The Mystery of the Holy Spirit Revealed
Every follower of Jesus became a believer through the work of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are His temple. He is charged to take care of us.
Yet many of us don’t walk in the power of the Spirit because of misconceptions. In some cases, what you learned created doubts and suspicion—and made you pull back. But you know, or suspect, that you’re missing out on the best of what God has to offer in this life.
Join Patrick Morley and let’s clear up any confusion, or remaining confusion, about who the Holy Spirit is, what He does for you, and what you can do for Him.
Verses referenced in this lesson:
John 14:15-17, 26
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The CORE TEACHINGS of JESUS
THE Mystery of the Holy Spirit Revealed
Welcome to Man In the Mirror Bible study. If you would, you can go ahead and turn in your Bibles to John chapter 14, verse 15. We want to give a very warm welcome to our online guests. And so if you would join me in giving a rousing Man In the Mirror welcome to our online guests on the count of three. One, two, three, hurrah. Welcome, men. We’re glad to have you with us.
The series, The Core Teachings of Jesus, and today I’ve come up with a very pretentious title. Well, it could be pretentious if I was teaching. Jesus is going to be our teacher today. So if he’s the teacher, it’s not quite as pretentious. The title of today’s message is The Mystery of the Holy Spirit Revealed. The Mystery of the Holy Spirit Revealed.
Right after I became a follower of Jesus, I went all in. I was listening to Christian radio on the way to and from work and during the day when I was driving around, and there was a certain radio preacher who talked a lot, constantly, about the Holy Spirit. This particular radio preacher was exuberant, and his exuberance was attractive to me, and so I listened intently to everything he had to say. He was teaching that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was like a second blessing, a second experience of God, and that when you received this second blessing, you would speak in tongues, which is like a foreign language.
So, I did everything he said to do to receive the second blessing, but I never got this speaking in tongues thing. So, I remember I so wanted to experience what he was talking about that I would sit in my home office in the morning, early in the morning before the children and the wife were up, and I would make up words. I would talk out loud. I’m not going to besmirch the Holy Spirit or embarrass myself by repeating the kinds of things that I was saying, but it was gibberish. I was so yearning and longing.
So, it drew attention to the fact that it’s good to have exuberance, but not exuberance without accuracy. Likewise, another area is to have accuracy without exuberance. We need to have both of those when rightly dividing the word. So, I won’t say that I went through a faith crisis, but I think some people do when these kinds of things happen. So, we’re doing the core teachings of Jesus, so I thought this morning, it would be good to look at the mystery of the Holy Spirit revealed.
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Who is the Holy Spirit? Who is the Holy Spirit? Most of the mystery about the Holy Spirit is located right at this particular question. Who is the Holy Spirit? Jesus taught us that God is Spirit and whoever would worship him, must worship him in Spirit and in truth. We know that the Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters in Genesis one. So, the Holy Spirit has been in the scripture and part of the Judeo-Christian experience from the very beginning. Moses had the Holy Spirit come upon him when it got to be too much. God took some of the Spirit and put it on the 70 elders so that they would have the Spirit to govern. You see the Holy Spirit throughout the lives of the judges. The Spirit came upon Samson, gave him additional strength. The judges, and then into the prophets who spoke under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.
David, King David talked about the Holy Spirit. We get to Joel 2:28 and Joel prophesies, maybe they don’t really know when Joel was written, but maybe fifth century BC, 400 or 500 years before Jesus came, Joel prophesied that the Spirit would be poured out upon all people. And then we know at Pentecost, when Peter was preaching in Pentecost, that the Spirit did come. Jesus said “It’s good for you for me to go away, because when I go away, then I’m going to send my Spirit to you. You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” and sure enough at Pentecost, that’s exactly what happened. The Book of Acts is sometimes referred to in theology as the Acts of the Holy Spirit because the book is filled with the acts of the Holy Spirit.
The core teaching of Jesus on the Holy Spirit is really in John chapter 14, verses 15 to 17. He says, “If you love me, keep my commands, and I will ask the father and he will give you another advocate.” This is the word from which we get English Paraclete. The word helper is a great word. Probably for me personally, the word that I prefer of all the synonyms here. “And he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him, but you know him. For he lives in you and will be with you.”
So who is the Holy Spirit? He is this advocate that has been sent to be your helper, to be with you forever. He is in you right now and he will be with you. So, when we want to locate where the Spirit of God is, the Spirit of God is inside of you. You became a Christian through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. It is through the work of the Holy Spirit that you became a believer in Christ. So, whether you have never even heard of the Holy Spirit, like Paul went to, I think, Corinth and was talking to them and he asked, “Have you been baptized by the Holy Spirit?” They said, “What Holy Spirit? We’ve never heard of any Holy Spirit.” So then he baptized and laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
So, there’s this transition period in the early church where we’re going from this old covenant to the new covenant of Jesus and the Spirit where all believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing their inheritance, and we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, can walk in the power of the Holy Spirit every day. Coming out of this Old Testament period where a few people were given the Spirit to lead the people, and then there was this transition period in the early church at Pentecost.
