Well, good morning friends. Welcome to the Bridge.
We are going to look today at something about the Holy Spirit, so let’s just have a word of prayer as we come to the Word of God.
Lord, we thank you for your Word. We thank you for the truth and your Word. We thank you for the fact that you are Father, Son, Holy Spirit, one God, three in one. We pray you help us to understand and to know more of you. And I pray that you guide me and bless me through preaching your Word today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Praise the Lord. We believe we’re living in the last days. I believe that prophecies are taking place. We see a lot of things taking place.
It says in the Bible that, in the last days, perilous times are going to come. Clayton has already referred to that in his prayer and we see in our world one thing happening after another, going from bad to worse, all kinds of crises coming upon us.
The government tells us they’re going to free us all up on June the 21st. But now, they’re saying we’ve got to worry about this variant, and I think they’re psyching us up for more restrictions to come.
And there just seems to be some kind of program going on. It just seems like everyone wants to take control, and control us and what we do.
If you look at things globally, there are two things happening:
- nations falling apart into some kind of chaos and confusion, and also,
- nations coming together in increasingly dictatorial control systems backed by technology
And, behind all this, you can see also a fundamental attack on Christianity taking place in society and even in much of the visible church, with increased persecution of Bible-believing Christians around the world.
We’ve just seen in the Middle East another outburst of conflict between Israel and Gaza, and one has to feel that that’s shaping up for something bigger that’s coming down the line, in line with Bible prophecy of the end times and the conflicts over Israel.
So, we live in perilous times, difficult times. How are we going to overcome? How are we going to keep going, keep trusting in the Lord, and keep going for Jesus?
I believe there are two things we are to do:
- one thing which I speak on often here is our hope in the Second Coming of Jesus and the fact that we’re living in the last days, and that Jesus is going to come back and have the last word. The kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our God, of His Messiah. And He shall reign forever and ever.
As Jesus said:
That’s one way in which we’re going to survive.
- another way is by being committed to God through Jesus Christ and having God living in us by the Holy Spirit. Believing that Jesus died for our sins, that He rose from the dead, and ever lives to make intercession for us and has given to us the Holy Spirit to live within us, to be ‘God within us’, thus living by the Holy Spirit.
A few thoughts on the Holy Spirit then:
First of all, the Bible does tell us very clearly that God is three persons in One: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This little diagram is not perfect – you can never actually perfectly represent God – but it tells you something fundamental about the nature of God:
that God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That the Father IS God, the Son IS God, the Holy Spirit IS God.
There are three persons but they’re not three persons who can be confounded (that’s the theological term they use).
So, the Father is NOT the Son, the Son is NOT the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is NOT the Father.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons who are (the technical word is) consubstantial, co-equal, co-eternal. That means they’re of One substance with the Father, but they are all equal and eternal.
It’s not one indivisible God as you have in Islam or in Jehovah’s Witnesses or even in Judaism, but it’s a God who has three persons in One.
It’s also NOT three different Gods. It IS One God who is three.
So, can you work it out? Can you understand it? The answer is: No! We cannot!
It’s very hard to understand. And it’s actually one of the points which opponents of Christianity often attack. But the fact that we can’t understand it clearly with our own minds doesn’t mean that it is not true.
And there are other things about God which you can’t understand. Can you understand that God is ‘from eternity to eternity’? That He has no beginning and no end? Can you get that into your mind?
Children come up with a question: Who made God? And it’s a question which we actually don’t have an answer to.
God has always existed and it’s something which we have to receive by faith.
And there are a whole lot of things which I don’t have any answers to. How can a good God who created everything good, have created a being who would become evil, Satan? How did it come about? We can’t explain it but we have to believe it by faith.
Believing something by faith is what ‘turns the light on’, do you know? I don’t understand all about electricity but it doesn’t stop me, when I go into a darkened room, from switching a light on to make it light.
And the fact that I don’t understand everything about God doesn’t stop me from having faith in God and switching on that light of faith.
So that, when I go out into a darkened world, I have the light of faith in God through Jesus Christ who lives within us.
The things which you have of God are actually revealed by the Holy Spirit. And the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is the person of God who is actually the most involved in communication with humanity.
I’m going to look into this, I’m going to do a series, so we’re going to look really at the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, then the work of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament before Pentecost and then, after Pentecost. And you’ll see that although the Holy Spirit doesn’t change and God doesn’t change directly, there are changes in the way in which God mediates by the Holy Spirit in all of those different times.
The Holy Spirit is the person of God who’s most involved in communication with humanity. When we look in the Old Testament, we see that God is active by the Holy Spirit in bringing God’s word to humanity by the prophets and by the writings of the Hebrew scriptures.
Also, He comes upon certain people who are called to lead and He equips them. He renews them and equips them for ministry.
The Holy Spirit is also at work in convicting of sin and restraining evil and, although God is unchanging and eternal in his nature, there is a change in which the Holy Spirit works after the cross, the resurrection, and after Pentecost.
And we’ll look at that when we come to study the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.