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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Comforter and More....The Holy Spirit

This is an outline of the message I brought to the Renmark West and Renmark Uniting Church congregations on Sunday 19/6/16.

The actual presentation had some  omissions and inclusions.

The inclusions which I shared extemperaneously are covered by previous posts on this blog.

In particular part of my shared testimony and the true story of a young girl set free from blackouts.

You will find those posts in the link further down.

Call to Worship:  Geoff Thompson
Hymn: 91 Morning has broken  AHB 
Prayer of confession praise and thanksgiving 
Hymn:   “All glory praise and honour.” 250 ahb 
Offering and Prayer: Geoff 
Bible reading:       John 14:15-28 
Hymn: 173 I will sing the wondrous story AHB
Sermon: Geoff Thompson     The Comforter and much more 
  Hymn: 319 “Spirit of God that moved of old”.
Benediction and Vesper 
“May our Lord God of Peace” (as per front of Hymn books)

 Bible Reading

John 14

Jesus Promises Another Helper

15 “If you love Me, keep[d] My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Indwelling of the Father and the Son

19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

The Gift of His Peace

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said,[e] ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

Sermon: The Comforter and much more---

Today I would like us to concentrate on the Holy Spirit and gain an understanding of

Who He is,

How we receive Him,

What His role is,

How do we benefit from His ministry in us.

WHO:

The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person in the Holy Trinity. Note I said person.

We have God the Father,God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The first thing I want to say that the principle role of the Holy Spirit is to point us to, and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
Before we become Christians it is the Holy Spirit who was speaking to us in our spirits of the need to receive Jesus as our Saviour.
Convicting us of our need.

Once we have taken that step of decision it is He, The Holy Spirit, who then indwells us and sustains us in our Christian walk and daily struggles.

Please note that the Holy Spirit is not a weird sort of power that God exercises, He is a person.

Some people claim to have the Holy Spirit and act like they can turn His power on and off like a light switch.

That is not the case.

ROLE

In the Old testament times the role of the Holy Spirit and importantly His ministry to individuals was different to what it is now although even then He was pointing the human race to the coming of Jesus ,the Messiah.

The Holy Spirit was operating within the lives of God’s chosen prophets whereby they were able to teach and preach God’s truth and perform miracles.
People like Moses, Elijah,Jeremiah, and Abraham,Noah,Daniel  and others.

These were the great men of Faith who are highlighted in the famous chapter on faith, Hebrews 11.

He was not available to just anyone as He is today.

Since the day of Pentecost things have been different to Old Testament times.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit took place once and for always on the day of Pentecost.
See Acts 2:5-12

The Apostles experienced the Holy Spirit arriving as Jesus had promised them.
Acts 1:1-8 Note Jesus is addressing the Apostles only.

They,the Apostles, were there when the mighty rushing wind arrived, tongues of fire appeared above them and they moved into the market place and spoke so that everyone present could hear them in their own language.

In our Bible reading today we heard Jesus promising the Apostles this would happen.

Here it is from Jesus

15 “If you love Me, keep[d] My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
And we have this from Luke 24
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise[h] from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem[i] until you are endued with power from on high.”

HOW we receive Him

On the day of Pentecost  the people were amazed and perplexed and the Peter gave his inspired sermon and shortly after about 3000 people were added to the infant Church as they followed his instruction. Acts 2:36-43
(Note Peter's instruction as per Acts2:38)
While many will tell you the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is something that is a secondary experience after we become Christians it isn’t and wasn’t.
Some will say that after you become a Christian you need to “tarry” until you receive a second blessing, but the tarry message was only given to the Apostles.
It was a once only event that gave birth to the Church and made it possible for all of us to become Christians and experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Now having, I hope, established some foundational facts, let’s look at how we benefit from receiving the Holy Spirit into our lives.

Here I am going to quote a fair bit from one of my mentors Frank Hunting taken from one of his sermons on the Holy Spirit.

FRANK HUNTING HOLY SPIRIT MESSAGE

“ always, (he says) there isn’t a moment if you happen to be a Christian,  when the Holy Spirit is not alongside you.
Now you and I might have a lot of difficulty believing that.cos you see we don’t very often give much attention to Him.

