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Today  we are Finishing up our series titled “The Nature and Mission of the Church”

The New Testament contains many images and figures of speech that describe this divine but human institution for which the Lord died and on which He depends for carrying on His work in the world today.

Today is part 3 The Church, The Community of the Holy Spirit.

Text

John 14:26 (ESV)

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 that I have said to you.

Scripture Reading

John 14:15-26 (ESV)

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 

17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 

19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 

20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 

21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is 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 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 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still 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 that I have said to you.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, we need your power within us lest we stumble and fall.

Guide us on our way and give us strength as we travel the narrow path of life.

We thank you for providing our needs and for the ability to give back into your kingdom.

It is in Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

We often look back to the days of Jesus’ life on earth with a bit of regret that we did not get to know Him at that time.

Sometimes we think our faith would be stronger if we had the opportunity of seeing Jesus.

We are however, probably mistaken.

Many of those who saw Jesus did not believe in Him.

On the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion, He told His disciples in John 14:26 (ESV)

26 But the Helper, or the advocate depending on what translation you are reading, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

In other words, Jesus indicated that the Holy Spirit would take His place on earth and would continue all that He had begun.

  1. The Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ with us. 
  1. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Christ.

In the New Testament, we often read the terms Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, His Spirit, and Spirit of Christ.

These terms are synonymous. They are one and the same.

We will not go astray if we think of the Holy Spirit as Jesus Christ continually living in us in a spiritual way, just as He lived with the first disciples in a natural, physical way.

B. The Holy Spirit is present with believers just as Jesus was during His life on earth.

Although the first disciples saw Jesus and walked with Him, He was removed from them by His crucifixion.

In the gospel of John, the holy Spirit is understood as Jesus Christ living with us.

The enemies of Christ were able to kill His body, but no one can kill His Holy Spirit.

We are assured of His constant presence.

C. What is the Holy Spirit like?

The Holy Spirit is God, and God is revealed in Jesus Christ.

Therefore the Holy Spirit is like Jesus.

If you want to determine whether it is truly the Holy Spirit leading you, ask, “Is this what Jesus would do?”

What we know about the Holy Spirit we have learned through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

So we were not left alone when Jesus ascended back to the Father, rather, God is always with us in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

2. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher.

  1. The early Christians saw Jesus as their Teacher.

He not only taught them the ways of God, He also taught them how Christians should live.

His teachings have become the guidelines for the lives of His followers.

Jesus’ early death did not allow enough time for Him to teach them all they needed to know about important subjects.

It is remarkable that Jesus, knowing that He would die young, specifically promised that the Holy Spirit would be our Teacher and would continue to teach us after Jesus’ departure.

B. The holy Spirit is our Teacher.

We can easily go astray, however, if we think the Holy Spirit teaches us apart from the Bible or the Church. He works through the church.

The New Testament brings us the teachings of Jesus Christ by inspired writers.

The Holy Spirit teaches us partly by helping us to understand the bible.

Sometimes people claim special revelations by the Holy Spirit that are contrary to the teaching of the Bible.

If the Bible is faithful to Jesus Christ, then it follows that the Holy Spirit, who continues to teach as Jesus did, will agree with the biblical teachings. 

C. The Holy Spirit is particularly present in the church.

Although our individual Bible study time is important and should not be neglected, we often sense the Holy Spirit’s presence most strongly in church services.

He teaches us as we worship and study in the company of others who are also listening.

3. The Holy Spirit leads the church.

  1. The book of Acts gives examples.

The book of Acts is also known as the “Acts of the Apostles” but could also be known as “the Acts of the Holy Spirit”.

If you have read Acts, you know that the Holy Spirit is in charge at every important juncture in the early church.

The Holy Spirit led at Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit empowered the church as they moved a Jewish foundation to the Gentile world.

The Holy Spirit guided and strengthened missionaries in their evangelistic work.

B. The Holy Spirit leads the church in ministry today..

We often overlook this fact to our own ruin.

More important than how much we talk about the Holy Spirit is how much we listen to Him as we seek to do His will.

4. The Holy Spirit is the power within the church.

  1. The Holy Spirit convicts individuals of their sin.

In John 3 we learn that new birth is brought about by the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the Word.

In other words, when unbelievers hear the gospel being preached, the Holy Spirit drives it into their hearts so they are convicted of their sin and desire to become Christians.

B. The Holy Spirit empowers Christians to witness.

The only way Christians are able to proclaim the gospel effectively is by the Holy Spirit giving power to their witness.

C. The New Testament includes many terms describing the Holy Sirit’s work.

The Holy Spirit enters us at the time of our conversion.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:13 (ESV) that

13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

The “Filling of the Spirit” needs to occur continually throughout our lives.

Being “moved by the Spirit” simply means that the Holy Spirit leads or motivates us to do His work.

D. The Holy Spirit is related to hearing the Word of God.

We learn in Romans 10:17 (ESV)

That faith comes from hearing the Word of God. It says,

17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

All missionary and evangelistic work is based on this belief.

The Holy Spirit makes this “hearing” possible.

Apart from the Holy Spirit, a Scripture passage is merely a lesson in ancient history.

5. The church is a “fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

  1. Worship depends on the Holy Spirit.

We frequently plan our worship services or take part in them unaware that it is all in vain unless the Holy Spirit is present.

On some occasions we are made aware of the mysterious power of God moving among us and within us.

We experience true worship on these occasions.

The church is not the church unless the Holy Spirit is moving within it.

B. The Holy Spirit gives saving power.

He not only convicts sinners of their sin and thereby makes their faith possible, He also gives power to us as we grow in our Christian life.

C. Without the Holy Spirit, churches become religious clubs.

All too often we think the church belongs to us, and we organise it and do with it as we like.

But it is truly the church when the Holy Spirit is moving within the members and its ministry to provide power and direction.

D. The Holy Spirit makes the church “the church”.

The entire concept of the church, as it appears in the New Testament as the “family of God” and “the body of Christ,” is realised when the Holy Spirit has His way with the congregation.

Then the church is known as a fellowship of the holy Spirit.

Conclusion.

If we wish to see the work of Jesus Christ done in our individual lives and in our church, we must be assured of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, that is, we must be born again, and we must continually seek to be filled with His power.

Until next time

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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