Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What does the Holy Spirit do?

Genesis 1:2, 2:7, 3:24

What does the Holy Spirit do?


I.         The Holy Spirit is involved in creating something out of chaos/nothing. [Genesis 1:2]


            A.        Description of the earth: chaos, desolation, empty, ruin, unformed.


                        1.         Basic materials available but no organization.


                        2.         The Spirit of God “hovers” (KJV “broods”) over the situation.


            B.        Description of the one who is disconnected from God: “dead to God,” “walk in darkness,” “futile,” “depraved,” “weary,” “condemned.”


                        1.         Our basic state is one of separation from God. The consequences are eternal and unpleasant.


                        2.         The Spirit of God works to bring us to God. Creating out of the spiritual nothingness of our lives.


            C.        Three stages: (from Paul) “flesh,” “carnal,” “spiritual”


                        1.         In the “flesh” means that we are separated from God. This state is called “sin.”


                        2.         Being “carnal” (NIV “worldly”) means someone has the knowledge of God but the guiding principle of life is unspiritual (not based on God’s love, joy, peace... control).


                        3.         “Spiritual” means to “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. [24] Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. [25] Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” [Galatians 5:22 – 25]


                                    a.         We show the signs (fruit) of God’s control in our lives.


                                    b.         We have dealt with “sin” including its passions and desires.


                                    c.         We are in step with the Spirit as we live by the Spirit.

***** The Holy Spirit reaches into the darkness of life and makes us into what God wants. Are we open? Does the Holy Spirit actually have control? *****


II.       The Holy Spirit is involved in creating life out of lifelessness. [Genesis 2:7]

“And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.” [John 20:22]


            A.        Description of life.


                        1.         Man is formed by the personal and direct touch of God.


                        2.         Life occurs when God breathed into Man. (Hebrew – “breath” and “spirit” are the same word/idea)


                        3.         When the breath of God enters Man there is a transformation from lifeless to a “living being.”


            B.        Description of the spiritual life.


                        1.         Life depends on the Holy Spirit.


                        2.         The process of breathing is an illustration of how the spiritual life works.


                        3.         The Holy Spirit enters (breath in) and we pour out our lives in service (breath out).

***** Blessing does not come in filling alone, it comes mostly in service. *****

(Ill.) The Dead Sea. It is so far below sea level that water runs in but does not run out. Result: the water is stagnate and there is a build up of minerals which prevents life. So it is with us, if we are always taking in but never serving out we become like the Dead Sea.


III.      The Holy Spirit is involved in bringing an end to what will destroy us. [Genesis 3:24]


            A.        Description of judgment or grace?


                        1.         The visual representation of God: the way to Eden and the tree of life was guarded by the sword.


                        2.         Presume that contact with this sword meant death. Death is the natural gate to eternal life... Jesus died so that we might live.


                        3.         Sinful life must die, killed by that sword, before we can go to the tree of life.

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” [Ephesians 6:7]

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. [13] Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” [Hebrews 4:12 – 12]


            B.        Description of the spiritual life.


                        1.         The symbol of Jesus is the cross (which was an image of death).


                        2.         Jesus told us to take up the cross and follow Him.

“And anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” [Matthew 10:38]

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” [Mark 8:34]

“And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14"27]


                        3.         Death will come in one of two ways:


                                    a.         The death sentence (physical and spiritual) on Adam’s race.


                                    b.         The sword of the Spirit must destroy that life of sin before we can eat of the tree of life.

(Talking to believers:) “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” [Romans 8:13]


IV.      So what must we do?


            A.        Consent to the work of the Holy Spirit.


                        1.         “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. [2] Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” [Romans 12:1 – 2]


                        2.         Usually there is a crisis that hangs on a defining single point:


                                    a.         The dearest thing in our lives.


                                    b.         The decisive thing in our plans.


                        3.         If we refuse to yield:


                                    a.         We will constantly struggle to evade God, His will, and direction for us.


                                    b.         We will compromise. (Ill. King Saul)


            B.        Believe the God accepts us, as we are and moves us His direction.


                        1.         Take care of sin immediately.


                        2.         Keep growing... nobody is a finished product until the enter glory or Jesus returns.


                        3.         Make the conscious choice to identify sin and say “no.”

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