Reaching the unseen



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Saturday, February 16, 2013



Introduction To The Holy Spirit
by Pastor Mark Taylor

This sermon is only a brief introduction to the Holy Spirit.  There have been hundreds of entire books devoted to revealing this wonderful Person to you and I.  The greatest book is the Bible.

Through the gift of God to mankind we are able to communicate in ways today that would have been thought of as impossible just 50 years ago.  Today I am able to communicate with live video chats with Pastors in India and other countries simply by touching a few buttons on my computer.  My sermons go to over 93 countries throughout the world on my website and people can read them in their language by simply clicking one button on their computers.  In addition to that hundreds of people have listened to my sermons on CD's after you listen to me speak to you in this Church building.  So, if poor, ignorant men like I and others can do things like this, why do we question the ability of the God of the Bible on matters such as the way He has chosen to reveal Himself to us?

Our God is the creator of technology and every other invention man has been given knowledge of.  By faith in our God - the God of the Bible, it should be easy for us to accept that He can and has revealed Himself to us in three different ways - The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.

I think sometimes we forget that God is not just another more powerful human.   "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8)

We were made in His image, but He is the Creator of the Universe Who is all powerful (omnipotent), all present (omnipresent), and all knowing  (omniscient).  We live in a galaxy with millions of stars and planets, and in a world with over  250 billion galaxies.  All of this was made by our God who took the time to create us and reveal Himself to us and have a loving and personal relationship with us.  He knows everything about you, even the number of hairs on your head. (Matthew 10:29-31)

Since our God is this and so much more, it is a small thing for Him to reveal Himself as the Father , Son, and Holy Spirit.  

The Holy Spirit, who is the Third member of the Trinity, is a gift to us in this dispensation, the "Church Age." The Holy Spirit's work is to give believers gifts or talents to enable them to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.  In the Apostles’ Creed we say: “I believe in the Holy Spirit”.  Christians believe in one God. "The Lord our God is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4); we're not "polytheists" - we do not believe in many gods. We do believe that God has chosen to reveal Himself in three different ways – The Father, The Son (The Lord Jesus Christ), and The Holy Spirit.    “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 25-27).  While these can be separated, God the Father, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are always with each other and are one substance.

Our Lord in His physical body could only be present at one place at one time, but through the Holy Spirit He can be every where all the time.  “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:7-9).

This promise is given only to those who have accepted the Lord as their Savior.  "I will ask the Father, & He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him . . ." (John 14:16-17). But even though the people of the world, the people who aren’t Christians don’t know Him, Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit is working on them. 

The Holy Spirit's name can also be translated into the names:  “Comforter”, “Counselor”, and “Paraclete” or “One Who stands alongside”.  This refers to someone who is our defense attorney who stands before God for us when the devil attacks our relationship with Him.

Some denominational groups feel that the only evidence of a person who has the Holy Spirit is the “gift” of speaking in tongues. I am not discounting their experience or limiting the Holy Spirit from demonstrating Himself in that manner. 
This is another example of putting God in a box and saying He can only work one way.  God loves variety as is seen in His diversity in nature, the types, sizes and colors of all the plants and animals He has created for us.  Man was created with a diversity of personalities.  Some people express themselves with great emotion, and others do not.  We have been told by our Lord not to judge others in their relationship to God who do not worship just like us.

However, many people have been used by the Holy Spirit without this gift including Martin Luther, John Wesley, D.L. Moody, Billy Graham, and hundreds of missionaries and Pastors over many centuries.   I personally believe that there are many “gifts” that the Holy Spirit gives to the child of God as evidence of His presence in their lives and this is only one of them.  I would rather spend this time with you introducing the Person of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is not a "gift", but a person who indwells Christians.  He in turn gives gifts to those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ.  Other "gifts" include:  preaching, teaching, healing the sick, singing, giving, helps, writing, artistic abilities, administration, and the greatest gift, "love". (I Corinthians 13).  Our Lord Jesus said:  "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:  how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:13).  It is simply a matter of asking.

There are many things that every believer can agree on who have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit and that is what this sermon will attempt to do with His help.

The Holy Spirit is God’s final contact, God’s last attempt to reach man & save him from sin. The Holy Spirit is God’s agent in the world today showing us the great love of God & offering us His salvation.

It is the Holy Spirit that brings you to God the Father through His Son, the Lord Jesus. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” (Romans 8:8-9)  .The Holy Spirit uses every opportunity possible to convict us of our sins, to call us to righteousness, & to warn us about the judgment to come.  The Holy Spirit is  not optional or extra.  It comes into you when you are "born again" (John 3:3).  

The Holy Spirit will be evidenced in your life by your desire to share your faith and the love of God  in your life to others.  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes into your life. You will tell about Me in the city of Jerusalem and over all the countries of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit comforts us in time of trouble or sorrow; He helps us to overcome temptations & to live the way we ought; He educates our conscience; He helps us to pray as we ought; & He bears witness to God on our behalf that we are children of God.   To the Christian, the Holy Spirit is God’s great Helper - helping us where we are weak, lifting us up when we fall, comforting us in trouble or sorrow, guiding us in the way we ought to go, & standing alongside us as a witness for our defense before God on that great judgment day.

Why is the sin against the Holy Spirit called the “unpardonable sin”? The sin against the Holy Spirit is the sin of so often & so consistently refusing God’s will that in the end we no longer even recognize it, even when it comes in all of its power.  It was a direct reference to the Pharisees giving credit to Satan for the healing of the man Jesus healed who was blind and unable to speak. (Matthew 12: 30-32).  People need to be very careful about speaking against the works of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others.

But why should that sin be unforgivable? What makes it so much worse than all other sins? The answer is simple. When someone reaches that stage, repentance becomes impossible.   If we cannot recognize good when we see it, we can’t desire the good.  If we do not recognize evil as being evil, we can’t be sorry for it, & hate it, & wish to change for the better.  If we cannot love the good & hate the evil, then we can’t repent; & if we do not repent, we cannot be forgiven, because repentance is a vital condition for forgiveness.

It was to that stage that the Pharisees had come. They had so long been deliberately blind & deaf to God that they had lost the ability to recognize God when they were confronted by Him.  It was not God who had shut them out; they had shut themselves out, for years of resistance to God had made them what they were. 

Great men of God, such as Billy Graham and others have admitted that even they do not understand everything about the Holy Spirit, God The Father, or the Lord Jesus Christ.  And they have studied the Word of God and other people’s ideas and writings all their lives.  So it is unlikely that we will ever totally grasp how wonderful the Holy Spirit is and the help and power is available to us through Him.  We can, however, pray for more understanding, more gifts, more love, and a life of forgiveness and repentance for ourselves and others.  As we give more of ourselves to God, He will reveal more of Himself to us.