 We don’t think very often about Him, and we’ve got into the way of doing things that we see all around us, and the way we’ve got into doing things is battling through the best we can.

Using what ever grey matter we’ve got up here and we try to work out the situation.

And taking hold of all the facts and figures or whatever they happen to be, that we can muster, we come up with our decision.

And that’s the way we live.

And God has something quite different.

Quite different.

And that’s the battle he’s got with people like us.

 All to often we’ve become so self sufficient and that’s why we bungle.

And that’s why we stumble along so often.

And that’s why we live so frequently in indecision, we’ve never Learned what Jesus is saying in that passage,  that the holy Spirit, would be alongside of us, always.

And he’s alongside of you right at this moment, you might not be aware of it.

He is also in you if you happen to be Christian.

And that doesn’t change.

He isn’t with us sometimes and then gets sick and tired of us and buzzes off, no that never happens.

I happen to be reading from the new King James it’s a very interesting translation and one that I think many of you who was brought up as I was, on the old King James will welcome very much.

Jesus Promises Another Helper
15 “If you love Me, keep[d] My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Well the 15th verse says this and its Jesus speaking.

“If you love me. keep my commandments and I----,(if you do that, keep my commandments,)--- I will pray the Father and He will give you another comforter.

Now if you are reading in the King James that’s what you read.

It’s a word in the original greek that no English word, no one English word, can possibly hope to give it’s meaning.

And this is the word . let me casually take you down some of the translations I looked up to see what they did with this word.

In the original new Testament as written in Greek, it’s the word paracletos.

Paracletos.

In the New international version and the revised standard version they translate that word “counsellor”.

In the Weymouth, one of the earliest of the modern translations, and also in the New English Bible translation, the word that’s used is “advocate.”

In Moffat, one of the earliest translations, in modern times, he uses the word “helper”.

And that’s the word that’s used in this. The New King James.

In the Authorised and the Revised, the English revision, they use the word “comforter”.

Perhaps I ought to stop for a moment,and say that the word paracletos has come down in meaning, it’s been chiselled away at from it’s real meaning that it had nearly 400 years ago.

And in those days it meant much more than just comforting somebody in their grief or their sorrow.

The idea behind it was strength. Somebody who came to you with strength, that’s what it meant in those days.

In the Amplfied Bible they give you all of those 6 that  I‘ve given you,plus another; 

comforter,

 counsellor,

helper,
intercessor, that’s the extra,

advocate,

strengthener,

stand by.

Seven English words, all with different meaning, all with different contents to translate this one word.

Now William Barclay who has an excellent translation of this word paracletos, gives us a really fine understanding of it so here it is , his.

It really means someone who is called in.

Someone who is called in.

But.

It’s when you examine why that someone is called in,

that this word takes on it’s really thrilling and exciting meaning.

A paracletos was a person and used by the Greeks.

A paracletos may be a person called in to give witness in a law court in our favour.

A person called in to give witness in a law court in our favour,

testimony in our favour.

A paracletos maybe someone called in to plead someone’s cause, yours maybe,

who is under charge of a serious penalty.

If the judgement goes against you you are going to be in real trouble.

So you call in a paracletos,

he may be,

and here the meaning changes slightly,

he may be an expert called in to give advice in some difficult situation.

Some situation that’s beyond you but because of His expertise, you can call him in and get the right advice or instruction or told exactly how to go about it.


Always a paracletos is someone who is  called in to help when a person is in trouble or in distress,

or in doubt or bewilderement,

and that is exactly the ministry of the holy spirit to every single Christian.”


So there you have it the passage we heard today is telling us that we have been given the Holy Spirit.

 He is always beside us he is always in us.

He is comforter,

counsellor,

helper,

intercessor,

 advocate,

 strengthener,

 stand by.

He is available to help us right now whatever our current situation.

Now we are urged in the New Testament to be filled with the Spirit.

The idea behind being filled with the Spirit is that we are allowing ourselves to be controlled by the Spirit.

You will have some idea of how the Holy Spirit is going within you if you are aware of the Fruits of the Spirit operating in you.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy,peace,longsuffering,kindness,goodness,faithfulness,gentlenes, self control

If we are letting the Holy Spirit have his way with us those attributes will manifest themselves.

Often of course we won’t know ourselves if we are filled with the Spirit.

