I had the wonderful privilege of preaching at Atoka Presbyterian Church (EPC) yesterday.This church has a wonderful history (you can read it on the photo of the historical marker in front of the church) and I was thrilled to be among the loving congregation. After presenting an update about Overseas Council during Sunday School, I utilized some borrowed wisdom from Sinclair Ferguson and Paul Fritz, and reflected on the Holy Spirit for the worship sermon. I won’t belabor you with the whole text but I do want to share with you the final points dealing with how the Holy Spirit works in the life of a believer and some Bible verses that you might want to contemplate in your walk.
HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT WORK IN A BELIEVERS LIFE?
1. The Holy Spirit regenerates. Recall Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born? Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:3-5)
2. The Holy Spirit guides believers into truth. Jesus said, “But 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.” (John 16:13)
3. The Holy Spirit cleanses, sanctifies and justifies us. Straight from the words of Paul “…you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (I Cor. 6:11)
4. The Holy Spirit refreshes us daily with hope and love. Again from Paul “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Rom. 5:5)
5. The Holy Spirit intercedes for believers in ways that He pleads our concerns to the heavenly Father. Paul wrote, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Rom. 8:26)
6. The Holy Spirit reminds us of important truths we forget. Jesus said, “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
7. The Holy Spirit teaches us to be more Christ-like. 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 were my subject verses for the sermon.
However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” — but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
CALL ON THE HOLY SPIRIT…AND LISTEN
I emphasized that the Christian walk involves practice…practice…practice listening to the Holy Spirit. We need to admit to our own inability, we need to pray and ask for help and we need to listen for the Holy Spirit’s comfort and counsel. The Holy Spirit guides us not only in prayer but in daily life. Often we tune out his presence because we want to follow our own agenda. But if we listen for him he will show us how to be more Christ-like. The more we tune-in to his voice, the more we will grow. The more we grow, the more ready we will be when we are confronted with temptation or sinful behavior.
I will end with the words of A. W. Tozer from his book, “The Pursuit of God”
“In our sins we lack only the power. The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the kingdom of God. It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead. That is where we begin, I say, but where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end.”
If you would like a full copy of the sermon and/or the PowerPoint slides, send me an email.