Moving on into the New Testament, Paul writes that, 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” confirming here what Jesus says. “He lives in you and he will be with you.” So, every believer has the Holy Spirit. Every believer became a Christian because of the Holy Spirit, because of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit is in you right now.
So, for those of you might be interested in this kind of thinking, there are many different views of God in the world. Pantheism, basically pantheism, deism, and theism. So, pantheism is that the world is God. So, that’s just kooky. We’ll leave that one alone. The deism is that, just picture a box that is the world, and then God exists, but he’s outside of the box. Theism would see the world as a box, but there would be an opening at the top and God would have the ability to interact and move in and out of his creation. He’s not the creation as pantheism would say, but in theism, the major religions do believe that God does have this interaction with his creation.
Christianity is a monotheistic religion. Of the theisms, Christianity is a monotheistic religion. We believe in one God, the Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4, “The Lord is one,” is what it says. There is one God. Throughout scripture, you will find this idea. The father is God. Jesus is God. The Holy Spirit is God. It is a profound mystery. We call it the Trinity, three in one. So God is one. He is one in essence and three persons. There are three persons in the Trinity. One God, one essence. We are a monotheistic religion, and the Holy Spirit is God. Jesus is fully God, the father is fully God, And the Holy Spirit is fully God.
So, who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is God. So, knowing about the Holy Spirit and not being skittish or put off or suspicious because of some kind of weird teaching that you might’ve heard somewhere along the line, or maybe you’re more of a reserved kind of a person and it scares you to see people becoming exuberant with the Holy Spirit. If you don’t embrace and understand as much as you can the Holy Spirit, then you are a missing experience with God.
We started this series by saying, “What is it that is holding men back from taking action?” Follow that on with the idea that when you look at a lot of men, they don’t have an ache for the harvest and they don’t have an ache for the harvest because they don’t have the gospel under the skin. What is holding men back from taking action? One of the premiere ways of getting the gospel under your skin is to understand and embrace the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say, and this is the Big Idea for the day; Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is the distinguishing characteristic of a biblical Christian. Sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit who is God, who lives in you, who is fully God, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is the distinguishing characteristic of a biblical Christian.
Now, there are cultural Christians. There are nominal Christians. There are Christians who have one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom and they’re trying to, and they toggle back and forth depending on the circumstances. They’re tossed and turn and this direction and that like the waves of the sea. But the biblical Christian, and nobody’s perfect, nobody does this all the time, every day. But the biblical Christian has a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, who is God inside of us.
WHAT DOES HE DO FOR US?
All right. So, what does he do for us? The Holy Spirit is not an it. The Holy Spirit is a he. The Holy Spirit is God. What does he do for us? Each day, I have repetitious prayers. I have six repetitious prayers. I try to pray them each every day, not perfectly, but I would say the most consistent of my repetitious prayers is, “Father, I come to meet and abide with you, our much loved creator, sustainer, and redeemer. Lord Jesus, I come to meet and abide with you, our much loved savior, Lord and teacher. Holy Spirit, I come to meet and abide with you, our much loved helper, intercessor, and power.” And these three roles, they change all the time.
When we did the Christian Man series here, I was actually using almost those same three roles, but I’ve changed the wording around because when I pray, “Holy Spirit, I come in to meet and abide with you, our… ” And because Jesus taught us to pray our prayers, not me prayers. My father in heaven, forgive my sins. It’s forgive our sins, right? It’s give me my daily bread. It’s give us our daily bread. So our much loved helper. When I say, “Helper,” I need help. Intercessor. Knowing that the Holy Spirit is our intercessor gives me a sense of hope for the day. And then power because I’m a weak man and I need help.
So, let’s just take a look. These are the three roles of the Spirit that we’re going to talk about. How many roles of the Spirit could we talk about this morning? I lost track counting, but I’m talking about these three. Selfishly, these are the ones that are most important to me. Our helper, our intercessor, and our power.
With regard to him being our helper, Jesus, in the same John 14 where we were reading earlier, going down to verse 26, “But the advocate or the helper, helper, but the helper, the Holy Spirit and the father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.” What an incredible thing to tell a man. If Jesus Christ, who is fully God, fully man, fully God, if Jesus Christ is telling you that he’s going to send you a helper who’s going to live inside of you and be inside of you, and he’s going to be the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the father because God is one, this Holy Spirit, I’m going to send him. I’m going to send myself, essentially, or part of myself. Again, that’s part of the mystery, right? But the father is going to send on my behalf this Holy Spirit. And I think I probably have said this before here, but notice that the trinity is represented in this text. Jesus is speaking and he’s talking about the Holy Spirit whom the father will send.
So this one God will send, in the name of Jesus, a helper to teach you everything you need to know, and to remind you of everything that Jesus has said. Wow, what an incredible promise. So, the role of the helper, what he can do for you is he can be your helper to teach you and remind you.
And then as intercessor, Romans 8:26-7. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We don’t even know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes with wordless groans.” I like it. There’s a version that says, “The Spirit intercedes with groans so deep that words cannot express.” “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with God’s will.” With the will of God. So, to know that he is our helper who’s reminding us and teaching us, and to know that he is our intercessor, that he’s praying on your behalf in accordance with God’s will with words, groans, and then third, the power, and this is just one of many verses. But 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self discipline.”