If we are Christians we will have the Holy Spirit.

But to be filled with the Spirit simply means that our lives are under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Others though will be able to see that by our behaviour even if we don’t.

We can be Christians and not exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit


Now I would like to go a bit deeper.

We are going to look at the change the Holy Spirit will bring about when we allow Him access to our sub-conscious minds.

Whatever we may have -----or may have had……in our subconscious mind, The heart that Jesus so often spoke about---------hurts,  fears, poor image, bitterness, hardness, smutty thoughts and desires, resentments,  jealousy,  self sympathy, (to name but a few) it is for the ministry of the Holy Spirit to minister to this region of our being, all that Jesus accomplished for us when He died on the cross at Calvary and rose from the dead.

Put in other words the Holy Spirit makes possible a full experience of redemption which Jesus accomplished for us at Calvary.

I am going to share some helpful ,  I hope ,    diagrams, with you.

Some of you may have heard that we have layers to our minds.

2 main ones really.

Our conscious mind and our unconscious mind.

We also have our recallable sub conscious where our memories and knowledge can be brought to the surface and abilities to do things like riding a bike.

If you think of what  happened to the Titanic where it was sunk by the 9/10ths of the Iceberg that was lurking below the surface then that is a good analogy for what can be sinking us in our subconscious.

We make a conscious decision with our normal conscious mind ,which we are operating at this very moment, some where along the way to become a Christian.

We have responded to God’s call on our lives through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Most of us here may know that we are sons and daughters of God.

But we may only know this intellectually.  In the conscious mind.

That is why we often speak,

think,

behave,

act,                  other than a true son or daughter of God would.

We are only sons and daughters of God in a sort of theoretical way.

We need the Holy Spirit to make this truth real in us and to us in the 9/10 of the subconscious mind where there are so many things lurking.

Only the Holy Spirit can make us true sons and daughters of God.

Next to Jesus the Holy Spirit is God’s greatest gift to us.

Jesus would tell you that without the Holy Spirit we don’t really live.

Life may even be intolerable..

Jesus says that the Holy Spirit filling and controlling your life and mine makes possible all that God offers for living the Christian life.

I am going to show you some diagrams now. (hand outs)

I will talk about them briefly in a moment or two.

The minister who prepared these studies once counselled me when I had had a breakdown after I had been a very active and keen Christian for about 5 years.

He showed me some of these truths as they operated in my own life and I was able to function again as I learned how to apply these truths to my life.

Below is a link to  what I shared with the congregation at this point and more.

I was talking about how we can be programmed to fail.

It does contain a lot more of my testimony.

http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/search?q=programmed

I also shared another  example of a young women who was experiencing black outs.

You will find a link also to that message by Frank Hunting incorporated in the above link.


Handout no 1. The exchange study 4 ,page 2 shows a triangle representing our minds.

You can see in the sub conscious area below is where we have all these things that can going on as a result of our sinful nature and that cripples us.

In the bottom triangle you will see the some of the things that are buried deep down that we have been on the receiving end of.
Area where we need healing.
Some of these may be taken care of when we first become Christians but often they are not and they simmer on for some time.

The second page has 2 triangles similar to the previous page showing at the top sin that need s to be recognised and dealt with and the bottom triangle areas where we might need deeper healing.

The third page shows with scriptures what can happen when the Holy Spirit is enabled to minister to us in these lower areas.
There is an upflow , a ministry of transformation, that becomes real in our daily conscious living.

The open secret is that through the Holy Spirit we can have Jesus living out his resurrection life in us as we allow the Holy Spirit to control us in the areas we keep locked away.

Areas that sometimes we don’t even know are there.

We can speak and pray to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help us in these areas.

To reveal where we need healing perhaps.

Quite often after listening to something like this we  already have gained some insight into ourselves.

Sometimes we may need a mature Christian friend or Pastor or Confidante who can help us.

Now all this may be very new.

I suggest that you take these sheets home and look up the scriptures that are quoted.

If you think you are too old or too set in your ways to want to change or dare to believe things can be better, I heard that scientists have now worked out how to unboil an egg.

How much more can the Holy Spirit do to bring us back from the things that are really crippling us?

I will conclude with the following passage that you may have read before but now it may take on new meaning.

Romans 12:2King James Version (KJV)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.