

throughout the Old Testament is the period where God is

prominent; that period is known as God the Father. The second

period starts with Matthew and continues through the 1st

Chapter of Acts; it is the era where Jesus lived on this earth. That

time is labeled as God the Son; during that time God was in the

background while Jesus was at the forefront. The last component

of the Godhead starts with Acts and ends with the Book of

Revelation. It is the third part of the Godhead, known as God the

Holy Spirit. This is the era under which we are living; it is

characterized by God in the background of divinity, Jesus as the

mediator next to God, and the Holy Spirit as the present force

promised by Jesus. Beloved, this divine relation will prevail until

the end of time, often referred to as the rapture. Our challenge,

in this regard, is to prayerfully seek to learn of and allow the

Holy Spirit to intervene in or life. Such an undertaking is

consistent with the intent of Jesus as reflected in his message

to the disciples as noted in our text; he said, "And I will pray the

Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may

abide with you forever" ( John 14:16 ).

Let us now turn to the second topic of the study; it is that

of what Jesus taught about the Spirit in our life. In his commentary

on this topic, Schofeld wrote that "Christ indicates a threefold

personal relationship of the Spirit to the believers: that relationship

consists of three words; they are: "with" "in" and "upon". The key

Scriptural references for these words are: John 14:17; Luke 24:49;

and Acts 1:8 ).

The word, "with" indicates the Spirit’s approach to the soul; it

is that of imparting faith, convicting of sin, presenting Christ as the

object of faith, and regeneration. The next word, "in" describes the

abiding presence of the Spirit in the believer’s body, the capacity to

give victory over the flesh, to create the Christian character, to

bear personal infirmities, to open a pathway to God’s mercies, to

maintain trust in God, and to experience the eternal warmth of

divine presence. The last word, "upon" describes the outpouring

of the Holy Spirit. This process is like rain falling on dry soil;

it saturates the soil, relieves the soil’s dryness, and increases

the soil’s productiveness. This upon function causes behavioral

responses in the believer’s life; it may be crying, witnessing, or

helping the less fortunate. In sum, the with, in, and upon functions

help to make the believer become a new creature in Christ Jesus.

 

Let us now turn to the third teaching on the Holy Spirit in the

believer’s life; it is the question of what, specific duties does the

Holy Spirit perform in the believer’s life. The Bible contains an

extensive list; however, the sermon will be confined to just three

functions of Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. First, the Holy Spirit

will guide the believer into all truth. This promise is found in John

16:13 where it is recorded, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is

come, he will guide you into all truth...". Friends, life is like a

vacationing tourist who desires to visit high profiled locations in

the city. Accordingly, the vacationer takes a tour bus or a trolley

on which both operators give a narration as the trip proceeds. In

most instances, the operators follow the script; however, there are

some who become fascinated by the crowd and begin to stretch

the extremities of truth. In a stage of excitement, the vacationer

is prone to believe the tour guide’s account. Well, the Holy Spirit

is a tour guide for daily life. This guide, according to the Bible,

is truthful and will guide all believers into the truth ( John 16:13 ).

Whereas the bus tour guide may comment on worldly truth and

even some, scientific truth, the Holy Spirit goes beyond those

types and concentrates on the spiritual truth. This type of truth can

not be taught in school; instead, it requires intervention of the

Holy Spirit. This spiritual truth, while existing in daily affairs,

rises above text book principles and teacher speculation; it ascends

to the ultimate source of wisdom - the type that cometh from the

Father. In this regard, it is possible for one to be intellectually

wise and spiritually unwise. Hence, it becomes necessary for the

believer to constantly seek guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The next function of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life is that

of teacher. This function was specified by Jesus as recorded in

John 14:26 when he said, " But the Comforter, which is the Holy

Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach

you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, what

so ever I have said unto you." During a life time, each person is

exposed to the teaching of numerous individuals. In general,

the teaching contents are geared to family life, educational goals

career objective, and - often to a lesser extent - religious precepts.

While the teachers may be ever so committed in their efforts, they

are all incapable of teaching spiritual discernment and recall. In

this connection, every person should allow the Holy Spirit to

intervene within his/her life. The late B.B. McKinney captured this

yearning in his hymn," Breath on Me". He wrote, "Holy Spirit,

breath on me; My stubborn will subdue. Teach me in words of

living flame, What Christ would have me do." Friends, the Holy

Spirit - as teacher - instills right principles, provides cues for

recall, and opens new vistas for greater spiritual development.

Hopefully, we are aware of this great teacher and we are secure

under His leadership. Whereas, we tend to recall the impact of

earthly teachers in our life, there is likewise the need to recall and

give witness of the Holy Spirit - as teacher - in our life.

The third, and final, function of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s

life - selected for this sermon - is helper. It is known that nature

equips each normal person with a network of sensory systems

to detect and respond to the physical world. Through these

systems, the individual can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell

components of the environment. These sensory systems become

increasingly sensitive to external stimuli as one receives training

and experiences maturation. In the process of time, the normal

person is capable of assuming increasing responsibilities.

While physical discernment is normal for most individuals,

there is a level of awareness that requires a non biological source

for comprehension. The Bible describes this source as being

Spiritual. Saint Paul, in commenting on this source, wrote, "But the

natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they

are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they

are spiritually discerned" ( 1st Cor. 2:14 ). Beloved, Paul is herein

talking about the "sixth" sense - remember the biological sensory

system contains fives senses. Paul places hem under the heading

of the carnal man and, therefore, concludes that they are

inadequate to promote spiritual understanding. However, he does

not leave humanity in a state of hopelessness. Instead, Paul tells of

the Holy Spirit as the Divine source of illumination, inspiration,

and assistance. In his role as helper, The Holy Spirit, is operative

in the believer’s prayer life. "...the Holy Spirit also helpeth our

infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:

but the Spirit itself maketh intercessions for us with groanings

which can not be uttered. ( Romans 8:26 ). Since Jesus had

earlier promised that the Spirit would dwell with the believer

( John 14:16-17 ), the praying person should take comfort in

knowing that there is the ever presence of the Spirit within its

life. Hence, the believer - as a creature of flesh - must strive

to walk in the Spirit. The extent to which one is committed to

and successful in this effort will determine how prominent the

Spirit is in its life.

So in closing my friends, this sermon was entitled, "The Holy

Spirit in the Believer’s life". Briefly, it showed that the Spirit is

part of the Triune God, He was promised by Jesus (John 14:16-18),

and He ascended to the earthly office on the Day of Pentecost. It

was also noted that the Spirit is fulfilling three essential functions

in the believer’s life, namely: to guide the believer; to teach the

believer, and to help the believer. So in yielding our life unto The

Spirit, we will be able to walk in the Spirit, to attain spiritual

discernment , to share in the fruits of the Spirit, and to experience

the social and economic life. Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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