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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Messages » The Power of the Holy Spirit

The Power of the Holy Spirit

 

This week I wanted to talk about the special presence of God through His Holy Spirit and how certain men and women are touched. We often read about individuals in the Scripture who stand out from the rest. During the history of Israel, there were leaders, prophets, kings and judges, who had special abilities to do their jobs for God’s glory.

If you will think back from your Bible studies you will remember those such as Moses, Abraham, David, Samson, Deborah, and Elijah, just to name a few. In these men and women God granted His Holy Spirit to give supernatural ability to lead Israel. These few people were individually blessed at their particular time in history to do God’s work. In Old Testament days, the Holy Spirit was given to one person at a time. That is to say, only one person was anointed for that time to work God’s plan.

Since we are under the new covenant, let’s examine the difference. A covenant is a contract or if you will allow it, a deal. In the Old Testament, we had the old covenant. This covenant was basically this; you live under the law (its rules and regulations including sacrificing lambs) and God would cover your sins so that you could approach Him.

In the new covenant you accept His sacrifice as the only atonement for your sin and live for Him. In keeping His part He gives you the Holy Spirit and guides you through this life. After this life is over He grants you everlasting life in which you reign with Him forever. What’s the difference? First, the lamb was different. Whereas the old covenant was done with the blood of lambs, the new covenant was done with Blood of the Son of God. The old covenant was temporary. The lamb had to be sacrificed regularly. Each year a lamb was slain for a person’s sin. Sometimes it was done more than that if a person had fallen into sin. There were also other sacrifices if minor sins were committed.

In the new covenant Jesus was sacrificed once and for all. He doesn’t get re-crucified every time you sin. He paid for it all on the Cross.

He was the ultimate Lamb to cover it all. Now, you may be wondering how this applies to the Holy Spirit. I’m getting there if you’ll bear with me.

Under the old covenant there were rules to live by. These were taught to the Jewish people by their Fathers. The fathers were given the law by the priests in the synagogue. The priests were given the law by Moses and Moses received it from God. There were many categories of rules to live by including spiritual, ceremonial, moral, judicial, hygienic, etc.

These were not only recorded for us to see how we might morally live but also that we could see that God provided rules for the Jewish people to live by in which they would be healthy in mind, body and spirit. Now, how does the new covenant (or deal) compare?

In the old covenant you’ll notice that the law was taught by the fathers and priests. In the old covenant the Holy Spirit moved on one person at a time. In the new covenant God sent down His Holy Spirit as a token of earnest that everything would be completed. Look at John 7:37-39. Jesus talks about rivers of living water coming from those who would have the Holy Spirit. Please notice that verse 39 says that the Holy Spirit had not been given since He (Jesus) had not been glorified.

Also in John 14:25-26, Jesus says that He is telling the disciples something as He is still with them but when the Holy Spirit comes He (the Spirit) would teach them all things and bring to remembrance  everything that Jesus had spoken.

So, here we see the first function of the Holy Spirit. He is there to teach us and help us remember. How does He help us remember what Jesus said? Does He just pop something into our minds? Sadly, some people feel that way. They believe that they just get a revelation of something and often it goes against scripture. They give the Holy Ghost the credit when He, in fact, did not quicken it to them. Let me point out one important fact. He comes to us to help us remember what Jesus said. How can we remember what Jesus said if we haven’t read it first? We can’t. The Holy Spirit helps us to remember what we have read in scripture. If it doesn’t agree with scripture, it is not of God. Personal Bible study is imperative!

God will never tell someone to do something against His Word. I sometimes hear someone say that God called them to do something that is totally against His Word. If I bring up a scripture that is showing the opposite viewpoint then I get the normal argument that the passage is not for today. I’ve even been told “it doesn’t say that in the Bible”. The problem is that they heard someone else say something and never read it for themselves.  It is amazing how folks will tell us that certain passages (the ones which actually require something uncomfortable like dying to the flesh) was not meant for today.

The Holy Spirit gives the interpretation of the scripture. That is His second job. Look at John 16:12-15. Jesus said that He would guide us into all truth. Now, if someone is willing to listen to this Teacher, he will be able to follow God’s ultimate plan for his life. That is why so many people struggle with the path that they take. They are not listening to the Spirit. Most people feel that a Holy Spirit-filled church is one that has a charged up church service full of people shouting and dancing. Maybe you perceive this as His real job in the church. But the Holy Spirit is given to the church to do more than just raise your emotions to a fever pitch so that you can have a pep-rally.

The third job that the Spirit has is to convict us when we do wrong. What if we don’t listen to Him; does He get mad at us? The Word says we can grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30). Jesus said that He would leave us the Holy Spirit so that we would not be comfortless (John 14:18). The original Greek word for comfort (orphanos) means orphans. While you may think of the Comforter as someone who makes you feel good this meaning is actually more like a father or teacher.  He did not leave us without guidance and leadership. He did not leave us without a leader. He left us His Holy Spirit.

What if we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit’s leadership? He is there to help us grow and stay on track as Christians if we do listen to Him. But we can choose to ignore His prompting. Should we choose to do so it’s like this; we will hear His voice at the first temptation of, as an example, lust. But if we decide to give into temptation and sin anyway His voice is harder to hear the next time. If you are building a house and you hit your thumb with a hammer it will hurt terribly. You could choose to hit yourself again and again and pretty soon the nerves in your thumb will be destroyed and you’ll no longer be able to know when you’ve hit yourself.

I know that sounds dramatic but in essence it is how we hear His voice. If you’ll think about your life you will see what I’m talking about. When people first start toward a sin they get a terrible conviction about it. Take drinking alcohol, for example. They sneak around and try to keep from being seen because of guilt. Then, before you know it, they’ve done it so many times they know longer hear the Spirit’s voice telling them that it’s wrong. You might remember falling into sin in the past where you felt sick at your stomach the first time you did it and weeks later did it without blinking.

Here’s the problem. You might feel like you will play around with a “pet” sin. Maybe you ignore the Spirit’s warning about pornography. You want to do this sin and you keep it going until you don’t feel convicted about it. Down the road you will find yourself desperately needing guidance about something in life. You will reach a point where you would give anything to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and you won’t. That is what ignoring Him does. It grieves Him.

We cannot choose to listen to Him on certain things and ignore Him on others. He always speaks to our Spirits for our good. We should listen! We MUST listen! He is our Help and Comforter. He is our Companion. He is our Teacher. He is our Friend.

Let’s look at two passages before I finish. Look at Matthew 26:31-35. The setting is the Last Supper. Here Jesus tells the disciples that all of them would be scattered that night. Peter boldly states that he will not and Jesus says that before the night is up Peter will deny Him three times. Peter does, in fact, fall and denies knowing Jesus. This is before the Holy Spirit has come.

Now turn to Acts chapter 2. Of course, the Holy Ghost was given to the Church at Pentecost. You can read the entire chapter but Peter is the example I’m using here. He begins a sermon in verse 14 and it goes to verse 36. It is so powerful and so convincing that he doesn’t need an “altar call”. He finishes and in verse 37 someone says “What do we need to do?”

Can you imagine a church service where there is so much power that a man stops and says “what do I need to do”? That is what the Holy Spirit did for Peter. Peter’s life was filled with power and he was eventually crucified without denying the Lord. That same power is there for you today. The Holy Ghost is there for all who receive Christ. He lives in us and guides us. He is the third part of the Trinity of God. You cannot make it without Him.

Tap into His power today!  He will make a change in you!

paul

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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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