For many of us, the Spirit is like that crush that we see and like but know very little about. I want us tonight to sit down on our first date with the Spirit. In order to be spiritual you must have the Spirit. The Spirit gives you access to God the power and presence of God. Before we talk about this, we have to talk a little bit about how the Spirit relates to the Father and the Son.
I. The Trinity
There is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:1-2). These three are called, “the Trinity.” God the Father is the first person. God the Son is the second person. And God the Spirit is the third person. Also, in Acts 5:3-4, “The Spirit” and “God” are used interchangeably. All of the attributes that make God, God can be said about the Spirit.
There are three persons, and these three persons are not three different gods, but are one God. Three persons, one God. This is where it gets confusing! No illustration will fully grasp the Trinity, but it is like three torches with flames on them, and the flames are united into one. Three flames, one fire. Each flame is distinct from the other flames. Yet the three flames are one fire. This teaching is confusing, and it should be. It is like teaching a stick figure about a cone. We can apprehend it but never comprehend it.
- If the Spirit is God – the third person of the Trinity – how does this change the way we relate to him?
- What are some practical things we can do to work towards remembering the Holy Spirit in our Christian walks?
II. Access to Power
Not only does the Spirit give us access to God Himself, but He gives us access to God’s power.
In the World
The powerful work of creation was done with the Spirit as God’s instrument (Genesis 1:2), and the Spirit powerfully sustains all life (Psalm 104:27-30).
In the Church
In Zechariah 4:6-7, the people of God who returned from exile were trying to rebuild the temple, and an angel told Zechariah that the church would not rebuild the temple by human strength, but by the supernatural power of the Spirit! The same that was true for the church back then is true for the church now.
The most powerful car in the world is the Bugatti Chiron. It has 1, 479bhp, has 16 cylinders, and can go up to 261mph. But you know what that car is without its engine? A hunk of metal. In order for that car to go from a hunk of nice metal to the most powerful car in the world, it needs an engine. In order for the church to go from a group of dysfunctional people to the organization that has changed the world, it needs the Spirit. Where there’s no Spirit, there’s no heavenly power.
Although the church is made up of imperfect people, it is still the hunk of metal that God has placed His engine in. God draws straight lines with crooked sticks.
- If it is true that the Spirit gives access to God’s power, how should we live?
- What are areas in your life that you would be more courageous knowing that the Spirit gives you power to follow Jesus?
- What are practical ways that we can intentionally seek empowerment from the Spirit?
- How would Jackson State be different if the Christians on campus lived Spirit-empowered lifestyles?
III. Access to His Presence
Ezekiel 39:29 tells us that God will reveal his face to his people. To see God’s face is to have an intimate knowledge of His personal presence. How will this happen? When God pours out his Spirit on His people. To have the Spirit is to have intimacy with God.
In the World
We have seen that God’s loving presence is in the world in sustaining and animating it by his Spirit.
In the Church
It is also in the church. During Israel’s journey’s in the wilderness, whenever God would meet with them, he would come in the form of a fiery storm cloud. This cloud by day and pillar of fire by night would lead them into the promised land (Numbers 9:15-23, Isaiah 63:10-14). And this same cloud would also rest on the disciples in the upper room at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). These are manifestations of God’s Spirit, and this is where people met personally with God.
On top of that, the Spirit was the doorway into the inner workings of the heavenly realms. The prophets, who were “in the Spirit,” would relay what they saw and heard to God’s people and then write it down. This is where we get many of our Scriptures. Where’s there’s no Spirit, there’s no heavenly presence.
There are many of us here who may be saying, “I want the power and presence of God in my life. How do I receive this Spirit?” The Spirit is not something that you can earn or work up. In fact, we have disqualified ourselves from any right to have the Spirit by the guiltiness our sin has brought upon us. The Spirit is a gift, and it is Jesus’ to give! You must believe in Jesus. Only those who receive Jesus are able to enjoy the gift that he gives – the Spirit
- Do you want to know more about God? If so, why? If not, why not?
- The Scriptures is the way that God has face to face intimacy with His people. How does this change the way we read Scripture?
- If the Spirit gives us access to God’s personal presence, does this encourage us? Scare us? Cause us to doubt?
- What does it tells us about God that he would share His Spirit with the church?