The Holy Spirit, Your Comforter!
Hey Metro, have I ever told you that you are such an encouraging church? Well, you are! Actually, it’s been my experience since the day my family moved here, but the response to the message I preached on April 10 on the sufficiency of the Holy Spirit from Galatians 5 is a message from which I received encouragement on steroids from so many of you!
Your encouragement prompted me to get some thoughts down to encourage your pursuit of the Holy Spirit for your daily life. We will preach through 1 Corinthians 12-14, study key passage from Ephesians 4 and 5, along with Romans 12. My intention here is to give you a devotional on the role the Holy Spirit plays in your life, and why our pursuit of his presence is so vital.
I am presently taking an apologetics course in seminary. Frankly, it’s mind boggling to follow all of the theories and approaches to defending our Christian faith. However, while reading a chapter on classical apologetics (one school of thought among five major schools of thought on apologetics, or defending the Christian faith). I was inspired by one aspect of the chapter in particular, which is the crucial role the Holy Spirit plays in our lives. Setting aside all the other apologetic arguments from the chapter, the simple reality for you and I is this; we have an inner witness that assures our hearts that God is who he says he is, Jesus is the Son of God, in Christ is the forgiveness of all our sins, and upon our last breath or the return of Jesus, we will be with Him forever with glorified, renewed bodies free from sin, guilt and death. We will reign forever with Jesus! How do we know this? Regardless of how an unbelieving, depraved and darkened world mocks, how do we know this is true? The Holy Spirit lives within you, that’s how! You have an inner witness. Take these verses in deeply, friends,
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ… - Romans 8:15-17
And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. – 1 John 3:24
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us his Spirit. – 1 John 4:13
Metro, do you wake up and live your day in confidence? I mean, do you go about your day with bedrock assurance that the LORD is with you? I do not mean only that you know in your head that God is real and the Bible is true. I mean, in the depths of your heart, are you experiencing the living water that Jesus said would come to those who believe? Are you alive to the Holy Spirit’s presence and activity in your Monday, Tuesday, etc? The Holy Spirit alive in you is God’s self-authenticating witness that your sins are forgiven and your future is secure! Your past has been dealt with, and your future is not a mystery!
Would your faith increase if they find Noah’s ark? If some scientific discovery comes along that makes as plain a case as ever for creation that makes even Stephen Hawking question himself, would that increase your faith? While there are plenty of things in science and in creation that ought to lead a reasonable person to see a Creator of it all and can be confirmatory, nothing will be more powerful and authenticating than the reality that you have the Holy Spirit within you! It won’t answer the skeptics in your life, and it won’t automatically “undarken” the minds and hearts of those you encounter everyday that suppress the truth about God. But that isn’t my concern here for you or me; my concern is this; that you and I live in the fullness of the Spirit!
Metro, are you living in the fullness of your privileges as a son or daughter of God? Do you believe, with whatever hurdle, besetting sin, fog of life, or anything else you are confronting, that the Holy Spirit in you is all-sufficient and all-powerful to work all things for good in your life? He is a change agent, and changing, yes conforming you and me into the image of Jesus Christ is his chief work and delight! His gifts are great; his presence is greater!
How do you and I live in the fullness of his presence? You’ll hear these as we go through our series, but in short order…
- Yield to the Holy Spirit. Walk and be led by him (Galatians 5:16-17,25; Eph. 5:18).
- Pursue the Holy Spirit through devotions, prayer, worship, and fellowship (John 14:16-17, 20). Unless you’re Matt Brice, your Bible won’t open itself ☺.
- Mortify sin by the Spirit’s power. Friends, we really diminish the Sprit’s activity and our own awareness of his presence if we embrace sin. It should matter to us that we could grieve and quench the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19).
- Come, faithfully on Sundays, expecting to encounter the Holy Spirit and be taught by him (John 14:26).
- Do not despise the gifts (1 Thess. 5:20), because the Holy Spirit will use the gifts to encourage, strengthen and assure your heart that he has all you need for real life and godliness!
Take Darin’s class, listen to the messages a second time, read a book on the person and work of the Holy Spirit (available in the lobby). Just take a step in the Spirit’s direction. You don’t have to be a slave to fear, sin, or anything else. The Holy Spirit has what you need; He is all-sufficient; he is your Comforter!
Love to you all,