Today at church we began a sermon series on the Holy Spirit. And because this is a passion of mine, I want to share (below) the sermon which was preached today. It was quality for sure! But I also want to share some insights here in this post.
First, there is so much confusion in the Church over “what the Spirit does exactly, how to be filled with the Spirit, who is the holy Spirit exactly, the charismatic movement and the Spirit, the Word and the Spirit, etc.” The sermon below addresses these. But I want to point to some central, eternal truths regarding the Holy Spirit. One, the Holy Spirit is God, and the Holy Spirit is therefore, Holy. And two, the Holy Spirit which was “in Jesus Christ” and seen all throughout the book of Acts and working in the writings of the epistles, is the same today as back then. And that same Spirit, who back then, never contradicted God’s character, or Word, in any way, still will never do or say anything which is contrary to the written Word (the Bible) now. Also, because the Spirit is God, you need Him for everything regarding the Christian life. And because the Bible is the written “voice” of the Spirit of God, you need it for everything in the Christian life. Also, many have failed to address the “holiness” of the Spirit. And due to them failing to remember this aspect of God’s Spirit they have become “charismatic” in ways outside of the leading of the Spirit. I am not saying there is anything wrong with charisma. I am saying that if that charisma is void of obeying the Holy Word of God in the first place, then it is simply heightened emotion and experience void of the Holy Spirit. Get it? So, there can be great emotion when the Holy Spirit is at work and there can be silence and stillness when the Holy Spirit is at work. We see examples of this in both the Old and New Testaments. In other words, tongues, prophecy, healings, signs, and wonders are NOT necessarily evidence that it is the “holy” Spirit doing these, because they can be “created” outside of God, and by other spirits and by human desire alone. And a church sitting in a pew, reading hymns, listening to the convicting, revealing, living Word of God can be just as filled and empowered by the “holy” Spirit as the Apostles were in Jesus’ day.
So, my desire, and I believe the “holy” Spirit’s desire, is that the Church, or Body-of-Christ, would be grounded firmly on these truths in our day: 1) The Spirit of “Holiness”, who seeks to make us “holy unto Christ” and “wholly unto Christ” which is the will of God. That this IS the primary work of the Holy Spirit. 2) The “Holy Spirit” never contradicts the “Holy Word of God” in written form. 3) One cannot be a Christian or live the Christian life apart from having both, the Spirit and the Word working side by side.
Now, take some time and listen to the sermon when you get a chance. It will encourage you. Be blessed by the Spirit who confirms the Word.