So God, in his role, the Holy Spirit, who is God in his role as your power, you don’t have to be timid. So honestly, most of the time I act way too big for my britches. And the reason that I do that, is the reason I’m not timid, is because of a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that has developed over walking with the Lord for decades.I hope that’s an encouragement that Jesus Christ has made a difference. Big Idea; Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is the distinguishing characteristic of a biblical Christian. So, sensitivity to all of his roles, and I picked out three. Helper, intercessor, and power.
WHAT CAN WE DO FOR HIM?
Then, what we can do for him. It would not be surprising to anybody that after you have received so much from somebody that you want to do something to honor them. It’s not payback. It’s not performing like a payback, like a debt you owe. But it’s out of the depths of the gratitude for understanding what this Holy Spirit has done for us, that we want to do something to express that deep gratitude.
You might just take a picture of this. We’re not going to go into all these, and this is just a handful, but what we can do for the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians chapter five, verse 19 says, “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” The word quench literally means extinguish. So, you have this candle burning inside of you, this fire, this tongue of fire, maybe, inside of you, this burning. And the scripture said, “Don’t extinguish it. Don’t douse it. Don’t use a snuffer. Don’t drown it out. Don’t pour water on it. Be filled with the Spirit. Walk by the Spirit. Keep my commands.” That was part of that verse we looked at earlier. “Be my witnesses,” Acts 1:8.
Next week, Brett Clemmer is going to be talking about sort of the capstone for this series, and that will be to take all of what we’ve done and all we’ve talked about, all these core teachings, and mobilize them into helping others also know that. Then, spiritual gifts and the fruit of the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12, verse seven tells us that not only do you have the Holy Spirit, but to every believer is given some special manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the form of a spiritual gift.
So, for some of you it might be leadership or administration. For some of you it might be serving or giving acts of mercy for others. It might be a speaking gift for some of you. You might speak in tongues or interpret them or have the gift of prophecy or preaching or whatever. So, everybody has one and it’s honoring to the Holy Spirit to take the time to understand how he has specially gifted you.
Then the fruit of the Spirit, which we talk about here from time to time, the fruit of the Spirit. These are the nine fruits. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. So, let me ask you this question. Okay, you have these available to you. They’re on-call. All you have to do is be sensitive to the Holy Spirit because it’s the distinguishing characteristic of a biblical Christian. As you are sensitive to the Holy Spirit in you, you can ask him and you can experience these fruits. All right.
So, let me ask you. Lawrence, you have all the fruits of the Spirit. I know you. He’s on the board of directors of Man In the Mirror. You have all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I know that. I have a check here for $100 million. I’m willing to buy your fruits of the Spirit for $100 million. Would you be willing to sell me your fruit for $100 million? Well, of course not. He’s thinking about it, but…
All right. Well, let me ask you this question. Okay, so, how much did I offer you?
$100 million. Would you sell me one fruit of the Spirit of my choice for $10 million? And I want peace. I want your peace. For $10 million you give me your peace. You will never have peace again. You will never have peace again. You can’t have peace ever again, but you will have $10 million. No? Okay. Well, let me ask you this way. How about joy? Would you sell me that one gift for $10 million, your joy? Right? Sell me your joy for $10 million. You’re never going to have joy again for the rest of your life, but you will have $10 million. You see the priceless treasure that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It’s priceless.
I need two volunteers, preferably men who are not willing to be embarrassed and humiliated in public. Two volunteers. Two volunteers. Thank you, Ray. Thank you. Thank you very much. And Fred, thank you very much. Thank you for volunteering. Okay, come on up, guys.
All right, so I want you to… Fred, you stay right here, okay? And Ray, you stand next to him and turn around and face the group here. This is probably as bare a scene as it can ever get, right? All right. So, now I have in my hand, a pitcher of water. Fred, you look thirsty, and so I’m going to fill this up with water, and then I’m going to ask you to take a sip of water. Pretty good? Not bad?
Oh, okay. Well, good. Well, I’ll give you some more, then. Go ahead and take another sip. Whoops. All right. Good. Pretty good. You still seem thirsty. So, go ahead and go ahead. Take another drink. Good. Good, good, good. You’re doing good, Fred. So Fred… Fred? Fred? Oh, okay. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. When you have enough of this Holy Spirit for yourself, then you probably have enough left over to give away to someone else. Thank you. Go ahead, guys. Sit down. Thank you for that, being good sports on that.
So, a very ambitious talk this morning to try to reveal the mystery of the Holy Spirit, but I think it can be captured in our Big Idea. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit really is the distinguishing characteristic of a biblical Christian. Thanks again, Fred and Ray. Let’s pray.
Our dearest father, thank you so much for, first of all, for your Spirit. Thank you for residing in each of us. Lord, we pray that you would help us fan into flame all of you. The roles that you play in us, the gifts that you give us, the fruit that you offer to us. Help us to be sensitive to you and to fan all of that into flame and to enjoy the transformation that comes from that. We give you praise and glory, Jesus, for these core teachings, and thank you especially for your Spirit. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.