The Holy Spirit

This year is flying by fairly fast as spring has finally sprung!  It’s a busy time of the year for many of us as we begin to dig into the projects around the house that we’ve been forced to put off until winter passed.
Normally, when working on a project, there is a project manager or supervisor of some kind that has a vision for the project and has various tasks as part of that project that they desire to see accomplished.  For many of us guys this time of the year, that would be our wives.  🙂
In the really big picture of life, there is a God who desires that all people from all nations would come to know Him, receive His salvation, worship Him, and be His disciples.  That’s quite the project to undertake!  God, through His grace, has considered all of us who have chosen to do this ourselves as qualified to work on this project and be a significant part of this vision.  He’s our project manager and we’re all workers for this project.  God has promised to richly bless us from His glorious riches according to how good of a job we’re doing on this project; not only in eternity, but also here and now.
God has a divine destiny and purpose for each of our lives.  We are each extremely valuable to Him, so much so that He gave His very life just to be with us.  He crafted us each so uniquely with different personalities, gifts, and talents.  He then placed us in unique circumstances at a very specific time with a purpose.  He promised to give us a hope and a future and an abundant life regardless of the circumstances in which He placed us.  He also promised us that if we are good stewards of what He has given us to accomplish the tasks divinely assigned to us now, that He’ll give us even more!
One of the first key components of having that project completed is to have clear communication with the project manager.  Initially, to receive and understand their vision and the tasks assigned to us, then ongoing throughout the project to check on the status of the progress and to work together on any problems that are encountered along the way.
In the spiritual, God is the great project manager of everything.  He has unlimited resources available and as many workers as are willing to accomplish His will here on the earth.  We covered during the first quarter of the year how to hear God’s voice and to keep that open line of communication, which covers this first key component of accomplishing His will.  We have the ability and awesome opportunity to hear and see exactly what God’s desires are and His plan and purpose for our lives.  Jason Jablonski reminded us last week that we do not need to be afraid of God, but to eagerly approach Him in reverence, to listen to His voice, and not to refuse Him when He speaks to us.
The second key component in completing a project is having the right resources (materials, tools, etc.).  This leads us into the second quarter of God’s vision for us this year.  God also desires to equip us with all of the resources necessary to accomplish His will.  This requires for us to understand how to receive from God, what tools God gives us, and how to use them.
Before we dig into these tools and resources and get to the good stuff, it is first critical that we first have a solid understanding of who our project manager and equipper is; the Holy Spirit.
We worship and serve the one living God who reveals Himself through three persons, the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.  We commonly refer to this as the trinity.  Throughout the next quarter, we’ll be learning quite a bit about the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit.
The focus on the person of the Holy Spirit is what makes the pentecostal experience unique.
It is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to be who God has called us to be and do all that He has called us to do.
It is through the Holy Spirit that we can live holy lives set apart for God’s purposes and overcome sin and temptation.
It is through the Holy Spirit that we not only know God, but have a thriving relationship and experience God everyday.
Throughout the Bible, we find that the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of God, the Spirit, the Counselor, the Helper, the Spirit of truth, the Advocate, the Holy Ghost, and others.  Being a person, you’ll be able to tell that the Holy Spirit is being referred to as you’re reading through scripture whenever the name or word is capitalized.
This morning, get your Bibles and note taking materials ready, because we’re going to do some serious Bible hopping as we take a look at what God’s word reveals about the Holy Spirit.  Because the Holy Spirit is God, He carries all of the same attributes and characteristics of God, but the person of the Holy Spirit exists and works in a unique way compared to the Father and Jesus.
To start, the Bible itself exists because the Holy Spirit spoke to men and inspired them to write, lead to by the Spirit.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
We first read about the Holy Spirit in the very beginning of the Bible (just the second verse of Genesis) involved in creation.  This reveals a bit about the Spirit’s personality as well, He is certainly both creative and powerful!
Next to the creation of everything, the next most significant act of creation by the Holy Spirit was that of Jesus, Himself, in the flesh.  The Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, bringing about the very birth of Jesus.  When Gabriel told Mary of this pregnancy, she responded:
Luke 1:34-35
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
On a more personal note, the Holy Spirit also does a creative act by giving new life to us when we accept God’s salvation.  It is the Spirit who makes us born again and gives our spirits life.
John 3:5-7
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
The Holy Spirit is how we are ensured that God’s presence is always with us and how God is omnipresent, or everywhere all at the same time.  The Holy Spirit is enormous!  David writes:
Psalm 139:7-12
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
and also Solomon wrote:
2 Chronicles 2:5-6
5 “The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?
For those Star War fans out there, the Holy Spirit has similarities to what is known as the force and those filled with the Spirit are familiar to the Jedi in that movie series.  Although similar in many ways, the two are not the same.
The Holy Spirit has manifested Himself in various forms.  The most common ones found in scripture are in bodily form like a dove, a violent wind, and as fire.  When people initially are baptized in the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament, they began to speak in different tongues.  There are also many testimonies of other sorts of manifestations which can occur when the spiritual and the physical collide in an encounter with the Holy Spirit.
Mark 1:9-11
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Acts 2:1-4
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Better than having Jesus physically walking right with us everyday, He sent us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us.  Romans 8 reveals that the Holy Spirit knows not only the thoughts and will of God, but also our own thoughts and heart.  Here, Jesus tells His disciples a bit about the Holy Spirit that He will send to them after His death and resurrection:
John 16:12-15
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the 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. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
This is something critical for us to remember about the Holy Spirit.  Although He gives us great power and authority, His purpose is never to glorify us, but to glorify and reveal Jesus to us and others.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to be God’s witnesses.
Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The Holy Spirit gives us freedom!
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.However, there is an unselfish purpose in this Spirit-given freedom!  It’s not a freedom to do what we desire, but to do what God desires.  The Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome sin and temptation in our lives.Galatians 5:13-17
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.  16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
The Holy Spirit gives life and healing to our bodies.
Romans 8:11
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
What an awesome thought that the very same Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead lives within us!
The Holy Spirit also adopts us into God’s family making us heirs with Christ and testifying that we are God’s children. What many of us lack in terms of a good natural family, God restores through His spiritual family.
Romans 8:14-17 
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
The Holy Spirit gives us a hunger and desire to follow God.
Ezekiel 36:26-27
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
The Holy Spirit speaks to us prophetically, about the things yet to come.
2 Peter 1:20-21
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
John 16:13
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the 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.
The Holy Spirit gives us gifts of God’s grace in several forms, which we’ll be going over in detail throughout the next quarter.  Paul wrote about these to the Corinthian church:
1 Corinthians 12:1-7
1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
The Holy Spirit keeps us working together in perfect unity and harmony and gives us everything we need to get His work done throughout our temporary season here on earth.
Jesus paid a high price to atone for our sins and reconcile us to Himself.  However, we can’t also include within this great work the fact that He also died and rose again in order to make not only His salvation available to everyone, but also the priceless gift of the Holy Spirit!  Jesus said to His disciples:
John 14:15-21
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the 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 in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
We’ve now received just a taste of the awesome works of God through the person of the Holy Spirit, but there is so much more!  We’re going to proceed to learn how to receive the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit, how to stay filled with Him, and how to do the powerful works that Jesus did and even greater!  How many would like to receive the Holy Spirit?  Come next week and not only learn how to receive it and then to receive it.